What is Transcendental Meditation
Is The Only Way To Get Complete Inner Peace?
The world today is a scary place. A place where people are constantly fighting for power, control and money. We live in fear of what our lives look like from the outside, instead of what it feels like on the inside. The result: depression, anxiety, physical illness and suicide.
What we need is inner peace. A way to become immune to the stress imposed upon us by society. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain, others believe in ‘retail therapy’. But the truth is that buying more stuff won’t give you the peace of mind you need. So the question is, what will? How can you find the inner peace that will allow you to live a life of love, empathy and oneness with fellow humans? Some say the answer is transcendental meditation.
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of silent mantra meditation. Developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it gained popularity in the 1960s, even drawing the attention of the Beatles, as well as other celebrities like Russel Brand, Hugh Jackman and Clint Eastwood since then. In the last 40 years, there have been more than 300 scientific studies published in various respected independent journals in the world.
What is Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental meditation is a simple practice not because it’s for beginners but because there’s an elegant simplicity to the practice. During TM, you focus on a word, typically given to you by a teacher or meditation coach. By repeating this word in your mind for an extended period, your mind sinks into a state of deep awareness, a sense of deep peace without racing thoughts. You might notice your mind wandering, and that’s ok. Just keep going back to the chosen word.
The mantra gives the mind something to do so it stops thinking about the past or future. This helps you become present in the moment. Through transcendental meditation, you’ll realise that you are not what you think and feel. Off course you’ll still have feelings and thoughts, but your relationship with them will change.
Transcendental meditation isn’t a philosophy and it isn’t linked to a religion of any sort. It doesn’t require a change in diet or lifestyle for it to work.
Effects of Transcendental Meditation on the Brain
Every experience we have as humans impact the brain in some way. According to research, TM affects the centre of the brain also known as the medulla, the frontal lobes and both hemispheres of the brain. During TM, there’s a strengthening of the connections between the frontal lobe and the back of the brain. This is important because the frontal lobe is responsible for decision making, judgement, planning, problem-solving, sense of self and everything good.
Stress or trauma hinders the communication of the various parts of the brain which is why you struggle to make sound decisions or problem-solve when stressed out. TM strengthens the connection to all parts of the brain. And because of neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change), the effects last throughout the day. Ultimately, TM optimises the brain to function better by increasing focus and clarity.
The Ocean Analogy
In order to understand meditation itself, we can use the metaphor of the ocean. Imagine being on a small boat out in the middle of the ocean surrounded by huge waves. Your first impression would be that the entire ocean is in upheaval but the truth is actually the opposite.
In reality, the ocean is typically about 3.5km deep. And while it might be active on the surface, at the depth of it, it’s naturally silent. The surface is our mind – active with thoughts like the waves on the surface. But, as humans, we have a natural inclination for inner calmness. The operative word is INNER and the question is where is that INNER and how do we get to it?
The answer: Deep within everybody, there’s a level of the mind that’s already calm. Somehow we’ve lost access to it and we’re stuck on the surface. Meditation allows the active thinking mind to calm down and settle. To achieve a transcendent level of the mind similar to deep sleep allowing the build-up of stress, tension, fatigue and anxiety to dissolve. The body ultimately repairs itself.
What’s the Difference Between Mindfulness Meditation and Transcendental Meditation?
Unlike mindfulness-based meditations that requires a high level of concentration and focus on being present to the thoughts and allowing them to settle by themselves, TM is based on focusing on a single mantra (word), repeated silently. This mantra is typically different for every person. Practitioners assign mantras based on personal characteristics when people complete training programs.
How Transcendental Meditation Can Change Your Life
With transcendental meditation, you’ll quickly discover that you are not your continual flow of thoughts. You are the observer of thoughts. Your perspective on your life changes by using this ancient principle of meditation. Your journey becomes one of transcendence.
It changes your belief of who you are and what society is. You start asking the questions, how can I relate to other people differently? And how can I make every interaction I have with someone better and positive? With transcendental meditation, you’re heading in the direction of love, making it an invaluable tool to facilitate your journey of oneness.
Spiritual Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
- Access to a deeper state of happiness which is profound and absolute
- Creates space in your mind for creativity
- Challenging the assumption of who you are through a daily experience of consciousness that’s separate from your individual A more relaxed, calm and peaceful life
- Fewer ties to external factors like what others think of you as well as material things, thus defying the culture of consumerism and capitalism
Physical Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
- One of the biggest physical benefits of transcendental meditation is stress relief by balancing hormones as well as the fight-or-flight activation and increasing brain function.
- Lower risk of heart disease by healing various heart diseases like atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy
- Reduces blood pressure to a healthy level
- Helping fight addictions like smoking, alcohol or drugs that causes various physical conditions.
- Reduction in various mental disorders like bipolar disorder and PTSD
Who Could Benefit from Transcendental Meditation?
In short, HUMANS, everybody. Every single human being can draw from it. Especially people who have experienced extreme trauma in their lives and people with chronic stress. Transcendental meditation is very natural and effortless in contrast to many other meditation techniques. There’s no manipulation or suggestion to the practice and it’s simple to learn as well as very enjoyable.
Transcendental meditation is a feeling where separateness evaporates and you’re overcome with a tremendous sense of oneness, absolute beautiful serenity and selfless connection as well as love for yourself and everyone around you.
Transcendental Meditation Exercise
If you’re wondering how to do transcendental meditation, we’re here to tell you, it’s easier than you might think! Here’s an exercise to help get you started:
- Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or couch
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
- Pick a word like ‘flower’ or any other positive word (also known as a transcendental meditation mantra) and repeat it in your mind (consider choosing a word that has a spiritual meaning to you)
- Don’t worry if your mind wanders, just keep going back to repeating your mantra. While seen as a meditation obstacle, a mind that strays is actually part of the process. Putting extra pressure on the mind is not useful so try to lovingly return to your word.
- Start slow – 5 minutes at first, then work your way up to more. The recommended practice time is 15 to 20 minutes twice a day.
Benefits of Having a Meditation Coach
When first starting out with meditation practice you might feel like you’re doing it wrong because of having too many raging thoughts. Some people have a tendency to become anxious or start to fidget during meditation, causing them to think they’re unfit for the practice. Many people struggle with uncomfortable emotions or physical sensations that arise. And while you might think that these are counterproductive and decide to quit meditation altogether, we’re here to tell you that they are normal. It’s all part of the process.
A meditation teacher can guide you in your meditation practice which can increase the likelihood of developing a fruitful and enjoyable practice.
What to Look for in a Meditation Teacher
- A trained and certified meditation teacher who meditates daily
- An individual who you resonate with and are open to various styles of meditation
- A person who inspires you to start living your life at the highest level
Start Today, Here’s How
Integrative Coaching can offer you various tools to help you reach the point of complete inner peace.
The Path of Transcendence Meditation course is a guided meditation and self-mastery course that uses self-awareness and meditation practices. This course will give you the tools you need to relieve anxiety and stress, gain perspective and significantly increase your energy so you can accomplish your goals. You will discover that inner place of deep peace and bliss. You can find the online course here.
Book – The Infinite Spark
The Infinite Spark: Gain the clarity and focus you need to be successful in under 10 minutes a day’. This book is a powerful resource for anyone wanting to start practising meditation. Complete with the types of meditation, physical and spiritual benefits as well as various techniques, you too can start your journey to a brand new you. Get your paperback copy here.
Executive Coaching (Free Strategy Session)
All the peak performance individuals and great leaders have coaches and advisors, why should you go about this journey of self-discovery alone. If you need help, an executive coach can give you the tools and guidance you need to start a successful daily meditation practise as well as advice on aligning yourself with your goals and dreams to make them a reality. Book your session here.