My Views On Transcendental Meditation
You may already be aware that Transcendental Meditation is associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
TM was incidentally my first exposure to any form of meditation. Previously I had not explored any other types of meditation.
Curiously enough this was one form of meditation that I participated in, which yielded some noticeable result. It was also the simplest of them all.
It was in the mid eighties that I got the opportunity to check out TM. There were many enthusiastic people who attended this presentation.
At first we were shown some slides of a university dedicated to Transcendental Meditation and pictures of some people associated with it.
It was made clear that an initiator is needed for the launch. The two instructors fulfilled the task for an audience of around thirty.
The simplicity of this exercise is that the meditator has to just sit in a comfortable place, preferably a room where there is not too much light and which is not totally dark either.
Although there are no breathing exercises involved, an airflow is also considered important.
The main task is to repeat a "Mantra." A Mantra is a word, just one word, whether it means something or not is not important.
In the initiation the instructor whispers the Mantra into the student's ear.
Then the repetition is done by the student, only in the mind and not aloud.
My instructor said to me that a student should not divulge his Mantra to anyone. He also revealed that a different Mantra is given to every student.
I did not ask him if there was a criteria that he follows, which enables him to select the right Mantra for a particular student.
I simply assumed the instructor "feels the vibes" and selects a Mantra accordingly.
There was no mention of the need to keep the spine straight, like the requirement when performing yoga breathing exercises.
Once you are comfortably seated, you've got to shut your eyes and let thirty seconds pass. You need not actually count up to thirty, you just have to be conscious of the required length of time.
Once thirty seconds elapses from the time you shut your eyes, you've got to start repeating that Mantra. Go on repeating it for twenty minutes.
For the first few days, when you feel your time is up, you may need to gently open your eyes to glance at your watch to check out if twenty minutes has elapsed.
Amazingly, after about a week of practicing you will get the knack of it and automatically stop repetitions when that required length of time is up.
When your time's up, stop repetitions and stay still for another thirty seconds and then gently open your eyes.
During the session you should not deliberately entertain any thoughts.
However it is certain that in the initial stages various thoughts will tend to seep into your mind. When that occurs, you should not forcefully repel them either.
There is absolutely no need to force yourself to concentrate on the Mantra either.
All you have to do is, while repeating the Mantra, just try not to notice the thoughts that are likely to interfere. That's all.
You should not expect anything unusual to happen either. In fact, you should just do it, without any expectations.
Whilst you are involved in the repetitions, if you happen to fall asleep, do not resist. Just let go.
When you waken, all you have to do is assess the duration of your involuntary nap and continue repetitions for that period of time.
Two Sessions Per day
Two sessions are required daily. Once in the morning and once in the evening. The ideal would be if they are twelve hours apart.
A couple of weeks after I started this, I began to feel a little more relaxed during the daytime.
The feeling of calmness was notable, although not to the extreme.
I was probably beginning to reap the benefits of meditation.
Since I was not participating in any other similar activity, I attributed this to my TM program only.
Unfortunately I could not continue Transcendental Meditation as certain changes occurred in my lifestyle which interfered with the schedule I had set. So I was compelled to discontinue.
Other relaxation techniques came my way later on in life that did produce some kind of results although these techniques did not compel any consistency in order for them to be effective.
Transcendental Meditation, I was told requires a continuity and a uniformity in the method in order to yield favorable results.
The fear that a fixed schedule cannot be maintained is what put me off completely.
Had I continued TM for a period of one and a half to two years, I believe I would have been able to reap some of the benefits offered by this system.
Probably my senses would have gotten sharper. I would also have been able to assess situations from a better viewpoint, and with greater accuracy, and even would have been able to make decisions with greater ease.
Probably all these would have happened, but I do not know.
The possibility also exists that repelling negative thoughts or keeping them at bay would have been far easier, enabling the full versatility of POSITIVITY to take effect!
Mantra Yoga Or Transcendentl Meditation?
Having heard previously of mantra yoga which involved the repetition of a mantra to achieve mental clarity, I did not see much of a difference. Probably TM is a simplified version.
Much later on, having checked out mantra yoga I discovered that their mantras were longer and consisted of more than one word and had some sort of a meaning.
Transcendental meditation mantras, to my knowledge consists of only one word and varies from student to student.
My Latest Update! - August the 28th, 2011
About one and a half months ago I resumed Transcendental Meditation just the way I had done it when I first started practicing it.
Having resumed TM after a spell of many years, I continued for about a month with two daily sessions. While I was at It, I was expecting positive results in some form. Hopefully some additional vigor mentally or otherwise.
But I failed to notice any difference even after a month elapsed. So, I discontinued.
What I have stated in this article is that when I first started TM many years back I experienced some difference for the better.
However this time I noticed nothing different! So ... I assume my first experience would have been purely psychological! ... So, that's it! That's the way Transcendental Meditation works or that's the way it does not!
Well, I have related to you the story of my involvement in Transcendental Meditation as accurately as my memory did permit.
The result that I claim to have noticed could have been psychological or for real. I would not know at all since I did not continue this practice for a reasonable period of time.
Although I have practiced this form of meditation and have revealed the method in my essay, I did not intend it to be a set of instructions.
It is up to you to do your own research and use your discretion and assessment abilities if you have developed an interest by reading this article.
However simple the method may be, I would like to stress that this article was only meant to satisfy the curiosity of a beginner, and not to instruct, or recommend anything in any way.
Good luck to you!
Your Own Experiences in Meditation
Have you had any experience in any form of meditation? If so, please tell us what effect it had on you and what exactly it was.
© 2008 quicksand