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A highly-yielding therapeutic tool to ease stress, anxiety, and depression—over the years, meditation has gained its recognition for enhancing mental performance and becoming a lifestyle choice. One of the most popularly emerging forms of meditation is transcendental meditation or TM.
TM is a kind of mantra meditation that Maharshi Mahesh Yogi introduced to the Western World way back in the fifties. He taught the practice all over the world, touching everyone starting from politicians to The Beatles. While a lot of mystique is now related to this form of meditation, practicing transcendental meditation is quite simple really.
What makes transcendental meditation unique?
Now, most of the forms of meditation involve a pattern of mindfulness which demands us to repeatedly and consciously return to the very present moment, like focusing on your breath, a body part, a sound.
This means noticing your thoughts and letting go of them by shifting the focus from that thought to something like the movement of your breath. While the goal of mindfulness is to train the brain in conscious awareness, the goal of transcendental meditation is to go beyond the thinking process.
Those who impart wisdom about TM or teach it, emphasise on the fact that it is merely the nature of the mind to go to its tranquil state. But on the contrary, it is also the nature of mind to be inquisitive and curious about its surroundings. So, how does one reach that level of tranquillity without his mind not wandering off to peripheral thoughts? You do it by chanting a mantra!
What is a mantra?
A mantra is a positive sound, a word with no meaning. They say the more oblivious you are to the word the better it is, because our mind always tries to make mental connections. So if the mantra word sounds familiar to a word that we know the meaning of, we tend to involuntarily connect that word to images, sounds, smells, and memories. And that is a hurdle in the process of gaining tranquillity.
While chanting you are supposed to change the length and tone of the Mantra for it to have a “trance” effect on your mind. You have to chant it for the whole length of your session for it to work.
How can you practice transcendental meditation?
Usually there are courses where you can learn TM. But if you are somebody who has already done mindfulness meditation, then you can get by with some online assistance. All you have to do is:
*Look up a TM Mantra on YouTube. Once you have selected one, learn how it is chanted.
*Try to chant with the video to learn and replicate the way they do it in the video.
*Once you have gotten the hang of it, stop the track, keep your eyes closed, and silently chant the same mantra for 20 minutes.
*Repeat this process, twice a day, for a week or so
No matter what meditation you take up, make sure you give it your time and do it on a daily basis if you want to have a tangible experience in learning about your mind and the mechanics of your brain.