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Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a method designed to put people in a state of restful alertness. It is not a philosophy, does not involve adopting beliefs, and practicing TM requires no change in life style.
The benefits of TM are felt by doubters and advocates alike—just as gravity holds people to the earth whether they believe in it or not. TM helps everyone because of the mind’s natural attraction to its own stillness.
The quiet depths of our mind can be compared to the stillness near the ocean floor. Our busy, often anxious thoughts are like the large and small waves on the ocean’s surface. TM allows our busy mind access to the tranquility that already exists below our thought's waves.
If you think about it, our attention is always naturally drawn to what is interesting, appealing, and satisfying. Because our mind finds its quiet depths to be satisfying, we only need to turn our attention inward and let our mind automatically settle into the calm.
This practice involves no suggestions or mental manipulation. It is considered effortless since there is no focusing of the attention. TM is done sitting an a comfortable position (no posture requirements) with the eyes closed. Two practice sessions daily, 20 minutes each, are recommended.
Other than the immediate experience of a quieter mind, TM also provides the benefits of:
Research indicates that TM puts our body in a state of rest and relaxation that is equal to or better than a deep sleep.
TM is traditionally taught one on one, teacher with student, and involves the use of a mantra. A mantra is a positive word or sound—it is used silently in TM. The teacher provides a mantra suitable to the student’s needs, and gives instruction on how to use it properly.
To find a teacher, Google “transcendental meditation teachers” in your area, or try the teacher locater at tm.org.
Photo credit: Mateus Lunardi Dutra
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