Suddenly everybody is talking about Transcendental Meditation. Again!

Just when it seemed nothing could be holding for this practice except the 60’s love and peace clichés, from a time when hippie trails opened to India and The Beatles versed up their White Album from an ashram in the Himalayas, of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi- the grand rabbi of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) cult.

But beyond the cultish phenomenon, TM has drawn people in the loop again. From Oprah to Dr. Oz, and with David Lynch through his philanthropic initiative for Consciousness Education, PTSD care, and World Peace promotion, Transcendental Meditation today is successfully becoming an instrument for the engineering of the inner selves. Invested in this form of meditative exercise, one becomes more peaceful within, more receptive to the universe but all the same, unwavering to its affectations. There is a plane of unqualified silence to be reached.

The Technique

The premise of the exercise is very same as that of yoga or aspect of the Vedic spiritual knowledge system for that matter. In this premise, all critical inquiries lead to the Consciousness, a realm of the within. There needs nowhere to search for but in the depths of the soul. Within an individual, there is a soul that is part of a wholeness.

This entirety, the all-pervasive presence has to be realized in the mirror of our souls, and that’s what this exercise is all about. Where lies within our very selves, this mirror, in which all the distracting multiplicities of nature converge into the one Truth?

Transcendental Meditation asks us to make this inner journey by the vehicle of a mantra. This mantra is not an enchantment like abracadabra! It is not meant to be interpreted as pregnant with symbolic meanings. This mantra is not even to be held in the context of any religion. It is simply a sound.

As in Vedic spiritualism, and in this era, recognized in modern science as well, the womb of creation is a sound field. It is through natural vibrations produced in this soundscape, that the universe had taken form. The primordial sound from which all other creations sprang forth manifests in Vedic mantras as Om.

There is a sheer resonance in these mantras that dispels disturbances and draws one’s mind to the depths of consciousness. Other traditions of mantra chanting might persuade the practitioner to reside in the meaning and significances of the verse. But TM executes only its sonorous boom to draw the mind into transcendental Pure Consciousness.

What is being transcended in this process?—is it the chattering of the mind and distractions caused by sense organs. Wait for the moment when even the mantra dissolves.

Enter the Silence!

Why Should You Practice Transcendental Meditation?

Really, what’s in it for a workaday person to sit still twenty minutes a day, doing nothing but lilting mentally over and over a verse. One who wishes nothing more than to simplify life, maximize good times, and complete the course of tasks assigned and expected of them, with some grace.

This question has an easy way of looking at it, and another a slightly more thought-provoking one.

You will know how necessary Transcendental Meditation really is in commonly led lives when you realize how less the procedure demands in exchange for the relaxation of twenty minutes and lingering. It is a minutes-long oasis of thought-free peace every day amidst a desert of gnawing stresses. You know you need time off just to settle in the peace of silence to rejuvenate your mind, like you need to rejuvenate your body with sleep, therefore.

The second perspective is of a spiritual nature.

Ask yourself honestly, have you ever conceived of a higher nature of life than the one you are leading right now? It may not has to be a “better” job, a “higher” societal status, or wielding more power over others, but simply an expansion of the feelings you feel, the experiences you experience, and knowing what you know.

If you sense such a thirst for this beyond, know it to be a spiritual one. Transcendental Meditation is a pathway which illuminates and leads to this higher state of being, the state of yoga. One must meditate to become stiller, more silent inside, to expand the experiential range and make the progression of the spirit.

A number of tangible mind-body effects also take place in the journey of transcendence, without which spiritual development is not possible.

  • Relief from Stress

Stress is the most defining coinage for a modern lifestyle. With the ever-increasing competitiveness, deconstruction of traditional value system and the never-ending chase for materialistic excesses, the modern man is nearing a complete breakdown, always on edge trying impossibly to make ends meet.

When stress levels exceed, an auto psychosomatic response button naturally gets pushed, setting off the fight or flight syndrome. This is an inheritance of man from his days of survival in the wild.

Imagine a wild beast approaching. To survive, you must fight or flee. The body responds suitably to make this possible by slowing the digestive system since you have to channel the reserve of energy into other systems of the body required immediately. The heart rate soars, for you will need more blood in your muscles to run, the rational part of the brain automatically gets switched off since blunt actions come to the forefront instead of finer faculties of problem-solving, emotional regulation, or planning.

The result of this autorun, unchecked stress response mode is a functional and emotional wreck. Transcendental Meditation works as a sort of stress checker. It doesn’t let your stress response system to spiral off into self-destruction.

  • Increased Work Efficiency

As a result of culturing composure, working efficiency amplifies. There finer faculties of the brain can flourish. You can find more focus, purpose, and method in your work when functioning in an engrossed, meditative mode. Just as concentration upon the sonority of a mantra in TM practice rids the mind from everything else, you will experience only the resonance of the task at hand. Each microsecond can be profusely productive if that kind of concentration can be cultured.

Besides, as Transcendental Meditation comes as a life-affirming principle, it sheds light on the positive possibilities. It is a special kind of capability to muster up a “hell yeah!” brand of spirit even in the bleakest of days.

In work life, you need to find scope for growth and incentives of different kinds on your own rather than looking for an outside push. Meditation helps you dig deep into your layers and find that can-do spirit.

As a result, you will find yourself more committed to work, which is a good thing!

  • Improved Intelligence

There is something about meditation that reflects positively on intelligence. TM practitioners find more ease in processing information, using the faculties of cognition, effective, and volition, honing comprehension skills, analysis, synthesis, innovation, and risk-taking in a balanced way.

If you are an employer looking to groom your team appropriately in all aspects, you could consider Transcendental Meditation. The method is not limited to honing of the intellect only.

To contribute positively to the harmony of a work environment, there is also a need for supreme emotional intelligence. Personality and social behavior remain integral parts of the man in work situations. To be receptive to each other’s needs, successful coordination, and division of labor, dispelling bad vibes, and overall promotion of fellow feelings are qualities a working team actually thrives upon.

  • Healthier Heart Rate

Research shows many sufferers of cardiovascular conditions benefitting immensely from practicing TM. There is an observable lowering of blood pressure, diminishing the risks of heart anomalies. Stress reduction adds to this benefit.

More importantly, Transcendental Meditation teaches to culture an inherent joyfulness, a heart-happy condition. You must remember that to be joyful is a natural state of being. The entire premise of yogic endeavor stands upon the realization that the answers lie within you, the Pure Consciousness is not different from the signifier we recognize as godly. To realize this, undifferentiated wholeness is a source of constant joy.

  • Coming Off Unwholesome Habits

Transcendental Meditation is not a system steeped in dogmas. There is no moral or immoral conduct. There are no restrictions imposed from the outside. You can be a meditator and yet be a meat-eater.

You can be perfectly aligned with the thought process of Transcendental Meditation and still love your wine. There really is no conflict between one thing and another in this discipline, but there is an overemphasized awareness.

Connecting and gradually becoming one with the Pure Consciousness through meditative practices elevates our instinctive awareness of what is proper and what is not. Smoking, alcoholism, overeating, overindulgence in pleasure, is intuitively felt as disagreeable and therefore laid off from.

  • More Fulfilling Relationships

Of all the things that make life worthwhile, our relationships with loved ones and the world at large is perhaps the most treasurable. To be giving and nurturing in relationships doubles up gratification, while dysfunctions in them can be the source of utmost unhappiness. The fine balance required for maintaining relationships at their best takes certain objectivity which is not contrary to involvement.

Transcendental Meditation helps in achieving this quality of complete involvement without entanglement- the key to healthy and thoroughly fulfilling relationships.

What is left unsaid about Transcendental Meditation after this voluminous inquiry into the matter is the immense sense of liberation it brings, and that could be experienced only in person.

Valerie Soleil, B.A., LL.B.

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