It is not difficult to learn transcendental meditation. If you are looking to escape from the whirlwind of ringing cell phones, traffic snarls and screaming kids, transcendental meditation can provide a peaceful getaway from the craziness of everyday life.
In 1958, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi formally introduced his transcendental meditation technique. Since then, he has written several books, lectured and toured extensively all over the world and trained over 40,000 teachers. Transcendental meditation is now practiced in the workplace, at home and in medical settings. In addition, doctors and health professionals are increasingly prescribing transcendental meditation as means of combating anxiety disorders and stress.
You may be wondering what is transcendental meditation and what makes it different from other forms of meditation? One of the most exciting elements of the transcendental meditation technique is that it so simple and easy to practice. With the right focus and dedication, you can learn transcendental meditation in a matter of moments.
Basically, during the meditation session, your body enters a deep and peaceful state of relaxation, while maintaining alertness and clarity. First, the person chooses a word or image to focus on, perhaps a religious or cultural symbol that has special meaning. As the person replays this word or image over and over, the body descends into a deeper and deeper state of restfulness. The session can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour and should take place in a calm and relaxed setting, with minimal noise and distractions.
No other meditation technique has been so extensively studied and researched. During transcendental meditation, the brain falls into a theta brain wave pattern (akin to sleep and deep relaxation), which then carries over to the state of wakefulness. Physical benefits include increased mental comprehension, focus, retention and creativity. Another interesting benefit is the actual reversal of the aging process. In a study conducted by the International Journal of Neuroscience, the biological age of practitioners of transcendental meditation was, on average, twelve years younger than their chronological age. Transcendental meditation also has positive effects on age and stress related conditions such as insomnia, high blood pressure, decreased visual acuity, hearing loss and depressed cerebral blood flow.
It is interesting to note that adherents from all religions choose to learn transcendental meditation. Although it has roots in Hinduism, the transcendental meditation technique can be applied to any cultural context. In fact, those who learn transcendental meditation are encouraged to adapt symbols that have meaning and depth for the individual. For example, a rabbi may choose to focus on a symbol or image rooted in Judaism to enhance the effectiveness of the session. In contrast, an agnostic may choose an image from nature such as a beautiful meadow or sunset to achieve relaxation. The beauty of transcendental meditation is its flexibility.