A lot of people know the basics of meditation but few are aware of transcendental meditation. Over the past decade, transcendental meditation has been slowly gaining popularity, scoring over 5 million regular practitioners.
Ekattva Yogshala is here today with a brief guide on transcendental meditation covering meaning, benefits, mantras, and techniques. Learning and practicing transcendental meditation techniques can help change the way you approach life and everyday challenges.
Let’s start by understanding the meaning of transcendental meditation.
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of meditation in which people meditate while thinking of the sound of the mantra. It is a simple, natural, and effortless technique of letting the mind settle into an extremely calm state of rest. Transcendental meditation not only promotes a state of relaxed awareness but also helps in avoiding bewildering thoughts.
Developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation was introduced to the Western world in the 1950s. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi taught the practice all over the world for 40 years to spread the core ideas.
From politicians to The Beatles, the modern meditation technique gained huge popularity as the years passed.
Most meditation practices are based on mindfulness and focus on clearing the mind full of negative thoughts. They bring the attention back to the present moment using two or more words.
Transcendental meditation on the other hand is based on focusing on a single word mantra which is silently repeated. By having a phrase that one can center her attention on, she can free himself from the constant chatter that goes on in the mind.
Each transcendental meditation mantra has its unique vibrational qualities. That’s why a specific mantra is selected for each individual. It can create the same vibrational quality in the body by intoning a specific sound.
For instance, the vibrational energy produced by the words “happy” and “sad” is different. If someone speaks these words to himself, he will witness different internal sensations. Similar to these, mantras produce the desired positive energy inside a human’s body.
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Most meditation practices focus on emptying the mind of all thoughts but the transcendental meditation technique encourages thoughts to come and go similar to the activity of watching the white clouds float by. All you need is to follow the steps given below:
Note: Transcendental meditation technique can also be performed cross-legged while sitting on the cushion.
Now that you know the basics of transcendental meditation technique, it is time to learn how to choose the perfect mantra for your meditation.
Always keep these two major points in mind while choosing a mantra:
Sound: The sound of the transcendental meditation mantra must be incomprehensible as it is supposed to settle the mind into a state of complete relaxation and silence. If the mantra sound is meaningful, it will provide information to the mind to work on a while and divert its focus.
Therefore, whatever sound one goes with, ensure it makes a little sense for the mind. In simple words, it should be meaningless.
Vibration: Another important factor to consider while choosing a mantra for your transcendental meditation technique. The vibration of sound must echo with the actual source. This vibration of sound is referred to as primordial hum or Om. The vibration must vanish slowly in the same direction as the hum.
It will help the mind to settle with the mantra as it gradually moves towards total silence.
People who want to learn and practice transcendental meditation can call up into the different mantras rooted in Sanskrit. Choosing a basic one can make you feel comfortable. These mantras are being chanted for centuries now.
The famous beginner’s mantras for transcendental meditation include:
This mantra solicits the elephant-headed Hindu God called Ganesha. He is known as the remover of obstacles. This mantra is chanted to awaken the cosmic energy and evicts all obstacles that stand in your way. Chanting this mantra purifies your energy and destroys unnecessary negativity from your life.
If you are familiar with yoga, then you have likely heard of Om. Also pronounced as Aum, this mantra is not only easy to chant but it is also considered the most universal and most sacred in Hindu faith. Om symbolizes the sound of the universe when it came to existence.
One of the most powerful mantras for beginners to chant while performing the transcendental meditation technique. Om Namah Shivaya is also a powerful mantra in Shaivism. This mantra tells us that every individual has its unique holiness within. The vibration made by Om Namah Shivaya is usually passed through the heart, which makes it extremely relaxing.
Another well-known mantra used by practitioners during transcendental meditation. This mantra helps beginners achieve a state of deeper reflection and connection to the sanctity of love. Also, it makes the heart, spirit, and mind calm and peaceful.
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If you are familiar with Kundalini yoga, then, you will be familiar with this soothing mantra. For those who have no idea, this type of yoga releases the buildup of latent energy lying coiled at the base of the spine. “Sat” means truth while “Nam” means identity. Therefore, Sat Nam mantra calls on an individual’s true self during transcendental meditation.
Above are some transcendental meditation mantras that are commonly used by practitioners to reach a relaxing state of mind. Chanting these mantras also help in changing thoughts, words, and actions in a positive manner.
Transcendental meditation technique and mantras are about being at the moment, just as we all are and connecting with our inner self. The core principles and practices are inspired by yoga and meditation only.
If you are interested in finding the balance of body, mind and soul, start by spending time reading about yoga, performing basic asanas, and practicing meditation. If you wish to learn breathing and meditation, consider joining our online classes.
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