Transcendental meditation is a technique that is part of the Vedic tradition. It was developed in 1958 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian spiritual master. He began with the philosophical observation that suffering is pervasive in our society and that negative emotions such as stress and anxiety are on the rise. This observation led him to develop a meditation technique to combat negative emotions: transcendental meditation.
What is the principle behind this meditation practice?
This type of meditation is based on the idea that the mind will be naturally drawn to happiness and that it can find it through the silence and rest made possible just by the practice of transcendental meditation. The goal of transcendental meditation, therefore, is to achieve a state in which the mind is able to be in deep peace without any effort. It is through concentration training combined with mantra repetition that anyone can achieve this state. In its original sense, a mantra is a kind of sacred incantation that would have a protective effect. In the practice of transcendental meditation, it means any sound or word that will prevent thoughts from becoming distracted during practice. According to the author of the technique, regularly practiced transcendental meditation would allow any person to access untapped resources related to intelligence, creativity, happiness and energy.
Transcendental Meditation Technique
The technique of transcendental meditation is very simple: a person should sit in a secluded place, close his eyes and repeat a mantra in his mind. As the session progresses, this is done almost automatically and involuntarily. Unlike other relaxation and therapeutic techniques, transcendental meditation does not rely on concentration, visualization or contemplation. It requires no effort or anticipation.
The mantras used are sounds, words or phrases that have no meaning of their own. Their purpose is to prevent distracting thoughts from arising, as they occupy the entire attention of the individual. It allows the mind and body to be in a state of intense calm, conducive to a state of bliss and transcendence. It is usually practiced twice a day, each session lasting about 20 minutes.