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Transcendental Meditation

One of the newest additions to the huge roster of meditation techniques from around the world is Transcendental Meditation. As such, the history of Transcendental Meditation is really rather brief. Dating back to 1958, Transcendental Meditation, or TM as it’s often called by practitioners, was developed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Its stated purpose is to eventually enable its practitioners to achieve a state of enlightenment that ultimately links them to all other living beings in a state of perpetual unity of mind.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

The term “transcendental” refers to the fact that, according to the Maharishi, practitioners of Transcendental Meditation are able to transcend the usual states of consciousness and awareness to reach levels of understanding and awareness that have previously been unavailable.

In order to achieve this level of enlightenment, adherents of Transcendental Meditation practice a seated type of meditation with their eyes closed, focusing on a special mantra that is handed down from teacher to student.

In the 1960s, Transcendental Meditation underwent a huge boom in popularity as the result of increased publicity when the Beatles travelled to India to learn under the Maharishi. Although it waned some since then, it has remained in the public consciousness, and to this day many celebrity figures such as award winning director David Lynch espouse its benefits.

“I still practice Transcendental Meditation and I think it's great. Marharishi only ever did good for us, and although I have not been with him physically, I never left him.”
George Harrison

Is it Possible to Learn Transcendental Meditation on the Web?

Whether they can’t find a teacher or some other reason inhibits them from learning the traditional way, many people are looking for a way to learn Transcendental Meditation on the web. Everywhere you look, people are wondering if this is possible.

The short answer is: no. It’s not really possible to learn Transcendental Meditation on the web, without the aid of a qualified instructor. Many have tried to offer books or tapes that purport to teach one the steps involved in Transcendental Meditation, but these are largely ineffective. In that the ultimate goal of TM is to bring people together, it only stands to reason that personal contact with a real teacher would be the best way to begin learning.

However, the steps that an instructor will use to teach you are well known, and follow a standardized pattern for all students who join up. There are seven such steps, and we present them here in the hopes that they’ll familiarize you with the process that you can expect to undergo should you ever try to learn TM from a teacher.

The first step is a long introductory lecture that introduces the hopeful practitioner to all the possibilities that the Transcendental Meditation program will open up to him or her.

After that, the practitioner must undergo another lecture, this one intended to prepare him or her to understand where the Transcendental Meditation technique came from, and what it will consist of when they finally learn it.

Those who make it through the first two lectures are treated to the third step, a personal interview with a qualified instructor. During this interview, the instructor will assess the student’s reasons for wanting to learn Transcendental Meditation, as well as help the student to identify what it is that he or she hopes to gain from practicing Transcendental Meditation.

After that is the big step! The student actually learns the Transcendental Meditation technique from his or her instructor.

This is followed by three more workshops and lectures wherein the student learns different things of value. In the fifth, their practice is observed and corrected, if need be, by their instructor. In the sixth, they learn how the practice of TM can benefit them in their daily life. Lastly, in the final step, they learn about the seven stages of consciousness that are espoused by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The Seven States of Transcendental Consciousness

The seven different states of consciousness that are posited by the Maharishi are fundamental to TM. After all, that’s where the “transcendental” part of the name comes from.

Basically speaking, there are seven states of consciousness. Everybody engages in the first three: waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. What the Maharishi asserts is that there are four other levels beyond this.

The fourth, transcendental consciousness, is what the practitioner of TM experiences while in the process of meditating. The fifth, Cosmic consciousness, is identical to the fourth, except that the practitioner has practiced so long that he or she is now in that state constantly, without the need for meditation.

Beyond that are the sixth and seventh levels of consciousness: god consciousness and unity consciousness. These are considered to be similar to the fifth state, except that they offer even further refinements that can only be understood by the adept practitioner.

The Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

Like all forms of meditation, people typically begin to learn TM on the basis that it will provide them with some form of benefit in return. The benefits derived by practicing Transcendental Meditation over other types of meditation are listed here.

Much research has been done that indicates that TM is adept at creating a state of being known as “restful alertness”. In this state, one’s body is completely relaxed, from the muscles to the organs. One’s heart beat is lowered, as well as the rate at which one breathes. However, scientific instruments demonstrate that despite the relaxed body state, the subject’s brain waves indicate a state of heightened awareness and alertness.

This leads many to speculate on the further benefits that Transcendental Meditation can offer. Common findings among studies seem to indicate that TM can result in such diverse benefits as lowering high blood pressure, better quality sleep, a reduction in high cholesterol, a greater resistance to sickness, and a cessation of feelings of stress and anxiety.

Moreover, TM has been said to have tremendous mental benefits as well. It is said that those who practice TM long enough will enjoy a higher IQ as well as a greater sense of creativity. Their ability to learn will also be increased to a more efficient state so that they can retain knowledge easier, and they will be empowered to achieve greater academic achievement.

As if all that wasn’t enough, there is significant research to the effect that TM improves one’s control over one’s body, and enables one to make calmer, better reasoned ethical decisions as well!

Obviously, these are very strong benefits. It’s no wonder than Transcendental Meditation has achieved such popularity! If it, in fact, provides even one of those benefits in your life, it seems that TM would be well worth checking out for most people.

Want to Learn Transcendental Meditation?

If you’re interested in learning more about Transcendental Meditation, we recommend that you visit the official website for TM at www.tm.org
Here, you’ll learn quite a bit more about the discipline as well as read what some practitioners have to say themselves about all that TM has done for them.

Widely considered one of the best places on the web for TM information, the official Transcendental Meditation website also features several videos that are of astonishing quality and are very informative. Here are just a few examples.

Video 1 Introductory Lecture on the Transcendental Meditation program
The above video, presented by Dr Susan Dillbeck, President of the Maharishi Spiritual University, is an introductory lecture that introduces one to how the TM program is run. It contains a lot of useful information for the person who is considered seeking out a qualified instructor to learn Transcendental Meditation techniques from.

Video 2 A Vision of All Possibilities in Life: An Introduction to the Transcendental Meditation program
This video is very inspirational! Presented by Dr. Ashley Deans of the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, it talks about all the wonderful possibilities that learning Transcendental Meditation will open up to you! They are probably a lot more diverse and wide-reaching than you’d expect! TM can really change your life!

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