Sitting in a field of flowers, legs crossed, wrapped in white cloth, the sweet smell of incense wafting through the air. That’s what most people think of when they hear the word ‘meditation’. But what we see and hear in the media is not always an accurate picture of reality. The Transcendental Meditation� technique is a simple mental procedure that is practiced for twenty minutes twice per day. It has been learned by millions of people and has been the subject of hundreds of research studies. But just what is the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and how does one learn it? Well here are some of the details.
While it is certainly enjoyable to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique in a quiet place it is not necessary. Many busy people from all walks of life practice the Transcendental Meditation technique in airports, train stations, lobbies and hotel rooms. Because this technique is an automatic and natural response of the mind and body, the process is easy in any kind of environment whether it is quiet and secluded or noisy and public.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is practiced sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. One can sit in a chair, on the bed or on the floor. Any location or sitting position is considered to be correct as long as one is comfortable. This technique is never practiced while lying down.
In a concentration technique for self development a person might be asked to focus on a candle, to eliminate all thoughts, to visualize something or to focus on a particular thought, part of the body etc. Then, whenever the mind wanders from the candle or the visualization etc., the concentration technique requires that we bring our attention back to the point or topic of focus i.e. candle etc. The Transcendental Meditation technique however, is unique and different in that it does not involve any concentration or focus. Transcendental Meditation technique is a completely effortless technique in which the mind flows naturally and purposefully to the field of creative silence (or Pure Consciousness) at the source of the mind. This happens spontaneously and naturally, without effort, during the technique.
Many meditation techniques focus on the rhythm of the breath. The Transcendental Meditation technique, however, does not focus on the breath or its rhythm. Instead TM utilizes the mind’s own natural tendency to move towards greater peace and silence within; in the same way that gravity causes a stone to sink through the water in a pond. In this same way, the mind is spontaneously and naturally drawn deep inside during the Transcendental Meditation technique, independent of what may be going on with the breath.
The technique of Transcendental Meditation is easy and effortless. It is also unique and profound. Because each person has different experiences during their Transcendental Meditation course and also learns at a different pace, personal instruction by a certified Transcendental Meditation teacher is vital. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique, in his book The Science of Being and Art of Living, explains it like this: “The practice of Transcendental Meditation must always be given by the expert teachers of Transcendental Meditation who have been properly trained to give it and who have been trained to check the experiences. The checking of experiences is a vital point in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Again, it cannot be done through books”.
I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique from a certified teacher when I was a senior in high school in 1971. Since then it has given me thousands of hours of inner peace and tranquility. It has made me a better person and a more effective human being. I hope that you will also have the opportunity to enjoy it soon!
Author Bio: Dr. Keith DeBoer has been a Certified Teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique since 1976. He has studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (TM’s founder) in the USA, Europe and in India. He has also appeared on numerous radio and TV shows to discuss the unique benefits and scientific research associated with the TM technique and its application to health, education and business. He has a doctorate in World Peace Studies from Maharishi European Research University located in The Netherlands (Holland). Currently he works as a freelance writer, consultant and teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Visit the author’s web site at: