Every time I hear the words transcendental meditation I flash back to 1996 and my favorite professor who was teaching both my intro to religion and my intro to philosophy classes. Being an educator he not only taught us about the practice, the religious history, and the non-religious benefits, he also gave us a crash course in TM (the short hand for transcendental meditation and how I will refer to the practice from here on out). I began meditation as a practice a while before upon an introduction to yoga, but TM interested me. Even though it’s not something I regularly practice, it is still near and dear to my heart, even if just for nostalgia’s sake.
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To do TM you simply sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and silently repeat a mantra to yourself with gentle ease. We repeated “OM” to ourselves for twenty minutes. We were told not to just “OM” quickly, but slowly with grace. After twenty minutes of sitting on the desks cross legged I was so relaxed. We all were. My brain had clicked “off”. It was like having a twenty minute power nap without the groggy nap time hangover.
By repeating the same word or sound silently we hush up the mind’s chatter. According to Maharishi Mahesh, the Yogi that literally wrote the book on TM, repeating these mantras silently for twenty minutes a day helps the unconscious (or shadow mind) come to the surface. Once this happens we begin to deal with our inner issues and the healing process can take place within our emotions and mind.
TM has an interesting history, especially considering it has only been around since the 1960’s. This is the meditation practice that the Beatles made famous. The military has used it in training, and court cases have even been battled out due to mixing of religion and state. It also has been studies by scientist and mental health professionals. Many claim it is not a religious practice. However, this form of meditation comes straight from a religious sect with its roots in Hinduism. For more info on the history of TM, check out this article from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Unlike other forms of meditation, this practice does require instruction. If you are interested in learning about TM, please check out the following resources:
While this form of meditation may not be my regular practice, it is still a beneficial practice, especially for the scientifically minded. While I don’t believe that any meditation can be practiced without spiritual implications (check out my other post on meditation), I do believe this is one form that can be modified for those who do not believe in Spirit or God. There are still benefits like calming anxiety, learning to master your thoughts, deep breathing, and lowering blood pressure.
Next Monday we will be diving into Christian meditation and the practice of Metta (loving kindness) meditation. It’s going to be a good one!
Also up this Thursday is a return to our podcast with a show on Prayer. Friday brings another installment of the One Hour a Day Self Care series, and with some grace this coming weekend will see a re-launch of our YouTube channel and a check in on what is happening around the farm, in life, and at the Kind Fibers Sanctuary.
Thank you for reading.
Be Well and In Peace,
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