Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation

HINDU MEDITATION (Vedic & Yogic) : Mantra and Transcendental Meditation

Mantra Meditation (OM Meditation)

History & Significance 

A mantra is a syllable or word, usually without any particular meaning, that is repeated for the purpose of focusing your mind. It is not an affirmation used to convince yourself of something.

Some meditation teachers insist that both the choice of word and its correct pronunciation, is very important. This is due to the vibration associated with the sound. This might be a strong reason for an initiation before practicing. Others say that the mantra itself is only a tool to focus the mind, and that the chosen word is completely irrelevant.

Mantras are used in Hindu traditions, Buddhist traditions (like Tibetan), as well as in Jainism, Sikhaism, and Daoism (Taoism). Some people generic call mantra meditations “OM meditation”, but this is only one mantra that can be used.

Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation

How do I practice?

As most types of meditations, it is usually practiced sitting with spine erect and eyes closed. The practitioner then repeats the mantra in his mind, silently, over and over again during the whole session.

Sometimes this practice is coupled with being aware of the breathing or coordinating with it. In other exercises, the mantra is whispered very softly, as an aid to concentration.

Deepak Chopra sais:

“As you repeat the mantra, it creates a mental vibration that allows the mind to experience deeper levels of awareness. As you meditate, the mantra becomes increasingly abstract and indistinct, until you`re finally led into the field of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose.

Repetition of the mantra helps you disconnect from the thoughts filling your mind so that perhaps you may slip into the gap between thoughts. The mantra is a tool to support your meditation practice. Mantras can be viewed as ancient power words with subtle intentions that help us connect to spirit, the source of everything in the universe. ”

Here are some of the most well-known mantras from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions:

Om

So-ham

Om namah shivaya

Om mani padme hum

Rama

Yam

Ham

You may practice for a certain period of time, or for a set number of “repetitions” – traditionally 108 or 1008. In this case, beads are typically used for keeping count.

As you continue to practice, you may find that the mantra continues “by itself” like the humming of the mind. Or the mantra may even disappear, and you will feel a state of deep inner peace.

Learn more:

Seven Ways to Meditate with OM
Mantra Yoga and the Primal Sound

Do I need this meditation?

People usually find that it is easier to focus with a mantra than with the breathing. Because a mantra is a word, and thoughts are usually perceived as words, it can be easier to keep the focus on a mantra. This is very useful especially if your mind is racing with many thoughts, since the mantra meditation demands constant attention.

Meditating with a mantra can also make it simpler to integrate your meditative state into your daily life. You can repeat the mantra in your mind, no matter of your current activity in that moment.

 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

History & Significance 

Transcendental Meditation is a specific form of Mantra Meditation. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduces it, in 1955 in India and the West. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to the Beatles, The Beach Boy and other celebrities.

This meditation type has over 5 million practitioners worldwide, and there is a lot of scientific research, many sponsored by the organization, demonstrating the benefits of the practice. There are over 600 scientific papers. However, there are also critics of the Maharishi and his organization, and some accusation of cultish behavior and doubtful research practices.

How do I practice?

You cannot learn Transcendental meditation for free. If you want to learn the practice of this meditation you need to pay to learn from one of their licensed instructors. The support given seems to be good.

As general information, we know about this meditation that it involves the use of a mantra .You can  practice 15-20 minutes twice a day while you close your eyes, also. The mantra is not unique and it is a customized mantra, based on the gender and age of the practitioner. These mantras are Tantric names of Hindu deities.

You can read more information about this type of meditation on their official site.

There is another similar technique,  Natural Stress Relief, that was born in 2003 by a former TM Teacher, and it is much cheaper to learn (47 USD instead of 960 USD). This adaptation has stripped out some mystical elements of the practice of TM, such as the initiation and yogic flying.

 

Do I need this meditation?

I don`t feel comfortable advising anyone to try Transcendental Meditation, especially if you are looking to go deep into meditation. If you wish to try something similar, for a smaller amount of money of for free, have a look at Natural Stress Relief meditation or Mantra Meditation.

Related articles:

Buddhist Meditation : Metta and Mindfulness Meditation 

Buddhist Meditation :Zazen and Vipassana Meditation

Hindu Meditation :Self-Enquiry and Yoga Meditation

Chinese Meditation :Taoist Meditation and Qigong Meditation