Transcendental Meditation: What is it?

Transcendental meditation: woman meditating

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a trademarked form of meditation that follows a specific concept. We explain how it works.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a unique meditation technique that is trademarked and, therefore, chargeable. Behind the concept is the so-called TM organization of the "Spiritual Renewal Movement," which was founded in 1957 by the Indian Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and is supposed to help to achieve a state of most profound calm. The term "transcending" stands for a transgression of mental activity so that the mind can develop free from the control of the mind.

Happiness and Health: What Are the Benefits of Transcendental Meditation?

By transcending with TM, the mind should find complete rest without any effort - a rest that should be even deeper and more comprehensive than in a deep sleep. As a result, Transcendental Meditation is said to have various health-promoting effects. The advantages of TM are said to include:
  • Activation of the self-healing powers
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Lowering the stress level
  • Deep relaxation is achieved.
  • Tensions are loosened
  • Increasing feelings of happiness
  • Intelligence and creativity increase
  • Mental health problems can be cured.

How does TM work?

Basically, everyone should be able to learn TM, but according to the TM organization, the technology itself must be taught by a certified teacher who has the right experience. According to this, every person has a personal mantra that can only be assigned by a corresponding TM teacher. In fact, everyone can try to do Transcendental Meditation with a typical mantra such as "Om." You should take 20 minutes each day to do this. Here is a general guide for TM:
  1. Sit comfortablyand pay attention to comfortable clothing.
  2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  3. Listen deep inside yourself and feel your physical state again.
  4. Now start saying the mantra silently.
  5. Repeat the mantra over and over, and let your thoughts slide back there when they wander.
  6. After the end of the TM, sit with your eyes closed for two minutes to slowly "emerge."
  7. What is the TM organization?

    The company has renamed itself several times and has been known as the "Global Country of World Peace" since 2000. In addition to the Transcendental Meditation, the concepts also include other esoteric teachings, the so-called "Maharishi Vedic Science," which is about music, architecture, and education, for example. The company is also economically active, for instance, in the Ayurveda sector. The supposed ultimate goal is to change society according to their teachings in such a way that general suffering decreases, and individual happiness increases.

    The Maharishi Effect

    The organization behind TM coined the term "Maharishi Effect" itself and means the effect on society when at least one percent of the population exercises TM. The followers assume that the crime rate, general accidents, and acts of war will decrease as a result. At the same time, society should develop positively - for example, in the form of a flourishing economy and a generally more peaceful world. 
    The organization attributes the effect to a study from 1993 in which over 4,000 TM followers took part. The local crime was observed to decrease over the time people were practicing TM. However, many experts see this study as unscientific.

    Transcendental Meditation in Criticism

    As many followers of the teachings of Maharishi, he and his organization have as many critics. It is usually more about the organization than the meditation concept of TM. In fact, Maharishi's organization has been charged several times with being more of a religious sect or cult. Maharishi himself has spoken out against the current form of democracy on several occasions and has called on several governments to seek advice on TM from his organization. His goal was to rebuild the education system in such a way that the training and promotion of awareness are more in the foreground.