Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a scholar, a physicist and a holy man. He was from India. In the late 1950’s he began traveling to the western world to talk about an ancient mental technique. He called this technique Transcendental Meditation. Westerners like nicknames and so we referred to the technique as TM. Now, over 50 years later, millions of people all over the world and from all walks of life have learned this exceedingly helpful technique.
College students are often the first to try new things. In America, in the late 50’s and 60’s, students flocked to learn TM. After learning, the students reported that they noticed some personal changes. They were drinking less alcohol, getting better grades, and experiencing more positive relationships.
Psychologists became intrigued that a simple mental technique could produce behavioral, emotional and psychological changes. They surveyed the young practitioners and it was discovered that after learning TM positive changes definitely did occur.
Scientists were the next group of researchers to become involved. If people are changing in positive ways, the scientists reasoned, the mind-body must have been getting healthier. The scientists learned that TM produced a fourth state of consciousness very different from the state of consciousness produced when we are awake, asleep or dreaming, a unique state of physiological functioning that had not been previously observed.
That scientific research began in the 1960’s and is continuing to this day. The findings have continually confirmed the unparalleled effects of the TM program for enhancing mind-body health and human potential.
From continued research, scientists have leaned that TM is much more than just a relaxation technique. Because of the deep state of restful alertness that it brings about, TM offers the mind-body an opportunity to heal. In addition, Transcendental Meditation directly affects the central nervous system causing the potential in every area of human functioning to be enhanced.
The idea that “meditation” is cool has caught on and a plethora of meditation techniques have been introduced to the public. Scientists have been busy doing comparison studies of all these techniques. Repeatedly, TM has proved itself to be the most effective meditation technique. Its benefits are profound. The great majority of the other available techniques have been shown to be no greater than simple eyes closed rest. In some instances, the techniques require concentration. Concentration techniques have been shown to introduce stress into the physiology. Long-term studies of TM have proven that this technique reduces stress and the practice has shown a measureable positive effect on all aspects of health and performance.
TM has a positive effect on the brain and the endocrine system. Studies also suggest that the practice of the TM technique increases serotonin levels and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol thereby preventing and treating depression.
TM involves no belief system, so people from all walks of life, all religions, from anywhere in the world can and do practice it. Expectation theory has shown that TM works no matter what you believe. It’s the same as holding a tennis ball in your hand. If you let go of the ball it will fall to the ground no matter what you believe.
The benefits of TM are numerous and powerful:
- TM improves integration of the mind-body.
- TM has been shown to dramatically reduce anxiety.
- TM is a positive method for undoing the factors that cause depression.
- TM has been shown to stabilize one’s internal sense of self and improve the integration of thought and action.
- TM stabilizes the nervous system, freeing more energy for perception, thought, and purposeful activity.
- Ample research shows that meditators engage in more positive relationships.
- TM triggers an increase in self-esteem, confidence, tolerance, orderliness of thinking, and self-esteem.
- The TM technique shows a reduction in the symptoms of severe stress, emotional numbness, insomnia, anxiety, family problems, and depression.
- TM enhances creativity.
- Because TM has a positive effect on the brain and endocrine system it reduces the effects of chronic stress.
- A series of studies have shown that TM brings about positive changes in personality growth and self-integration.
- Meditators report increased happiness!
Sometimes people ask if they can learn TM from a book. The answer is no. It is amazing that such a subtle but powerful technique can be taught at all and a qualified teacher is necessary. A six-month residence course is required to be a teacher of TM but the practice of TM is learned in two-hour sessions over a period of four days.
I am obviously a believer and research, as I’ve tried to show, strongly supports my belief. For a happier, less stressful life, I encourage you to give it a try.
To learn more about TM, and how to find a teacher in your area visit TM.org.