Transcendental Meditation is by far the most thoroughly researched in
terms of its benefits for mental, physical, and social health TM is a simple mental
technique, easy to learn and practice. Anyone can learn it within a few days and can begin
to experience beneficial results almost immediately. Since 1958, 4 million people have
learned TM and over five hundred scientific studies have been conducted on it at over two
hundred universities worldwide.
TM is one of the easiest meditation techniques to learn. When you learn
TM, an instructor gives you a word or phrase-your personal mantra-which you promise not to
divulge. You are told to sit quietly with your eyes closed and repeat the mantra over and
over again for 20 minutes at a time once or twice a day.
The mantra functions to focus your mind on a single idea, representing
the "oneness" of the universe. You're instructed to assume a passive, accepting
attitude while repeating your mantra. When distracting thoughts intrude, you're instructed
to simply observe them, accept them and gently return your mental focus to repeating your
Physiological research shows that during TM, the body gains a deeper state of
relaxation than during ordinary rest. EEG (electroencephelogram) changes indicate a state
of heightened awareness and coherence. Regular practice of TM has been found to produce a
state of increased stability, adaptability, and integration during all phases of activity.
Also, TM has been found to increase intelligence, creativity, and perceptual ability and
to reduce high blood pressure and illness rates by more than 50 percent. Analysis of large
numbers of research studies on TM have found that it is one of the most effective
techniques known for reducing drug and alcohol abuse, decreasing anxiety and increasing
Next Topic: Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana)