If you have landed on this page, chances are you have already heard of meditation or even practiced it. But have you ever tried transcendental meditation? This form of meditating is also increasingly gaining popularity, with more and more people turning to transcendental meditation mantras to help them navigate this process.
So, what exactly is transcendental meditation?
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of meditation practice that was first introduced to the Western society around the 1950’s. This type of meditation originated with its founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who has taught this practice all over the world for nearly 40 years and whose mission was the “spiritual regeneration of the world” and expansion of human consciousness. The Maharishi school and its religious practice has acquired millions of fans and followers throughout the years.
TM is usually practiced with the use of transcendental meditation mantras.
A mantra is a sacred vibration of sound that needs to be repeated over and over during the meditation session until complete focus and concentration are achieved. While you don’t necessarily need to focus on pronouncing the mantra itself, the repetition of the mantra will help you go into the state of complete calmness, peace and awareness.
This practice was very enthusiastically received by many people around the world, from political figures to celebrities and businessmen. Today, a progressively increasing number of celebrities have publicly declared that TM has positively changed their lives. People such as David Lynch, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld and Paul McCartney have stated their admiration towards this meditation technique, which also helped it gain such a popularity (in addition to a growing body of evidence of its benefits, of course).
The growing popularity of TM can also be attributed to its simplicity – it is an incredibly effective and accessible meditation technique that you can also pursue without any help. Unlike other forms of meditation, the correct practice of TM requires attending a seven-step course from a certified instructor. During the course, transcendental meditation mantras are individually chosen and given to every student in order to practice this technique.
However, the good news is, although TM is not an effortless technique, transcendental meditation can also be practiced on your own, without receiving any additional help from a teacher. When it comes to transcendental meditation, you can still enjoy various benefits of meditation and access the deeper level of your consciousness without the assistance of a “master” or a meditation teacher.
When it comes to picking transcendental meditation mantras, you can also do it yourself – we will shed more light on this topic a little further in the article.
What are the benefits of transcendental meditation?
As any other types of meditation, TM also has an amazing number of benefits. Studies show that the regular practice of transcendental meditation in your everyday life can help you not only feel more calm and at peace, but also improve your cognitive function, general health and help you access different levels of consciousness. The long list of benefits of incorporating TM into your daily practice includes:
Reduced stress level and anxiousness
When practicing meditation, your mind and body goes into a state of complete relaxation, calmness and peace. Being in this state of “peaceful awareness” re-wires the way you respond to stress and anxiety, helping you become more grounded and less influenced by the stress that goes hand-in-hand with our daily lives.
Chronic pain reduction
Research has shown that with consistent practice of TM, your brain structure alters and changes in order to better deal with pain, including chronic pain. According to the 2018 study, this change impacts cortical thickness in certain areas of your brain, which makes you less pain-sensitive.
Improved sleep quality
Given that long-term practice of transcendental meditation process soothes your nervous system, it is very common for people to experience better sleep. In many cases, stress heavily contributes to developing new sleeping problems, or worsening the existing ones. By dealing with your stress levels, the meditation process will also help you sleep better and feel more rested.
Stabilization of cholesterol levels
Research has shown that practicing the experience of meditation is associated with a 35% lower risk of developing high cholesterol. Additionally, studies have consistently shown a significant decrease in cholesterol in people who start practicing transcendental meditation.
Lower blood pressure
In addition to lowering your body’s cholesterol levels, transcendental meditation also helps you bring down your blood pressure. Studies have shown that consistent practice of transcendental meditation increases the production of a chemical compound in your body that opens up blood vessels, which results in lowered blood pressure.
Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
By lowering your stress levels, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol, transcendental meditation decreases your risk of developing and suffering heart attack and stroke. According to cardiologists, meditation can be a useful tool in reducing cardiovascular risk.
Improved brain function
Meditation has been proved to thicken the brain centers that manage certain high-level brain functions, resulting in increased awareness, decision making, focus and learning abilities.
Another amazing benefit of transcendental meditation is the enhanced self-awareness, as it reveals a new level of consciousness for those who practice it. While this benefit is only indirectly improving your quality of life, it does contribute to happier and more mindful living.
And the list goes on! Regularly practicing transcendental meditation can help you improve most areas of your life, make you more resilient to stress and be more present in the moment and at peace.
How to practice TM with transcendental meditation mantras?
Although you do require a certification if you want to practice transcendental meditation the “official” way, you can also practice it at home by yourself! Here is a 10 step guide to TM using transcendental meditation mantras:
- Set aside about 20 to 30 minutes of uninterrupted “alone” quiet time. Make sure your devices are turned off and your phone is put in silent mode – after all, the last thing you want to do during meditation is to get distracted by a text or a call.
- Dim the lights in the room. Brighter lights can make it harder to relax with your eyes closed. If you choose to practice meditation outside, consider using a sleeping mask for your eyes. This is not in any way required, but it is a good tip that can greatly increase your focus!
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. For this step, do whatever feels most comfortable for you – whether it is sitting down on the ground, having your back against the wall, sitting in a comfortable chair or laying down on your back. There is no right or wrong in this, but whatever helps you relax the most will ultimately be the most beneficial.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. This will help your body relieve some tension, relax and get ready for the meditation. Once you close your eyes, keep them closed and try not to open them.
- Sit with yourself in silence. In order to ease into the meditation, try sitting in complete silence for the first 5-10 minutes. If you notice any thoughts, gently push them away and try maintaining a mind that is blank and thoughtless. After you have achieved complete inner “silence”, you will start feeling the growing awareness and feeling of peace. This is how you know that you’re in a state where you are ready to receive transcendental meditation mantras.
- Start repeating a mantra in your mind. Typically, these mantras are received from your teacher during the TM certification. However, you can also pick your own mantra to practice TM, more about how to choose a mantra a little later.
- If you get distracted by thoughts, return your attention to the mantra. Transcendental meditation mantras can not only help you keep your mind focused, but they will also facilitate the process of coming into the state of complete awareness and inner peace.
- Once you have finished meditating, gently return yourself to your body. In order to do so, start slowly and gently moving your fingers and bringing awareness back into your physical body. It’s important to do so gently, as opposed to abruptly “snapping out” of your meditative state.
- Open your eyes and conclude the meditation session. After opening your eyes, sit with yourself for a few more moments, until you are ready to return to the world and continue with your day.
- Practice twice daily. For best results, practice TM in the morning before breakfast and then again later before dinner.
Finally, how to choose the right transcendental meditation mantra?
Traditionally, a mantra is passed down from a guru (teacher) to the student. However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a spiritual teacher! You have the necessary power and the ability to choose or create your own mantra for yourself in order to facilitate the access to the cosmic consciousness.
Choosing your own mantra.
This is a process that requires some introspection and reflecting on your own life. What are the areas of your life that you would like to improve? Is there something in your life that you would like to fix? Reflect on your reality and think about some things that you would like to change.
Once you have formulated an intention (such as, for example “I want to feel more at peace” or “I want to feel less anxious”), you can start looking for transcendental meditation mantras. You can find them in spiritual literature, on the internet, even a little further down in this article! Once you find a mantra that resonates with you and your needs, remember it or write it down to use later in your TM practice.
Creating your own mantra.
Here, the process is very similar to the process of choosing your own mantra. Once you have completed all the steps and formulated an intention, it is time to turn to yourself and listen. What mantra comes to mind? What feels right? For example, if you are struggling with anxiety, what could come to your mind is “I am peace”, “I am grounded”, “I am a river that steadily flows”, etc. When creating your own mantra, there is no right or wrong. Whatever resonates with you the most is going to have the most profound effect.
However, for your convenience we have also compiled a list of transcendental meditation mantras that you can turn your attention to and use in meditation or for inspiration when you are trying to come up with your own mantra:
If you are even vaguely familiar with yoga or Buddhism, chances are that you have heard this mantra before. Pronounced more like “Aum”, this mantra is considered one of the most universal mantras. However, just because it is fairly common and easy to use doesn’t make it any less valuable – after all, this mantra is considered one of the most sacred ones.
This is a mantra that is widely translated as “I am divine love”. This mantra encompasses universal love and connection to the divine source. It also helps you connect with your higher self and experience the loving energy of the divine. This mantra is said to create the feeling of pure love, so that we can experience this feeling that is fundamental to our connection to the source.
This is a mantra that is primarily used in practicing Kundalini yoga. The meaning of this mantra is traditionally interpreted and translated as “true identity” or “true vibration”. As the name suggests, this transcendental meditation mantra will help you find and connect with your true, genuine identity.
Om Namah Shivaya
This mantra is also an extremely common and popular mantra, widely used among the practitioners of TM. This mantra translates to “my salutations to Shiva” or “I bow to Shiva”. It is believed to be able to temper our Egos and show us the right path to follow.
So ‘Ham or Ham-sa
This is another ancient mantra that is roughly translated as “I am she/he/that”. In other words, it means being present and being grounded in the moment, which allows you to experience reality to its fullest extent and nurtures your connection to the divine.
These mantras are perfect for beginners to practice on their own. Once you have mastered these mantras, there are other ones that you could turn your attention to. More specifically, you could focus on the mantras that were used by TM teachers or “gurus” throughout the years, as listed below.