*Published on Femme Heroine. Click on Link to read the article. Thank You.
Your day is cluttered with ‘to do’s’ and a ‘gotta gotta gotta’ attitude which usually downwards spirals into the symptoms of a heart attack however, in those few spare minutes a day we still have the chance to take back our peace and serenity with the healing power of Transcendental Meditation. Here is a beginner’s guide on how to get started !
We all thrive of rituals and routines. It’s what keep us sane with mounting anxiety that tends to haunt us in life. The only difficulty is following the right rituals that will in turn benefit our life. In persisting through adulthood, we attempt to become the individuals we want to be more and more each day and take on practises and habits we wish to carry on for the rest of our lives. Yet at some point we reach that ‘soul- searching’ phase where we desire a better connection with more spiritual self and honestly that’s fantastic, so let’s make it a life-long habit!
When we watch yogis, practising Buddhists, fitness gurus and such we, as observers, become fixated on the practise of ‘Meditation’ as an art form. It manifests into this perfected state of peace and internal transformation that people like myself struggle to achieve because we are unfocused, unbalanced and imperfect human beings that just can’t seem to sit still. This is when we can be enlightened with the concept of Transcendental Meditation. A simple and natural process that endorses distracting thoughts and slouched resting positions throughout the mediation. There are neither mind-boggling incantations nor the compulsion to clear your mind, which, in fact beyond difficult to achieve.
For anyone out there with pending stress, anxiety, depression or mounting paranoia, introducing Transcendental Meditation into your daily routine just may change your life or as many practising ‘yogis’ tend to mention, will help you ‘centre yourself’ in a most effortless fashion.
A Beginner’s Guide to Transcendental Meditation (TM):
- Practise 20 minutes a day, twice (i.e. the morning and night is ideal)
- Silent Technique
- Sitting Down (preferably), eyes closed
- No strict philosophies as there is nothing to believe in but a simple Mantra
The beauty of TM is that it can slide into one’s busy working day like sliding a knife down a creamy cheesecake, knowing that it will feed your starving soul. This can be practised on the commute to work, during a long bath or a lunch break and all that’s required is yourself and space to meditate. There are no location regulated rules, the world is your oyster and you can TM wherever you like
“They are Sanskrit sounds, the language which is the closest possible human imitation of the natural vibrations” – The Meditation Trust
The technique and mantra of TM has been standardized by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Unlike many other forms of meditation, TM doesn’t force this ‘clear your mind’ business anymore than we want and it is indicative that we only repeat one simple sound to attempt to focus. Know that if you drift away from the mantra it is important not to punish yourself, or not to rush off and forcefully clear your mind. Just let your thoughts pass until you come back to the mantra.
When you look out at the ocean you recognise how ferocious, how active it appears on the surface, while the depths of the ocean are naturally still and tranquil. The waves, the tides, the moon and sun are all players of the nature of the ocean. That is inarguable science. Philosophically speaking, we use the nature of the ocean to mirror the levels of thought inside the mind. Hence, we assume an active thinking mind during the day and at night the desire and satisfaction for inner peace. Inner peace, the operative word. So the question is how do we get there.
We already have some form of innate calmness (hopefully) , which plays as a balancing component to keeping ourselves sane and in control . A lot can come from calmness and peace. An ancient meditation text surmised that innate calmness is the, “source of our unbounded creativity, unbounded intelligence, happiness, focus, clarity”.
Through TM we have so much to unlock from ourselves, like the depths of the ocean our capabilities lay dormant and when this peace is unexpectedly disrupted we kill our inner direction and our real potential is lost. It is our prerogative to at least control the harsh tides of the surface with the tranquillity of the depths. Realistically, we have lost it. This innate calmness is ever dissolving within the toxins of our minds. As humans, we tend to pollute ourselves for no beneficial reason. We exist on “the gotta, gotta, gotta”. Always in a rush to do or think something.
TM allows active thinking to settle and to experience quieter levels of thought, i.e. ‘transcendental thought ‘ or ‘ pure consciousness’. Research shows that during TM the body goes into a state of relaxation and rest. Deeper than levels of sleep. This allows for the build up of stress, fatigue, tension and anxiety to dissolve.
The More Neurological Science behind TM
The Cortisol (adrenal) glands produce anxiety in which TM has the capability to drop anxiousness 30 % more than sleep. With TM our minds are consciously fighting for ‘quieter levels of thought’, wherein deep sleep , anxiety is like a stain on a rug , you can cover the stain but it will always be there if it is not actively dealt with. Serotonin (the chemical responsible for happiness) is increased. Atherosclerosis (caused by high blood pressure and cholesterol) , stroke , heart attack , Bipolar mood swings chances are decreased.
The process of TM taps into and confronts:
- The amygdala; centre of the brain, the fear centre)
- The frontal lobes; executive functioning, governing decision-making / planning/ judgment/ethical reasoning
- The hemispheres of the brain; both analytical and creative
Transcendental Meditation allows for the strengthening of the frontal and occipital lobes to access the varying levels of your mind and provide some sort of inward direction amidst a messy mind state ,which I can only assume is the case for a lot of us. Much more can be discussed about Transcendental Meditation in which self driven exploration about the practise is heavily endorsed.
The Visual Cliffnotes