What does transcendental meditation mean?

Transcendental meditation is a simple and natural mental technique for improving every aspect of life.
It is easily learned and practiced for 20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably with eyes closed. The name describes what happens while practicing it: the mind naturally quiets down and experiences more subtle levels of thought, until it transcends the level of mental activity and experiences the source of thoughts, the state in which the mind is awake but not active.

What does it produce?

Scientists define that produced by Transcendental Meditation as a “hypometabolic state of vigilant rest” (metabolism is greatly reduced, the mind alert and quiet), characterized by very efficient physical and mental functioning. This has led researchers to conclude that it represents a “fourth state of consciousness,” called precisely “transcendental consciousness” or simply “consciousness,” because it transcends the activity and characteristics of the other three states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep).

Why is it so important?

Just as the experience of sleep is indispensable for regenerating body and mind, the experience of the fourth state of consciousness is indispensable for allowing the nervous system to “reset its functioning” and activate the natural mechanisms that enhance its functioning and optimize its performance. This special state of restful alertness eliminates stress and fatigue, produces integrated brain functioning, and is the basis for growth in creativity and intelligence, improved health, and improved relationships with others.

What does the science say?

More than 600 scientific studies on the benefits of the technique have been conducted at 250 independent universities and medical schools, and published in leading scientific journals.

What are the origins of Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation comes to us from the oldest tradition of knowledge, the Vedic tradition of India, which has handed down the theoretical and practical knowledge to fully develop human potential since time immemorial.
Thanks to the care with which the Vedic Tradition has maintained the integrity of this teaching for thousands of years, Transcendental Meditation has come down to us in all its effectiveness and is now available to all through a simple and systematic course of learning introduced more than 50 years ago by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi is considered the most influential scholar of Vedic Science and the leading expert in the field of consciousness. He produced the “Maharishi Absolute Theory of Management” and founded Maharishi University of Management (USA) and Maharishi Institutes of Management, among others.

Although it is so old, it is also very current. In fact, science has proven that this technique is the right answer for successfully coping with the fast-paced pace of our time and living a fulfilling and successful professional and private life.

Are all meditations the same?

University researcher Fred Travis recently presented a study showing that different forms of meditation have very different neurophysiological characteristics and that does Transcendental Meditation technique is distinguished by being effortless. Speaking at the annual Consciousness Sciences Conference in Tucson, Dr. Travis spoke on the topic “Are All Meditations the Same?” He compared Tibetan Buddhist meditation, “mindfulness meditation,” and the Transcendental Meditation technique using tomography of the nervous system and electroncephalographic data. He showed that Tibetan Meditation is vigorous, with electroencephalographic waves in the 40 Hz range, otherwise known as gamma waves. What’s more, images of the nervous system show that the brain is very active. In “mindfulness meditation,” the brain appears to be imbalanced, with considerable activity in the left frontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with evaluation.

In contrast, electroencephalographic patterns recorded during the Transcendental Meditation technique characteristically show global, coherent alpha waves, which correlate with the simplest form of awareness or pure consciousness. This ephectroencephalographic pattern has not been seen in any other form of meditation.

Images of the nervous system during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique show that the front and back of the brain, the attentional system, are much more awake and active than when one just sits with eyes closed, while the thalamus, which is the gateway to experience is less active. In other words, this indicates an experience of quiet vigilance. The attentional system is quite awake, while mental experience is inwardly rather than outwardly oriented. “The response from the auditorium has been very positive,” Dr. Travis said. “They saw the need to differentiate the various forms of meditation.” He said that for them, the most difficult concept to understand is that Transcendental Meditation is an effortless technique. They assumed that concentration was mandatory, but electroencephalography and nervous system imaging clearly showed the mind to be in a rest-filled waking state, especially when compared to other forms of meditation. Dr. Travis explained that the practice can be effortless because it is based on a natural tendency of the mind to move toward greater fascination. And because it is natural and effortless, the characteristic of electroencephalographic patterns is seen to appear after only two months from when a person begins the practice.

II Dr, Travis finally said that “We will continue to shed light on this crucial point that namely the Transcendental Meditation technique is effortless and uses the natural tendency of the mind.”

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