Transcendental Meditation FAQs
1. Why is TM Different?
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a natural, effortless technique practised for 15–20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. During TM your mind naturally settles down to quieter levels of thought and transcends, or goes beyond, even the faintest thought impulse to experience a unique state of pure awareness- transcendental consciousness.
Effortless transcending and the experience of Transcendental Consciousness is unique to Transcendental Meditation.
Transcendental consciousness is characterized as a state of 'restful alertness' - where the body is in a state of profound rest, even deeper than deep sleep, whilst the mind remains fully alert and awake, with the awareness directed within.
Research confirms that it’s only the experience of effortless transcending that enlivens total brain functioning and physiological rest deeper than sleep, which generates significant benefits for your mental health and physical well-being.
2. Do I have to clear my mind of thoughts or sit perfectly still?
Not at all. Transcendental Meditation is a natural and effortless mental technique. Therefore, TM does not require any effort to clear the mind of thoughts. And nor is it necessary to sit perfectly still. This will be a natural result from experiencing the deep relaxation of TM.
3. How does TM compare with other forms of meditation?
Transcendental Meditation is completely effortless. Other systems generally involve either concentration (which means effort and control) or contemplation (thinking about something). In TM there is no attempt to control the mind in any way or try to achieve a certain result. During TM the mind naturally settles to deeper and deeper levels of rest while remaining alert.
Once you have learnt TM from one of our qualified instructors you will know how to start the process and the mind will naturally experience deep rest and inner peace.
Enjoy this video by leading brain researcher, Dr Fred Travis on the effects that different meditations have on the brain.
4. How long do I practice TM each day?
Transcendental Meditation is practised for 15 - 20 minutes twice a day, depending on your age- adults practise for 20 minutes and children a little shorter.
TM is usually practiced in the morning to prepare us for a more effective day and then again in the late afternoon or early evening to release the stress of the day and provide a gentle energy for your evening activity. Your TM instructor will advise you concerning the best time for TM.
5. What happens when you meditate?
The word 'transcend' means to go beyond. In Transcendental Meditation, the mind naturally settles down to quieter levels of thinking and goes beyond even the finest impulse of thought to experience the most silent and peaceful state of pure consciousness- your own simplest state of awareness. This process of the mind effortlessly settling within is called transcending and is unique to Transcendental Meditation.
During transcending, the body gains profound rest. Research shows this rest is deeper than sleep. This profound rest allows accumulated stress to be released and reactivates the body’s inner healing intelligence so we heal from the inside.The result is clearer, calmer thinking, more energy, less stress and better health. Not surprisingly, this leads to more success, happiness and fulfilment in life. The introductory video on this page provides a clear description of what happens during Transcendental Meditation
6. What can TM do for me?
In our fast pace lives most of us have lost conscious connection to the inner silence, peace and happiness that lies deep within every one of us. TM is a natural technique that allows the mind to effortlessly dive within and re enliven our connection with this ocean of stillness- pure consciousness, the essence of who we are.
No matter where you are, or how stressful your day has been, TM is an effective tool to settle (retreat) within, dissolve layers of stress and fatigue, reset the brain and rejuvenate the body.
Transcendental Meditation replaces underlying anxiety with the welcome relief of calm, clarity and happiness -bringing inner balance no matter how hectic our life is.
Confirmed by over 600 scientific research studies, TM is not only easy to learn and effortless to practise, the profound benefits are transforming the lives of over 6 million people around the world who have learnt TM.
7. What if I’m not good at controlling my mind?
The good news is that even though Transcendental Meditation improves concentration and focus in activity, there is no concentration, focus or control of the mind during the technique.
Unlike other forms of meditation, the TM technique involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts, no controlling the breath- in fact no trying at all.
TM is a completely natural and effortless technique because it makes use of the nature of the mind (this is explained fully at the introductory talk). So anyone, at any age, including children can do it. It’s that simple!
8. What if I’m skeptical?
Being skeptical is fine. Fortunately, no belief or change in beliefs is required to learn and practice TM – and gain all the benefits. In fact, you can be 100% skeptical and the TM technique will work just fine for you.
9. Can I learn TM from a book or video?
The TM technique is unique. It’s natural and effortless yet requires personal instruction to learn.
Everyone is different and learns in a different way and at a different pace. A highly trained, certified and experienced teacher provides one on one instruction according to your own personal experience at each step of learning. This personal attention ensures correct practise and verification so you can grow in confidence that you’re proceeding correctly.
Transcendental Meditation provides both step by step personal guidance for the experience of effortless transcending as well as the intellectual understanding necessary to master the technique.
TM is the complete art and science of consciousness which can only be imparted by a trained and experienced teacher.
There is no other way to learn the authentic TM technique — and there is no evidence that any other form of self-development provides the full range of benefits documented in the published research on Transcendental Meditation
10. What is the value of Transcendental Meditation in daily life?
Extensive peer-reviewed published research on Transcendental Meditation has found an extensive range of benefits including:
- greater inner calm throughout the day
- reduced cortisol (the “stress hormone”)
- normalized blood pressure
- reduced insomnia
- lower risk of heart attack and stroke by 48%
- reduced anxiety and depression
- improved vitality, dynamism and effectiveness
- improved brain function, memory and intelligence
- younger biological age
- reduced alcohol, cigarette and illicit drug use
11. How do I learn TM?
The first step is to attend a free introductory talk, where you will meet a trained teacher, learn about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation and ask any questions you may have about learning the technique. Courses in TM are held regularly and instruction requires just 2 hours or so each day, over four days.
You can learn Transcendental Meditation in Adelaide, at our centre at 190 Greenhill Rd, Parkside
12. Where does TM come from?
Transcendental Meditation is a universal technique for unfolding every individual’s innate inner potential for living wholeness of life.
While Transcendental Meditation has been scientifically verified through extensive research and has very modern benefits, it has its roots in Ancient India. This time tested practice has been passed down in its purity through generations in India through the Vedic Tradition.
This technique of “effortless transcending” had been long lost to society, even in India, before Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced it back to the world in 1955. Maharishi revived this timeless wisdom to help fulfil man’s universal quest for unfolding full inner potential and living life in peace and happiness.
Maharishi systematised the teaching so that it would remain accessible to any man in any age; from the busy businessman living the fast paced lifestyle of today to a monk who has chosen a recluse way of life. To maintain the technique's effectiveness and authenticity, and to help ensure that it isn’t lost again, Transcendental Meditation is taught in the same systematic way by certified instructors, trained by Maharishi, worldwide.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is widely recognized as the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and scientist of consciousness of the modern era. Maharishi is renowned for teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique, the most thoroughly researched and effective technique for self-development. Maharishi also dedicated years to restoring the Vedic knowledge of health care, education, defence, agriculture, administration and architecture in their purity and completeness. The practical programs that he developed in these areas offer everyone everywhere the full promise of life — life in enlightenment, peace, affluence and good health.
Meditation and the path to enlightenment had been misunderstood for centuries, even in India. They were considered largely the domain of religion or philosophy, often associated with renunciation. Maharishi brought to light the Vedic truth that meditation is not based on effort and concentration, and can be practised by anyone, regardless of age, lifestyle, or religion. He laid out a systematic path for development of higher states of consciousness, in which our full cosmic potential becomes a living reality of day-to-day life.
Inspired by Maharishi, researchers began to investigate the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Since 1970 when the first research was published, over 600 scientific studies conducted at more than 200 independent research institutions in 35 countries have documented the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for the mind, body, and society as a whole. Many of these studies have been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific, medical, and professional journals.
13. What is the TM course fee?
The experience of transcending is a completely natural experience and it is everyone’s birth right to have this experience. The Transcendental Meditation teachers have, therefore, been working for 40 years to make Transcendental Meditation accessible for as many people as possible. Financial obligations require that we charge a tuition fee to ensure the TM technique can be taught correctly with a thorough follow-up programme, so that the correct practice can be ensured.
Transcendental Meditation is a registered not for profit educational organisation.
The course tuition depends on your personal circumstances as different concessions are available, and ranges from $750 to $1500:
The course tuition covers everything you need to practice the TM technique for life, and includes:
• The Transcendental Meditation initial highly personalized course of instruction which enables you to master the technique and practice it for life- giving profound scientifically verified benefits in all areas of life, plus a life time of free follow up.
• A lifetime of follow - up: weekly group meditations and a wonderful variety of stimulating lectures to inspire you and deepen your meditation experience available to you at any TM Centre around the world.
• Personal follow-up: one on one sessions with your teacher available once a week for the first month and at your convenience for one year, to fine-tune and support your practice.
Payment plans: Money shouldn’t be a reason not to learn TM. At the introductory talk there is an opportunity to meet with the teacher privately to discuss your personal situation and the payment plan options that are offered.
“I am already practicing TM for 37 years, and I still enjoy it every day. It has given me so much energy that I could build a successful career in sales, and, on top of that, I have built two houses and six apartments, all by myself, in my spare time. If someone would offer me €10,000 to stop practicing TM, I would not consider it, not even for a second.”
Johan Claes, Senior Account Manager of an international software company.
14. Where is my nearest TM Centre?
15. I’m so busy, even if I learned Transcendental Meditation, I’m afraid I’d never do it.
All of us take time to recharge our batteries. All of us take the time to sleep, to eat, to shower each day. The Transcendental Meditation technique is a program to prevent stress from slowly accumulating over time—and to prevent stress from interfering with your ability to function and enjoy life.
It is a way for the mind and body to get a very deep level of rest and become increasingly impervious to stress. Life becomes a growing experience where you look forward to new experiences, because you are able to easily manage them as a result of adequate rest increased energy and integration of mind and body. The short amount of time that’s required to meditate each day is well worth the investment.
16. I have ADHD and I just can’t sit still, not even for a few minutes.
That’s a major benefit of the Transcendental Meditation technique. It’s very simple, effortless and easy to do. It actually allows the mind to settle down, and when the mind settles down, the body very naturally follows. You’re able to sit more quietly, easily and comfortably.
As a result of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, certain aspects of that quiet, settled feeling stay with you after meditation. Over time you begin to feel more calm and settled, and the restlessness begins to subside. That’s why the TM technique is recommended to help adults and children who complain of restlessness. That is the uniqueness of this technique.
17. I had ADHD as a child, and still have trouble focusing on any sort of work.
Yes, based on our research, it will. The Transcendental Meditation technique works for both adults and for children. It’s easy to learn and to do, and it doesn’t require concentration, or focus, or attention. At the same time, it increases the ability to focus outside of meditation, because it enhances brain functioning. When your eyes are closed and you’re meditating, the brain connections related to attention and focus actually increase. Then when your eyes are open and you are in activity, focus and concentration are better.
Many symptoms of ADHD are actually the result of stress; stress shuts down the pre-frontal cortex in the brain, making concentration and focus difficult. Reducing stress increases your attention, focus, and concentration—as well as the ability to act calmly and to feel more relaxed and comfortable in stressful situations.
In our research with children, we found a 20% improvement in attention in just three months after starting the Transcendental Meditation program. There were also significant improvements in working memory and organization, as well as psychosocial measurements of behavior, anxiety, stress, attention, and focus.
Anyone with longstanding problems with ADHD knows that when they are rested and calm they have fewer ADHD symptoms than when they are tired and anxious. Since TM helps create a calm and stable state, it clearly can help reduce the problems of ADHD.