Woman meditating

What To Expect From A Transcendental Meditation Course

In the 1960’s an endorsement by the Beatles was priceless. Anything the Fab Four did was sure to be imitated by thousands of young adults around the country, becoming an overnight sensation. In the 1990’s the same could be said of Oprah Winfrey. The daytime talk show host was said to have the “Midas Touch” when something earned her approval, taking the virtually unknown into superstar status. So, what happens to something that gets the thumbs up from both Oprah and the Beatles?

When the Beatles first sat down with the Maharishi in India in the 1960’s, Western attitudes about Indian spirituality would be forever changed. Since then, celebrities and common folk alike have been seeking the comfort of transcendental meditation. If you are pondering taking up a transcendental meditation course, here is a little of what you can expect.

What is Transcendental Meditation?
The transcendental Meditation technique, or ™ is a form of mantra meditation devised by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It involves using a mantra and should be practice 15 to 20 minutes a day. and is one of the most commonly practiced and researched meditation techniques rooted in Hinduism and considered a religious practice toward self development

Practice
The Maharishi believed “bubbles of thought are produced in a stream one after another” and transcendental meditation involved experiencing “a proper thought until its subtlest state is experienced and transcended. Practices include “unstressing” and teachers will instruct students to ignore random thoughts and “attend” to a mantra.

Mantra
Transcendental meditation consists of repeating a mantra while sitting with closed eyes and without assuming a yoga position. The mantra is known as a vehicle which frees the attention of the individual, allowing him or her to travel to a less active state of mental function.

Course Description
The technique is taught in a seven- step- course in a six -day period. It is taught in private or group instruction by a certified teacher. It begins with a one hour introductory lecture which discusses social relationships, health, and the promotion of inner and outer peace. The next part consists of a 45 minute preparatory lecture discussing the transcendental practice and its origins. During the third step, a private interview takes place in which the student and teacher get acquainted and questions can be asked and answered.

The next day, the student begin his first of three 90 to 120 minute teaching sessions. It occurs in a group setting and provides information about correct meditational practice for the individual student based on personal experience. On the third day, the focus is on development of higher stages of human consciousness, outlining the potential of mental growth. Meditators new to the program attend follow up classes to make sure they are practicing properly and to provide a chance for one on one contact with the teacher.

Is transcendental meditation for you? Let us know what you think? Could Oprah and the Beatles have it wrong?

meditating

Planning Your Daily Meditation

Katy Perry says she starts her day with Transcendental Meditation. Madonna can be seen with her foot behind her head practicing meditative yoga. Lena Dunham claims that all Type A women, she included, could benefit from meditation. Clint Eastwood says he’s been using Transcendental Meditation for almost 40 years. Talk show gurus Ellen DeGeneres and the great Oprah Winfrey both swear by meditation and, if that isn’t reason enough to start practicing your daily mantras, the lovely Nicole Kidman uses the meditation app on her phone that shows her a map of all the people who are meditating at the same time.

Meditation is a practice which involves self-regulation of the mind. It is used to ease high blood pressure and to combat depression and anxiety. It is known to improve the quality of life and health and help you make better choices. Here are some ways to work meditation into your day.

1. Find A Place Where You Can Meditate Regularly
Find a quiet spot and place a chair or meditation cushion there. Create a peaceful atmosphere that recalls the sacred purpose of meditation. You may choose to make an altar with flowers or sacred images.

2. Pick A Regular Time To Practice
If you love mornings, you might consider meditation before breakfast, schedule permitting. If you prefer evenings or have more time at night, try to meditate then. Start by sitting ten to twenty minutes a day and gradually increase the length of time and the number of sittings.

3. Pick A Posture
You want to be able to sit erectly without stiffness. Plant your body firmly and let your hands rest. Your eyes should be gently closed and your heart rate should be slow. Feel your body consciously releasing tension and let go of your thoughts.

4. Concentrate On Your Breathing
Take a few breaths to try and find the place from where you breath most easily. Feel the sensations of your breathing like the movement of your chest and belly. Relax with each breath, feeling the air entering and exiting your nose and throat.

5. Allow Your Mind To Wander
Your mind may slip away for a while. Allow yourself to return to the next breath and think about where you have been. You may want to use a word to name to yourself where you have been, such as “wandering” or “thinking” and say it to yourself silently. When you become more accustomed to meditation, you may be able to train your brain to return to the place it has been, but until that is possible, just use the word of acknowledgment and return on the next breath.

6. Sit, Letting Your Breath Change Rhythm
Relax into the rhythm of your breath allowing it to change from short to long, fast to slow, easy to rough. Concentrate gently.

As you progress, you should notice it will be easier to center and calm yourself. Meditation is a journey that needs to be ridden out, with some days more peaceful than others. If you stick with it, you will find that concentration on breathing helps to calm your mind and body.

Woman meditating

Meditate to Improve Your Game

For some, meditation seems far-fetched and not a smart way to spend free time throughout one’s day. But research shows that meditation is a great way to spiritually and emotionally complete certain areas in life that one might feel are lacking. Once someone tries meditation, they instantly become aware of all the benefits that it offers, including the following.

Starts Day Off On the Right Foot
Spending just five minutes meditating each morning before beginning the day can have a lasting and positive effect that lasts the entire day. By mentally preparing for what activities and commitments are planned and increasing awareness for what may happen unexpectedly, it becomes easier to focus on the good and avoid the bad.

Promotes Positivity
Meditation allows someone uninterrupted time to focus on the good and positive in their life. By expressing gratitude and avoiding self-pity, life instantly takes on a more positive light. The Universe tends to give back what it receives. If negative energy is constantly emitted from someone, they can only expect negative energy to return. But with meditation, it becomes nearly impossible to not emit positive energy, therefore encouraging the return of positive energy from the universe.

Increase Self Confidence
When someone is able to begin to view the entire world in a most positive light, they are able to do the same with themselves. Increased self-confidence begins a positive domino effect that can completely change someone’s life path. For example, increased self-confidence can help to spark a new relationship, encourage the start of a new career or enable someone the power to embrace new and exciting opportunities.

Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is a serious condition that can suddenly affect anyone. Increased levels of anxiety lead to increased levels of stress, which not only take away from someone’s overall quality of life but can also lead to some serious health conditions. Meditation can help to stop anxiety before it creeps up on the brain and body, preventing the unwanted side effects that go along with an already undesired condition. Imagine finally taking control of anxiety with just a few minutes of meditation at the start and end of each day.

Woman meditating

Encourages a Healthier Lifestyle
When someone begins to incorporate meditation into their daily routines, it becomes easier to make healthier decisions. For example, meditating before breakfast will most likely lead someone to choose fruit and oatmeal instead of a doughnut. It encourages healthy eating, exercise and the avoidance of toxic substances.

Slows Aging
Studies have shown that meditation can literally slow down the aging process by changing the way the brain controls aging. As already mentioned, meditation helps to remove stress and negativity from daily life, which can also have a positive effect on appearance.
There are many different types of meditation. Finding one that fits into someone’s lifestyle and meets their needs is crucial but not difficult. With plenty of informational resources available, one can begin to experience the impressive benefits of meditation in only a few days. As with many types of health treatments, consistency is key, along with the true belief that meditation can change life paths for the better.

There are many different types of meditation. Finding one that fits into someone’s lifestyle and meets their needs is crucial but not difficult. With plenty of informational resources available, one can begin to experience the impressive benefits of meditation in only a few days. As with many types of health treatments, consistency is key, along with the true belief that meditation can change life paths for the better.