While transcendental meditation is relatively new (developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi around the 1950s), the concept of mantras being used within the practice of meditation is nothing new. A mantra is a word, or a phrase repeated during meditation. Mantras can be chanted or repeated in the mind. This age-old practice is known to have Buddhist and Hindu roots, in what is called “sacred word”.1, 2, 3
Transcendental meditation is a meditation technique where you repeat a personal mantra. This allows you to calm your mind and settle into a deep state of relaxation and rest and the goal is to achieve inner peace without concentration or effort. There are numerous benefits of this meditation practice, namely lower blood pressure, better cardiovascular health and lower levels of stress, anxiety and PTSD. It is recommended to practice transcendental meditation twice a day for 20 minutes; however, if that’s too much for you, just start off with less minutes.1, 2
Start off by choosing a personal mantra. It’s best for this to be a sound or an unknown to you word since this will allow you to focus better on the mantra and your breath. If you say a word and you know its meaning, you will start thinking of imagery or sounds associated with that word. The most common mantra is “homm” which has a full, whole sound reflecting both positive and negative sound vibrations. If you want to you can choose another mantra; however, we will be working with the “homm” sound. 1, 2, 3
How to do a transcendental meditation
1. Sit comfortably + feet on the floor + hands in your lap
2. Close your eyes + take a few deep breaths in and out to relax your body
3. Open your eyes and close them. Keep them closed for the remainder of the practice
4. Repeat a mantra in your mind
5. If you notice your mind wander, bring your focus back to your mantra
6. When you are done, slowly move your fingers and toes + open your eyes
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1 Koppel, Lily (6 February 2008). “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Spiritual Leader, Dies”. The New York Times.
2 “Transcendental Meditation”. Oxford English Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2006-06-25.
3 Mindworks Team. (n.d.). What Is Mantra Meditation? – Match your Intention. Retrieved from Mindworks: https://mindworks.org/blog/what-is-mantra-meditation/