Erika Brincat marks our card on the benefits of transcendental meditation.
As a lover of India who has been there several times, I thought it was quite a coincidence to find, shortly after moving to Brussels for work, a Transcendental Meditation Centre right in my neighbourhood. Many years ago, I had applied for a scholarship in TM at a Maharishi University in India. However, I was selected for another scholarship in the end. So here I am in Brussels now with a TM centre right at my doorstep. I decided to check it out and wasn’t disappointed.
What is Transcendental Meditation (also known as TM)?
TM is an effortless technique for “recharging your mind and body” and creating a brighter, more positive state of mind. Hundreds of published research studies have found that TM is highly effective on stress and anxiety, brain function and cardiovascular health. The TM technique allows your mind to easily settle inward, through quieter levels of thought, until you experience the most silent and peaceful level of your own awareness – pure consciousness.
After attending a free introductory talk by a certified TM teacher at the cosy and clean centre you will meet privately with the teacher. This free personal discussion normally takes place right after the introductory talk. Once you decide you would like to try out the course itself you will be invited to attend about four to five small group meditations including additional guidance and instructions on the TM technique based on your personal experience. This is concluded with a follow-up session of one hour – a small group session (with Q&A), and a one-on-one ‘tune-up’ to ensure your Transcendental Meditation practice is easy and enjoyable, and that you are gaining maximum benefit. The course itself is a bit expensive but a worthwhile price to pay to improve your wellbeing. TM can help with a number of conditions such as depression, anxiety and even ADHD.
The TM Teacher will give you a blessing and a personalized mantra to use during your meditation. Conducted twice a day (morning and evening) in short 20-minute sessions, practitioners recite the mantra during their meditation. The process reduces distracting mental activity resulting in a higher state of consciousness. The goal is to attain deep relaxation, eliminate stress, promote clear thinking and attain inner fulfilment and good health. Personally, I also enjoyed the follow up group meditations where you find out more about the other participants and realize that everybody faces certain challenges in life, and continue to deepen your practice in a safe environment. It is not a difficult meditation practice to maintain since it only requires twenty minutes in the mornings when you wake up and twenty minutes in the evenings preferably before dinner.
Where did TM originate from?
Born around 1917, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a spiritual leader famous for developing the Transcendental Meditation technique and making it available to the world. He legitimized the practice of meditation as a viable health treatment, elevating it from a practice of mystics to a scientifically supported health programme. His fame soared to international heights when he became guru to The Beatles and other celebrities.