Transcendental Meditation, often abbreviated as TM, is a form of silent mantra meditation, but why is transcendental meditation so secretive?
The mantras used in Transcendental Meditation are thoughtfully selected from ancient Vedic traditions.
They are not random words or sounds but hold significant meaning that is intended to help the practitioner transcend their normal thought processes and reach a state of relaxed awareness.
Unlike other forms of meditation that encourage mindfulness or concentration on one’s breath or body sensations, TM focuses on effortlessly settling into a unique state of restful alertness.
Why is Transcendental Meditation so Secretive?
This type of meditation does not involve any concentration or contemplation, which differentiates it from other types such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or Zen Buddhist practices.
Instead, practitioners allow their minds to naturally settle inward, beyond thought, until they experience the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness—known as transcendent consciousness.
This distinct approach makes Transcendental Meditation an intriguing area for both practitioners and researchers alike.
What is Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation, often abbreviated as TM, traces its roots back to the ancient Vedic tradition of India.
This form of meditation was revived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the mid-20th century.
The Maharishi learned this technique from his master, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, who was a well-respected figure within the Jyotirmath monastic order. After years of training and practice under his guru’s guidance, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi decided to introduce this age-old wisdom to the rest of the world.
The practice involves sitting comfortably with eyes closed for 20 minutes twice daily while silently repeating a specific mantra given by a trained teacher.
In 1955, he founded an organization called ‘The Spiritual Regeneration Movement’ with a mission to disseminate Transcendental Meditation worldwide.
His teachings gained significant traction during the 1960s and 1970s when popular figures like The Beatles publicly endorsed TM practices.
This global popularity led to a surge in individuals seeking out instruction in Transcendental Meditation techniques.
Throughout its history, there has been an ongoing expansion and evolution of Transcendental Meditation practices that cater not only to spiritual seekers but also to those interested in personal growth or stress management.
Today it is practiced by millions around the globe and continues to be taught through certified instructors who have undergone rigorous training programs designed by Maharishi himself.
Secrecy Surrounding Transcendental Meditation
The secrecy surrounding Transcendental Meditation (TM) is often considered one of its defining features.
TM was introduced to the Western world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s, and he maintained strict control over how it was taught and practiced.
This included keeping the specific techniques used in TM a closely guarded secret, only revealed to practitioners during initiation ceremonies. These practices have continued even after Maharishi’s death, with instructors required to sign non-disclosure agreements about their training methods.
This level of secrecy has led some critics to label TM as cult-like or secretive.
However, proponents argue that this confidentiality is necessary for maintaining the integrity of the practice and ensuring that it is not diluted or misrepresented through incorrect teaching methods.
They also point out that many spiritual traditions have elements of mystery or hidden knowledge which are only revealed gradually as students progress in their understanding.
Despite these arguments, there’s no denying that this veil of secrecy contributes significantly to public perception of Transcendental Meditation – both positively and negatively.
Transcendental Meditation Debunked?
Transcendental Meditation (TM) practices are often shrouded in a veil of mystery, which plays a significant role in its appeal and intrigue. This enigmatic nature is not accidental but rather intentional, designed to create an environment of curiosity and exploration for practitioners.
The secrecy around the specific techniques used during meditation sessions serves as a unique draw for many individuals who seek more than just relaxation from their meditation practice.
The mysterious elements within TM also serve practical purposes.
For instance, the mantra given to each practitioner is kept secret to ensure it remains personal and sacred, enhancing the effectiveness of the practice.
Additionally, this confidentiality helps maintain focus during meditation by eliminating potential distractions that could arise from comparing experiences with others or worrying about doing it right compared to others’ mantras.
Exploring Why is Transcendental Meditation so Secretive
Transcendental Meditation, or TM as it is often abbreviated, involves the use of a mantra during meditation.
A mantra in this context is essentially a sound or phrase that holds no meaning to the meditator and is used purely for its sound value.
The specific mantra assigned to each practitioner remains secret and personal; shared only with their teacher at the time of instruction. This technique aims to allow individuals to transcend beyond their current state of being and achieve a heightened level of awareness.
The process begins by sitting comfortably with eyes closed while silently repeating your given mantra.
Unlike other forms of meditation where focus on breath or visualization are key components, TM emphasizes effortless transition into deeper states of consciousness without concentration or contemplation.
It’s believed that through this practice, one can experience pure consciousness – an alert yet restful state also referred to as ‘transcendental consciousness’.
While some may view these techniques as secretive due to the personalized mantras and private teaching methods, proponents argue it’s more about preserving individual experiences rather than concealing practices from public knowledge. The uniqueness lies in how Transcendental Meditation creates an intimate journey tailored for each participant which inherently requires some degree of confidentiality.
Debunking Myths: Why is Transcendental Meditation so Secretive?
There are several misconceptions surrounding the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), primarily due to its perceived secretive nature.
One common myth is that TM involves joining a religious cult or adopting certain beliefs.
However, it’s important to clarify that TM is not a religion, nor does it require any specific belief system or lifestyle changes. It’s simply a non-religious technique for stress reduction and self-development.
The idea that Transcendental Meditation is reserved for an elite group or requires significant financial investment also fuels many misunderstandings about its accessibility.
While there are fees involved in learning from certified teachers, numerous organizations offer scholarships and reduced rates based on the need to ensure everyone has access to this beneficial technique.
Furthermore, once learned correctly under proper guidance, it can be practiced independently without additional costs.
How to do Transcendental Meditation
You do Transcendental Meditation by sitting with your eyes closed while you repeat your mantra over and over again, either out oud or in your head. You do this twice a day.
A widespread myth about TM revolves around its supposedly intricate and complex techniques which can only be understood by a few.
In reality, the core principle of this meditation form is simplicity itself – effortless focus on a mantra unique to each practitioner, provided by their teacher during initiation.
The secrecy often associated with these mantras isn’t an attempt at exclusivity but rather aims at preserving the personal nature of the practice.
While this answers why is transcendental meditation so secretive, the big question might be why more people do not use it daily.