Transcendental Meditation (TM)

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More than 500 scientific studies about transcendental meditation were carried out in the last 25 years at more than 200 independent universities and research institutions. The results show that the program of transcendental meditation has beneficial effects in all areas of life, private and professional. The research has been published for example in ‘Science’, ‘The American Journal of Physiology’, ‘Scientific American’ and many more. They all show that the quality of life of those practicing TM is far better than in those who don’t practice it.

Transcendental meditation was taught for the first time in the West about fifty years ago by the physician and philosopher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It soon became very popular around the world because of its many positive effects. This particular meditation technique is independent of local values, religions, faiths and political convictions.

It is basically a relaxation technique for the mind which can be learned easily. It consists of practice sessions, twice daily for about 10 to 20 minutes, where the person meditating sits comfortably and with closed eyes. Mediation is usually associated with the lotus position, which is extremely painful for the beginner. Here, a comfortable chair, a cushion, anything that provides a physical position where bones don’t hurt is good enough.

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People who practice transcendental meditation report deep relaxation, greater spiritual clarity, more creativity and far better stress management in difficult life situations. And they report better health.

Transcendental meditation is probably the meditation technique that has been best investigated and documented scientifically. Many scientific publications have dealt with the subject and have proven its inherent value not only for those who practice it but for business as well. Let’s look at General Motors, for example.

The biggest car manufacturing company in the U.S. offers all its employees courses in transcendental meditation paid for by the company. Triggering this program was the realisation that stress on the job costs American companies 200 billion dollars annually. It has been identified as the main factor for the deteriorating health of employees and the decrease in productivity.

In the last 25 years many studies carried out in companies like GM showed that transcendental meditation programs bring with them a lot of advantages for companies and their employees. A study with 125 General Motors employees showed that their practicing of TM brought about a significant improvement in their health, productivity and morale.

In another area, the US government pays Vietnam veterans the enrollment fees for courses in transcendental meditation, as long as their physicians prescribe it. This policy of providing this kind of meditation training for the veterans was initiated when studies showed that people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome experienced a considerable reduction in their symptoms when practicing TM.

In California, US, the bar association recognizes courses that lawyers take in TM as having curriculum value. Here as well the background for this change of attitude is the recognition that attorneys work better and more effectively when they have the possibility to liberate themselves from the stress courtrooms and trials bring with them. The regular attendance of legal training courses is obligatory in California and is being monitored through a point system. For the attendance of a basic course in TM attorneys get assigned x number of points that count toward their curriculum.

The holder of the world record in remembering numbers in the Guinness book of records considers transcendental meditation as a very effective relaxation technique. Mr. Tomoyori achieved his record in 1990, at the age of 58, by remembering the number Pi – which is 3.14, ad infinitum. He remembered 40,000 values after the point. He says: " I learned TM because I wanted to learn how to relax better and to maintain my power of concentration. Because it takes 17 hours to say this number by heart I need a certain relaxation while at the same time I must be able to concentrate. TM is great because it’s so simple and it provides effective relaxation. It helps in strengthening my powers of concentration while at the same time helping me to sleep deeply.


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