So, I am lucky enough to be on holiday in a tropical paradise and one thing I realised was that now would be the perfect time to properly practice some (transcendental) meditation! My father has been practising it for over 20 years and he says it has saved him. Being able to rest one’s mind is a skill that very few people are capable of, since sleeping doesn’t actually do that. From all the research I’ve been conducting, I’m pleased to say it is becoming more and more popular.
So, what is transcendental meditation?
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a mantra-based technique popularized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is an effortless procedure for allowing the excitation of the mind to settle down until a state of calmness is reached. This practice strives for a state of alertness with relaxation with no object of thought or perception.1
I remember from the presentation that I went to, the presenter used the image of waves as a metaphore for the thoughts we think. At the surface, we have lots of thoughts that take us all over the place, however, the deeper we go into the ocean (our brain), the less powerful and strong the waves become and we reach a place of peace. This is the state we try and reach and stay in for the duration of our session. It may sound complicated and/or abstract but it’s really not! (Or so they kept saying, haha.)
What are its benefits?
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Greater sense of clarity and productivity
- Lower blood pressure
- Greater sense of calmness throughout the day
- Reduced cortisol
- Lower risk of heart attack or stroke
- Improved brain function and memory
How do I practice it?
You can either attend classes, there are lots all over the world. Or, if you feel brave (or lazy/broke), you can watch some Youtube videos or read about the method! Or, of course, read this post!
The whole point of meditation is to learn to concentrate your mind on absolutely nothing. That is how it rests. So, we start practising by saying a mantra in our head. Usually, this mantra is given to you by your TM teacher but, in my case, I just found one that worked. (“so hum”, where when saying “so” I breathe in for 2 beats, and breathe out saying “hum” for 4 beats). Your mind will start to wonder and you might not even realise you’re thinking about your washing, work or what to have for dinner. This is natural and it’s ok! Just slowly bring your mind back to the present. SO. HUM. And that’s it. You just keep going. People try and practice it 2-3 a day, in the morning, afternoon and evening. That is my plan, even though it’s much harder when I have ADHD!
Good luck and let me know how it went!
Suzie + Ellie