It’s hard not to ignore the benefits of meditation – we’re told over and over how helpful it can be for our over-stimulated, stressed-out souls. The practice of meditation has become a buzzword in the wellness industry, an essential component to our self-care routines and a way to help us achieve better clarity and calm among the chaos of our lives.
If you’ve not yet heard of Transcendental Meditation (or TM), listen up. It’s a form of meditation adored by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry and Lena Dunham. Despite being about 5,000 years old, it slipped its way into the public consciousness after the Beatles travelled to India in 1968 to learn its art and were so mind-blown that they wrote the White Album. After that TM became better known as a hippie kind of practice but, much like yoga, it began to gradually seep its way into the mainstream wellness arena – and the rich and famous can’t get enough of it.
Here, Katy Sloane, meditation expert, Reiki master and author of Celestial Goddess Rising, gives us the essential guide to Transcendental Meditation – including you can get started and the benefits you can reap from TM.
What is Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental Meditation is a technique developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that involves silently repeating a specific mantra in your head. The average person has around 60 to 80 thousand thoughts per day. TM helps to calm and clear the mind bringing the focus inward and allowing one to transcend into higher states of consciousness.
It is recommended to do 20 minutes of TM twice a day. I personally like to do one morning meditation and one evening meditation.
What are the benefits of Transcendental Meditation?
There are many physical and mental benefits to TM, some of these include anti-aging, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, pain management, stress reduction, alleviation of anxiety and depression, improved self-esteem, improved cognitive function, increased productivity, enhanced creativity, focus, clarity of thought and memory and improved quality of life and inner peace.
As well as personal benefits there are also huge collective benefits. I talk about the power of TM in my new book “Celestial Goddess Rising” and how mass meditation can positively impact entire cities and communities.
How can I do Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental meditation is something that anyone can do. However, it is important to be initiated into the practice by a trained TM teacher following the guidelines set out by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The mantras used in Transcendental Meditation come from the ancient Vedic tradition of India and becoming initiated is a very personal and powerful process. I initiated in TM back in 2012 and found it transformative. As a former fashion designer I now teach meditation around the globe.
Here is a simple meditation technique I love to share with my students:
- Sit comfortably in an upright position.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- As you breathe in deeply imagine you are breathing in pure white light.
- Send the light and the breath deep into the body.
- Repeat the mantra ‘I am light’ silently in your head.
- Continue this practice for 20 minutes.