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Transcendental Meditation (TM)

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

A popular Hindu meditation technique first taught in the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Allahabad University physics graduate who, in the 1940s and 1950s studied among monks in the Himalayas. Emerging with his teachings in 1958, the Maharishi's transcendental meditation spread across the United States and Europe by the mid-1960s. Due largely to the endorsements of celebrities such as the Beatles, Jane Fonda, and Mia Farrow, TM became one of the first forms of Eastern meditative practices to receive widespread media attention in the West. Essentially, TM is a streamlined form of the ancient Hindu initiation of bestowing a mantra, or sacred Sanskrit word or phrase, for the pupil to meditate upon for a short period each day.

A number of personal and social benefits have been claimed as a result of meditating. In fact, the movement has cited 508 individual scientific studies conducted since the 1970s, measuring psychological and physiological differences between meditators and non-meditators. The reports laud the physical and mental benefits of transcendental meditation, citing increased creativity, broader comprehension, improved perception, lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and decreased medical visits among the meditators.

In 1977, studies such as those conducted by Fales and Markovsky at the University of Iowa question the validity of claims made by TM studies. Particularly, the analysis examines the phenomenon known as the Maharishi Effect, which asserts the effect advanced TM meditators can exercise over the social serenity of local communities. The scientific work on TM has been criticized within the academic community for methodological flaws, vague definitions, and loose statistical controls. It has been argued that the effects attributed to TM are the same effects produced by any number of yogic and meditative techniques; this places TM in the context of goals and results of traditional meditation.

The TM movement has also been criticized for lifting the time-honored Hindu practice from its religious context, mass producing it as a contemplative quick-fix for western consumers. Critics have argued that TM is disjointed from the Hindu mysticism from which it emerged, as well as from the other great world religions that have emphasized the need for patient and continuing self-purification through spiritual disciplines in order to give integrity to spiritual growth or eventual transcendental consciousness.

Traditional Hindu mysticism regards meditation as a later stage in the program of continuing spiritual discipline, and passive meditation is considered secondary to active meditation in quality and results. Moreover mantra-diksha, or initiation, is not normally given until the aspirant has proven his or her fitness to engage in meditation. Hinduism also reserves its highest transcendental experiences for those who have properly fulfilled their social and religious obligations.

Criticisms aside, the five million TM participants (as asserted by the program) seem to attest to the everyday value of TM as a simple, natural means of relaxation and a feeling of well-being. The method has received worldwide endorsement at every level of society, including support from politicians, scientists, doctors, and members of the general public. Many have brought TM to the pragmatic world of business, asserting its positive affects on productivity, job satisfaction, and employee health in the workplace.

Sources:

Akins, W. R., and George Nurnberg. How to Meditate Without Attending a TM Class. New York: Crown, 1976.

Bloomfield, Harold M., Michael Peter Cain, and Dennis T. Jaffe. TM: Discovering Inner Energy and Overcoming Stress. New York: Delacorte Press, 1975.

Chopra, Deepak, M.D. Creating Health. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1987.

Fales, Evan and Markovsky, Barry. "Evaluating Heterodox Theories." University of Iowa 1997. http://www.trancenet.org/. March 28, 2000.

Forem, Jack. Transcendental Meditation. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974.

Hemingway, Patricia D. Transcendental Meditation Primer. Philadelphia: McKay, 1975.

Kory, Robert B. The Transcendental Medication Program for Business People. New York: American Management Association, 1976.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. New York: Bantam, 1973.

Orme-Johnson, David W., and John T. Farrows, eds. Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program. Collected Papers 1. Seelisberg, Switzerland: Maharishi European Research University Press, 1977.

Kanellakos, Demetri P., and Jerome S. Lukas. Psychobiology of Transcendental Meditation: A Literature Review. W. A. Benjamin, 1974.

Scott, R. D. Transcendental Misconceptions. San Diego: Beta Books, 1978.

The Transcendental Meditation Program. http://www.tm.org/. March 28, 2000.

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"Transcendental Meditation (TM)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Transcendental Meditation (TM)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/transcendental-meditation-tm

"Transcendental Meditation (TM)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved July 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/transcendental-meditation-tm

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation, service mark for a meditation technique and program founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and based on Vedic philosophy. Stressing natural meditation and the mental and physical benefits and personal development that could be achieved, Transcendental Meditation is said to help individuals achieve a higher level of consciousness. Brought by Maharishi from India to the West in 1959, Transcendental Meditation was a distinct subculture within the 1960s youth movement, attracting actress Mia Farrow, cultural philosopher Marshall McLuhan, and the Beatles, and continues to have many practitioners. See also meditation.

See A. Campbell, Seven States of Consciousness (1973); R. Roth, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Mediation (1987); D. Chopra, Return of the Rishi (1991).

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"Transcendental Meditation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Transcendental Meditation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/transcendental-meditation

"Transcendental Meditation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/transcendental-meditation

Transcendental meditation

Transcendental meditation. Taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and comprising ‘a specific and systematic mental technique which can be easily learnt and enjoyed by anyone, whatever his opinions or beliefs’. The Indian-based philosophy holds that this (mantra) technique leads practitioners to ‘the field of pure consciousness’. This alone ‘is the self-sufficient reality of life’. Transcendental meditation is widely used, especially in America where it enters into the worlds of education, business, and welfare. This is in accord with Maharishi's aim of transforming society, especially through the World Government of the Age of Enlightenment.

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"Transcendental meditation." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Transcendental meditation." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/transcendental-meditation

"Transcendental meditation." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved July 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/transcendental-meditation

transcendental meditation

transcendental meditation (TM) Meditation technique based partly on Hindu practice and rediscovered in the 20th century by an Indian spiritual teacher, Guru Dev (d.1958). After his death, his pupil the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced the technique to the West. Those who practise TM concentrate on and repeat a mantra over and over in order to become relaxed and achieve self-understanding. In physiological terms, TM decreases oxygen consumption and heart rate and increases skin resistance and alpha brain waves, yielding a relaxed mental state differing from sleep or hypnosis.

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"transcendental meditation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"transcendental meditation." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/transcendental-meditation

Transcendental Meditation

Tran·scen·den·tal Med·i·ta·tion (abbr.: TM) • n. trademark a technique for detaching oneself from anxiety and promoting harmony and self-realization by meditation, repetition of a mantra, and other yogic practices, promulgated by an international organization founded by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c.1911– ).

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"Transcendental Meditation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Transcendental Meditation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/transcendental-meditation

"Transcendental Meditation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/transcendental-meditation