FAQ about TM

Frequently Asked Questions about Transcendental Meditation

Q: What does the Transcendental Meditation technique do?

A: The Transcendental Meditation technique provides the mind and body with a unique and profound state of restful alertness. The body gains an extraordinarily deep state of rest while the mind settles down to a state of inner calm and wakefulness.

The quietest level of the mind is known as Transcendental Consciousness, a field of maximum energy, creativity, and intelligence. By contacting this unlimited source of energy and intelligence twice a day, you’ll think and act more creatively and intelligently—and you’ll enjoy increased alertness and efficiency in all areas of life.

This deep level of rest also dissolves deeply rooted stress and tension in the body, rejuvenates the entire system, and provides the basis for dynamic, successful activity.

Q: I play tennis to relax. A friend of mine listens to music. Doesn’t exercise or simple relaxation do the same thing as the Transcendental Meditation programme?

A: Tennis, jogging, fishing, golfing, gardening, reading a book, listening to soothing music, bowling, etc., are all relaxing, enjoyable activities. They provide a welcome change of pace, a break in the routine.

But the important question is: While they may seem relaxing, do these activities actually release deeply rooted stress and tension? No. This is because even though they may feel relaxing, nonetheless, they keep the mind and body engaged in some activity.

What is nature’s antidote to stress? Deep rest—and the deeper the better. The Transcendental Meditation programme is not just another form of activity or recreation. It is a scientifically validated technique that provides the entire system with very deep rest—far deeper than ordinary eyes-closed rest or relaxation—and gives us an opportunity to unfold the full range of our own consciousness.

This deep rest has been shown to release accumulated stress and tension that nothing else comes close to eliminating—not a good night’s sleep, a restful vacation, relaxation exercises, a great tennis match, or a stroll in the park.

Q: Is the Transcendental Meditation programme like hypnosis or other types of meditation techniques?

A: The Transcendental Meditation programme is unique. Hypnosis involves suggestion. The Transcendental Meditation technique is natural and involves no suggestion.

All other forms of meditation or self-development involve either concentration or contemplation. The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn, effortless to practice, and involves neither concentration nor contemplation.

Research comparing the Transcendental Meditation programme with other meditation and relaxation techniques has found it to be far more effective for reducing anxiety, increasing self-actualization, improving psychological health, and reducing use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.

Q: Will the technique make me so relaxed that I won’t be motivated for success?

A: Just the opposite. By eliminating stress and tension, and increasing energy and intelligence, the Transcendental Meditation technique provides an effective basis for dynamism and success in life.

It’s like pulling an arrow back on a bow. Draw the arrow back 2 feet, and the arrow flies forward 50 yards. The Transcendental Meditation technique naturally draws the mind back to its own source, a reservoir of energy, creativity, and intelligence. After 20 minutes of the technique, you can plunge into activity refreshed and rested, with more creativity and intelligence.

The result: Do less and accomplish more with greater energy, success, and satisfaction in everything you do.

Q: Can I learn the Transcendental Meditation technique from a book or a tape?

A: No. Each person is unique; each person has a different nervous system and therefore a different pace of learning. Ensuring that you learn the technique properly requires personal instruction from a qualified Transcendental Meditation program teacher. Reading a book or listening to a tape cannot provide the experience of pure consciousness and the corresponding profound state of restful alertness; nor can a book anticipate or answer all of the questions that every person might ask while learning the practice. With proper personal instruction, you can enjoy the technique for the rest of your life—as well as all of the benefits it naturally unfolds.

Q: Is the Transcendental Meditation technique difficult to learn?

A: The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn and effortless to practice. Over six million people worldwide of every age (10 years and up), profession, education, and religion have learned the technique and enjoy its benefits. Once you’ve learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, you practice it on your own. There is, however, a complete, optional, lifetime follow-up programme, available to all meditators, to ensure that they continue to practice the technique correctly and gain maximum benefits. You can take advantage of this programme at your convenience.

Q: Will my practice of Transcendental Meditation conflict with my religion?

A: No, it will enhance your religion. Millions of people of all religions—including clergy—practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. They report that the technique, by increasing energy and intelligence and eliminating stress and fatigue, allows them to better follow the tenets of their religion. It is a technique, pure and simple. It involves no religion, belief, philosophy, or change in lifestyle.

One Minister, Rev. Dr. Craig Overmyer, explains this point: “I would say to any Christian—to anyone of any religion—that Transcendental Meditation would benefit your life. It’s a technique, a simple process that requires no belief. It is not a religion. There are so many thoughts that clutter the mind, and Transcendental Meditation is like taking a mental bath—it’s very cleansing and very refreshing.”

Q: Where do you meditate?

The Transcendental Meditation technique is practiced sitting comfortably with the eyes closed for 20 minutes twice a day. It can be done anywhere—at home, in your office, on an airplane, on a camping trip. Anywhere.

Q: How long does it take before I will notice some benefits?

A: It varies from individual to individual. All those who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique do notice positive growth and development in their life; however, it’s not really possible to predict which particular benefits you might receive from the practice or even how long it will take before you would experience a specific benefit.

Extensive scientific research and the experience of teaching the technique to more than six million people around the world do show that correct practice of the Transcendental Meditation programme on a regular, twice-daily basis is very important for gaining the most from the technique.

Q: And everyone can do it?

A: Yes. Anyone of any age, profession, education, religion, or culture. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the Transcendental Meditation programme or not. You can be 100 percent skeptical about the technique, and it will still work perfectly.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is natural. It’s just like gravity. If you don’t believe in gravity, and you drop a tennis ball, the ball still falls. In the same way, the Transcendental Meditation technique is automatic. It does not require any belief. It works for everyone.

And for those who think, “I could never sit still for 20 minutes,” or “I’m too high strung, I could never relax,” or “I’ll probably be the first person in the world who won’t be able to learn it,” don’t worry. Everyone can learn to meditate. See for yourself.