What is Transcendental Meditation?
With so many different techniques, umbrella terms and brands names within the wellness world it’s easy to get confused, so it’s understandable that many people ask us “what is transcendental meditation?” Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, is the name of a technique that was popularised in the 60s and 70s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It originates from the Vedic technique of nishkam karma yoga, which was widely practised in the ancient Vedic culture of Northern India.
Vedic meditation is a form of the ancient technique that’s been branded as “TM,” and we hold courses and classes on Vedic transcendental meditation in London.
I tried Transcendental Meditation with Will and since then I have been motivated to meditate twice a day and it has been quite simply life changing. I feel so much more grounded and centered. I'm also experiencing a lot more synchronicity in my life.
Penny, Costume Designer, Brighton
How is Transcendental Meditation Practised?
You sit quietly, with eyes closed, effortlessly repeating a mantra in the mind, for 15-20 minutes at a time.
You are given a personalised mantra that helps act as a vehicle for a physiologically restful, and neurologically powerful state, that the ancient sages of India called turiya.
Turiya is a state of transcendence, which is very nourishing to mind and body. This state is very distinct from the results achieved by concentration and contemplation based techniques and is why Maharishi named his movement Transcendental Meditation.
I have learned this knowledge with TM and with Vedic, and I have to say the Vedic approach is so much more for me!
Ann, Farmer, Essex
How does Vedic meditation (a form of transcendental meditation) compare with TM?
While the origins of the techniques are the same, there are several key distinctions between what the organisation behind TM is offering, and what we, as independent conduits of this ancient technique, are providing.
Quality of teaching
In terms of the teaching itself, the TM organisation grew so quickly (teaching around 40,000 teachers in 20 years) that it was impossible for them to nurture and develop their teachers to the standards that had preceded them. Many teachers were admitted to teacher training without having had several years of meditation under their belts, and this is not necessarily that helpful for integration of the knowledge.
Will and Jess were personally trained by the world’s greatest master of this knowledge and it has made a significant impact on their ability to pass this knowledge on in the most powerful way.
That said, there are many great teachers of TM out there if you can find them. The best way to compare is to come along to one of our introductory talks in London and compare it with one given by a TM teacher, and see which one resonates.
There is also a significant difference in the levels of aftercare. As independents, we make sure to devote a lot of time and energy to supporting you as much as you wish after you have learned. We are always just an email or a phone call away, and have 24 FREE monthly group meditations and meditation events in London that you can attend every month.
What’s more, you have access to these for life. If you could have access to twelve free yoga classes per month for life, there is no doubt you would excel. It is exactly the same here.
If you wish to take it further, we take you step by step through your journey of progression, ensuring that the emphasis is on empowering you with wisdom and self-sufficiency and that you can integrate these more powerful techniques comfortably and confidently.
Within TM it seems that they are keen for you to upgrade as quickly as possible and we don’t consider that to always be in the best interests of you, the practitioner.
We’re also confident that our beginners and advanced courses are more relevant and more insightful than what is being offered through standard TM channels. An interesting insight into this is the contrast between our Mastering the Siddhis course and the TM Sidhis course.
Attitudes and approach
We have heard a few folks comment on how TM feels a little bit corporate. That may be a subjective assessment that each individual can make for themselves. Others have reported that it is much more exclusive in outlook: if you haven’t learned officially through their organisation, then you are not welcome.
We’re not sure that’s necessary, and we like to be much more inclusive and welcome anyone who has learned TM into our family.
On a more practical note, TM is considerably more expensive than we are, and yet we appear to offer students greater value in terms of support and teaching excellence.
Find out for yourself
Ultimately, if you’re interested in learning this technique, it is worth perusing both offerings and seeing which one resonates with you. We trust that each and every individual is smart enough to make the choice that is right for them.
Good luck! May the force be with you!