Transcendental meditation mantras can be life-changing. Unlike mantras used for hypnosis or mindfulness meditation, the mantras used for TM are entirely about sound and vibration. Find out more here.
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of meditation in which individuals silently repeat a sound or mantra. These TM mantras do more than just help in keeping our minds focused.
They also help our body and mind settle into a relaxed and quiet state. That’s why before getting into TM, it’s vital to first learn about mantras and how to choose the right one.
Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about transcendental meditation, its mantras, and how to choose the perfect one for you!
Before we get started, it’s important to talk about what transcendental meditation is and why it’s so unique from other meditation practices.
Put simply, transcendental meditation is a type of meditation that involves sitting with eyes closed and silently repeating a mantra for 20-30 minutes each day.
It’s a popular type of meditation technique and one that has captured the interest of many, including famous celebrities like The Beatles, David Lynch, Hugh Jackman, Russel Brand, and Ellen Degeneres.
Studies have also shown its effectiveness as an alternative therapy in providing significant relief from anxiety.
Plus, unlike most meditation practices requiring concentration, focus, and a significant amount of self-discipline, TM differs because of its unique mantra-based technique and simplicity.
It’s not a philosophy, cult-like religion, or lifestyle. It’s simply a method for obtaining a greater sense of calm, presence, and peace in everyday life.
TM mantras are different from other types of mantras you would speak aloud and use in other meditation practices because:
- A transcendental meditation mantra is primarily for thinking and repeating quietly — not speaking out loud
- TM mantras generally have no meaning. It’s just about the sound and vibrations it creates
- Ideally, you receive your mantra from an experienced TM instructor
- As you progress, your instructor may add additional sounds to your mantra
- Your mantra is meant to be private and shouldn’t be shared with others
In transcendental meditation, the mantra is merely a sound used only as an anchor to help your mind settle down and relax.
Similar to how other forms of meditation which make use of visualisation, words, or phrases, by exclusively focusing on your mantra, meditators aim to achieve a perfect state of stillness and consciousness.
The first step in practising transcendental meditation is learning a mantra from an accredited teacher or choosing a mantra that “resonates” with you.
In a certified TM course, a teacher will assign you a specific mantra, which is sacred to your meditation practice. It, therefore, should be kept a secret between your teacher and you.
The mantra given to you by a TM teacher is often passed down over centuries. They will explain the significance of your mantra and how to use it correctly for optimal results.
However, remember that there are no hard and fast rules for your meditation practice. Some meditators insist that you should only use a specially taught TM mantra, while others find that any self-chosen mantra that feels right for you is all you’ll ever need.
Whichever side you fall into, just keep these two basics in mind when choosing a mantra:
- The mantra should be meaningless: The only purpose of a mantra in TM is to act as a vehicle to settle your body and mind into complete relaxation and silence. If you use a mantra that has a meaning, it’ll provide information to your brain to process and work on and ultimately divert your mind’s focus.
- The mantra should have resonance: The mantra’s vibration should resonate with the primordial hum (Om). This helps to gradually settle our minds towards complete relaxation and silence as the meditation progresses.
Now that you have a better idea of what TM mantras are and have chosen one, it’s time to learn how to use them to obtain the best results and practice transcendental meditation.
Here’s how to perform TM on your own at home in five easy steps:
- Find a quiet place: Find a room and practice TM when you’re entirely free of distractions and work.
- Sit in a comfortable position and breathe: Find a comfy place to sit in, whether it’s your chair, bed, on the floor, or a yoga mat. You don’t have to sit in the lotus or half-lotus positions if you find it uncomfortable, the most important thing is to find a position that is comfortable to hold for 20-30 minutes of continuous meditation.
- Start repeating the mantra: Only repeat the mantra mentally and allow it to circulate in your mind at a slow frequency. Whenever you feel like you’re starting to wander off, gently bring back your attention to your mantra
- Continue for about 20-30 minutes: Always remember to set a timer before getting started. Once the timer runs out, slowly open your eyes and start moving your body gently.
- Repeat twice daily: For optimal results, it’s best to practise transcendental meditation twice daily.
To summarise, you can either get a certified teacher to choose one for you or simply select any mantra that feels right to you.
If you’re making your own mantra just make sure it has no meaning, isn’t too long, and resonates with you.
Here are a few examples of TM mantras to get you inspired and help you create your own:
- An extended (Om): Count Om for the duration of your inhalation, then start a new Om for your exhalation. A simple yet highly effective TM mantra.
- Om-Ra: Think this sound over and over as you inhale and exhale. Tie the rhythm of the sound to your breath to form your anchor.
- Tee-On-Tee-Om: Another example of a mantra that is easily rhythmical and hypnotic.
As you can see, most TM mantras tend to have a cyclical, hypnotic sound. This help pulls our focus to a single point, enabling a deep state of meditation and relaxation.