Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a form of meditation that has been practiced for thousands of years, originating in ancient India. Over the last century, it has gained popularity in the Western world as a simple and effective tool for reducing stress and promoting physical and mental well-being. If you want to know more about this concept, here is a brief history of Transcendental Meditation, from its origins in ancient India to its modern-day global presence and the scientific research that supports its benefits.
Origins in ancient India
The history of transcendental meditation is rich and interesting. It has roots in ancient Indian scriptures and teachings, including the Vedas, the oldest sacred texts in Hinduism. The technique was originally passed down orally from teacher to student and was considered a secret practice reserved for the elite. In the mid-20th century, however, the Indian spiritual teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi popularized the technique and made it accessible to a wider audience.
The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born in India in 1918 and was a student of the renowned spiritual teacher Brahmananda Saraswati. He spent many years studying and practicing meditation, and in the 1950s, he began teaching the technique of Transcendental Meditation to Westerners. In 1957, he founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, which later became the Transcendental Meditation movement. He traveled the world promoting the technique and establishing centers for its practice, and today the movement has a global following with millions of practitioners.
Spread to the West
In the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of transcendental meditation grew rapidly in the Western world, attracting the attention of celebrities, politicians, and academics, including one of the most popular bands in the world – the Beatles. The technique was embraced by the counterculture movement and was seen as a way to promote peace, reduce stress, and achieve spiritual growth. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi continued to travel the world and establish centers for the practice of Transcendental Meditation, and today the movement has centers in over 100 countries.
Over the last few decades, there has been a growing body of scientific research on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Studies have shown that the technique can reduce stress, improve mental and physical health, and promote overall well-being. It has also been shown to have a positive impact on conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. The research has been conducted by independent researchers and universities around the world, and many studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
Integration into mainstream society
Today, Transcendental Meditation has become an integral part of mainstream society, with many corporations, schools, and healthcare organizations offering the technique to their employees, students, and patients. The technique is also offered in many universities and colleges as a way to promote stress reduction and overall well-being. Additionally, the technique has been incorporated into various therapies and treatments, such as addiction recovery and trauma therapy, as a way to promote healing and well-being.
Controversies and criticisms
Despite its popularity and the growing body of scientific research, Transcendental Meditation has not been without its controversies and criticisms. Some critics argue that the movement has a cult-like following, with many practitioners blindly following the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Others have criticized the financial aspects of the movement, with some arguing that it has become too commercialized and that its teachings are being used to exploit people. However, these criticisms have not deterred millions of people around the world from practicing meditation, and the technique continues to grow in popularity and gain recognition as a valuable tool for promoting well-being.
As you can see, the history of Transcendental Meditation is rich and covers several centuries, and the chances are that this discipline is here to stay. With its integration into the mainstream culture, it is safe to say that more and more people are hearing about Transcendental Meditation as we speak, which means that the number of followers and supporters is only going to grow in the years and decades to come. In case you would like to explore its numerous benefits and try them out in practice, start learning more about it today and you should start seeing changes in no time at all!
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.
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