Transcendental medication is so secretive for two reasons; one is because it’s a tradition to keep your mantra secret. The second is because it becomes a very personal and intimate part of your daily meditation.
The first reason is self-explanatory. We should respect the tradition of transcendental meditation (TM).
If you’re willing to go through the process of learning TM, you will have the discipline and self-control to keep it secret because it’s the right thing to do.
The second reason is a lot more interesting and profound. I was told years ago when I first started TM that I wouldn’t even want to share my mantra. That didn’t make sense at first, but after a while it did.
It really did.
The mantra I use while meditating is both meaningless and incredibly important and personal to me. The keyword there is “meaningless”. TM mantras are intended to be meaningless, they are more effective this way.
This is something that a lot of people find hard to understand at first. How can the mantra be so pivotal to this form of meditation, yet need to be “meaningless”?
Hopefully, I can help explain this. There are two important factors surrounding a TM mantra, these are:
The vibration fades – It’s important that the sound fades towards silence. This charms and attracts the mind and helps it settle.
The word/sound is meaningless – If the word has any kind of meaning to you, your brain will engage with the word and stop you from transcending.
The good news for you is that you won’t have to come up with your own mantra. TM mantras are given to students by teachers. They have a number of mantras passed down to them through a long line of teachers to students, and they’ll select an appropriate one for you.
The Beatles – Transcendental Meditation – the Power of Secrecy
A funny and interesting story I thought I would share to help get this point across involves the Beatles.
The Beatles learned the technique of Transcendental Meditation from the Indian sage Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself in 1967 (source).
There has been a lot written about their relationship with TM over the years. Pulling apart all the rumors and speculation, there are two facts and stories that stay consistent.
The first is that TM had a profound and powerful effect on each member of the Beatles. The spoke about this, even wrote songs about it. Which is awesome to hear from such influential figures.
The second is a story revolving around a day when they were all discussing their experiences and TM and one member asked another to share what their mantra was. It’s not known who asked who as far as I can tell, but it happened.
Their response was to say only if the other person told them first. Legend has it that no one was willing to reveal first what their mantra was, and no one ended up sharing it. I think that perfecetly illustrates how powerful and important it is to keep this to oneself.
What’s the Secret About How Effective TM Is?
It also feels like there is some secrecy around how transcendental meditation works and why it’s so effective. As a practitioner myself, I don’t see this. There are the usual questions around how meditation helps you feel so much better, but science does a very good job of answering this.
There is an interesting study in TM and how it affects the blood flow to your cerebellum and pons (source). This study shows that there was a reduction of blood flow to this area of the brain.
This explains why we feel alert yet relaxed. The key to reaching this deep state of relaxation while still being alert that TM offers is because it’s so effortless.
You start by following simple instructions and repeating your mantra over and over until your mind takes over. This is what transcending is, going from a normal state of consciousness to a deep state of consciousness. A state that we all have buried beneath all the anxiety, worries, and stresses that are clouding our minds.
Celebrities and TM
One of the less secretive aspects of TM is the publicity it’s had with celebrities speaking highly of its benefits.
I mentioned the Beatles earlier, and that was all the way back in the 60s. Since then TM has grown in popularity and there have been countless celebrities stepping forward and speaking about it.
Someone who is deep into meditation and I credit as actually helping me is Russel Brand. In the video below, he talks about what TM has done for him and how it makes him feel. It’s an interesting insight actually, as Russel if very open about it and good at explaining his feelings:
I hope I’ve helped shed some light as to why people think transcendental meditation, and in fact, why some parts of it have to be kept to oneself.
There aren’t any real secrets or techniques that are being kept under wraps and shared with practitioners. The mantras being given to students do need to be kept secret, and hopefully, now you understand why.
If, or when, you start TM you’ll keep your mantra to yourself too. If you haven’t yet started, I urge you to try it. I haven’t met anyone who tried TM that didn’t feel a positive impact on their lives, mental state, and wellness.
It’s that powerful.
Just a personal and profound experience that’s for you to explore within yourself.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.