Meditation Myths

 
 

When I first became curious about meditation 10 years ago, I thought, "Where do I start? Do I have to become a monk? What if I can't do it?"

I had many preconceived notions about how meditation works, which were holding me back from learning. It turned out I was completely wrong about several important things.

Once I realized how simple and easy it was to incorporate into my busy life, I jumped in and took the course.

Let me debunk for you 8 of the most common misconceptions about Vedic meditation...

MYTH #1: You have to sit still with perfect posture

When you learn Vedic meditation, you get to sit comfortably with your back supported and your arms and legs in any comfortable position. What a relief! You can also adjust your position during meditation; there's no need to be a statue (thank god).

In Vedic meditation, we don't require perfect posture because this technique works better in a relaxed upright position. Forcing perfect posture can create strain and stress rather than add benefit. So sit back, relax and enjoy.

MYTH #2: You have to stop your mind from thinking

Thankfully, thoughts are a part of the Vedic meditation process. Thinking is completely natural and one of several legitimate outcomes of correct practice. If this weren't true, there's no way I'd still be meditating today.

Did you know, the average person has anywhere between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day? Our minds are designed to think, just as our hearts are designed to beat.

A flood of thoughts will arise during Vedic meditation after the body has purified itself of some stress. We welcome the release of stress so that we no longer hold onto it. The clarity, creativity, energy and happiness that comes from meditating is experienced after stress has released from the body.

MYTH #3: You have to focus

Some styles of meditation require focus, however in Vedic meditation we do not focus or concentrate. It's the perfect technique for us ADD, creative, super busy and over-analytical types.

When we practice Vedic meditation, we silently repeat a personalized mantra in an effortless way, and spontaneously the mind is able to transcend thought without even trying. This technique makes daily meditation approachable and doable for us busy, modern people who already spend so much effort focusing throughout the day.

MYTH #4: it takes a long time to get good at it

Great news: your mind naturally knows how to meditate, but has simply forgotten how. Taking a Vedic Meditation Course will retrain your mind so you can meditate effortlessly for life. 

When you take the course, you learn how to properly meditate on day one using a time-tested technique from an ancient lineage of master teachers. It's a very simple, natural process with a digestible recipe of instructions that only requires a curious mind.

MYTH #5: It only works in a quiet, peaceful place

There's no way anyone could meditate everyday in the city if this were true.

When you learn the Vedic mediation technique, you also learn how to handle noise and interruptions, so that you can meditate in a taxi, on the subway, hotel lobby, park or airplane and still benefit.

You become the sanctuary so you can stop, drop and meditate anywhere you feel safe and comfortable. I created the Meditator's Map to help students start exploring.

MYTH #6: It's the same as exercising or making art

Biking and drawing are two of my favorite activities, but they don't produce the same benefits that Vedic meditation does. When we meditate we experience the benefits of stress release through de-excitement of the body.

Vedic meditation effortlessly triggers the mind into a state of deeply rested wakefulness (deeper than sleep, yet alert inside). This de-excitement of the body allows for deep-rooted stresses to purify from the nervous system.

Elevating the heart rate through exercise or focusing the mind in a creative project doesn't give you the same restful state of awareness. People who meditate daily report having higher quality experiences while exercising and making art, so meditation can bring you even greater joy from your favorite activities.

MYTH #7: It's selfish escapism

I had 99 problems, and then meditation solved like 92 of them. I used to think meditation was a way of escaping your problems, but it's actually the opposite. Instead, meditation melts away stress and all the irrelevant "would've," "should've," "could've" and "what if's?" circling in your mind.

Also, we don't meditate to get good at meditation, but to get better at life. The Vedic meditation technique reduces stress and gives us the ability to handle difficult situations better and solve problems more easily.

This enriches the quality of our day-to-day life, our work and relationships. When we enjoy life more, it positively impacts everyone we come into contact with. In this way, meditation becomes an act of selfless service for yourself as well as others.

MYTH #8: You have to change your lifestyle or beliefs

When you learn Vedic meditation, you are not required to change anything about your beliefs or lifestyle. There's no dogma involved in learning or benefiting from the technique. Vedic knowledge is universal and all-inclusive.

Did you know that meditation is both spiritual and scientific?

Vedic meditation is a spiritual technique, which means that it gives you a direct experience of your essence - that which exists beyond thought and beyond the senses. Imagine if you were to remove all thoughts in your mind right now. What would be left is your essence. It's the gap between thoughts.

Meditation doesn't work on the level of faith or trust, but direct experience. In this way, it's a scientific technique (supported by scientific studies), where we follow a specific procedure and then experience benefits as a result of carrying out the research of twice daily practice.

curious to learn more? 

join me for a free Introductory talk

Hunter's Kitchari Recipe

Kitchari (pronounced: Kit-chaar-ee) is like the “Chicken Noodle Soup” of Ayurveda. It warms and comforts the mind, body and spirit. It's a cleansing and nourishing dish that can be made all year round. It's great to make kitchari when your digestion is off or your nervous system is overstimulated.

 
 

Below is the recipe I adapted based on several recipes I've learned from expert Ayurvedic practitioners over the years. 

Ayurvedic Kitchari

Serves 2-3

ORGANIC Ingredients:

  1. 1 heaping Tbsp of ghee (Ancient Organics is a reliable source)

  2. 1 cup of split yellow mung dahl (easier to cook and digest than whole or sprouted mung)

  3. 1 cup of white basmati rice (or red rice)

  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds

  5. 1 tsp fennel seeds

  6. 1 tsp mustard seeds

  7. ¾-1 tsp ajwain seeds (optional, less in summer)

  8. ½-1 Tbsp fresh grated or finely chopped ginger (less or none in summer as it's a warming root)

  9. ½-1 tsp turmeric powder (or finely chopped / grated turmeric root)

  10. ½ tsp black pepper

  11. ½ tsp of coriander

  12. ½ tsp fresh hing powder/asafoetida without additives (optional, great alternative to garlic and onion)

  13. 1-3 fresh curry leaves (optional)

  14. ½ tsp fenugreek powder (optional)

  15. 8 cups of water

  16. 1 tsp salt (pink or soma salt)

  17. Lemon

  18. Fresh Cilantro

process:

  1. Wash mung and rice then soak for minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 8 hours in water.

  2. Boil water in pot (approx. 8 cups) and add salt. Turn on low once boiling.

  3. Strain and wash mung dahl and rice.

  4. Add mung dahl and rice to boiling water.

  5. Optional: add fresh chopped veggies such a sweet potatoes, carrots, celery (better to add for lunch when the digestive fire is strongest).

  6. Close to when the dahl and rice is cooked (approx. 15-20 mins), in a separate pan, add ghee on medium heat.

  7. Cook ginger, fennel, cumin, ajwain and mustard seeds (not turmeric, hing or black pepper) in ghee until the seeds start to pop.

  8. Add pan fried herbs to dahl and rice and mix well.

  9. Add turmeric, hing/asafoetida, coriander and black pepper (and optional fenugreek and curry leaves).

  10. Continue to stir for a little while. You may need to add more water until desired texture.

  11. You may add an extra tbsp of ghee in cold winter months.

  12. Serve in bowl.

  13. Optional: garnish with a dollop of whole organic plain yogurt (for cooling effect).

  14. Garnish with fresh lemon and fresh cilantro.

Recommended Proportions:

  • If you have diarrhea or inflammation in gut → 2 parts rice, 1 part yellow mung

  • If you’re feeling depleted or constipated → 2 yellow mung, 1 rice

  • If you’re in a balanced state → Equal ratio of mung and rice

  • If you're having kitchari for dinner, then it's best to not eat anything after for full medicinal effect

Ready to learn more?

In response to the 2016 Election

 
 

Please read this knowledge from my teacher Thom Knoles (Maharishi Vyasananda Saraswati) with my commentary in response to the current state of our country.

__

TK: "The world is for us as we can be for it."

HC: Give what you wish to receive. Be the change you wish to see. When we give time to our meditation practice, it gives back to us the energy, clarity, creativity and fulfillment we need to personally address the greatest need of our time. Leap into the unknown, lead with love and become radically inclusive.
__

TK: "Your own state of consciousness is all you know; to change the world, change your own state of consciousness. You cannot stop a collective from behaving in accordance with its state of consciousness. You, too, behave only in accordance with your own state of consciousness."

HC: Vedic meditation is an incredibly effective and effortless tool for each of us to upgrade our own state of consciousness on a daily basis. Do not underestimate the power of this technique when you practice everyday. When we meditate we are not only benefiting ourselves, but we are also raising the average state of collective consciousness. In this way, meditation is a form of selfless service, of Action hardly done to subtly, but significantly contribute to progressive change. Continue getting to the chair twice a day, if not for yourself, then for the world.
__

TK: "Your suffering is the result of your inaccurate expectations; it is not the responsibility of another."

HC: We must take personal responsibility for what we are experiencing. Blaming someone else for your own experience puts you in a tailspin of the ever-repeating known. To progress and transform we must learn the lessons in front of us and adjust our thinking to then take the next right action.

See things for what they are and stop ignoring what you know. Develop your ability to see what's coming with greater accuracy. To do this, we must follow that intuitive charm-like feeling arising within from meditation. Don't allow your intellect to drive your decision-making. When in doubt, meditate and see what comes to you afterwards.
__

TK: "Nothing new happened that did not exist already; it is a shame to be surprised when a walnut tree produces walnuts. Act accordingly."

HC: Continue expanding your awareness to see the full picture. We must transcend our limited perspectives through meditation (not media) and step outside of our bubbles to experience a larger view of the world. Only then can you see things for what they really are.

See major media for what it really is: a hypnotic tool to influence the behavior of the masses for profit. One day they tell you a walnut tree is producing walnuts, then next day they tell you the same walnut tree is now producing mangos. Do not be fooled by the rhetoric used to wash over and normalize bigotry.
__

TK: " "Leaders" are the mirror of the average state of collective consciousness; "leaders" are led by, and constrained by, a collective alone (there is no "leader" without enthusiastic followers)."

HC: The leader of any country is really a follower of the collective, a reflection of the people. We need to change the collective, not the leader. The change first begins with us taking personal responsibility for our own state of consciousness, then we can inspire others to do the same.
__

TK: "Raise the average; be personally exemplary of a higher consciousness state; until, personally, you lift the average, the collective behaves simply predictably. Don't expect "leaders" to lift a collective; that is grass-roots activity, it is your activity.

HC: Continue meditating everyday and spontaneously you become a great example of a higher consciousness state. The world needs more of this and you have the tool to do it. The few lead the many and as daily meditators we naturally come into playing this leadership role within our communities. By being your freshly-meditated-self, you will inspire friends, family and colleagues to also uplift their own state of consciousness. This is a grass-roots effort we can so easily and independent engage in everyday to make our world a better place.
__

TK: "These points are applicable universally; I prepared them to post, irrespective of which "leader" was elected, because about half of an entire country was going to agree to the hypnosis of social conditioning: "Be unhappy today". Snap out of it."

HC: Don't allow the world around you to inform what you are. True happiness is not dependent upon external circumstances. Allow your inner state of Being to inform what you are. Bliss is your baseline. Awaken unconditional fulfillment from within and Act from that place.

__

JAI GURU DEVA *

*Victory over Ignorance

Recommended Reading

 
 
Through meditation I found answers before I even asked the question.
— Albert Einstein

Meditation gives us a direct experience of our inner essence, a state of Being. This subtlest form of awareness within becomes our primary source of insight for gaining knowledge.

While meditation is our tool for upgrading our 'hardware,' knowledge becomes our tool for upgrading our 'software.' We need both to up-level our whole mind-body system.

To fully develop our capability of cognizing knowledge, we seek to acquire deeper wisdom through master teachers and recorded texts. This provides us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the new experiences that arise as consciousness expands with twice daily meditation.

When we allow ourselves access to all three: our inner essence through meditation as well as knowledge from teachers and texts, we find balance in the process of realizing our full potential.

Applied knowledge empowers us to purify and upgrade our psychophysiology, while intellectual understanding of consciousness helps correct the part of our intellect that is mistaken about our true nature. With both, we can completely actualize and authentically embody the best version of ourselves.

Please enjoy these books to support your meditation practice. They can lend to a timeless, universal experience of accessing innate wisdom allowing you to remember what you already know.
 

WELLNESS & LIFESTYLE


SCIENCE-BASED READING


VEDIC TEXTS


Scientific Benefits of Meditation

Medicine for the Mind & Body

 

 

MEDITATION REWIRES THE BRAIN TO:

  1. Boost your mental wellbeing + physical health

  2. Reverse your biological age

  3. Enhance your performance + decision making

  4. Improve your relationships + sex life

 

RESULTS FROM MEDITATION UNFOLD IN A SIMPLE PROCESS:

1

INVEST IN DEEPER REST

MEDITATION RESTS THE BODY 5 X DEEPER THAN SLEEP

This deep 20 minute power rest deactivates 'fight or flight' reducing cortisol, adrenaline + stress

2

REALIZE THE RETURN

FEEL MORE AWAKE, CREATIVE + HAPPIER AFTER MEDITATING

Enjoy the effects of a restored nervous system - focus better, think more clearly + become resilient to high demands

3

REPEAT FOR RESULTS

MEDITATE DAILY TO EXPAND + STABILIZE BLISS IN ACTION

Neuro-bliss chemistry continuously releases from the brain allowing you to perform from a higher state of fulfillment


FAQ

What is the relationship between Vedic Meditation and “Transcendental Meditation,” as taught and promoted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a revered spiritual teacher from the Shankaracharya lineage of the Vedic tradition.

Hunter Cressman teaches Vedic Meditation and was trained to teach this form of meditation as taught by Thom Knoles, who continues to teach Vedic Meditation. Thom was trained as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (“Maharishi”), and taught it for over 25 years with organizations affiliated with Maharishi. Since 1997, Thom has continued to teach meditation as he learned it from Maharishi, and has done so independently and separately from the TM organizations. Hunter Cressman is not affiliated with the TM organizations or their current services, processes or programs, which may differ from his services.

What does the scientific research say about this form of meditation?

The form of meditation that Thom Knoles taught for over 25 years with the TM organizations as “Transcendental Meditation,” has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies showing a wide range of benefits from regular practice. These studies, which refer to this form of meditation using the name “Transcendental Meditation” or “TM”, support the benefits obtainable from regular practice of Vedic Meditation.

These benefits include:

 
  • Higher Levels of Brain Functioning
  • Improved Intelligence and Creativity
  • Improved Academics and Learning Ability
  • Improved School Behavior
  • Benefits for Special and Remedial Education
  • Improved Integration of Personality
  • Increased Longevity
  • Reduced Substance Abuse
  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety
  • Decreased Depression
  • Reduced Insomnia
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Cholesterol
  • Reduced Congestive Heart Failure
  • Reduced Atherosclerosis/Stroke
  • Decreased Free Radicals
  • Reduced Metabolic Syndrome/Pre-Diabetes
  • Reduced Cardiovascular Risk Factors
  • Reduction in Pain
  • Decreased Health Care Costs and Utilization

 

 

REFERENCES

REDUCED STRESS AND ANXIETY

  1. Alexander C.N., et al. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on stress reduction, health, and employee development: A prospective study in two occupational settings. Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal 6: 245-262, 1993.

  2. Barnes V. A., et al. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on cardiovascular function at rest and during acute stress in adolescents with high normal blood pressure. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 51, 597-605, 2001.

  3. Barnes V. A., et al. Stress, stress reduction, and hypertension in African Americans. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89, 464-476, 1997.
  4. Brooks J.S. and Scarano T. Transcendental Meditation in the treatment of post-Vietnam adjustment. Journal of Counseling and Development 64: 212-215, 1985.
  5. Candelent T., et al. Teaching Transcendental Meditation in a psychiatric setting. Hospital & Community Psychiatry 26: 156-159, 1975.
  6. Dillbeck M.C. The effect of the Transcendental Meditation technique on anxiety level. Journal of Clinical Psychology 33: 1076-1078, 1977.
  7. Dillbeck M.C. and Orme-Johnson D. W. Physiological differences between Transcendental Meditation and rest. American Psychologist 42: 879–881, 1987.
  8. Eppley K.R. et al. Differential effects of relaxation techniques on trait anxiety: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957-974, 1989.
  9. Gaylord C., et al. The effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique and progressive muscle relaxation on EEG coherence, stress reactivity, and mental health in black adults. International Journal of Neuroscience 46: 77-86, 1989.
  10. Haratani T., et al. Effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on the mental health of industrial workers. Japanese Journal of Industrial Health 32: 656, 1990.
  11. Jevning R., et al. The physiology of meditation: a review. A wakeful hypometabolic integrated response. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-24, 1992.
  12. Jevning R., et al. Adrenocortical activity during meditation, Hormonal Behavior 10(1):54-60, Feb. 1978.
  13. Jevning R., et al. The transcendental meditation technique, adrenocortical activity, and implications for stress. Experientia 34(5):618-9, May 15, 1978.
  14. Orme-Johnson D.W. Autonomic stability and Transcendental Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine 35, 341-349, 1973.
  15. Orme-Johnson, D. W., & Barnes, V. A. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19, 1-12, 2013.
  16. Orme-Johnson D.W. and Walton K. W. All approaches of preventing or reversing effects of stress are not the same. American Journal of Health Promotion 12:297-299, 1998.
  17. Rees B, Travis F, Shapiro D, Chant R. Reduction in post traumatic stress symptoms in Congolese refugees practicing Transcendental Meditation. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2013:1-14.
  18. Rosenthal JZ, Grosswald S, Ross R, Rosenthal N. Effects of transcendental meditation in veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom with posttraumatic stress disorder: a pilot study. Military Medicine. Jun; 176(6):626-30, 2013.
  19. Schneider R.H. Altered responses of cortisol, GH, TSH and testosterone to acute stress after four months’ practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 746:381-384, 1994.
  20. Sedlmeier, P., Eberth, J., Schwarz, M., Zimmermann, D., & Haarig, F. The psychological effects of meditation: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138(6), 1139-1171, 2012.
  21. Subrahmanyam S. and Porkodi K. Neurohumoral correlates of Transcendental Meditation. Journal of Biomedicine 1: 73–88, 1980.
  22. Walton K.G., et al. Lowering cortisol and CVD risk in postmenopausal women: a pilot study using the Transcendental Meditation program. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences 1032:211-215, 2005.

DECREASED DEPRESSION

  1. Brooks J.S., et al. Transcendental Meditation in the treatment of post-Vietnam adjustment. Journal of Counseling and Development, 64:212–215, 1985. 
  2. Kniffki C. Tranzendentale Meditation und Autogenes Training- Ein Vergleich (Transcendental Meditation and Autogenic Training: A Comparison). Munich: Kindler Verlag Geist und Psyche, 1979.
  3. Geisler M. Therapeutiche Wirkungen der Transzendentalen Meditation auf drogenkonsumenten (Therapeutic effects of Transcendental Meditation on drug use). Zeitschrift fur Klinische Psychologie 7:235-255, 1978.
  4. Ferguson P.C., et al. Psychological Findings on Transcendental Meditation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology 16:483-488, 1976.

REDUCED INSOMNIA

  1. Haratani T., et al. Effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on the health behavior of industrial workers. Japanese Journal of Public Health 37 (10 Suppl.): 729, 1990.
  2. Ljunggren G. Inflytandet av Transcendental Meditation pa neuroticism, medicinbruk och sömnproblem. Läkartidningen 74(47): 4212–4214, 1977.
  3. Lovell-Smith H. D. Transcendental Meditation—treating the patient as well as the disease. The New Zealand Family Physician 9: 62–65, April 1982.
  4. Orme-Johnson D. W., et al. Meditation in the treatment of chronic pain and insomnia. In National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference on Integration of Behavioral and Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Insomnia, Bethesda Maryland: National Institutes of Health, 1995.

LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

  1. Alexander C.N., et al. Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and longevity: An experimental study with the elderly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57:950-964, 1989.
  2. Alexander C.N., et al. Trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans (part II): sex and risk subgroup analysis. Hypertension 28:228-237, 1996.
  3. Anderson J.W., et al. Blood pressure response to Transcendental Meditation: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Hypertension 21 (3): 310-6, 2008.
  4. Barnes V.A., et al. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African-American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension 17: 366-369, 2004.
  5. Barnes V. A., et al. Stress, stress reduction, and hypertension in African Americans. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89, 464-476, 1997.
  6. Barnes V. A., et al. Acute effects of Transcendental Meditation on hemodynamic functioning in middle-aged adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61, 88, 525-531, 1999.
  7. Rainforth M.V., et al. Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports 9:520–528, 2007. Full article
  8. Schneider R.H., et al. A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction in the treatment of hypertension in African Americans during one year. American Journal of Hypertension 18(1): 88-98, 2005. Full article
  9. Schneider R.H., et al. Long-term effects of stress reduction on mortality in persons = 55 years of age with systemic hypertension. American Journal of Cardiology 95:1060-1064, 2005. Full article
  10. Schneider R.H., et al. A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans. Hypertension 26: 820-827, 1995.

DECREASED CHOLESTEROL

  1. Cooper M. J., et al. Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Human Stress 5(4): 24–27, 1979.
  2. Cooper M. J. and Aygen M. M. Effect of Transcendental Meditation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Harefuah, Journal of the Israel Medical Association 95(1): 1-2, 1978.

REDUCED CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

  1. Jayadevappa R., et al. Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on functional capacity and quality of life of African Americans with congestive heart failure: a randomized control study. Ethnicity and Disease 17: 72-77, 2007. 

REDUCED ATHEROSCLEROSIS/STROKE

  1. Castillo-Richmond A., et al. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on carotid atherosclerosis in hypertensive African Americans, Stroke 31: 568-573, 2000.

DECREASED FREE RADICALS

  1. Schneider R.H., et al. Lower lipid peroxide levels and practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program. Psychosomatic Medicine 60: 38-41, 1998.

  2. Van Wijk E.P.A., et al. Anatomical characterization of human ultraweak photon emission in practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and control subjects. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12:31-38, 1998.

  3. Van Wijk E.P.A., et al. Differential Effects of Relaxation Techniques on Ultraweak Photon Emission. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 14:241-250, 2008.

REDUCED METABOLIC SYNDROME/PRE-DIABETES

  1. Paul-Labrador M., et al. Effects of randomized controlled trial of Transcendental Meditation on components of the metabolic syndrome in subjects with coronary heart disease. Archives of Internal Medicine 166:1218-1224, 2006. Full article 

REDUCED CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS

  1. Alexander C.N., et al. Effects of Transcendental Meditation compared to other methods of relaxation and meditation in reducing risk factors, morbidity and mortality. Homeostasis 35:243-264, 1994.

  2. Barnes V.A., and Orme-Johnson D. W. Clinical and Preclinical Applications of the Transcendental Meditation Program® in the Prevention and Treatment of Essential Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease in Youth  and Adults: A Research Review. Current Hypertension Reviews 2:207-218, 2006.

  3. Schneider R.H., et al. Cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion with the Transcendental Meditation program and Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care. Ethnicity and Disease 16 (3 Suppl 4):S4-15-26, 2006. Full article

  4. Walton K.G., et al. Review of controlled clinical research on the Transcendental Meditation program and cardiovascular disease: Risk factors, morbidity, and mortality. Cardiology in Review 12(5): 262-266, 2004. Full article

  5. Walton K.G., et al. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease, Part 2: Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in treatment and prevention. Behavioral Medicine 28: 106-123, 2002.

REDUCTION IN PAIN

  1. Orme-Johnson D.W, et al. Neuroimaging of meditation’s effect on brain reactivity to pain. NeuroReport17(12):1359-63, 2006. Full article

  2. Mills W. W. and Farrow J. T. The Transcendental Meditation technique and acute experimental pain. Psychosomatic Medicine 43(2): 157–164, 1981.

  3. Zammara J. W., et al. Usefulness of the Transcendental Meditation program in the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. American Journal of Cardiology, 77, 867-870, et al. 

DECREASED HEALTH CARE COSTS AND UTILIZATION

  1. Herron, R. E. Changes in Physician Costs Among High-Cost Transcendental Meditation Practitioners Compared with High-Cost Non-practitioners Over 5 Years. American Journal of Health Promotion 2011; 26(1): 56–60.

  2. Herron R. E. Can the Transcendental Meditation Program Reduce the Medical Expenditures of Older People? A Longitudinal Cost-Reduction Study in Canada. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 2005; 17(1): 415–442.

  3. Herron, R. E., Hillis, S. L. The Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec: An Update. American Journal of Health Promotion2000; 14(5): 284–291.

  4. Orme-Johnson D. W., Herron R. E. An Innovative Approach to Reducing Medical Care Utilization and Expenditures. American Journal of Managed Care 1997; 3: 135–144.

  5. Herron R. E., et al. The Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec. American Journal of Health Promotion 1996; 10: 208–216.

  6. Herron, R.E., et al. Cost-Effective Hypertension Management: Comparison of Drug Therapies with an Alternative Program. American Journal of Managed Care 1996; Vol. II(4): 427–437.

  7. Orme-Johnson D.W. Medical Care Utilization and the Transcendental Meditation Program. Psychosomatic Medicine 1987; 49: 493–507.

HIGHER LEVELS OF BRAIN FUNCTIONING

  1. Arenander A. and Travis F.T. Brain patterns of Self-awareness. In B Beitman and J Nair, Eds. Self-Awareness Deficits. New York: W.W.Norton, 2004.

  2. Badawi K., et al. Electrophysiologic characteristics of respiratory suspension periods occurring during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation program. Psychosomatic Medicine46(3): 267–276, 1984.

  3. Banquet J.P. and Lesevre N. Event-related potentials in altered states of consciousness: Motivation, motor and sensory processes of the brain. Progress in Brain Research 54: 447-453, 1980.

  4. Bennett J.E. and Trinder J. Hemispheric laterality and cognitive style associated with Transcendental Meditation. Psychophysiology 14: 293-296, 1977.

  5. Dillbeck M. C. and Bronson E. C. Short-term longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on EEG power and coherence. International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147–151, 1981.

  6. Dillbeck M. C., et al. Frontal EEG coherence, H-reflex recovery, concept learning, and the TM-Sidhi program. International Journal of Neuroscience 15: 151–157, 1981.

  7. Gallois P. Modifications neurophysiologiques et respiratoires lors de la pratique des techniques de relaxation. L’Encéphale 10: 139-144, 1984.

  8. Goddard P.H. Reduced age-related declines of P300 latency in elderly practicing Transcendental Meditation. Psychophysiology 26: 529, 1989.

  9. Hebert R., et al. Enhanced EEG alpha time-domain phase synchrony during Transcendental Meditation: Implications for cortical integration theory. Signal Processing, 85(11): 2213-2232, 2005.

  10. Lyubimov N.N. Electrophysiological characteristics of mobilization of hidden brain reserves. Abstracts, the International Symposium “Physiological and Biochemical Basis of Brain Activity” (St. Petersburg, Russia: Russian Academy of Science, Institute of the Human Brain): 5, 1994.

  11. Mason L. I., et al. Electrophysiological correlates of higher states of consciousness during sleep in long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program. Sleep 20 (2): 102-110, 1997.

  12. McEvoy T.M., et al. Effects of meditation on brainstem auditory evoked potentials. International Journal of Neuroscience 10: 165-170, 1980.

  13. Nidich S.I., et al. Kohlbergian cosmic perspective responses, EEG coherence, and the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program. Journal of Moral Education 12: 166-173, 1983.

  14. Orme-Johnson D.W. and Haynes C.T. EEG phase coherence, pure consciousness, creativity, and TM-Sidhi experiences. International Journal of Neuroscience 13: 211–217, 1981.

  15. Orme-Johnson D.W. and Gelderloos P. Topographic EEG brain mapping during Yogic Flying. International Journal of Neuroscience 38: 427-434, 1988.

  16. Travis F. Eyes open and TM EEG patterns after one and after eight years of TM practice. Psychophysiology 28 (3a): S58, 1991.

  17. Travis F. and Miskov S. P300 latency and amplitude during eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation practice. Psychophysiology 31: S67 (Abstract), 1994.

  18. Travis F. Patterns of EEG coherence, power, and contingent negative variation characterize the integration of transcendental and waking states. Biological Psychology 61: 293-319, 2002.

  19. Travis F. T. and Orme-Johnson D. W. EEG coherence and power during yogic flying. International Journal of Neuroscience 54: 1–12, 1990.

  20. Wallace R.K., et al. Modification of the paired H reflex through the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program. Experimental Neurology 79: 77-86, 1983.

  21. Yamamoto S., et al. Medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulated cortex in the generation of alpha activity induced by Transcendental Meditation: A magnetoencephalographic study. Acta Medica Okayama, 60(1): 51-58, 2006.

IMPROVED INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY AND LEARNING ABILITY

  1. Alexander C. N. and Gackenbach J. Transcendental Meditation and improved performance on intelligence-related measures: A longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1105–1116, 1991.

  2. Aron A., et al. The Transcendental Meditation program in the college curriculum: A 4-year longitudinal study of effects on cognitive and affective functioning. College Student Journal 15: 140-146, 1981.

  3. Cranson R.W., et al. Transcendental Meditation and improved performance on intelligence-related measures: A longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences 12: 1105-1116, 1991.

  4. Dillbeck M.C., et al. Frontal EEG coherence, H-reflex recovery, concept learning, and the TM-Sidhi program. International Journal of Neuroscience 15: 151-157, 1981.

  5. Dillbeck M.C. Meditation and flexibility of visual perception and verbal problem-solving. Memory & Cognition 10: 207-215, 1982.

  6. Dillbeck M.C., et al. Longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program on cognitive ability and cognitive style. Perceptual and Motor Skills 62: 731-738, 1986.

  7. Fergusson L.F., et al. Vedic Science based education and nonverbal intelligence: A preliminary longitudinal study in Cambodia. Higher Education Research and Development 15: 73-82, 1995.

  8. Jedrczak A., et al. The TM-Sidhi programme, age, and brief test of perceptual-motor speed and nonverbal intelligence. Journal of Clinical Psychology 42: 161-164, 1986.

  9. Jedrczak, A., et al. The TM-Sidhi programme, pure consciousness, creativity and intelligence. The Journal of Creative Behavior 19: 270-275, 1985.

  10. So K.T. and Orme-Johnson D. W. Three randomized experiments on the holistic longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on cognition. Intelligence, 29(5), 419-440, 2001.

  11. Tjoa A. Increased intelligence and reduced neuroticism through the Transcendental Meditation program. Gedrag: Tijdschrift voor Psychologie 3: 167-182, 1975.

  12. Travis F. The Transcendental Meditation technique and creativity: A longitudinal study of Cornell University undergraduates. Journal of Creative Behavior 13: 169-180, 1979.

  13. Warner T.Q. Transcendental Meditation and developmental advancement: Mediating abilities and conservation performance. Dissertation Abstracts International 47(8): 3558B, 1987.

  14. So K.T. and Orme-Johnson D.W. Three randomized experiments on the longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on cognition. Intelligence 29: 419-440, 2001.

IMPROVED ACADEMICS

  1. Fergusson L.C. Field Independence and art achievement in meditating and non-meditating college students. Perceptual and Motor Skills 75: 1171-1175, 1992.

  2. Kember P. The Transcendental Meditation technique and postgraduate academic performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology 55: 164-166, 1985.

  3. Nidich S.I., et al. School effectiveness: Achievement gains at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment. Education 107: 49-54, 1986.

  4. Nidich S.I. and Nidich R.J. Increased academic achievement at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment: A replication study. Education 109: 302-304, 1989.

IMPROVED SCHOOL BEHAVIOR

  1. Barnes V.A., et al. Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1:10, 2003.

  2. Fergusson L.F., et al. Personality and health characteristics of Cambodian undergraduates: A case for student development. Journal of Instructional Psychology 22: 308-319, 1995.

BENEFITS FOR SPECIAL AND REMEDIAL EDUCATION

  1. Eyerman J. Transcendental Meditation and mental retardation. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 42: 35-36, 1981

  2. Subrahmanyam S. and Porkodi K. Neurohumoral correlates of Transcendental Meditation. Journal of Biomedicine 1: 73-88, 1980.

  3. Improved Integration of Personality

  4. Alexander C.N., et al. Transcendental consciousness: a fourth state of consciousness beyond sleep, dreaming, and waking. in J. Gackenbach (ed.), Sleep and Dreams: A Sourcebook, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 282–315, 1986.

  5. Alexander C.N., et al. Growth of higher stages of consciousness: Maharishi’s Vedic psychology of human development. in Charles N. Alexander and Ellen J. Langer (eds.), Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

  6. Alexander C. N., et al. Major issues in the exploration of adult growth. In C. N. Alexander and E. J. Langer (Eds.), Higher stages of human development: Perspectives on adult growth (p. 3-32). New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

  7. Alexander C. N., et al. Advanced human development in the Vedic Psychology of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Theory and research. In M. E. Miller and S. R. Cook-Greuter (Eds.), Transcendence and mature thought in adulthood: The further reaches of adult development (pp. 39-70). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994.

  8. Alexander C.N., et al. Effect of Practice of The Children’s Transcendental Meditation Technique on Cognitive Stage Development: Acquisition And Consolidation of Conservation, Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17, 21-46, 2005.

  9. Alexander C.N., et al. Transcendental Meditation, self-actualization, and psychological health: A conceptual overview and statistical meta-analysis. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 6: 189-247, 1991.

  10. Chandler H.M., et al. Transcendental Meditation and postconventional self-development: A 10-year longitudinal study. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17(1), 93–121, 2005.

  11. Gelderloos P. Cognitive orientation toward positive values in advanced participants of the TM and TM-Sidhi program. Perceptual and Motor Skills 64: 1003-1012, 1987.

  12. Gelderloos P. Field independence of students at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and a Montessori school. Perceptual and Motor Skills 65: 613-614, 1987.

  13. Gelderloos P. and Beto, Z. H. A. D. The Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reported experiences of transcendental consciousness. Psychologia—An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient 32(2): 91–103, 1989.

  14. Gelderloos P., et al. Field independence of students at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and a Montessori school. Perceptual and Motor Skills 65: 613–614, 1987.

  15. Gelderloos P., et al. Transcendence and psychological health: studies with long-term participants of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program. Journal of Psychology 124(2), 177–197, 1990.

  16. Jedraczak A. The Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and field independence. Perceptual and Motor Skills 59: 999-100, 1984.

  17. Nidich S., et al. Influence of Transcendental Meditation: A replication. Journal of Counseling Psychology 20: 565-566, 1973.

  18. Pelletier K.R. Influence of Transcendental Meditation upon autokinetic perception. Perceptual and Motor Skills 39: 1031-1034, 1974.

  19. Seeman W., et al. Influence of Transcendental Meditation on a measure of self-actualization. Journal of Counseling Psychology 19: 184-187, 1972.

INCREASED LONGEVITY

  1. Alexander C.N., et al. Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and longevity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57: 950-964, 1989.

  2. Alexander C. N., et al. The effects of Transcendental Meditation compared to other methods of relaxation in reducing risk factors, morbidity, and mortality. Homeostasis 35, 243-264, 1994.

  3. Barnes V. A., et al. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on mortality in older African Americans—eight year follow-up. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1) 201-216, 2005.

  4. Glaser J. L., et al. Elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM-Sidhi programs. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 15: 327-341, 1992.

  5. Schneider R. H., et al. The Transcendental Meditation program: reducing the risk of heart disease and mortality and improving quality of life in African Americans. Ethnicity and Disease 11; 159-60, 2001.

  6. Schneider R.H., et al. Long-term effects of stress reduction on mortality in persons > 55 years of age with systemic hypertension. American Journal of Cardiology 95: 1060-1064, 2005. Full article

  7. Wallace R.K., et al. The effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program on the aging process. International Journal of Neuroscience 16: 53-58, 1982.

REDUCED SUBSTANCE ABUSE

  1. Alexander C.N., et al. Treating and preventing alcohol, nicotine, and drug abuse through Transcendental Meditation: A review and statistical meta-analysis. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 13-87, 1994.

  2. Aron E.N. and Aron A. The patterns of reduction of drug and alcohol use among Transcendental Meditation participants. Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 2: 28-33, 1983.

  3. Clements G., et al. The use of the Transcendental Meditation programme in the prevention of drug abuse and in the treatment of drug-addicted persons. Bulletin on Narcotics 40(1): 51–56, 1988.

  4. Gelderloos P., et al. Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in preventing and treating substance misuse: A review. International Journal of the Addictions 26: 293–325, 1991.

  5. Geisler M. Therapeutische Wirkungen der Transzendentalen Meditation auf Drogenkonsumenten. Zeitschrift für klinische Psychologie 7(4): 235–255, 1978.

  6. Monahan R.J. Secondary prevention of drug dependence through the Transcendental Meditation program in metropolitan Philadelphia. The International Journal of the Addictions 12: 729-754, 1977.

  7. Orme-Johnson D. W. Transcendental Meditation as an epidemiological approach to drug and alcohol abuse: Theory, research, and financial impact evaluation. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 11, 119-165, 1994.

  8. Royer A. The role of the Transcendental Meditation technique in promoting smoking cessation: A longitudinal study. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 219-236, 1994.

  9. Shafii M. et al. Meditation and marijuana. American Journal of Psychiatry 131: 60-63, 1974.

  10. Shafii M. et al. Meditation and the prevention of alcohol abuse. American Journal of Psychiatry 132: 942-945, 1975.

  11. Wallace R.K. et al. Decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation: A study of 1,862 subjects. In Drug Abuse: Proceedings of the International Conference, ed. Chris J.D. Zarafonetis (Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger): 369-376, 1972.

  12. Walton K. G., and Levitsky, D.A. A neuroendocrine mechanism for the reduction of drug use and addictions by Transcendental Meditation. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 89-117, 1994.

The Meditator's Map

Find a Place to Meditate

Noise + Location are no Barrier to Meditation

You are the Sanctuary

Comfort + Safety are Key

 

 

FIND IT ON THE MAP

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OR

SIT ON-THE-GO

 
 

3 Steps to Learn Vedic Meditation

BECOME A SELF-SUFFICIENT, DAILY MEDITATOR

 
 

STEP 1.

ATTEND A FREE INTRO TALK

Learn about the neuroscience behind why this technique of meditation is so powerful. There is no cost to attend and no obligation to join the course. This is a chance for you to meet Hunter, learn how the course works and get your questions answered. See upcoming Intro Talks here.

STEP 2.

TAKE THE VEDIC MEDITATION COURSE

During the course you'll learn the Vedic Meditation technique for life. You'll receive a personalized mantra and learn how to use it correctly. You'll learn the strategy to blend daily meditation into modern living and how to meditate anywhere safe and comfortable. You'll also learn about the mind-body dynamics of meditation and the hallmarks of personal growth with daily practice. See upcoming courses here.

STEP 3.

ENJOY A LIFETIME OF GROUP MEDITATIONS + SUPPORT

Gain lifetime access to our free group meditations within our worldwide community. You'll also have access to retake the course as many times as you'd like and be able to check in with Hunter whenever you have questions. You also become eligible for advanced courses.