Jan 15, 2013 | By Tim Stoddart

Transcendental Meditation and Addiction Recovery


Transcendental Meditation is a technique where the participant is in a state of total relaxation but is completely aware of surroundings. The technique was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi from India. It was derived from the ancient Vedic philosophies and traditions, and introduced to the United States in the 1960’s. The goal of Transcendental Meditation is to achieve and maintain a higher level of mind, body and spirit by avoiding distracting thoughts and feelings during relaxation sessions. It is recommended that a participant practice this technique 2 times a day for 15-30 minutes by sitting in a comfortable position with their eyes closed in a room that is free from distractions. This will also avoid any visual distractions that could interfere with the technique. Participants are advised to breathe deeply in a normal manner and focus on calming thoughts. A series of meaningless sounds called “mantra” is repeated numerous times, given by an instructor. Transcendental Meditation causes the body to better handle the stresses of life in a more natural and calming manner.

10 Benefits of Transcendental Meditation Include:

  1. A reduction in blood pressure
  2. Increased Longevity
  3. Clearer thoughts
  4. Chronic pain relief
  5. Relaxation of blood vessels
  6. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factor
  7. Better sleep patterns
  8. Reduction of anxiety
  9. Increased Intelligence
  10. Increased Alertness

Easy to do, Transcendental Meditation does not require any specific equipment or accessories, nor does it require any changes in lifestyle. The techniques are learned by taking a series of courses from a certified instructor, video or book. The recommendation is that the techniques should be practiced daily for optimum benefits and results. The numerous benefits of Transcendental Meditation are practiced by people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Depending on one’s circumstances, it achieves different benefits from person to person.

Some have used the techniques to change or manage health problems such as:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Although Transcendental Meditation is one of many forms of mediation practiced throughout the country, all styles are designed to improve the quality of life for its participants. Many positive effects have been reported. However, it should not replace traditional medical care or medications. Many report that it improves their quality of life and offers a balance and centeredness to their daily lifestyle. At its most basic level, Transcendental Meditation provides it’s participants with a stress-reduction tool, and a way to start and end the challenges of everyday life in a natural way. Others use the technique to find a way to achieve or regain inner peace. What will Transcendental Meditation do for you? Give it a try. You may be surprised.

8 responses to “Transcendental Meditation and Addiction Recovery

  • Ken Chawkin

    11 years ago

    Thanks for putting this well-written explanation of Transcendental Meditation, or TM, and some of it’s benefits together.

    Found a few typos here: that’s Vedic, not Verdic, and Mahesh, not Mehesh, in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    Thiese statements are not completely accurate and may be somewhat misleading: “avoiding distracting thoughts and feelings during relaxation sessions” and “Participants are advised to breathe deeply in a normal manner and focus on calming thoughts.”

    TM meditators are not concerned with following or changing their breath in any way, nor do they focus on or avoid thoughts and feelings, good or bad, during the practice. They simply begin the process of thinking the mantra and taking it as it comes, and when they realize that the mantra has disappeared and they are just thinking thoughts, they gently return to the mantra. The process is a natural one and allows the mind to transcend several times throughout the practice. It’s this deep inner experience of restful alertness that facilitates the body’s release of stress and fatigue thereby normalizing it’s functioning.

    The benefits accrue with regular twice-daily practice so that the mind and body naturally retain this more relaxed orderly state throughout the day in acitivity where it is most appreciated, especially during demanding situations. Students, for example, often report they are able to perform at higher levels of efficiency than before, and their improved gradepoint average attests to it.

    For a simple, clear expalnation of Transcendental Meditation watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGu1Zqyvbyo.

  • Ken Chawkin

    11 years ago

    Sorry for my 2 typos; the font size is small: activity, not acitivity, and explanation, not expalnation. Now I see how you may have made those typos!! 🙂

  • David Spector

    11 years ago

    Wonderful corrections from Ken, thanks!

    Another correction: the photograph showing the woman seated in full lotus position is misleading. Transcendental Meditation does not require any special postures, equipment, or lifestyle changes. One simply sits in any comfortable chair, closes the eyes, and follows the simple procedure. One reason why we have to take a course to learn TM is that we are so unfamiliar with being effortless. We actually have to learn to be natural and effortless, so that transcending can happen automatically and without any obstacles.

    I hope this helps.

  • David Spector

    11 years ago

    The article also doesn’t seem to have adequate coverage of how Transcendental Meditation has been used in many addiction recovery and relapse prevention programs. This is a significant aspect and is worthy of discussion. It is not my place to insert such a discussion here, as I am just a reader, but I recommend that readers search the Web for information on using TM as an addiction recovery tool. Its effectiveness is well-known, and has been confirmed through a number of research studies.

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