There's a good reason why your doctor or therapist might recommend meditation — maybe you read about it somewhere or heard about it from a friend. Quieting an overactive mind could be the ticket to reduced anxiety and stress. To best achieve relaxation, you need a breakdown of transcendental meditation for beginners.
When was the last time you sat still and simply breathed? How difficult is it to focus in those moments? Transcendental meditation provides the tools to sit comfortably in silence without wandering thoughts and worry. However, unlike other forms of meditation, you need a teacher to assist you in adopting your technique.
Transcendental meditation is straightforward, but it helps to know what you're getting into from the start. Here's a helpful guide to transcendental meditation for beginners to understand the ins and outs of this practice.
What Is Transcendental Meditation?
Although the transcendental meditation technique gained popularity in the 1960s, it's been around for thousands of years under different names. This form of meditation isn't affiliated with any spiritual or religious beliefs despite deriving from Vedanta.
The practice comprises repeating a mantra to still the mind, eliminating thinking and developing a deeper state of consciousness and relaxation. As a result, practitioners experience greater joy, creativity and quality of life.
Transcendental meditation programs have made the practice more accessible than ever. Celebrities and scientific researchers have also given the practice a boost with evidence of its benefits.
How Does Transcendental Meditation Differ From Mindfulness?
There is seemingly much overlap between meditation and mindfulness when adopting a spiritual practice. However, key differences set mindfulness and transcendental meditation apart.
For one thing, transcendental meditation utilizes a unique mantra, which practitioners repeat silently for a more uplifting and soothing session. Mantras help quiet the mind and remove negative thoughts. Yet, the goal isn't strictly training awareness but to attain optimal restfulness.
Conversely, mindfulness emphasizes breath to draw one's focus inward and within one's surroundings. Others might focus on physical sensations, objects and emotions. Regardless of whatever anchors you, your mindfulness practice should aim to improve concentration and consciousness.
Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney and Russell Brand are but a few of the many celebrities who have openly discussed practicing transcendental meditation. In one interview, Brand underscored how this practice allowed him to become more present in the given moment instead of living in the past or projecting the future.
Practitioners will notice several outcomes like this when they adopt transcendental meditation as part of their daily ritual. Some of the physical, mental and cognitive benefits include the following:
More restful sleep
Better pain management
Reduced blood pressure
Lower anxiety and depression
Ability to cope with post-traumatic stress
More energy, creativity and memory
Improved quality of life
More gratitude and compassion
According to one study, practicing transcendental meditation for 20 minutes daily for three months showed significant improvements in burnout, insomnia and chronic anxiety.
A Beginner's Guide to Transcendental Meditation
Like other forms of meditation, practitioners must sit comfortably with their eyes closed while practicing transcendental meditation. However, this type of meditative practice requires instruction from a certified teacher.
The Maharishi Foundation USA provides all the information you need to prepare for one-on-one training with a transcendental meditation teacher. There are four sessions you must attend in person as follows:
Session 1: A 60 to 90-minute introductory session where you receive a mantra
Session 2–4: Three 1.5 to 2-hour sessions with your meditation instructor in person or virtually where you learn more about the practice, learn about the benefits and receive feedback on your technique
Practitioners will come together for a follow-up session 10 days after completing the initial sessions — these meetings are usually with a small group of other beginners. Afterward, you can occasionally meet with an instructor for free anywhere in the United States to refine your technique.
Transcendental meditation may seem difficult for beginners, but they often find it's much more straightforward than they previously thought. It requires little concentration or effort — just the ability to breathe and focus on one's mantra. Experts recommend practicing transcendental meditation twice daily — usually in the morning and the afternoon.
Challenges of Transcendental Meditation
Those taking transcendental meditation courses will reap the rewards of their daily practice. However, it isn't without some challenges you should consider.
The cost of transcendental meditation sessions may cause a financial burden for some. The Maharishi Foundation sets up payments based on income — for instance, you might pay between $540 and $980 depending on your salary bracket. Full-time students must pay $420, while the organization also offers a partial grant to those receiving federal assistance.
Of course, there may also be fewer teachers available in certain areas. Prepare to have to travel to access in-person instruction.
Like any meditation form, some beginners might struggle to adapt. Achieving the ultimate state of relaxation takes practice and won't happen overnight. However, it's important not to become discouraged. Likewise, adjusting to the different sensations overcoming you could also be uncomfortable. While these physical and emotional experiences aren't harmful per se, you may need to get used to them.
There is also a learning curve when taking up transcendental meditation. While concentration isn't necessarily a cornerstone of this practice, you still need to learn how to focus on your mantra. This can be challenging for someone with a scattered mind.
Committing to a daily practice is another challenge you must face. Yet, creating two windows of time for meditation is critical if transcendental meditation is to work for you.
Transcendental Meditation Is the Key to Better Living
Transcendental meditation may not fix all your problems, but it can relieve much mental congestion. Overall, a meditation practice is good for your physical, mental, cognitive and emotional well-being — meaning it can also be the key to improved quality of life.
Consider signing up for transcendental meditation sessions to learn more about it and adopt a daily practice. Your life could very well change for the better.
Throughout history, humans have turned to crystals to help them reach their highest self and even find health benefits. Communities as far back as Ancient Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia utilized them for their various positive qualities and properties. There are also plenty of uses for them in meditation. Learning crystal meditation for beginners is a beautiful process of discovering yourself and connecting with the many energies the stones possess.
Choosing Your Crystals
If you don’t have any crystals yet, the first step is to choose some you wish to work with. The ones you pick will help you access a better state with their various properties. Each stone has a different purpose, so it’s good to choose one in an area of your life you need assistance in.
Some excellent crystals for meditation include:
Black Tourmaline: These crystals are great for removing and protecting you from negative energy. It can also help ground you. Black Tourmaline might be great if you’re in a bad mental space and struggle to concentrate while meditating.Labradorite: An absolutely gorgeous stone, Labradorite is known for its characteristic flash. This part of its nature helps you resonate with your highest self and access darker parts of your mind. It could be beneficial if you need to discover new ways to deal with your problems.Carnelian: If you feel like you could use more power, this may be the crystal for you. Carnelian helps you feel more courage and creativity, giving you a well-needed boost. Some also say it can help pull you out of low points, so it could be perfect if you need a rousing pick-me-up.
While there are plenty of stones people recommend for meditating, an essential tip for crystal meditation for beginners is you can use any you would like. Try going into a metaphysical shop and see which ones call to you. Some say doing so is how you can tell where you need assistance in life.
Crystal Meditation for Beginners — The Process
Meditation can have a host of advantages, from improving sleep to lowering stress and anxiety. Adding crystals to the mix not only enhances the benefits, but provides their own. To get started, you can take a few steps.
Find Your Intention
Why are you trying to use these crystals? What positive changes do you wish to see in your life? Setting your intentions before you meditate helps focus you on what you would like the stones to assist you with. If one seems to be calling to you, look up its meaning and see why it might be time to utilize it.
Locate Your Chakras
While you could simply hold your crystals to meditate with them, some find it better to place them on their chakras. There are seven main chakras — located from the lower back to the top of your head — you can set the stones on while you meditate. For example, putting Labradorite on your third-eye chakra might be helpful because this area rules intuition and insight.
Now, you’re ready to begin your meditation journey. If you would like, you can find a guided meditation on video-streaming platforms like YouTube to give your session more structure. Doing so can be very helpful for crystal meditation for beginners. However, if you would prefer to take things into your own hands, try out these steps:
Go to a quiet place and start by calming your breath.Once you’re relaxed, take the crystal in your hand.Imagine light and energy washing over your body from the stone.Focus on your intention and maintain your calming breaths.Stay here for as long as you need. When you feel like you’re done, take one final deep breath.Bring awareness back to your body gently by slowly opening your eyes and feeling where you’re resting.Consider writing down any revelations that came to you while meditating.
The process itself isn’t very complicated, but it can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. Hopefully these quick little tips show you how to begin crystal meditation for beginners.
Practicing Crystal Meditation for Beginners
Meditating with crystals is a natural and beautiful way to help your spirit and mind. Luckily all it takes is a quiet space and the stones that can help you most. Remember — practice makes progress, not perfection, so there will always be work to do.