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What Is Transcendental Meditation? Benefits, Negative Aspects, Mantras List, Famous People

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a form of silent mantra meditation. It was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought this technique to the US and other countries in 1959. In the same year, Maharishi founded the International Meditation Society.

TM started to gain more attention because celebrities like The Beatles began to practice meditation.

According to the latest data, more than 6 million people from all over the world have already learned TM.

What Is TM?

The practice of Transcendental Meditation centers on the repetition of short mantras that are chosen for each individual by a transcendental meditation instructor based on the appropriateness and harmonious effect the mantra will create for each practician when used correctly.

In fact, some Transcendental Meditation instructors say that it is “dangerous” to have the wrong mantra.

This practice should be repeated two times per day, with eyes closed, for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

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Unlike some forms of meditation, this technique requires a 7-step course of instruction from a certified teacher.

Introductory Lecture

During this free lecture (around 45 minutes), the teacher explains how the subtler states of thought and deep rest experienced during Transcendental Meditation practice give rise to a wide range of benefits.

Preparatory Lecture

During this lecture, the teacher discusses the mechanics that make the TM program effortless. In addition, he explains the origin of the TM technique and how it differs from other methods of meditation.

Personal Interview

People interested in learning the technique then attend a 10- to 15-minute interview.

Course of Instruction

These 60-90 minute classes are held on 4 consecutive days or evenings. There is also a brief ceremony, when every student receives a mantra, that he is supposed to keep confidential.

Once these steps are completed, the student is self-sufficient and begins to experience results.

Benefits12 Laws Of Karma

Engaging in TM can help practitioners to relax without losing awareness and to avoid distracting thoughts.

Iraq war veterans who practiced TM for 8 weeks showed a 50 percent reduction in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a recent study.

Other benefits of TM include:

  • helps you have a good night’s sleep;
  • stimulates efficient brain activity and clarity;
  • increases your overall happiness and feelings of well-being;
  • positively stimulates the brain chemicals like serotonin;
  • leads to the strengthening of the heart and its functioning;
  • reduces the sense of loneliness;
  • helps to decrease cortisol levels by 30 percent;
  • improves self-image and self-worth;
  • helps in dealing with daily stress and anxiety.


#1 Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the ground and hands in your lap. Leave your arms and legs uncrossed.

#2 Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths to relax the body. Your eyes will remain closed during the 20-minute practice.

#3 Repeat the mantra you learned from a TM teacher in your mind. The mantra should be repeated silently.

#4 When you recognize that you are having a thought, simply return to the mantra.

#5 Repeat the mantra for 20 minutes.

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List Of Transcendental Meditation MantrasList Of Transcendental Meditation Mantras

There are currently about 16 basic mantras in use, however, it wasn’t always this way. In the early 1960s, only two mantras were used in the TM practice. Women used “Shiriram,” while men used “Ram.”

1) Mantra for students aged 3 – 11 years old – Eng

2) Mantra for students aged 12 – 13 years old – Em

3) Mantra for students aged 14 – 15 years old – Enga

4) Mantra for students aged 16 – 17 years old – Ema

5) Mantra for students aged 18 – 19 years old – Aeng

6) Mantra for students aged 20 – 21 years old – Iem

7) Mantra for students aged 22 – 23 years old – Ienga

8) Mantra for students aged 24 – 25 years old – Iema

9) Mantra for students aged 26 – 29 years old – Shiring

10) Mantra for students aged 30 – 34 years old – Shirim

11) Mantra for students aged 35 – 39 years old – Hiring

12) Mantra for students aged 40 – 44 years old – Hirim

13) Mantra for students aged 45 – 49 years old – Kiring

14) Mantra for students aged 50 – 54 years old – Kirim

15) Mantra for students aged 55 – 59 years old – Sham

16) Mantra for students aged 60+ years old – Shama

Important note – the concept of how to choose a mantra for TM is that you don’t choose a mantra for it. It is not up to you since it will not work without proper guidance. But, your teacher selects and teaches the mantra to you.

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Celebrities Who Endorse Transcendental Meditation

Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira

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“It’s already made my life way better & even with my stage fright. It’s better than any medication or all of the other nonsense I’ve tried.”

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

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”TM has made it possible for me to weather certain challenges and storms and public moments that I didn’t ever imagine would be in my life.”

 Katy Perry

Katy Perry

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“It’s a game-changer. I will feel neuro pathways open, a halo of lights. And I’m so much sharper. I just fire up!”

READ MORE: 16 Powerful Mental Health Quotes from Celebrities

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

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During a recent interview, Nicole Kidman said:

“I like to meditate, Transcendental Meditation usually. I took it up in my early 20s and I learned the benefits. I try to do it every day. A typical session is 20 to 30 minutes.”

Nicole Kidman went on to say:

”I even use a meditation app on my phone that has a timer and also shows you on a map all the people that have logged in that are meditating at that very moment.” 

Russell Brand

Russell Brand

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“Transcendental Meditation has been incredibly valuable to me both in my recovery as a drug addict and in my personal life, my marriage, my professional life.”

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

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”Trying to learn transcendental meditation. Everyone recommends, not that easy to get started, but said to improve everything!”

READ MORE: 20 Celebrities Who Meditate

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

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During an interview, Jennifer Aniston confessed:

“I’d say a little over a year ago I started doing TM and that’s really changed everything. Starting your day off with that and ending with that is pretty powerful.”

Jennifer Aniston later added:

”Twenty minutes, you just notice the difference. When I get lazy and don’t get it in, I can feel a difference. I do it first thing when I wake up.”



© Getty Images

“I’m a 1000% better person if I do this.”

Negative Aspects Of TM

There are a few reports suggesting that TM can cause or worsen symptoms in people with certain psychiatric conditions.

If you have an existing mental health condition, it is best to let your certified meditation instructor know about your condition, and consult your healthcare provider before starting Transcendental Meditation.

Images credit – Shutterstock

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Friday 28th of February 2020

Just wondering, why should we keep our given mantra from this course a secret?

Dave Moore

Saturday 4th of May 2024

@Kim, the mantra is given based on the teacher and he/she will give the same mantra. The list above is incomplete as I was given the mantra I Im in 1976. These mantras are not particularly powerful unlike others given by an enlightened guru but it’s more about how the mantra takes your focus away from the monkey mind.


Sunday 9th of July 2023

@Lucidity, I always assumed it’s to prevent people from discovering that many of them have same mantra. Also, to keep people paying big $ for them.