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Types of Meditation
Transcendental Meditation movement was founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and became popular in the West during the 1960s. The movement is based more on specific techniques of meditation than on a set of religious or philosophical beliefs. As a monk in India in the 1940s and '50s the Maharishi developed a form of meditation that could be easily practiced by people in the modern world. In 1958 he began teaching it in India, and in 1959 he made his first tour of the West.
Transcendental Meditation uses one of a variety of Sanskrit mantras, each of which is a short word or phrase that, repeated in the mind, helps the user still the activity of thought and find a deeper level of consciousness. Through this process it is claimed that the practitioner finds deep relaxation, which leads to enhanced inner joy, vitality, and creativity. The perspective behind TM, based on Vedanta philosophy, is called the Science of Creative Intelligence.
To practice TM, a person must be initiated by a teacher. This involves sessions of formal instruction, followed by a ceremony in which the applicant makes monetary and other offerings and receives his mantra, selected by the teacher on the basis of the meditator's temperament and occupation. There are three subsequent attunement sessions in which the person meditates under the teacher's observation. The person then begins meditating independently twice a day for periods of 20 minutes each and continues to do so indefinitely. Further levels of training are available. Many physiologists and psychologists have recognized Transcendental Meditation's relaxing and vitalizing effects on the body and mind.