Frequently Answered Questions

about the Transcendental Meditation technique


Can I get the same results from other meditation techniques?

While there are many venerable forms of meditation, scientific research shows that the various practices produce their own effects and do not all yield the same results as one another—or the same holistic range of benefits associated with the TM technique.1

For example, researchers have found the TM technique to be far more effective at reducing stress than other practices.2

Several independent studies, including research by the American Heart Association, have shown that the TM technique's effectiveness for lowering high blood pressure is significantly greater than other meditation techniques. This is why TM practice is the only form of meditation that the American Heart Association recommends.3

A large study conducted at Stanford University found TM practice to be more than twice effective as other practices for reducing trait anxiety.4

Neural imaging and EEG studies indicate that TM creates a unique brain pattern: it is the only meditation technique known to consistently create widespread brain wave coherence—the basis of more efficient brain functioning and improved mental performance.5

Scientific references:

    1. Cognitive Processing 11(1), 21-30, 2010
    2. American Journal of Health Promotion 12(5), 297-299, 1998
    3. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association 61, 2013
    4. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45, 957–974, 1989
    5. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(11): 1519-1538, 2006

Dr. Vernon Barnes, Researcher, Medical College of Georgia: "Comparative research has shown that the various forms of meditation do not produce the same effects. Because each kind of meditation practice engages the mind in it's own way, there's no reason to expect the same results from the various methods or that scientific research on Transcendental Meditation will apply to other practices.

"There have been many studies looking at the effects of the TM technique, Zen, Mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhist and Vipassana meditations, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Benson's Relaxation Response and so on—examining such factors as brainwave patterns, levels of rest, and benefits for mind and body. Such studies show TM to be significantly more effective at reducing stress and anxiety, lowering high blood pressure, facilitating cognitive growth, decreasing substance abuse, improving psychological health and developing self-actualization.Also, no other form of meditation has been found in long-term studies to reduce heart attack and stroke."


Is the TM technique different from mindfulness?

Yes, the Transcendental Meditation technique is a very different process—and scientific studies show it produces a different range of results.

The TM technique does not involve monitoring thoughts or sensations, as in mindfulness meditation, nor does TM practice involve concentration or contemplation. It's an effortless technique for transcending thought—settling inward beyond mental activity to arrive at the silent state of pure awareness. Described as the deepest level of the mind, here there are no thoughts, perceptions or sensations, only consciousness at rest in its most expanded and peaceful state, fully awake within itself.

Hundreds of research studies on the TM technique have shown this state of restful alertness to be highly rejuvenating for mind and body, producing a holistic range of benefits not associated with mindfulness or other practices—including long-term benefits on objective measures such as reduced heart attack and stroke,1 reduced symptoms of PTSD2 and depression3, decreased use of medical care,4and improved cardiovascular functioning5.

American Heart Association: A recent American Heart Association study concluded that only the TM technique is the only form of meditation that physicians are advised to recommend for reduction of high blood pressure: "All other meditation techniques, including mindfulness, received a 'no benefit level of evidence' ...and are not recommended at this time."6

Differences in brain functioning: The TM technique produces a style of brain functioning very different from mindfulness meditation. During mindfulness, researchers report localized frontal theta activity (5-8 Hz). During TM practice, researchers report widespread alpha coherence (8-10 Hz), strongest across the brain's frontal regions and often spreading to interconnect the different parts of the brain. This long-range neural connectivity indicates more efficient, integrated brain functioning, increased inner wakefulness and greater presence of mind.7

Different levels of relaxation:Research studies show that the unique style of physiological functioning gained during TM practice is a state of relaxation much deeper than ordinary, eyes-closed rest. Mindfulness and other practices that keep the mind actively attentive have not been found to produce this deeply settled, rejuvenating state of mind and body—a state characterized by profound physiological relaxation along with heightened inner wakefulness.8

Scientific references:

    1. Circulation 2(5), 2012
    2. Journal of Traumatic Stress 1-14, 2013
    3. 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2011
    4. Psychosomatic Medicine 1987;49:493-507
    5. American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009
    6. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association (61) 2013
    7. Cognitive Processing 11(1), 21-30, 2010
    8. American Psychologist 42: 879–881, 1987; The Journal of Mind and Behavior 10(4):307-334, 1989

 


Why a course fee—can't the TM technique be taught for free?

The TM course fee is a necessary practicality because the TM technique can be properly learned only from a professionally-trained, certified teacher. It's not possible to learn the practice from a book, website or download.

This effortless technique of meditation had been long lost to society, even in India, until Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced it to the world in 1955. To maintain the technique's effectiveness and authenticity—and ensure it's practiced correctly and doesn't get lost again—it is taught in a systematic, standardized way by certified teachers worldwide.

Learning the technique requires personal, one-on-one instruction and a series of classes, and the teaching expenses incurred are covered by your course fee. After you learn, to make sure you're practicing correctly and getting the maximum benefit, extensive follow-up with the teachers is available at no charge—for the rest of your life

Non-profit: The TM technique is offered by a federally recognized non-profit educational organization, a [501(c)(3)] called Maharishi Foundation USA, which exists solely to bring the benefits of fully effective meditation to people everywhere. The foundation aims to operate at break-even. The amount of the TM course fee is determined by what it costs to make the program available: there are no added profit margins, no shareholders or high-paid staff. All funds go to support the foundation's non-profit mission.

Grants and scholarships: A portion of the course fee goes into a National TM Scholarship Fund, used to help at-risk populations learn the TM technique. By partnering with other philanthropic organizations, such as the David Lynch Foundation, the technique has been taught free of charge to over 300,000 people over the past five years—including students, veterans with PTSD, Native Americans, inner city youth, the homeless and many others.

Payment plans, grants and scholarships are available. Anyone needing assistance in covering their course fee is encouraged to speak with their local certified TM teacher about financial aid.


Can I learn the TM technique from a book, download or DVD?


The TM technique can be learned only in-person from a trained, certified teacher. This is because the process of learning the technique is interactive: every step of knowledge is given in sequence, only after the previous step is understood. A book or CD can't do that. An expert teacher can. This process helps ensure that the student remains innocent and relaxed without having to self-monitor results while learning. The certified TM teacher personally guides the student, step by step, adjusting the teaching process according to the student's pace.

Learning how to effortlessly transcend and settle inward is a subtle, delicate process, so delicate that the technique became lost to society—even in India, the land of meditation.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived the TM technique and structured a systematic, standardized course of instruction, so that teachers could be trained to teach it and the technique would give consistent results. This comprehensive teacher training and certification helps ensure that everyone who learns the TM technique can practice correctly and enjoy the many benefits of effective meditation.

Selling CDs or prepackaged instructions might reduce educational expenses, but such teaching methods compromise the learning process and would reduce the technique's effectiveness.

Maharishi on the importance of personal instruction:

"By necessity, the practice of Transcendental Meditation is imparted by personal instruction. It cannot be done through a book [or CD or online] because it not only involves telling an aspirant how to experience the subtle states of thinking, but an even greater responsibility lies in finding out what the aspirant experiences when he proceeds on that path… The experiences on the path of Transcendental Meditation are very subtle… It takes a while for the beginner to be able to pinpoint his experiences of the subtle state of thought. The practice of Transcendental Meditation must always be given by the expert teachers of Transcendental Meditation who have been properly trained to give it and who have been trained to check the experiences.

"The checking of experiences is a vital point in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Again, it cannot be done through books…by nature it is delicate and therefore highly technical. But under personal instruction and guidance the way is smooth and easy." —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Science of Being and Art of Living.


How is the TM technique different from ordinary relaxation?


While it's true that TM practice so often feels deeply relaxing, decades of peer-reviewed scientific research has shown that the mind-body state produced by the TM technique is more than mere relaxation: it's a distinct state of "restful alertness"—silent inner wakefulness along with profound physiological rest.1

Studies show that the relaxation gained during TM practice is deeper than ordinary eyes-closed rest or the so-called "relaxation response," with significantly greater decreases in oxygen consumption, respiratory rate, heart rate, muscle tension and blood pressure, and a greater increase in skin resistance—all indicators of profound relaxation.2

Researchers have recognized that many physiological changes occur during TM practice that are not present during ordinary relaxation—and some are in the opposite direction, such as increased cardiac output (despite decreased heart rate), increased blood flow to the brain and widespread alpha brain wave coherence.3

Studies have also shown that simple relaxation, even when practiced twice daily for 20 minutes, does not produce the same holistic range of benefits as TM practice.

For example, a study at Stanford University found the TM technique to reduce anxiety more than twice as much as ordinary eyes-closed rest (and more effectively than other meditation practices).4

Randomized clinical trials on relaxation and meditation practices have found the TM technique to be the only mind-body practice to produce significant reductions in blood pressure for hypertensive patients.5

A 2013 report from the American Heart Association confirms that the TM technique lowers blood pressure more effectively than other techniques of relaxation and meditation, and recommends the TM technique for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Says the AHA report from the journal Hypertension: "All other meditation techniques (including mindfulness) received a 'no benefit level of evidence.' Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended."

In contrast to relaxation, the TM technique has been found to produce long-term benefits on objective measures such as reduced heart attack and stroke,6 reduced symptoms of PTSD7 and depression8, decreased use of medical care,9 and improved cardiovascular functioning.10

The TM technique lets awareness settle deeply inward, automatically, beyond the busy or agitated mind, to transcend mental activity and experience the revitalizing state of pure awareness. Hundreds of research studies show this state to be far more beneficial that ordinary relaxation—not only for reducing stress and anxiety but for cognitive growth and overall well-being.

Scientific references:

    1. Cognitive Processing 11(1), 21-30, 2010
    2. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-424, 1992
    3. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(11): 1519-1538, 2006
    4. Journal of Clinical Psychology [45] 957-974, 1989
    5. Current Hypertension Reports 9 (6): 520-528, 2007
    6. American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009 2013
    7. Journal of Traumatic Stress 1-14, 2013
    8. 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2011
    9. Psychosomatic Medicine 1987;49:493-507
    10.American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009


Do I have to clear my mind of thoughts?


You don't have to clear your mind of thoughts to successfully practice the TM technique. There's no mind control involved, no concentrating against thoughts or anything else. The TM technique is a different kind of practice all together—simple, effortless and totally natural.

You simply practice the technique as instructed and it pretty much just goes along by itself, allowing the mind to automatically settle inward to quieter and quieter levels, until you transcend (or go beyond) even the faintest impulses of the thinking process and arrive at the deepest, innermost field of your own awareness—a peaceful, expansive state of restful alertness or pure consciousness. Research shows that this natural state of profound rest washes away stress1 and rejuvenates mind2 and body.3

Researchers have recognized that many physiological changes occur during TM practice that are not present during ordinary relaxation—and some are in the opposite direction, such as increased cardiac output (despite decreased heart rate), increased blood flow to the brain and widespread alpha brain wave coherence.3

Scientific references:

    1. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 51, 597-605, 2001
    2. International Journal of Psychophysiology 71: 170-176, 2009; Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17: 93–121, 2005
    3. International Journal of Neuroscience 16: 53–58, 1982


Is the TM technique different from other kinds of "mantra" meditation?


The TM technique is different in many ways from common "mantra" meditation. Such practices usually involve controlled focus and employ degrees of concentration or sustained attention.

The TM technique does involve silent use of a specialized mantra or sound, but uses the mantra in a specific, unique way without concentration or effort. In TM practice, rather than keeping the mind active and engaged on more surface levels, the mantra allows awareness to settle inward and go beyond even the activity of meditation itself.

In the TM program, the word 'mantra' has a specific meaning: it is a vehicle for transcending—for going beyond mental activity and settling down to quieter levels of the thinking process, until one arrives at the silent field of pure awareness. This experience is described as the deepest, most peaceful and creative level of the mind, a revitalizing state of pure potentiality.

When you learn the TM technique, besides receiving a mantra that will be right for you, you'll also learn how to use the mantra properly—in a natural, effortless way that allows the mind to spontaneously settle inward and transcend.

This process of transcending is the source of the TM technique's many benefits in outer life—as watering the root benefits all aspects of the tree.


What is "brain wave coherence"?


Brain researchers have found that during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, the brain becomes more coherent, the different parts of the brain become more interconnected, working together better as a whole. This heightened efficiency of brain functioning grows over time through twice-daily practice—even outside of meditation—improving mental performance and overall health.

Coherence: Everyone's brain emits faint electrical impulses, which can be measured and recorded by EEG (electroencephalographic) monitoring devices. In an EEG measurement, sensors (electrodes) are placed on the scalp to detect and record the patterns of electrical activity. The data measured by the EEG can be used for clinical and research purposes.

Typical EEG Tracings from non-meditating subject. Each line represents output from an electrode sensor placed on the scalp.

An EEG measurement identifies wavelengths—or frequencies—of brainwaves. During ordinary waking consciousness, EEG patterns are generally scattered, disorderly, and rapidly changing.

By contrast, as the mind settles into the practice of the TM technique, brainwaves tend to become rhythmic and orderly—they fall into "phase"—moving up and down synchronously over large areas in the frontal regions of the brain (as shown below), extending eventually toward the posterior regions as well. This is called EEG coherence.*

EEG tracings recorded during practice of the TM technique. The lines are moving up and down together—brain waves are no longer scattered but "in phase," indicating that neurons are firing in harmony within the same frequency of alpha1(8-10 Hz).

Higher coherence is associated with more integrated and effective thinking and behavior, including greater intelligence, creativity, learning ability, emotional stability, ethical and moral reasoning, self-confidence, and reduced anxiety.

Researchers have long known that most experiences, whether sensory or cognitive, engage specific, localized areas of the brain. Studies on brain patterns during TM practice indicate that the technique enlivens coherence over a wide area—creating more efficient coordination of brain activity and stimulating the growth of neural connectivity.

EEG studies showing brainwave coherence during practice of the TM technique along with synchronized alpha power in the frontal cortex have established the EEG signature for "restful alertness" or "pure consciousness," the inner experience commonly reported by people practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Scientific References: Cognitive Processing 11:1 (2010); Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 302-318, 1999; International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147–151, 1981; Science 167 (1970); Scientific American 226 (1972); American Journal of Physiology 221 (1971); Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 35 (1973).

*TECHNICAL: EEG coherence is a measure of correlation or synchrony of the EEG waves recorded at two points on the scalp. Mathematically, it is the absolute value of the cross-correlation function in the frequency domain of two electrical signals. Coherence reflects the number and strength of connections between two brain areas. Higher coherence indicates that these two points of the brain are working more closely together.

Normally applied to scalp EEG sensors that detect cortical neuron activity in the area below the sensor, the electrical waves are computer analyzed in a very precise manner to determine how similar the two waves are to each other over time. Specifically, the brainwave pattern from two points of the scalp are analyzed first for a given frequency band, say, alpha—between 8 and 12 cycles per second. These two converted signals are then examined over about a 1-2 second period to get an average value of the similarity in the upward and downward movement of each of the two waves. Thus, the researcher obtains an accurate measure of the constancy of the phase relationship of the two wave patterns over a given time period. This constancy is closely correlated with fundamental modes of brain information transfer.


How solid is the scientific research?


After four decades of scientific investigation of the Transcendental Meditation technique, more than 600 scientific papers, research studies and reviews have substantiated beneficial effects for mind, body, behavior and society. These research studies were conducted at over 250 independent universities and research institutions in 33 countries—including leading medical schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale and UCLA.1

Hundreds of these research studies have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the journals of the American Medical Association and American Heart Association, along with The International Journal of Neuroscience, American Journal of Physiology, Science and many others.

The National Institutes of Health(NIH) have granted $26 million over the past 20 years for scientists to study the impact of the TM program for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Competition for government research grants is considerable, and only the more promising fields of research continue to receive substantial funding year after year, over decades.

American Heart Association: A 2013 research study from the American Heart Association confirmed that the TM technique lowers blood pressure, and recommends TM practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Report from the AHA's journal Hypertension: "All other meditation techniques (including mindfulness) received a 'no benefit level of evidence.' Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended."2

Randomized controlled trials: There have been 50 randomized controlled (or clinical) trials on the TM technique—showing significant positive effects on intelligence,3 anxiety,4 depression,5 substance abuse6 and other areas.

Meta-analyses: Numerous meta-analyses, 7 which examined a total of 597 separate studies on a variety of meditation, relaxation and wellness practices, have found the TM technique to be the most effective mind-body practice for producing deep physiological relaxation, reducing trait anxiety, lowering high blood pressure, decreasing substance abuse (cigarettes, alcohol and drugs), improving psychological health and increasing self-actualization.

Support of medical doctors: The American Medical Association has published and promoted research showing that the TM technique improves high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. The website www.DoctorsOnTM.org—developed by a national team of physicians, including professors from leading medical schools—features numerous doctors and medical researchers speaking out about the TM technique's health benefits.

"Transcendental Meditation is Good Science"—Pamela Peeke, M.D., National Institutes of Health; Doctor for the Discovery Channel

Scientific references:

    1. Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation program: Collected Papers, Volumes 1-7, 2013
    2. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association (61) 2013
    3. Intelligence 29: 419–440, 2001
    4. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957–974, 1989
    5. 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2011
    6. International Journal of the Addictions 26: 293-325, 1991
    7. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine19(10): 1-12, 2013


So I don't have to follow a guru or spiritual teaching?


Absolutely not. Learning and practicing the TM technique is much simpler than that. This is a technique, not a belief system. It's sort of like learning to dive: you just stand above the water, take the correct angle, and let go—nature (gravity) does the rest. When you learn the TM technique, you learn how to dive effortlessly into your own inner Being, to experience the reservoir of energy, creativity and intelligence that resides deep within everyone. This is the state of restful alertness identified by so many scientific research studies on the TM technique—in which the brain functions with greater coherence and the body gains deep rest.1

The founder of the TM program, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is regarded by many as a great teacher. But Maharishi did not play the role of "personal guru with followers." Rather, he offered a knowledge and practice that helps anyone, on their own, reduce their stress2 and unfold their inner potential.3

"I have no followers," Maharishi once remarked to a reporter, who asked how many followers Maharishi had. "Everyone follows their own progress."

Scientific references:

    1. Cognitive Processing 11(1), 21-30, 2010
    2. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957–974, 1989
    3. Intelligence 29: 419–440, 2001; Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 6: 189–248, 1991


Any bad side effects?


According to health and medical researchers, the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on the TM technique have found only positive effects.1 Simply put, the soothing, deep rest, reduced stress, and expanded awareness gained during TM practice is good for you.2

More than 20,000 TM-practicing subjects have been studied by scientists over the past 40 years, and no credible published studies on the TM technique have ever noted harmful or unpleasant effects—all such studies show positive results.3

Professionally controlled clinical research on the effects of TM practice has been conducted under a wide variety of settings and conditions: on general populations, people in the workplace, athletes, groups of students at all grade levels, patients at high-risk for heart disease, students with learning disorders, factory workers, members of the military, groups of corporate executives, new meditators, long-term meditators on advanced courses, and people with pre-existing mental health problems. All of these studies show significant improvements in mental and physical health, with no negative side effects.

  • GOVERNMENT FUNDING:The National Institutes of Health have provided $26 million over the past 20 years to document the TM technique's benefits for heart health and brain functioning. The Veteran's Administration in Washington, D.C., has granted more than $2 million to research the effects of TM practice on veterans suffering from post traumatic stress. This funding has been awarded on the basis of a 40-year precedence of research reporting beneficial results.
  • MEDICAL DOCTORS: In increasing numbers, leading physicians and medical professionals are speaking out in favor of TM's positive effects—such as Dr. Mehmet Oz; renowned author, senior NIH scientist and psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal; NIH researcher and Discovery Channel Doctor Pamela Peeke, M.D., along with medical and health researchers at NYU, Harvard, University of Kentucky, Stanford, Medical College of Georgia and many other institutions (DoctorsonTM.org.

    The American Medical Association has published and promoted research showing that the TM technique improves high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. The AMA has also offered professional credit (CME) for doctors to enroll in TM classes.

  • AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION: Because of the extensive supportive research and positive health outcomes, the TM technique is the only meditation practice recommended by the American Heart Association for reduction of hypertension.4
  • PSYCHOLOGISTS: The American Psychological Association, at its annual conferences, frequently features research on the benefits of the TM technique for improving mental health.
  • SCIENTIFIC REVIEW: THE INTERNAL REVIEW BOARD at American University in Washington, D.C., comprised of a team of independent university physicians and scientists, conducted an exhaustive review of all existing data on the TM technique and unanimously agreed that the technique was safe, had no negative side effects, and should be learned by 300 college students from American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and University of District of Columbia as part of a carefully controlled, two-year study examining the effects of the technique on student life. The study was completed and the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals—showing that the technique reduces stress, improves health and strengthens brain functioning.5

National Institutes of Health Senior Researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D.: The state of the Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation program:

Scientific references:

    1. Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation program: Collected Papers, Vol 1-7, 2013
    2. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-424, 1992
    3. American Journal of Health Promotion 12(5), 297-299, 1998
    4. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association (61) 2013
    5. International Journal of Psychophysiology 71, 170-176, 2009


But TM is so simple—what about higher, more advanced states of consciousness?


The TM program is designed for full awakening of human potential. The technique itself comes from the most long-standing tradition of meditation on earth, the Vedic tradition of India. After being long lost to society, the practice was revived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and introduced to the modern world in 1955. The TM technique is considered by many to be the quintessential meditation practice from the world's most venerated tradition of self-development.

A revolutionary idea: spiritual growth is easy Before Maharishi introduced the TM technique, the common thinking was that it is difficult to directly experience the most deeply settled and expansive state of the human mind, pure consciousness. To attain enlightenment—the state of pure consciousness lived amidst of the activities of in daily life—was thought to be even more difficult. And rare.

From Maharishi's perspective, that was all a misunderstanding. What was needed was a revival of knowledge about meditation and the process of effortless transcending.

To transcend, in this context, means to settle inward in meditation beyond all mental activity and experience the silent, revitalizing field of pure consciousness at the basis of the mind. Any effort or attempt to control the mind is found to only hinder the natural process of transcending.

Perhaps unknowingly, many people of good intention still promote meditation practices that obstruct the mind's natural tendency to settle inward or completely transcend. While non-transcending-type practices have their range of benefits, in the Vedic tradition, effortless transcending is said to be the key to unfolding the highest stages of human development.

Maharishi: "It is my joy to make the difficult simple." It's been said that anyone can get complicated, but it takes a true genius to be simple. People practicing the TM technique find that the technique's simplicity and effortlessness is what renders it so effective.

Full awakening of human consciousness, the state of enlightenment, is everyone's birthright. The world needed an effortless, fully effective practice to make the process simple and easy, and a systematic, scientific knowledge of consciousness to render higher states comprehensible. The world needed a scientific age for humanity to have a clear vision of possibilities for life on earth through unfolding higher stages of development. This is what the TM program is ultimately all about.


Why is TM trademarked?


The registered trademark is another way of maintaining the original effectiveness or 'purity' of the Transcendental Meditation program—helping distinguish and preserve the authentic TM technique as originally taught by Maharishi.

Trademarks protect us as consumers by allowing us to identify authenticity. If meditation techniques were all basically the same and produced the same results, there would be no altruistic reason to trademark or otherwise distinguish the Transcendental Meditation technique. But as scientific research has demonstrated, all meditation practices are not the same: the various types of practices clearly do not produce similar effects on brain function1 or on mind, body and behavior. 2

Uniqueness: The Transcendental Meditation technique is unique: no other practice works in the same way or has been found through scientific research to produce the same holistic effects.3 For example, the TM technique is the only form of meditation found in clinical trials and meta-analysis to significantly reduce high blood pressure4and decrease incidents of heart attack and stroke5 —which is why the American Heart Association, after conducting their own research, announced that the TM technique is the only form of meditation they recommend to doctors for treatment of hypertension.6

Distinguishing one from another: The only way to distinguish the TM technique from other types of meditation available is to maintain the technique's registered trademark. This way, when someone learns the TM technique, they can rest assured that they are really learning the authentic Transcendental Meditation, because only highly trained and certified TM teachers can teach this practice or (ethically and legally) use the name "TM" or "Transcendental Meditation." Otherwise, without the registered trademark, anyone could say that they are teaching "Transcendental Meditation," but if the person is not a certified TM instructor, the practice they are teaching would be something very different.

Scientific references:

    1. Cognitive Processing 11(1), 21-30, 2010
    2. American Journal of Health Promotion 12(5), 297-299, 1998
    3. Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation program: Collected Papers, Vol 1-7, 2013
    4. Current Hypertension Reports 9 (6): 520-528, 2007
    5. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 5: 770–758, 2012
    6. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association (61) 2013

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Nazira, student, on TM

Nazira, student:

"The great thing about TM is that anyone can do it. It doesn't rely on religious belief. My tutors often comment that I am always happy and smiling. It helps me feel more calm and open to everything."