Any kind of meditation is going to help bring about a greater sense of calming of the mind and ability to focus.  For many centuries great thinkers have meditated either on a particular subject (philosophy), a particular physical aspect (breathing, walking), or way of life (non attachment, non violence).  Any and all of these can help us develop our minds and be able to concentrate better, calm ourselves and improve our lot in life.

Over the last few decades Transcendental Meditation (TM) has gained popularity in part due to the studies supporting its many benefits but also from successful celebrities and athletes promoting it.  Hugh Jackman, Ellen DeGeneres, Barry Zito, Katie Finneran, Ray Dalio, Russell Brand, and Martina Navratilova are just a few of many who optimize themselves with Transcendental Meditation.

Apart from various health benefits such as: increased longevity, reduced high blood pressure, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke in people at risk, the biggest change might be an increased consciousness.  Many people cite Transcendental Meditation as how they were able to overcome bad habits such as smoking, eating unhealthily and drinking.  Rosenthal describes an increase in the “ability to take a few moments to pause . . . and consider what you want to do next, instead of just doing it.”

Transcendental Meditation is heralded as one of the easier and more consistent ways to achieve these things.  Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. and New York Times-Best Selling Author of Transcendence and Super Mind says that Trandscendental Meditation is different from other forms of meditation because “a special sound, a ‘mantra,’ is used in a systematic manner to slow down and refine mental activity – a more automatic type of process than focusing or open monitoring.”

TM is generally recommended to be practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day.  Sometimes the time will seem to blink by while other practices might feel as if it has been hours.  The wandering of the mind is a common fear of meditation but is completely normal at first.  The advantage of having a mantra is that if you continue using the mantra it is difficult to think about something else.

As any specialized skill, the best way to learn is through a teacher who can work directly with you to start and provide check ins on a regular basis to make sure you are on the right track.  Improve your life by starting a habit of stillness and consciousness that will spread to all aspects of your being.