Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

In 1955, the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi turned to Swami Brahmananda Saraswati or “Guru Dev,” and began teaching a traditional meditation technique which he later renamed Transcendental Meditation (TM). This technique, which helps a person enter a relaxed state of awareness and avoid distracting thoughts, gained a considerable following soon after the Maharishi embarked on a worldwide tour espousing his form of silent meditation. The practice became globally famous after being endorsed by the biggest band in the world – The Beatles.

In its list of daily meditation benefits Transcendental Meditation identifies the positive effects of practicing TM regularly. Daily TM sessions bring about a bevy of health benefits, including helping relieve stress by balancing the nervous system activation and hormonal level and enhancing brain coherence, lowering blood pressure, lowering risk of heart disease, and enhancing intelligence by speeding up the brain’s capacity to process information and promoting the balanced use of the cognitive, affective and volitional domains.

The same list also notes a spike in the work efficiency of TM practitioners. Specifically, they improved in overall effectiveness, professional relationships, and leadership ability. The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage in his first-person account on trying TM notes that the technique has allowed him to truly relax and put his thoughts in order. TM, he says, has even allowed him to concentrate more easily. He even points out that he felt “much less tired” after doing TM and that his nightly sleep had become “deep and unbroken.”

Two prominent celebrities who practice TM are movie writer-director David Lynch and actress Heather Graham. Lynch, who is considered by The Guardian as “the most important director of this era,” was initiated to TM in July 1973 and has since been one of its most resolute and vocal advocates. Graham, meanwhile, was taught about TM by Lynch himself, who was directing the then 20-year-old actress in the American mystery drama television series Twin Peaks.  

David Lynch

The Washington Post feature “The key to David Lynch’s happy life” notes how Lynch, in an interview with CNN anchor and fellow TM practitioner Candy Crowley, stated that TM had helped him reach his full creative potential. He also stated that TM makes” life more fun.”

Graham, on the other hand, credits TM for calming her down. In a wide-ranging interview on Today Graham admits that she has been doing TM for a long time, before pointing out that meditation has helped her find inner peace and deal with stress. “I’m kind of high-strung, and so you know, it’s really easy to get anxious,” Graham says, “but it (TM) really just calms you down, and it helps you find that peaceful place inside yourself so whenever your life gets a little crazy, it reminds you to be just centered.”

Heather Graham

Both Graham and Lynch have had long and successful careers, and they remain active in their respective fields. Graham is very busy at the moment working on her directorial debut Half Magic, a satirical comedy exploring female empowerment, and has also been working in the UK as the brand ambassador and face of Foxy Bingo. The online site uses her association with comedies like Austin Powers to promote the brand’s style of humor. David Lynch has also returned to directing and helmed the revival of the Twin Peaks. This year he traveled across Georgia to promote meditation.

If Lynch’s and Graham’s experiences with TM are any indication, then the meditation technique espoused by the now deceased Maharishi, can be hugely beneficial for your life and career.

 — Kelly Fine