What does it mean to TRANSCEND in meditation?

TRANSCENDING is the natural process of diving inward, beyond thought, beyond all mental activity, to experience the state of pure awareness or restful alertness — accessing your deepest inner reserves of energy, creativity and intelligence. The TM technique allows the mind to effortlessly and spontaneously transcend. 

This procedure is different from watching your thoughts, focusing on your breathing, concentrating, guided meditation or trying to be "mindful" — and scientific research shows it produces different results.

During practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, as the mind easily and spontaneously settles inward and mental activity subsides, wakefulness naturally increases, as confirmed by EEG brainwave research (Cognitive Processing 2010). When the mind comes to a state of complete rest during TM practice, but remains fully awake, this is the experience of pure awareness or transcendental consciousness. This state is described as a reservoir of unlimited energy, happiness and intelligence at the source of the thinking process — the essential nature of the mind, one's deepest, inner Self. The TM technique is designed to facilitate this process of transcending.

To transcend means to go beyond all mental activity, all thoughts, sensations and perceptions, to experience this silent state of pure awareness. It's called 'pure' because it's consciousness in its purest, simplest state — just consciousness by itself, aware of itself and nothing else. This transcendental state is also known as the fourth state of consciousness, unlike waking, dreaming or sleep, with its own style of physiological functioning. It is not a trance-like state or form of self-hypnosis, but a settled, peaceful, expanded state of awareness that is completely natural to every human nervous system. 

Why is transcending important? 

As numerous scientific research studies help demonstrate, this experience of transcending is the primary reason for the Transcendental Meditation technique's holistic, positive effects. TM practice is specifically a process for effortless transcending, distinct from practices that have other purposes or which engage the mind and keep it active or busy in various ways. Numerous research studies have shown show that during the state of "transcendence," the brain functions with greater coherence and the body gains profound rest.

According to physiological research, this state of transcendental consciousness is very different from ordinary relaxation or the so-called "relaxation response" — giving deeper rest and greater rejuvenation to mind and body. Over 750 scientific studies have validated this principle that the process of effortless transcending during the TM technique produces the widest range of benefits among the variety of meditative practices.

The process of automatic self-transcending is simple and natural, but also very delicate; so delicate that the technique was long lost to society — East and West — because of misunderstanding and inadequate teaching methods.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived correct practice of this timeless procedure and structured the systematic, standardized seven-step TM course, so that teachers could be trained and people throughout the world could learn to meditate effectively and gain maximum benefit.

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