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Can You Do Transcendental Meditation Without a Teacher?

A half body photo of a young woman practicing yoga in lotus pose.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a style of meditation practiced worldwide. The technique was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955, who taught it to millions of people to help them live happier lives. Today, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is practiced by over 200 million people worldwide. It can help reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve overall health.

Many people believe that TM requires a teacher. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can practice TM at home or anywhere you can find a quiet place.

Read on to familarize yourself with this technique and why you should practice it.

Transcendental Meditation: How Does it Work?

Beautiful young woman sitting in lotus position and meditating.

The technique works by calming the brain waves and relaxing the mind. It can help take you out of a reactionary fight-or-flight response when dealing with a problem. As a result, you will also feel calmer and more alert.

Once your mind is clear of the mental noise and you’re able to relax, you’ll be able to work through whatever is upsetting you more productively. The longer you meditate, the better you will become at it. Some studies have shown that practicing regular sessions can change your brain’s structure, making it easier to concentrate and remember things.

Why Should I Practice Transcendental Meditation?

Young woman meditating at home.

If you want to live a more healthful life, then learning how to do Transcendental Meditation could be just what you need. Learn about the benefits of TM below.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Transcendental Meditation Alone?

Meditating girl in front of beautiful mountains.

In addition to being an effective way to relieve stress, TM has many other benefits. For example, studies show that TM reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves sleep quality, increases energy, boosts immune function, promotes healing, and helps prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease. According to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, several benefits are associated with TM.

These include:

  • Improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Better relationships
  • Better work performance

How Long Can You Expect to See Good Results From TM?

It takes time to see results from TM. However, if you follow the program exactly, you should notice improvements within two weeks.

Are There Any Side Effects Of TM?

TM is entirely safe. The only side effect is that some people experience headaches during meditation. If this happens, try taking Tylenol or Advil before practicing TM.

Is There Any Evidence That TM Works?

There is plenty of evidence showing that TM is beneficial. For example, according to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the technique significantly decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression among patients suffering from chronic pain. A second study showed that TM helped people cope better with life changes.

And a third study indicated that it could help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How Do You Do Transcendental Meditation Alone?

Man seriously meditating near waterfall.

  1. The first step is to find a tranquil place where you won’t be disturbed. Choose a comfortable spot to sit, straighten your back, and close your eyes.
  2. Take several deep breaths, holding each for one second before exhaling. Do this for up to five minutes.
  3. While you’re performing the breathing exercise, take note of how your body is feeling. Are there any aches and pains? Don’t focus on the cause. Just be aware of what’s going on with your body.
  4. When ready, open your eyes and repeat the word OM 10 times. If you’re uncomfortable saying and repeating that word, choose another word or a phrase that you are comfortable repeating over and over. Choose a word or phrase that means nothing to you so that you can focus on your meditation. You can speak the word or repeat it silently inside your mind.
  5. Relax for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. When you feel calm, begin counting backward from 100 by 7s until you reach 1.
  7. Repeat this process twice each day for 30 days.

You Can Practice TM Anytime Of Day Or Night

Young woman meditating on the beach during full moon.

You don’t have to practice at specific times. You can practice whenever you want. However, most experts recommend starting your session early in the morning.

Try practing a TM session right before bed to improve your sleep. If you wake up during the night, continue your practice.

Don’t Forget To Breathe!

During your session, make sure you keep breathing deeply. For example, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try not to hold your breath.

Letting go of tension will allow you to relax more easily. To get the most out of your sessions, practice regularly. It may take a few months to become proficient in TM.

But once you do, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. Transcendental Meditation is an excellent stress management tool. By learning TM, you’ll learn to control your thoughts and emotions.

This will improve your overall well-being and health.

So What’s the Catch?

Young woman meditating alone.

Of course, not everyone will have success practicing TM alone. Some people just aren’t cut out for it. They need guidance from a teacher or someone who is experienced with meditation.

That’s why many people prefer to learn TM with a teacher. But if you decide to learn TM on your own, there are some things you should know about it.

TM Is Not A Religion

The TM technique isn’t based on religion. It doesn’t teach anything about God or Jesus Christ. Instead, it teaches you how to achieve inner peace and happiness.

There Are No Rules Or Constraints

There are no rules or constraints when learning TM. The only thing you must do is follow the steps listed above.

TM Isn’t For Everyone.

Some people won’t enjoy the experience of learning TM. Others might find it tedious or difficult.

TM May Be Challenging To Learn

Some people find it challenging to learn TM. This is especially true if you’ve never done it before.

TM Requires Patience And Dedication

Learning TM requires patience, dedication, and the willingness to put in the effor to learn the technique. While the techniques are pretty straightforward, retraining how your mind will require patience.

TM Doesn’t Guarantee Results.

Learning TM won’t guarantee results. Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine the types of changes you’ll see in your life due to practicing TM. Follow the steps above, or visit YouTube to get a visual idea of how the technique works before you decide to practice this technique. You can also visit Transcendental Meditation Institute for a deep dive info session.

Finally, if you’re still unsure about this practice or are self-conscious, you can partner with your spouse, a trusted friend, or a teacher.


Do You Need a Meditation App for Your Sessions?

This article wouldn’t be complete without the mention of apps. I found a breakdown of the best meditation apps. Most of them require a subscription, so start with the free one to get a feel for how they operate and whether or not you’ll need one.

Ambient Music or Sound

Ambient music or sound may work out better for you because it’s designed to help you soothe your mind and help you focus, which makes it perfect for meditation. In addition, you’ll find plenty of music videos on YouTube that you can use for background sounds.

How Can I Practice TM At Home?

TM doesn’t require any special equipment before you can begin. Grab your timer and sit in a comfortable chair. The best time for meditation is early morning or late evening. If you want to try it at night, make sure you have a light blanket or pillow to cover yourself.

You Can Practice TM In Public Places Too!

If you want to practice TM while walking down the street, go ahead. But don’t do it all the time. Instead, try doing it once or twice per week. It will still benefit you.

What About Doing TM While Driving?

It’s OK to meditate while driving if you have a few minutes to spare. You can even drive while practicing.