How Do You Do Transcendental Meditation?

Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2022
transcendental meditation
Transcendental meditation involves repeating a mantra silently for 15-20 minutes

Transcendental meditation involves repeating a mantra silently for 15-20 minutes (or longer) in a quiet, dimly-lit room with no distractions or music. Before starting, make sure to turn off your phone or put it on silent, and take steps to make sure that you won’t be disturbed by family members or pets during your meditation session. You can also light candles or burn incense to make your meditation space more comfortable. 

Then follow these steps:

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor with your hands on your lap.
  • Close your eyes for a few seconds to a minute, take a few deep breaths, relax your body. Your eyes should remain closed during the 15- to 20-minute session.
  • Silently repeat a mantra in your mind. This could be a Sanskrit sound you learned from a meditation teacher or a word or phrase of your choice.
  • Focus on the mantra completely. If you feel yourself getting distracted, refocus your thoughts on the mantra.
  • After the session, open your eyes. Sit for a few more minutes until you feel ready to get up.

Many people recommend meditating at least once a day, although you may want to perform a session whenever you are feeling stressed throughout the day.

What is transcendental meditation?

Meditation is an ancient practice that has roots in Egypt and China, as well as Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Because of the many health benefits of meditation, it’s become a popular modern practice for many as part of self-care. 

Transcendental meditation is one of the most common meditation techniques, and what makes it unique is its use of mantras. A mantra can be words, phrases or visualizations used during a meditation session to help calm the mind. In transcendental meditation, there are exclusive mantras aimed to achieve a state of perfect stillness and consciousness.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Chronic stress is the root cause of many health problems and can trigger underlying conditions. Meditation is a great tool you can use to calm your mind, obtain clarity and improve your overall mental health by promoting inner peace.

All types of meditation, including transcendental meditation, can have the following benefits:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves focus and memory
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Improves productivity
  • Improves pain management
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Improves awareness
  • Decreases the risk of developing certain diseases
  • Reduces the severity of existing health problems
  • Improves overall mental and physical health


17 Everyday Ways to Ease Depression See Slideshow

How long should I meditate to see results?

According to several studies, 20 minutes of meditation a day for 45-60 days can have measurable effects on the brain—from better focus and more productivity to less anxiety.

Everyone reacts differently, however, so it is important to try longer or shorter sessions to see what works for you. If you are new to meditation, start with 5 minutes a day, then gradually increase to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then longer over the course of several weeks. 

When it comes to meditation, consistency is key. So whether you are doing 10-20 minutes a day—or even if you only have 5 minutes—try to commit to doing it daily for at least 2 months to reap the benefits.

What are different types of meditation?

Meditation is the practice of deliberately analyzing your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in a state of observance and acceptance.

There are many ways to meditate, and because it is such a personal practice, you can customize it to suit you. Techniques that have heavily researched in scientific studies include:

  • Focused attention or mindful meditation: Involves concentrating on a specific thing, such as your breathing, a sensation in your body, or an object outside of you. The goal of this type of meditation is to focus intensely on one point and bring your attention back to it when your mind wanders.
  • Open-monitoring meditation: Involves paying attention to everything that is going on around you and simply noticing everything without reacting.
Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2022
WebMD. Transcendental Meditation.

Alfonsi D. How to Do Transcendental Meditation (Step-by-Step Guide). Life Hack.

NPR. A Childhood of Transcendental Meditation, Spent in the 'Shadow of a Guru' June 13, 2016.