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How is TM Different

The TM technique differs from other techniques in four important ways:

1. Effortless

The TM technique involves no concentration, contemplation or control of your mind – unlike other techniques. It is effortless and enjoyable, and can be practiced sitting comfortably in a chair with the eyes closed.

2. Evidence-based

Over 350 published research studies on the TM technique have documented a wide range of unique wellness benefits, including markedly reduced stress and anxiety, and improved heart health and cognitive function.

3. Standardized for effectiveness

Transcendental Meditation is taught through a standardized course by certified teachers to ensure proper instruction and maximum benefits.

4. High Alpha Coherence

Researchers have determined that different meditation techniques affect brain functioning in different ways. Transcendental Meditation develops global alpha coherence, a pattern associated with increased alertness. The development of this coherence is especially marked in the prefrontal cortex – the brain’s executive planning center – and demonstrates the growth in executive functions that occurs through practice of the technique.

Predominant brain activity during 3 different forms of meditation

Predominant brain activity during 3 different forms of meditation

What this means

As doctors increasingly prescribe meditation techniques to patients for stress-related disorders, scientists are gaining a better understanding of how different techniques from a wide variety of traditions, both modern and ancient, produce different results. A new paper published this past summer in Consciousness and Cognition discusses three categories to organize and better understand meditation:

  1. Focused attention—concentrating on an object, idea, or emotion; 
  2. Open monitoring—being mindful of one’s breath, thoughts or feelings; 
  3. Automatic self-transcending—meditations that transcend their own activity 

Each of these categories was assigned EEG bands, based on reported brain patterns during mental tasks, and meditations were categorized based on their reported EEG. 

Research highlights

See the evidence