During meditation's 1960s rise in popularity in the West, a version called transcendental meditation (TM) was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a physics scholar from lndia. TM is based on ancient Indian practices, is it similar to other forms of meditation such as Zen, yoga, progressive relaxation, and other means of eliciting deep relaxation. Meditation is a vital component of transcendental meditation activity.
But its promotional materials claim that TM teaches mastery of the forces of nature, enabling students to become invisible, walk through walls, fly unassisted, and develop "the strength of an elephant." Devotees claim that TM is the vehicle for enlightenment and even world peace. Accepting these beliefs is not prerequisite to benefiting from the practice of TM. TM's physiologic benefits, which are shared by other types of meditation and not unique to this particular approach, are well documented. But flying through the air? Becoming invisible? Doesn't make sense to most of us.
Meditation reduced blood pressure better than did progressive muscle relaxation or instruction about healthy living habits in one study. Frequent regular meditation may reduce anxiety, depression, and pain among patients with cancer as well.
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