How to Choose a Mantra for Transcendental Meditation: Things You Need to Understand

How to Choose a Mantra for Transcendental Meditation: Things You Need to Understand

Transcendental meditation, also referred as TM, is a form of meditation in which people meditate silently thinking of a mantra or a sound. These mantras do more than just to help our minds focus.

It also helps our mind and body to settle in a quiet state and relax. This is why before doing transcendental meditation, it is import to learn about the right mantra and how to choose a mantra for transcendental meditation.

Transcendental Meditation: A Closer Look

Transcendental meditation is an ancient Indian tradition that is derived from Yoga and recently getting popular in the West as well, especially in the United States.

David Lynch even initiated a foundation in 2005 which is dedicated to such practice. Also, many high profile celebrities including Oprah and  Jim Carrey practice transcendental meditation.

The Benefits

Transcendental meditation is a psychological exercise that helps our mind and body to move to and relax in a silent state. It helps people get more energetic, refreshed, and focused when they come out of this state.

According to modern research, it offers multiple physical health benefits along with psychological well-being. It helps with asthma, slows the progression of cardiovascular diseases, improves cognitive functions, and lowers blood pressure.

In terms of psychological benefits, it helps us focus more on our goals, relieves stress, keeps us calm, helps improve creativity, develops problem-solving skills, and refreshes our mind. However, all of those are possible only if you are using the right mantras in your mind.

The Mantras

Transcendental meditation was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, along with the mantras that you need to use. The mantras are the key to the meditation. Without the use of mantra, there is no transcendental meditation. These are commonly one- or two-word mantras, very rarely any more words that we read in our mind with a rhythm.

The word mantra is derived from the two Sanskrit words, man and tra. “Man” means mind and “tra” means instrument. This means that it is an instrument of thought that helps us achieve the state of quiet and silent mind without any thoughts. In simple words, a complete mindless state.

How to Choose a Mantra for Transcendental Meditation

When choosing a mantra, you have to keep two basics in mind.

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  • The Sound: The sound of the mantra must be meaningless because its purpose is to settle your mind into silence and complete relaxation. If the sound has a meaning, it will provide information to your mind to work on and will divert your mind’s focus. So, whatever the sound you are choosing, make sure it does not make any sense for your mind. It should be without any meaning.
  • The Vibration: The vibration of the sound must have resonance with the actual source, which is the primordial hum, also known as Om. The vibration must fade slowly in the same direction as primordial hum. This helps our mind to settle with the mantra as our mind moves towards complete silence gradually.

The Uniqueness of Transcendental Meditation Mantras

Choosing the Mantra

Even though mantras are commonly used in almost all types of meditations and some types of yoga, it is mandatory and unique in transcendental meditation. In other forms of meditations, you can choose mantra on your own, based on the one that helps you relax more.

On the other hand, in transcendental meditation, only a certified teacher can teach you a mantra. If you try to choose it on your own, it will not work. Similarly, mantras in other forms of meditations often have some meaning attached to them, but mantras used in transcendental meditation do not have any meaning.

Number of Words

In addition, mantras for other meditation types and yoga are often more than two words, but mantras for transcendental meditation are most commonly no more than two words.

Similarly, mantras are often the focal point of mediation in which your mind focuses only on the mantra. In TM, the mantra is not a focal point. It is meaningless, so you just use it as an instrument to settle to the quieter mental state.

Transcendental meditation and its mantras are different than other forms of meditation. While other forms of meditations allow you to customize meditation methods and mantras according to your own unique needs and comfort, transcendental meditation follows a more rigid set of instructions to follow.

Learning Process

You cannot learn transcendental meditation on your own, as you need to go to one of the transcendental meditation schools or universities or hire a certified teacher.

The course is often expensive, which is why you cannot choose a TM mantra on your own. Only a certified teacher from one of the TM schools and universities can teach you the TM mantras, and they often charge money.

As transcendental meditation is a more complex form of meditation in which you have to slowly settle your mind and body to a state of nothing, no thoughts, no stress, just emptiness using the mantra, it needs practice. This is why you need a teacher, who tells you how to practice and which mantra to use.

The teacher tells you which mantra to use. The focus of TM and the mantra is to not to do something new but to use the natural tendency of our mind to settle down to silent and relaxed state.


The concept of how to choose a mantra for transcendental meditation is that you don’t choose a mantra for it. Your certified transcendental meditation teacher selects and teaches the mantra to you. It is not up to you since it will not work without proper guidance.

Transcendental meditation is different than other types of meditation, so are the mantras used, and how they are used. You need to depend on a certified teacher to learn about the mantra, and to practice it with your teacher.

Transcendental meditation mantras are not the focal point, but only a form of assistance to help you achieve the ultimate goal, which is to achieve a mental state of emptiness.

Many people mix transcendental meditation with other forms of meditation and often choose their own words as a mantra that sounds good or picks up mantras for different meditations to use with the transcendental meditation.

Unfortunately, this is not how it works with transcendental meditation. Until and unless the mantra is taught to you by a certified teacher, it will not work.

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