Mindfulness vs Transcendental Meditation: What's the Difference?

Mindfulness vs Transcendental Meditation: What's The Difference? Learn about how these two approaches differ from each other - their goals benefits effects on brain learning methods ultimate objectives.

Mindfulness vs Transcendental Meditation: What's the Difference?

While mindfulness seeks to foster greater mental strength, concentration, and mindfulness skills, transcendental meditation has no interest in training attention. In fact, it calls itself an “absolutely simple form of meditation, based on “allowing the mind and body to access a special quality of rest”.

Mindfulness meditation

may sound similar to transcendental meditation, but the two practices have different goals and benefits. Transcendental meditation seeks to achieve a state of complete happiness, while mindfulness meditation aims at self-improvement and stress management.These two approaches to meditation come from different traditions, are practiced differently, have different effects on the brain, and are different in the way they are learned.

Transcendental meditation comes from the Vedic tradition and was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Mindfulness comes from the Buddhist tradition and was popularized in the West by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Transcendental meditation is described as a simple, natural, and effortless meditation technique that does not involve contemplation or concentration. One uses a mantra as a vehicle to let the mind settle naturally and, ultimately, to transcend thought, mindfulness meditation involves training the mind to be in the present moment.

It usually involves passive attention to one's breathing, sensations, and thoughts during meditation, sometimes generically referred to as open monitoring. In this sense, the main difference between the two is that the purpose of mindfulness meditation is for one's thoughts to be in the present moment. While with Transcendental Meditation, the goal is to transcend thought itself and to experience a state of pure consciousness, in which one is conscious but without an object of thought.These different approaches to meditation and the different subjective experiences during meditation are clearly reflected in the contrasting neurophysiological states associated with each practice. Transcendental meditation has been found to activate the brain's network of predetermined modes, which is the brain's natural state of rest.

Mindfulness meditation disables the default network mode. In addition, the EEG signatures or brain wave patterns associated with each practice are also different. Transcendental meditation is characterized by alpha brain waves and mindfulness meditation by theta brain waves. Alpha is associated with relaxation, while theta is associated with a willingness to process incoming signals.Finally, the two approaches to meditation are learned in different ways.

MT can only be learned from a certified teacher, who has received extensive training and who teaches the technique in a very precise manner. The teaching and practice of the technique are standardized. With mindfulness, one can learn the technique in a variety of ways, and there are somewhat varied interpretations of how it should be practiced. A good way to learn is by taking the 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course developed by Kabat-Zinn.

But you can also learn mindfulness from various websites or books or magazine articles.The final objectives of each technique are also different. With TM, long-term practice can result in a state of cosmic consciousness, in which the experience of transcendence is always present in consciousness, even during activity. One comes to experience that oneself is universal and omnipresent. One's identity goes from the individual to the cosmic.

With mindfulness, the ultimate goal is to always be in the present moment, with greater clarity and focus. Interestingly, a randomized controlled trial found that, although the purpose of TM is not to cultivate the present moment experience that seeks mindfulness meditation, those who practiced MT increased in this experience after three months of practice.Both full meditation and transcendental meditation involve deeper awareness, breathing and concentration. They have also been studied to improve psychological and physical well-being. In particular, mindfulness is a moment-to-moment state of awareness of your experience without judgment, while transcendental meditation transcends the ordinary thought process and aims to achieve stability, rest, and perfect absence of mental limits.Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment state of awareness of your non-judgmental experience.

It can be promoted through several activities such as yoga and tai chi but most of literature focuses on mindfulness meditation which consists of self-regulated practices that aim to train attention and awareness. Mindfulness meditation seeks to cultivate general mental well-being and develop serenity clarity concentration and similar abilities. Empirically supported benefits of mindfulness include reducing reflection reducing stress improving memory concentration calmness cognitive flexibility relationship satisfaction (American Psychological Association 202). Donna Rockwell a clinical psychologist and mindfulness teacher recently learned TM spoke Bob Roth for his book Strength Stillness Learning focus your mind particular thought helps you lay foundation practicing TM which requires you transcend superficial thoughts immerse yourself depths your consciousness goal mindfulness enlarge pen create open pasture which train mind return present moment unlike mindfulness meditation idea not focus your energy thoughts permeate present but calm mind its thoughts place state transcends thought applied correctly simple effortless automatic continuation flow attention beyond mindfulness present moment peaceful blissful silence like river flows spontaneously ocean this sense main difference two purpose mindfulness meditation thoughts focus present moment while Transcendental Meditation goal transcend thought itself experience state pure consciousness which one conscious without object Of thought Mindfulness also been shown increase brain's ability resist distractions reduce impulsive behavior think clearly make accurate decision compared non conscious meditators idea transcend impulse thought completely disconnect flow conscious thought runs through your mind daily basis.