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History of Transcendental Meditation

The History of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the Transcendental Meditation movement originated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the organization, and continues beyond his death (2008). In 1955, the Maharishi began publicly teaching a traditional meditation technique learned from his master Brahmananda Saraswati, which he called Transcendental Deep Meditation, and later renamed Transcendental Meditation.

The Maharishi initiated thousands of people, then developed a TM teacher training program as a way to accelerate the rate of bringing the technique to more people. He also inaugurated a series of world tours which promoted Transcendental Meditation. These factors, coupled with endorsements by celebrities who practiced TM, along with scientific research that validated the technique, helped to popularize TM in the 1960s and 1970s. By the late 2000s, TM had been taught to millions of individuals and the Maharishi was overseeing a large multinational movement. Despite organizational changes and the addition of advanced meditative techniques in the 1970s the Transcendental Meditation technique has remained relatively unchanged.

Among the first organizations to promote TM were the Spiritual Regeneration Movement and the International Meditation Society. In present times, the movement has grown to encompass schools and universities that teach the practice, and includes many associated programs offering health and well-being based on the Maharishi's interpretation of the Vedic traditions. In the U.S., major organizations included Students International Meditation Society, AFSCI, World Plan Executive Council, Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation, and Global Country of World Peace. The successor to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and head of the Global Country of World Peace, is Tony Nader.

In 1955, Brahmachari Mahesh left Uttarkashi and began publicly teaching what he stated was a traditional meditation technique learned from his master Brahmananda Saraswati, which he called Transcendental Deep Meditation. Later the technique was renamed Transcendental Meditation.

In 1958, Brahmachari Mahesh, now called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, began a number of worldwide tours promoting and disseminating Transcendental Meditation. The first tour began in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar). The Maharishi remained in the Far East for about six months teaching his meditation.

In 1959, the Maharishi taught the Transcendental Meditation technique in Hawaii, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Germany. He founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in Los Angeles, in 1959 and established an office there, which was the only place where TM was taught in the USA between 1959 and 1965.



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