Transcending: Experiencing the 4th state of consciousness
It’s the simple, natural, effortless process of going inward, beyond thought, to tap your silent inner reserves of creativity, intelligence and well-being at the source of thought — the field of pure awareness.
During practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, as the mind easily and spontaneously settles inward and mental activity subsides, wakefulness naturally increases, as confirmed by EEG brainwave research (Cognitive Processing 2010). The mind comes to a state of complete rest, but remains fully awake in its state of maximum comprehension. This is the experience of pure awareness or transcendental consciousness—a reservoir of unlimited energy, happiness and intelligence at the source of the thinking process. This experience is commonly described as the essential nature of the mind, one's deepest, inner Self.
To transcend means to go beyond all mental activity, all thoughts, sensations and perceptions, to experience this silent state of pure awareness or pure consciousness. It's called 'pure consciousness' because it's consciousness in its purest, simplest state—just consciousness by itself, aware of itselfand nothing else. This transcendental state is also known as the fourth state of consciousness, unlike waking, dreaming or sleep, with its own style of physiological functioning. It is not a trance-like state or form of self-hypnosis, but a settled, peaceful, expanded state of awareness that is completely natural to every human nervous system.
Why is transcending important?
A well-established principle of the Transcendental Meditation program is that this experience of transcending is the primary cause of the TM technique's holistic, positive effects. Transcendental Meditation is specifically a technique for effortless transcending, distinct from practices that have other purposes or which engage the mind and keep it active or busy in various ways. During this process of transcending, numerous research studies show that the brain functions with greater coherence and the body gains profound rest.
According to physiological research, this state of transcendental consciousness is very different from ordinary relaxation—giving deeper rest and greater rejuvenation to mind and body. Over 600 scientific studies have validated this principle that the process of effortless transcending during the TM technique produces the widest range of benefits among the variety of meditative practices.
Revival of correct meditation: The process of automatic self-transcending is simple and natural, but also very delicate; so delicate that the technique was lost to society—East and West—for thousands of years because of misunderstanding and inadequate teaching methods.
In the 20th century, Maharishi revived correct practice of this timeless meditation technique and structured the systematic, standardized seven-step course, so that teachers could be trained and people throughout the world could learn to meditate effectively and gain maximum benefit.