From the Beatles to Seinfeld

Transcendental Meditation or TM isn't new. Established and trademarked by Indian-born Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1958, it was popularized by The Beatles' public endorsement in the 60s. More recently, celebrity support has come from film director David Lynch, along with Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Moby, Sheryl Crow and Donovan - all of whom appeared on stage at a TM benefit concert in April, held in New York, which raised $3 million for worldwide TM programming in schools. Today, the movement has around four million members who practice it globally, and 55,000 who reside in Israel - most of whom are Jewish. TM differs from other meditation methods in that no concentration or contemplation is required. Practitioners don't have to control their breathing or muscles, or even try to relax. TM utilizes sound to evoke the natural brain response of "transcending" or reaching a state of rest and stillness while the person is still highly alert. Most other meditation techniques keep the mind active, which the TM movement says hinders the "transcending" process.