Interview: reducing stress and improving focus with transcendental meditation

“What we really like about Localazy is it gives our content teams total control over content. It also makes it a lot easier to maintain consistency across languages” says Joseph, the Marketing Director at Transcendental Meditation Canada.

Meditation has increasingly become a leading practice to deal with the multiple challenges of modern life. Since the emergence of related disciplines like mindfulness, mantra meditations, and yoga, the West has embraced this millenary oriental practice that helps us focus our attention on the present moment.

One of the first techniques to capture the westerners' interest in this discipline during the 1970s was transcendental meditation. TM was created in the late 50s in India and was first taught in Europe and the US by Maharishi Majesh Yogi.

Decades later, it's safe to say that meditation has gone mainstream. And technology has naturally embraced it. You don't have to travel anymore to learn it from the masters in the East, as there are many courses and apps available worldwide.

In this interview, we talk to Joseph Gelfand, Marketing Director at Transcendental Meditation Canada, who explains the ins and outs of this type of practice and tells us why they chose Localazy to localize their content.

🧘‍♂‍ The Technique 🔗

Hi, Joseph! Thank you for joining us. So, what is transcendental meditation all about?

It's a meditation technique that helps you get deep rest, be more present and in the flow, expand your creativity and reduce stress.

Transcendental meditation is unique in that it's endogenous — a fancy word for “that which comes from within itself.” The fundamental principles of TM are founded in the very nature of the mind, body, and spirit. When something is endogenous, it is both natural and self-regulating. And when something is natural and self-regulating, the benefits are holistic.

Just curious - how did you end up practicing TM?

My dad was a transcendental meditation teacher so I learned when I was just a kid, and I’ve been doing it pretty consistently ever since.

"It helps you get deep rest, be more present and in the flow, expand your creativity and reduce stress"

That's fascinating! But aside from personal experiences, there’s also a lot of research around meditation. What are the physical and mental benefits of this specific type of technique?

There are hundreds of studies on the benefits of transcendental meditation that have been conducted at more than 200 independent universities and research institutions and published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety.
  • Improved brain functioning.
  • Improved cardiovascular health, including lowering blood pressure.
  • And improvements in sleep and help with insomnia.

What does your audience look like?

We want to help people reach their full potential and live life to the fullest, so TM is fit for everyone. As the Canadian branch of the TM organization, we offer courses to people across Canada from all different backgrounds and walks of life. However, TM is taught across the globe. In fact, over the past 50 years, transcendental meditation has been taught to millions of people.

🧠 How It Works 🔗

You use a one-to-one instruction method. How does it work?

The learning process starts with a Certified TM teacher in a course over four consecutive days. The course starts with personal instruction in transcendental meditation through the classic TM instruction experience. Following your personal instruction, you’ll join three days of small group sessions for interactive lessons based on your new experiences.

What makes this technique different than others? What is the difference between TM and mindfulness, for instance?

There are a lot of differences between transcendental meditation and other techniques. But the big difference is that TM gives you the experience of transcending — a deep state of restfulness beyond the boundaries of thinking and focus. It’s this experience of transcending that expands your mind, improves your overall wellbeing, and helps you see things with a new perspective.

And with TM, you learn how to naturally access this state of transcending without focus or concentration. It's truly effortless.

🙏 The Future of Meditation 🔗

Meditation has boomed during the last few years. Do you think that technology is the main “culprit”?

The popularity of meditation apps has definitely helped increase awareness of meditation, along with helping people to appreciate its value. But transcendental meditation is taught in person by a certified teacher. So its availability or access isn’t connected to the boom in meditation apps.

What does success look like for your company? What's your current runway?

Our goal is to offer the TM course to more people and to support the lifelong meditation practice of those who learn. We're a non-profit organization, so we don't really operate on those terms. The organization is supported by the fees from the courses, and that's it!

What would you say is your biggest business challenge then?

Communicating the unique value of transcendental meditation compared to other self-development practices.

What do you think – what will your industry look like about 10 years from now?

I believe that meditation will continue to become more and more present in our culture as more people prioritize self-care and personal and inner development.


🚩 Implementing Localazy 🔗

So, what's next for TM Canada?

We're in the process of developing a new website to promote TM, and that's where Localazy comes in. We're using Localazy to ensure our site is fully-bilingual so that we can best serve English and French Canada.

What are your favorite Localazy features?

What we really like about Localazy is it gives our content teams total control over content. The dev team doesn’t have to be involved in basic content changes.

We also really like being able to see English and French content side by side, making it a lot easier to maintain a consistent message across languages.

Learn the 12 reasons why Localazy is the best tool for translation management.

Would you like to highlight other services or products you really like to use on your own?

We use Localazy, Google Analytics, GitHub, and Slack.

Is there something else you would like to say?

If you’re interested in learning more about transcendental meditation, how it’s different from other meditations, and how you can learn, you can explore our website: https://ca.tm.org/

We wish the TM team the best on their spiritual adventure. Learn about their history here and find more about their courses here!


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