The short answer: about 10 hours over a long weekend.
The complete answer: there are several steps to learn how to meditate. In the first step you attend a free introductory talk with a certified TM teacher to find out what Transcendental Meditation is all about. Your teacher will answer questions like, How can it help me? What is the research? How does it work?
The next steps are the heart of the TM instruction and take about two hours a day for four consecutive days. On the first day your TM teacher meets with you privately to give you personal, one-on-one instruction in how to meditate. Next you’ll attend three group sessions with your TM teacher—when you’ll find answers to all your questions about meditation now that you’ve actually experienced it. These might include, What happens if I get interrupted? Why do I have thoughts in meditation? How do I know if my meditation is working or not?
You also get to experience meditation in a group setting, which deepens your practise. By the time you finish the course, you’ll feel confident that you are doing it right.
Wondering where to find a TM class near you? Click here.
Those 8-9 hours are the core instruction, but there’s a lot more available to refresh your direct experience—from private TM sessions with your teacher (to check that you’re doing it correctly) to group meditations and knowledge meetings. You can keep coming back to the TM center for free private checkings and advanced talks for the rest of your life—at any TM Center in the world.
Or if you want to fly solo after you learn, that’s fine too. Once you take the basic TM course, you have a self-sufficient tool to practise anywhere you go to bring peace, happiness and mental clarity to your life.