Archive for October, 2012

Cancer stories: Greg James restored balance with Maharishi Ayurveda and TM to enjoy his life again

October 28, 2012

FAIRFIELD — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and The Ottumwa Courier asked cancer survivors and/or family members to share their stories. A few people wrote to tell of their experiences and their stories have been running often throughout this month. The editor thanks all the people who participated. Many said they wanted others to know about the experience and to always have hope. Here’s a story from a friend of mine, Greg James, in Fairfield. I never would have guessed he had been through so much, he seems so healthy to me.

Cancer stories: Restore balance and enjoy life

October 25, 2012

“No one has ever survived this kind of cancer,” the Harvard oncologist told me back in September 1988. “It is a rare and very fast-growing form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Sloane Kettering in New York City has only seen 50 cases in the last 10 years, and no white male 37-year heterosexual has ever survived.  You are Stage 4 with complications (massive pleural effusions).”

“What are his chances of surviving?” asked my family, and the doctor would only cross his fingers.

It was very ironic that I got this cancer, as I was on a media team that was making Deepak Chopra and Maharishi Ayurveda household words. I had been in perfect vibrant health, an active hiker, then (and now).

My father was a hospital administrator and consultant. I grew up with mixed signals: the doctors were brilliant and great people, but their system limited them to drugs and they couldn’t think out of the box; they are brilliant technicians but lack training in vital areas of nutrition and bedside manner. So, I was, from the outset what Bernie Siegel (author of “Love, Medicine, and Miracles”) called a “difficult patient.” Dr. Siegel noted that the patients who take an active interest in their treatment, asking frequent questions and sometimes going against medical advice, were the ones that survive.

It was quickly found that I had a tumor the size of a fist in my throat choking me. That explained a lot! The CHOP protocol worked quickly, dissolving that tumor, and I got through tumor necrosis (the breaking up of the tumor and the spread of that material throughout the body). I was re-admitted to Mass General Hospital in Boston again for a total lack of white blood cells and put on a rescue remedy. Then, two months after my first treatment, I was in Intensive Care Unit for 12 days fighting for my life against pneumonia.

After that, consulting with various doctors outside of the cancer complex at Mass General, I decided to quit the chemo, brain radiation and spinal taps in favor of rebuilding my body with special herbs from India and a rejuvenation protocol (now offered at The Raj in Fairfield). I was totally devastated by the chemo and lack of sleep caused by the Prednizone, and couldn’t hold down food from nausea. My body was trying to throw off the “emergency medicine” and get back to some balance. The Ayurvedic treatments were designed not to cure disease but to promote good health, but they gave me what I needed most: vitality, strength and some hint of happiness.

Meanwhile, the oncologists were upset that I had taken a break from chemo, etc., and told me they had gotten approval for a bone marrow transplant from Dana Farber Institute, a procedure that would “bring me to the brink of death, and then we will re-inject your bone marrow” and I was prescribed three years of continuing chemo, etc. after the transplant. My oncologist quoted a published study and told me that three out of 23 patients had survived this type of bone marrow transplant, which angered me. “You want me to bet my life on one chance in eight? Who is on drugs here, doctor? (I didn’t continue, and saved the insurance company $300,000)”

Ten months after I started, I was back to walking without leg braces (after losing strength from the chemo), and loving life again. I was grateful to have the best of “emergency medicine” and the best of alternative medicine. For a few years after, everyone and their brother was calling me to ask me to talk to their wife or cousin or whomever about their cancer treatment. My answer included these points: realize that the surface condition of cancer is a symptom of an underlying imbalance in the mind-body connection and that this must be restored, and it could be. If your condition is terrible, by all means take allopathic medicines, but don’t be afraid to break from it to get much-needed vitality back through expert-prescribed herbs and rejuvenation therapies. Take “rasayanas,” herbal supplements that promote longevity. First of all, go to an established Maharishi Ayurveda clinic and take the rejuvenation therapy; it will promote your recovery very quickly. And practice verified techniques for improving health, namely Transcendental Meditation. Be honest about your feelings: of course you are scared, that is natural; if you aren’t scared, then somebody isn’t being honest.

People ask me, “So your cancer is in remission?” and I answer, “My health was in remission briefly, but that has been restored.” I change the emphasis because too many people fear the problem without re-defining it: cancer is an opportunity, a forced opportunity, to go deep inside, bring out the strength you need and restore balance to enjoy life.

Greg James

Fairfield

Reprinted with permission from the author

Happy Birthday Katy Perry! Thank you for supporting the David Lynch Foundation

October 24, 2012

The David Lynch Foundation Wishes Happy Birthday to Katy Perry

For her birthday, Katy Perry tweets fans to support Transcendental Meditation for school kids and veterans https://twitter.com/katyperry

Katy Perry says that Transcendental Meditation changed her life and, for her October 25 birthday, she is asking her fans to donate to the David Lynch Foundation, a US-based charity that provides meditation instruction at no charge to inner-city school kids and veterans suffering from the traumatic stress of combat.

In a tweet to her 27 million twitter followers, Perry writes:

“Transcendental Meditation changed my life. For my birthday I would love to pay it forward. In lieu of gifts, donate to www.davidlynchfoundation.org/katyperry.”

Perry joins a growing number of A-list celebs who practice Transcendental Meditation, or “TM”as it is called, including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Russell Simmons, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Cheryl Crow, Moby, Ben Harper, and Laura Dern.

On the David Lynch Foundation donation webpage, Perry writes about her support for TM:

“I have been meditating for two years now, and it’s the best thing I have ever done to help bring more creativity, positive energy and peace to my life. When I’m tired, stressed, anxious or depressed, I meditate, and it clears my mind, and makes me feel relaxed and happier. I have shared the meditation experience with my friends, and recommend it to everyone I know.

“I support the David Lynch Foundation because it brings Transcendental Meditation to millions of adults and children all over the world who suffer from post-traumatic stress, such as veterans, inner-city school kids, and women and girls who are victims of violence.

“Please help me celebrate my birthday by making a donation to DLF. Your donation is not only special to me, but to all of the people whose lives you will help through the lifelong gift of meditation.”

Last year, Perry urged her fans to “pay it forward” with donations to the ASPCA to care for abused animals.

For more information, please contact heather@davidlynchfoundation.org.

About The DLF

Find out how Transcendental Meditation is being used to help at-risk students, veterans, and abused women and girls overcome stress. Watch

Celebrity websites have reported the news. See Look to the Stars: The World of Celebrity Giving: Katy Perry Urges Fans To Support Meditation Charity For Her Birthday. All the celebrities listed there are TM-ers who support the David Lynch Foundation. Examiner: Katy Perry birthday wish: 28 million fans support the David Lynch Foundation. MTV: act: Sweet Tweet: Katy Perry Asks for Charitable Donations For Her Birthday

The Age features Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi School in national education article

October 22, 2012

Australia’s The Age features Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi School in a national education article written by Denise Ryan: School puts stress on staying calm: Meditation techniques embraced by the Beatles are helping students in Reservoir. October 22, 2012. (I added links.)

Students practise Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi School in Reservoir. Photo: Eddie Jim

MOST children wouldn’t describe their primary school as “peaceful” or all their teachers and classmates as “kind”. But that’s how Bridgette Nicolosi views her new school.

The year 4 student says she used to feel “confused” in her former mathematics class, but since she has learnt Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi School in Reservoir, she is no longer as “scared” of maths as she was. She also feels more accepted and included.

Isabelle Coates, the year 6 captain, is not surprised. She has compared how “calm and happy” she feels with the state of mind of friends at other schools. “I seem to be more relaxed,” she says. “I think if I didn’t meditate I would be more stressed.”

Fellow year 6 student Supreeya Bullock says meditation has helped her with schoolwork and in playing sport. Perrin Broszczyk says it has helped him relax and has improved his tennis.

These students are making big claims but their positive experiences from two 10-minute Transcendental Meditation sessions each day is backed by a wealth of international research.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Photo: Trevor Dallen

Transcendental Meditation was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was first taught in India in the 1950s. Pop group the Beatles extolled its virtues, writing almost 50 songs while studying with Maharishi at his ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas in the late 1960s. Hollywood stars Mia Farrow and Shirley MacLaine also took it up. It is practised by millions world-wide, despite Maharishi’s death in 2008.

Some might regard the practice as New Age or bohemian but it has become mainstream, particularly in the US where it is used in some hospitals to help chronically or terminally ill patients manage their stress.

Principal Frances Clarke
Photo: Eddie Jim

Maharishi School founder and principal Frances Clarke says meditating in silence has profound results. Since the 1970s hundreds of research studies on Transcendental Meditation have been undertaken at more than 200 universities and research institutes across many countries.

These studies report benefits such as increased creativity, intelligence and learning ability, higher levels of brain function, improved memory and school behaviour. Studies have reported an increased sense of calm, decreased anxiety and reduced conflict.

When Ms Clarke founded this independent school with like-minded families in Bundoora in 1997, it had 20 students. The school gained a following since moving to Reservoir, drawing families from local suburbs such as Northcote. It now has 80 students, rising to 100 next year.

The school teaches the standard curriculum but adds a subject called Science of Creative Intelligence, and also the meditation sessions. In the extra class, students might do maths as part of learning such principles as that every action has a reaction.

An ancient system of architecture and design known as Maharishi Vedic principles have been included in two new buildings. For example, they are entered from the east, capturing early morning sun. The principles are different but are along the lines of Feng Shui, in that they seek to maximise health and success.

Ms Clarke first learnt to meditate at age 22. She found it helpful to deal with stress when she became a secondary school teacher. When she heard that the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Iowa was getting outstanding results, she decided to visit.

The Iowa school is open entry yet it continues to record some of the top academic results in the state and its students regularly win awards for sports, science, art and problem-solving competitions. TV star Oprah Winfrey has highlighted the school’s results on her program.

Some US schools that deal specifically with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have adopted Transcendental Meditation techniques after also witnessing its success at a Detroit Middle School.

A Maharishi School in Lancashire, England, has performed in the top 2.5 per cent of schools for 25 years, despite also being open entry. As a result, the education department has fully funded it. Other Maharishi Schools are being established there too.

Ms Clarke’s husband Larry, who has also taught Transcendental Meditation for many years, says it has a following in the US, Europe, South America and Thailand but has been slower to take off in Australia, despite the established benefits.

“It’s a bit of a sleepy hollow here, yet 6 million people have been trained world-wide.”

Transcendental Meditation differs from some other forms of meditation in that it allows the mind to effortlessly “transcend thought”.

“It does not require contemplation or concentration,” says Dr Clarke. He regards concentrating on breathing or an object, such as a candle flame, as an arduous practice where the mind is still active.

“In TM the mind becomes quieter and quieter until it is doing absolutely nothing. TM uses the natural tendency for the mind to move towards something more interesting or charming. It moves into subtler and subtler states until thought dissolves into silent wakefulness, or pure consciousness.”

Ms Clark says meditation helps children find their passion. “Around years 3 or 4 they discover what they love, and go for it.”

She says this is because children can concentrate. “Some schools spend all their time doing English and mathematics but our students focus so well they have time for everything else.”

The small scale also helps. “Students don’t get lost. Everyone has the opportunity to have a go at everything, whether it be a science or drama competition or to be in the school concert.”

Parents pay $1300 each term to send their children to this alternative school. At least one parent must practise or learn Transcendental Meditation also. The school offers a four-day course for parents. On weekends children meditate with their parents.

Students up to the age of 10 meditate with eyes open, walking about. Older children are seated in comfortable spots in the classroom. Ten-minute sessions are held about 9.30am and 3pm each day, which means students head home in a calm state. “But they don’t want to go home,” Ms Clark says. “It’s a small community and parents and students love to hang around after school.”

Teacher Samantha Russell loves the strong relationship between staff and parents. “I feel really sorry for my friends in other schools who don’t see the parents and don’t have the same objectives as them.”

She says parents talk to her about their experiences of meditating and it makes for a closer bond.

Students sometimes get a shock when they move from this environment to high school.

“They often express surprise that other students don’t want to learn and spend a lot of time mucking around,” says Ms Clarke.

She sees the government’s recent pressure on teachers to improve what they do as misplaced. “Transcendental Meditation develops the consciousness of the student so they are much more capable of learning. You can’t teach a class if children aren’t awake, alert or aware.”

Article URLs: http://bit.ly/TBUgpw and updated http://bit.ly/RqwoWW.

Earlier this year the Maharishi School was featured on Australian TV: Cool School: Melbourne school teaches meditation to students.

URLs for Maharishi School: http://www.maharishischool.vic.edu.au and TM in Australia: http://tm.org.au

Here is an image of the layout in Monday’s Age in Melbourne, Australia. Will replace it with a better resolution when available. (more…)

Prevention’s Mandy Oaklander Asks Presidential Debate Moderator Candy Crowley 10 Questions

October 21, 2012

Here are some TM-related highlights from this excellent interview in Prevention. Click on the title to go to the complete article where you will see answers to other questions, like what Candy was anticipating from Romney and Obama, what her tactic would be to get them to give her answers, how her moderating style was going to be different from Jim Lehrer’s, what it means to her being the first female moderator of a presidential debate, and how she has the confidence to not be intimidated by men.

10 Questions for Candy Crowley, Presidential Debate Moderator

How Transcendental Meditation, a vegetarian diet, and a serious ability to kick ass keeps Candy Crowley sane

By Mandy Oaklander

It was a 1 a.m. dinner of pretzels and Twizzlers in a 7-Eleven parking lot that made Candy Crowley realize it was time for a change. That’s when Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent, decided she needed to ask herself some serious questions: about her diet and her stress levels, about how well she was managing both. Within the year, she’d gone vegetarian, her exercise regime, and most importantly, her ability to manage stress. Thank God, because she’s about to take on the night of her life.

At 63, Crowley is best known for her political reporting on CNN and as host of that network’s show State of the Union. But one of her greatest honors comes tomorrow, when she’ll become the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate. How does she plan to stay zen? Crowley’s secret weapon is Transcendental Meditation (TM). “It’s the only thing I won’t go a day without doing,” she says. Make that half a day; Crowley practices every morning and night. Prevention caught up with the meditating vegetarian days before the debate to talk TM, politics, and the Year of Candy.

PVN: How did you get into Transcendental Meditation?

CC: My TM [Transcendental Meditation] experience started right after the last election. Campaigns are just so hard on everything. You’re on the bus, you’re off the bus, you’re on the plane, you’re in a hotel. And that’s really your life: You think you’re not going to eat and then you eat too much, or you think you are going to eat and you don’t eat enough. You’re just so stressed out and tired.

When the 2008 campaign was over, I said, “How about if I promise myself that I will spend a year concentrating on getting healthy and doing the right things? If I hate it and it’s horrible, at the end of the year I’ll just go back and eat crazy.” My friends called it The Year of Candy. I had a friend who said, “You oughta try Transcendental Meditation.”

PVN: What’s your TM routine?

CC: It’s a relaxation technique.  A TM teacher once said to me, “You know when you have a really wavy day on a boat, and you’re getting tossed around and there’s white caps everywhere? That’s kind of where we spend most of our time: on top of the waves.” But if you jump into the water and can get down to the bottom, it’s so still and quiet. That’s where TM is. I just sit in a chair in my room. I meditate in the airport. I meditate in my office in the afternoon. It doesn’t require a special place or even a lack of people.

PVN: How do you feel now, compared to your life before the Year of Candy?

CC: I feel better. Sustaining a Year of Candy can be difficult in election years, I’ve found. It’s still too easy for me to go, “If I could just have that extra hour of sleep, I’d be really happy.” I’m not good at coming home at 8 o’clock at night and running on the treadmill. I say this all the time to a guy that I work out with: “I want to love this, but I just can’t.  I just don’t!” And he says to me all the time, “Just love how it makes you feel afterward. Just keep your mind on that.” That’s the only thing that’s ever going to get you out of bed.

PVN: Do you think that meditation has made you a better journalist?

CC: I think that it has made my thought process more ordered. When your stress level is lower, you make better decisions and you have a better thought process.

Do I still get angry? I do. Do I still get frustrated? I do. Do I still have stress? Yes. I don’t think that’s the point; the point is for you to be able to handle the stress. The point is that I don’t hang onto my anger nearly as long as I used to.  It just takes the harsh edges of life and softens them up in a way that you can cope with them.

PVN: It’s the night before the debate. What’s tonight going to look like for you?

CC: Knowing me, I think I’ll be sitting in my hotel room with a stack of papers, making sure I’m up to date on what the last thing everyone has said about things. I’ll meditate, and then I’ll read some more papers, and then I’ll go to bed.

I’m hoping that it will be really mellow. By the way, all my kids are going to be in town, so it’s going to be a huge lesson in restraint for me not to want to go out and party with them.

PVN: Do you have a moderating mantra?

CC: Five minutes before I get on a show, I take deep breaths and settle in. I just say, “Listen,” because that’s the most important part that most people forget. You’ve got to listen to the answers. Otherwise, you’re not having a conversation. And that’s about the last thing I tell myself before I go on air.

Related stories: Daily Mail: Debate moderator Candy Crowley’s secret of success? Transcendental Meditation | Politico: Candy Crowley on Transcendental Meditation | HuffPost Healthy Living: Transcendental Meditation: Candy Crowley And Other Celebrity Followers | New York Times: Candy Crowley’s Debate Prep| Glamour: 6 Things to Know About Candy Crowley, Including Why She’s Causing So Much Controversy Before Tonight’s Presidential Debate| Access Hollywood: Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Candy Crowley’s Calming Secret!

Other related news: CNN anchor Candy Crowley gives Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management | Candy Crowley visits KRUU-FM before delivering Commencement Address at Maharishi University | CNN’s Candy Crowley to give Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management | Fairfield Ledger: Crowley speaks to M.U.M. grads | Los Angeles Times: CNN’s Candy Crowley has taken up Transcendental Meditation

Hard evidence grows for including meditation in government-sponsored health programs

October 17, 2012

Hard evidence grows for including meditation in government-sponsored health programs was released on EurekAlert! October 17, 2012.

More people still die from cardiovascular disease than any other illness. Dubbed the number one killer and the silent killer, modern medicine has been researching and incorporating complementary and alternative approaches to help treat and in some cases reverse and hopefully prevent this health problem at an earlier stage of the disease. One of those modalities is meditation.

A new research review paper on the effects of the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on the prevention and treatment of heart disease among youth and adults provides the hard evidence needed to include such evidence-based alternative approaches into private- and government-sponsored wellness programs aimed at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.

The paper, “Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation® Program: A Research Review Update” is published in Current Hypertension Reviews, 2012, Vol. 8, No. 3.

• In teens, the TM technique has been found to reduce blood pressure, improve heart structure and improve school behavior. According to the paper, the technique has been shown to be a safe alternative. The NIH-sponsored clinical trials conducted with TM mentioned in this review did not observe any adverse effects from TM practice.

• In adults the technique reduced stress hormones and other physiological measures of stress and produced more rapid recovery from stress, decreased blood pressure and use of blood pressure medication, decreased heart pain in angina patients, cleared the arteries, reducing the risk of stroke, improved distance walked in patients with congestive heart failure, and decreased alcohol and tobacco use, anxiety, depression, and medical care usage and expenditures. The technique also decreased risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and all causes.

“These findings have important implications for inclusion of the Transcendental Meditation program in medical efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Vernon Barnes, lead author and research scientist at Georgia Health Sciences University, in Augusta, Georgia.

“This review is potentially more important than individual research papers because it shows that TM has an integrated, holistic effect on all levels of cardiovascular disease,” says co-author, Dr. David Orme-Johnson.

Orme-Johnson says that no other meditation technique has been shown to produce this constellation of changes, especially when it comes to hard measures of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Barnes said it was important to start preventing heart disease with adolescents before the disease sets. “Adding Transcendental Meditation at a young age could prevent future cardiovascular disease and save many lives, not to mention reduce the national medical bill by billions of dollars.”

This model shows how regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation Program may reduce chronic stress, which in turn reduces CVD risk factors and improves stress reactivity, thereby decreasing cardiovascular disease, and consequential morbidity and mortality.

Uniqueness of the Transcendental Meditation technique

The uniqueness of the outcomes of the TM technique may have something to do with the mechanics of the practice of the technique itself says Dr. Barnes. “Meditation practices are different from each other and therefore produce different results. And this is a very important consideration when evaluating the application of meditation as an alternative and complementary medical approach.”

A paper in Consciousness and Cognition discusses three categories to organize and better understand meditation. See Are all meditation techniques the same?

The two common categories are focused attention, concentrating on an object or an emotion, like compassion; and open monitoring, being mindful of one’s breath or thoughts, either contemplating the meaning of them, or just observing them.

Transcendental Meditation uses a different approach and comes under the third category of automatic self-transcending, meditations that transcend their own activity.

The TM technique does not employ any active form of concentration or contemplation, but allows the mind to effortlessly experience the thought process at more refined levels until thinking comes to a quiet settled state without any mental activity. The mind is awake inside and the body is resting deeply, a level of rest much deeper than deep sleep. It is this state of restful alertness that allows the body to make the necessary repairs to rebalance its normal functioning. This cumulative process resets the physiology and shows up as reduced symptoms of cardiovascular disease and improved health.

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The EurekAlert! press release was publicized by other medical and science websites like Science Codex, PhysOrg, and PsychCentral: Meditation Technique Lowers Stress, Improves Cardiovascular Health. Medical News Today reported: Evidence Suggests That Meditation Should Be Included In Government-Sponsored Health Programs and embedded the video of Dr. Oz talking about TM. Holistic Future: Evidence shows Transcendental Meditation prevents heart disease

For a clear comprehensive understanding see Transcendental Meditation Visualized [Infographic].

Matt Kelley of Radio Iowa interviews Jerry Yellin about an Iowa Veterans Summit solution to PTSD

October 11, 2012

Veteran shares story in hopes of helping others deal with impact of war

October 11, 2012 By

Jerry Yellin

A study finds more veterans die by suicide every year than are killed annually in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A World War Two fighter pilot from southeast Iowa is telling his story today at an Iowa Veterans Summit in hopes more veterans can be saved and find peace.

Eighty-eight-year-old Jerry Yellin, of Fairfield, says he joined the service as an 18-year-old in February of 1942 and, in his words, “I learned how to kill.”

“I flew P-51s in combat over Japan,” Yellin says. “I flew with 16 guys who didn’t come back. One day, I had a pure purpose of living and the next day the war was over and I had no purpose of living. I came home and I was an empty soul. I had no ambition, no direction.”

Yellin says he “wandered for 30 years” and suffered from addiction until he learned Transcendental Meditation in 1975 and “got my life back.”

“It was just as easy as that,” Yellin says. “A very simple technique, not a philosophy, not a belief. Not what you think but how you think. It puts you into the zone of life, twice a day, 20 minutes a day.” Yellin is now the national co-chairman of Operation Warrior Wellness and he’s among the featured speakers at the summit in West Des Moines.

He says more veterans and their families are turning to meditation to ease the trauma of combat and to pave the way to a healthier life. “It’s a very inexpensive modality to remove stress,” Yellin says.

“It’s a 5,000-year-old traditional warrior’s way of learning to cope with stress.” Yellin says he suffered from “shell shock” for three decades after the end of World War Two, but it wasn’t something that was considered “manly” to discuss. Today, the condition is known as PTSD.

“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a civilian term,” Yellin says. “I would like to see it changed to Post-Combat Stress Injury because it is a mental injury.” He says PTSD is now blamed for 18 veterans’ suicides daily. The Iowa Veterans Summit and luncheon begins at noon at the West Des Moines Marriott.

A release says it will present the research and clinical applications of Transcendental Meditation for reducing stress, PTSD, substance abuse and suicide, depression and enhancing resilience and performance.

Learn more by calling 866-962-0108 or visit: www.operationwarriorwellness.org.

Audio: Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley interviews Jerry Yellin 5:36.

See Military Leaders to Promote Meditation at Iowa Summit to Help Reduce Veteran Suicide Epidemic.

See video highlights of the Iowa Veterans Summit – PTSD and Transcendental Meditation.

You Are God: Who? … Me? By William T. Hathaway

October 6, 2012

You Are God
Who? … Me?

By William T. Hathaway

The statement “You are God” seems an absurd and presumptuous blasphemy, so it needs to be clarified. According to pantheism, it’s not just you who are God; all of us are God. And it’s not just all of us who are God; everything is God. God is the universe in synergy, the whole that is more than the sum of its parts.

This contradicts mainstream Western theology, which is based on a split between creator and creature. According to this view, God made the universe with us in it and is now observing our behavior, rewarding us or punishing us based on our obedience to His rules.

The religions of the East and the mystic tradition of the West have a different view. They feel that God became the universe, manifested it, is it. Rather than observing the universe, God lives it. The universe is God’s active side, engaged in time, space, and matter. God is more than the universe, but there is nothing in it that isn’t God.

But if it’s true that we are God, why are we in such an ungodly mess? Because our unity with God is a living reality only in a higher state of consciousness. Reality, as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, is different in different states of consciousness. Ordinarily we experience three state of consciousness: deep sleep, dreaming, or waking. Each has its own reality with distinctive physiological parameters of brain waves, blood chemistry, and metabolic rate.

Waking state is the realm of duality. We are bound in the relativity of time, space, and matter, so we perceive separations between ourselves and others. In waking state the idea that we are God is nonsensical. It contradicts our perceptions.

But it’s possible to experience a fourth state of consciousness that has its own reality and physiology. It’s called transcendental consciousness because it’s beyond the other three, existing at a more fundamental level. Here the duality and materiality of waking state are only surface conditions. The deeper underlying reality is unity, where the separations fade and everything, including matter, is experienced as one unified field of consciousness. Here your individual thinking mind merges with the mind of God. You’re no longer just a part of God. You transcend the boundaries of your small self and expand into the one great Self, the divine spirit animating the universe. All separations between you and God disappear, and you become One.

In transcendental consciousness you really are God and you really are experiencing a sacred life. The most effective method I’ve found for achieving this state on a regular basis is Transcendental Meditation. But even with TM, it’s usually a fleeting experience. In transcendental consciousness the mind is without thoughts. It reaches the source of thought, where it becomes pure Being — alert and aware but without an object of awareness, consciousness experiencing itself. This state is so blissful, so all-encompassing, so divine, that we think, How wonderful! And as soon as we have that thought, we’re no longer there.

But as we come out, we bring some of the energy, intelligence, and joy of this unified field back into our waking state of consciousness, where it enriches our life. And ironically, one of the ways it enriches it is by giving us a deeper appreciation of our separateness from God. The sense of separation we experience in waking state is a great aid to devotion. It’s easier to love something external to us, even if this externality is only partially true.

Each experience of transcendental consciousness also heals our nervous system of stresses we’ve accumulated in the past. It is these stresses, or karma, that make our mind unable to stay in that state while we’re thinking and acting. Once those stresses are gone, which usually takes many years, our mind and body function in that state permanently.

This is enlightenment, the height of human development in which our unity with God is a living reality, not just a concept. In this state we live the sacred life 24/7.

*

William T. Hathaway is a peace activist, award-winning author, and adjunct professor of American studies at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. His latest novel, Summer Snow, tells of an American warrior in Central Asia who falls in love with a Sufi Muslim and learns from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence. Chapters are available on a page of the publisher’s website: www.peacewriter.org.

Published with permission from the author.

Also see Radical Peace: People Refusing War, by William T. Hathaway, later republished on other websites listed at the bottom of the article as Conscious Peace: World Peace Depends upon Our Collective Consciousness.

Here’s a related article God? ~ Dr. Evan Finkelstein.

Military Leaders to Promote Meditation at Iowa Summit to Help Reduce Veteran Suicide Epidemic

October 4, 2012

 Military Leaders Promote Meditation to Reduce Suicide
Epidemic Among Veterans

VA Funds Studies on PTSD; Iowa Summit to Showcase Benefits

Eighteen veterans commit suicide every day—
a horrific consequence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
More veterans die by suicide every year than are killed annually in Iraq and Afghanistan.

New York, NY — October 4, 2012: America’s veterans and their families are turning to meditation to ease the trauma of combat and pave the way to a healthier life.

The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity founded by iconic filmmaker David Lynch to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations, will hold an Iowa Veterans Summit on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the West Des Moines Marriott. A press avail will take place at 10:00 A.M., followed by the Veterans Summit from 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.

The Summit will present the research and clinical applications of Transcendental Meditation for reducing stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicide, depression and enhancing resilience and performance.

The Washington Post reported in May that the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking new ways to treat PTSD, is studying the use of Transcendental Meditation to help returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of veterans have learned Transcendental Meditation. Research on veterans who meditate has shown that the technique not only reduces the psychosocial symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, but also balances serotonin and norepinephrine, and regulates the sympathetic nervous system. Transcendental Meditation is used on the oldest private military campus, Norwich University.

Panelists at The Iowa Veterans Summit include: Dr. Richard W. Schneider, USCGR (Ret.), President, Norwich University; Jerry Yellin, World War II P-51 Fighter Pilot and National Co-Chair, Operation Warrior Wellness; Col. Brian Rees, M.D., Command Surgeon, 63rd Regional Support Command and Luke Jensen, Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW)–Iowa Advisory Board Member. All panelists have extensive experience in using Transcendental Meditation.        

Bob Roth, the Executive Director of The David Lynch Foundation, stated, “It is imperative that we help veterans and the brave men and women still in active-duty deal with the stress that stays with them long after they have returned home. Transcendental Meditation is a wonderful tool that can help those overcome the stress and anxiety from the theater of war, allowing them to lead healthier, more resilient lives.”

Todd M. Jacobus, the Chair of the Iowa Commission of Veteran Affairs, also stated, “Reducing the number of suicides among our Army personnel and veterans today is a top priority of the Army community. Commanders and leaders at all levels of our U.S. Armed Forces are making efforts to remain engaged in the lives of our Soldiers in order to be responsive to their needs and issues, and to get them help. However, these efforts can’t succeed without the involvement of the greater community, including programs like Operation Warrior Wellness, and the Resilient Warrior Program.”

WHAT: Presentations will highlight program outcomes for active-duty military personnel, veterans, cadets and their families. Those invited include military and Veterans Affairs leadership, behavioral health officers, mental health professionals caring for veterans and their families, policy makers, medical researchers and educators.

WHO: Dr. Richard W. Schneider, RADM USCGR (Ret.), President, Norwich University; Jerry Yellin, World War II P-51 Fighter Pilot and National Co-Chair, Operation Warrior Wellness; Col. Brian Rees, M.D., Command Surgeon, 63rd Regional Support Command and Luke Jensen, OEF veteran and OWW–Iowa Advisory Board Member   

WHERE: West Des Moines Marriott, 1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa

WHEN: Thursday, October 11, 2012

10:00 A.M.: Press avail

12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.: Lunch

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.: Veterans Summit

You can view the event brochure by visiting, http://www.operationwarriorwellness.org/iowa_summit.

To arrange an interview with Bob Roth or Jerry Yellin, please contact Ken Chawkin at 641-470-1314 or kchawkin@mum.edu.

About The David Lynch Foundation
The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities including Transcendental Meditation, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs striving to overcome addictions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults. For more information, please visit www.davidlynchfoundation.org.

###

Reported in The Gazette: Summit in Iowa to promote meditation to reduce suicide among veterans. Radio Iowa: Veteran shares story in hopes of helping others deal with impact of war and Matt Kelley of Radio Iowa interviews Jerry Yellin about an Iowa Veterans Summit solution to PTSD

Here is a newly published Letter to the Editor of the Air Force Times by Dr. Leffler and Dr. Schneider: TM CAN SLOW AGING EFFECT. Also see: Norwich University Studies the Benefits of TM on Cadets.

See video highlights of the Iowa Veterans Summit – PTSD and Transcendental Meditation

A mantra a day keeps the doctor away

October 1, 2012

This is a wonderful personal account by Nikki Walsh of her experiences first hearing about and later learning Transcendental Meditation. The article appeared in The Irish Mail on Sunday in their Body & Soul section of the paper and as a feature article in The Mail on Sunday in London, England, September 9, 2012. You can see a colorful layout of the 2-page spread on pages 12 and 13 by downloading the PDFs. You can also see it online if you’re willing to register for a free 7-day trial offer.

A mantra a day keeps the doctor away by Nikki Walsh

It beats stress, aids healing and brings focus to the most anxiety-prone life. So exactly why does the ancient practice of meditation succeed where many modern therapies fail? Nikki Walsh enters the big silence…

I first heard of Transcendental Meditation or TM in my twenties, when I was living in a Georgian house overlooking Dublin’s Royal Canal. The house next door was a TM centre, and the girls I lived with often attributed our happiness to what they called ‘the good vibes’. I never took this too seriously, but there were times I was sitting in the garden, when I became aware of a silence that was not my own. I would look up and feel the stillness coming from the other side of the fence, and wonder what exactly was going on.

I moved out of that house, and did not hear about TM again until almost ten years later, when I befriended an artist in her 60s. Her productivity was impressive and yet she always seemed to have time for family and friends. I asked her how she did it. She told me she practised TM. I asked her a little more about it but when I found out the cost – €600 for four sessions with a trained TM teacher – I put it to the back of my mind. A few months later I attended an exhibition of this artist’s work, and TM came up again. One of her friends, also an artist, told me she had been practising it for some months, and that it had had a profound effect on her work. Another said it had improved her health. ‘I was in therapy for years,’ she said, ‘but I never found the peace that I have found in meditation.’

I booked what the TM website calls ‘a free introductory presentation’ and a week later I met a TM teacher called Judy Kelly. Judy is a tall, slim, dark-haired woman whose warmth is so genuine, it is disarming. In her apartment in Monkstown, she explained that the technique was a simple form of meditation, practised twice daily for 20 minutes. Each beginner is given a mantra, and this word, which they repeat to themselves during the meditation, has a gentle assonance, that helps to bring them deeper within themselves, towards a place of peace. In order to show me what this place might be like Judy used an illustration of a cross section of water. If the ripples at the surface were our thoughts, she said, it was possible to go beneath these thoughts to a calmer, much stiller place, not unlike the bottom of an ocean. Then she outlined its benefits. People who do TM have peace, she told me. They don’t worry as much, their minds are clearer, they are more creative. She spoke of ex-students of hers that she was still in touch with, who felt their lives had been transformed by TM. And she talked a little about her own life too.

I decided to give it a go. The next time we met Judy asked me to bring a flower to represent the life that can blossom through TM, a white handkerchief to represent the pure silence at the centre of life and a piece of fruit to represent the fullness of life. I arrived a week later on a morning in spring, with a nectarine, a white hydrangea I’d snipped from my deck, and a handkerchief of my father’s. Judy arranged them all on an altar of sorts beside some spices and a candle. As she lit the candle, she sang a song. As an ex-Catholic I associate rituals with incense, much kneeling and standing, and an ingrained sense of myself as unworthy; but in Judy’s living room, the pink flesh of the nectarine, the whiteness of the petals, the terracotta depth of the spices and the flame of the candle, all combined to create something altogether more soothing. Judy then gave me my mantra and we began to meditate.

I thought about what I needed to do after I left Judy’s, about something irritating someone had said to me the day before, and about a conversation I needed to have with someone I don’t really like. I opened my eyes. Judy was sitting in front of me, her eyes closed, her face set in an expression of bliss. I closed them again. I thought about what I needed to get for dinner, and how I was going to get home. A breakthrough came when I told myself that it was okay to have such thoughts. They began to drift away. Then Judy spoke, and I realised the meditation was over. That night I meditated again. I could not remember the mantra. The next morning the same thing happened. I went back to Judy, and told her, rather pink-faced, what had happened. She laughed and told me it happens all the time.

The sessions continued. I began to realise that something happens when you distance yourself from your thoughts. You gain a little mastery over them. I began to notice when I was thinking futile or negative thoughts – thoughts that wouldn’t help me get where I wanted to be – and I began to change them, or if they overwhelmed me, to meditate, so I could be free of them. In the same way I was able to move away from my mind, I could also move away from what some meditators call ‘the physical body.’ Around the time I met Judy I had just sold my wardrobe which contained a full length mirror. I never bothered to replace it.

Talk to people who practice TM and they will tell you that its effects are subtle and profound. Some feel calmer, others more efficient. The other day I met a 50-year-old woman who told me that TM is the only thing that has helped her stay away from alcohol. ‘It did wonders for my self-esteem,’ she told me. ‘I realised there was a place inside me that was so peaceful and beautiful. I said to myself, how could I be a bad person if such a place was inside me?’ It has given her a coping mechanism she never had. ‘At times of stress, I say my mantra and it is a call to the deepest, strongest part of me, that soothes me like nothing else and enables me in the midst of crisis to feel very still. It is empowering.’ She is also better at making decisions. ‘I have
higher concentration and know more easily what I want.’

TM teachers recommend 20 minutes practice twice a day, but I tend to skip it in the morning and do a longer meditation in the middle of the day. I don’t see colours or have mystical experiences, and some meditations are more frustrating than others, but it does clear my mind. Afterwards I feel lighter and more vital. Now I know when I need to do it: I feel as if I have not showered; there is a fuzziness, a sense of incompletion.

Last week I met an old friend. She told me her husband had begun to meditate six months ago. Since then she has seen a marked improvement in his wellbeing. She would like to try it herself, but – at this I had a smile – she couldn’t get comfortable. She is jealous. ‘He has this place inside him where he can go, and that must be such a comfort.’ Judy Kelly puts it differently. ‘I am so happy,’ she once said to me. ‘I have so much inside me. I really don’t need anything. I am my own best friend.’

Did you know? According to TM Ireland, around 40,000 Irish people have learned the technique in the last 50 years. Celebrity TM practitioners include Eva Mendes, Naomi Watts, Oprah and – a bit less Hollywood – British Deputy PM, Nick Clegg.

WHAT MEDITATION CAN DO FOR YOU
■ Provides a deep physiological state of rest
■ Increases energy
■ Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
■ Increases happiness and improves relationships
■ Reduces stress and anxiety – decreases stress hormones
■ Improves sleeping
■ Reduces the symptoms of asthma
■ Increases creativity and intelligence
■ Gives broader comprehension and improved ability to focus
■ Improves perception and memory
■ Improves students’ learning skills and intellectual performance
■ Increases orderliness of brain functioning increases Self-Actualisation and Self-Concept
■ Reduces the use of cigarettes, alcohol and non-prescription drugs
■ Improves general psychological health and wellbeing
■ Results in more positive health habits
■ Increases life span and reduces effects of ageing
■ Increases levels of DHEA – a hormone described as the elixir of life
■ Improves job performance (productivity) and job satisfaction
■ Helps in the treatment of traumatic stress
For more information on TM, and details of a teacher near you, log on to www.tm-ireland.org

Transcending Stress by Norman Rosenthal, M.D. for Decision Magazine

October 1, 2012

Decision Magazine, a UK business publication, featured an article on TM in the Wellness section of the Summer 2012 issue: Transcendental Meditation offers a promising remedy for workplace stress says NORMAN E ROSENTHAL M.D. You can download a PDF of Decision Summer 2012 to see the article laid out with images on pages 48-49.

Transcending Stress by Norman Rosenthal, M.D.

It’s not stress that kills us; it’s our reaction to it. – Hans Selye

It is a matter of broad consensus that stress in the workplace has reached epidemic proportions. So bad has the problem become, that stress is now a more common cause of long-term sick leave than stroke, heart attack, cancer and back problems, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Workplace stress has been labeled “The Black Death of the 21st Century.”

Common causes of workplace stress include excessive workload, poor management style, workplace restructuring, and problems at home. As the great pioneer in stress research, Hans Selye, observed, it is not the stress itself, but how we react to it that affects its impact on our bodies and minds. During economic downturns, such as we are facing at present, ordinary workplace difficulties become more stressful because workers feel insecure about their job stability and fearful of losing their job, especially because it is often difficult to find a new one.

Stress takes a toll on both body and mind. It is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in developed countries. In addition, it predisposes to anxiety and depression, both enormous mental health problems. For those who of us who are concerned about performance and productivity in the workplace, it is crucial to find remedies for toxic work stresses. Such remedies will also lead to healthier workers, with fewer days off sick, lower health care bills, and extra years of productivity. There are many available “stress management” programmes. In this piece, I make the case why a simple but powerful technique, Transcendental Meditation (TM), should rise to the top of the list.

Why Transcendental Meditation?
TM is a simple technique of meditation, taught in a standardized one-on-one way over the course of a week. The instructor gives the student a mantra, along with instructions as to how to use it. TM is simple to learn and easy to practise. Ideally, the practitioner should sit comfortably with eyes closed for two sessions of 20 minutes each per day.

As a researcher and physician, I have been impressed by the scope and extent of research data supporting the benefits of TM (over 330 peer-reviewed articles to date). Much of this research has a direct bearing on the damaging physical effects of stress. For example, controlled studies have shown multiple physical benefits of TM versus controlled treatments, such as: (1) Reduction in blood pressure that is both statistically and clinically meaningful; (2) Actual reversal of arterial narrowing in the carotid arteries which carry blood to the brain; (3) increased longevity over the course of years (a finding that has been replicated). From the point of physical wellbeing alone, TM is worth practising.

But there is more. A meta-analysis of 146 treatment groups found that TM reduced anxiety to a greater extent than other approaches. Likewise, five controlled studies in people not recruited specifically for depression showed that practising TM was followed by a reduction in depression symptoms to a greater extent than control treatments. Evidence suggests that the improved blood pressure seen with TM is mediated by decreased anxiety. In other words, TM seems to be acting as a shock absorber, decreasing the impact of stress on both mind and body.

No other “stress management technique” has anywhere close to this amount of hard data in support of its claims to reduce stress.

Beyond its effects on stress reduction, TM has also been shown in numerous studies to improve levels of self-actualization – a term used to describe the need for people to be the best they can be. This benefit may result from the direct effects of TM on the brain, which include increased brain coherence. Brain coherence means that the firing patterns in different parts of the brain correspond to one another. Higher levels of brain coherence have been associated with higher levels of performance, both in businessmen and athletes.

How do the benefits of TM play out in the workplace?
To begin, let us hear from two leading business people, who are regular meditators and have praised TM’s benefits: Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world; and Oprah Winfrey, media icon and CEO of Harpo Studios. Dalio has said that TM has helped him make up for lost sleep and has made his patterns of thinking “more centered and creative.” With TM, he says, “Life got better and everything became easier.” He reports dealing with challenges in a calm, clear-headed way, which allows him to put things in perspective – “like a ninja.” Winfrey was so pleased with her own personal experience with TM that she provided TM training free of charge to all members of her organization. Her observations: “You can’t imagine what has happened. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.”

Many other CEOs and business leaders have reported similar benefits in their organizations. How can we understand these extraordinary transformations?

How can TM help work-stress?
Let me count the ways. TM results in:
1. Increased brain coherence that is associated with increased levels of accomplishment
2. Reduced stress responses producing more clarity, less reactivity, and better decision-making. As Dalio put it, “I am centered – not hijacked by emotion”
3. Enhanced creativity, even with aging
4. Better physical health
5. Greater harmony

At every level of organization, TM promotes harmony. This applies within the mind of the meditator, between mind and body, and in groups. Once the meditator learns the practice and develops the habit, the 40 minutes spent per day is rapidly repaid in the form of improved performance and efficiency. How wonderful it is to think that this quiet twice-daily practice might turn out to be a remedy for “The Black Death of the 21st century!”

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D is author of Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation (Hay House, 2012).

An updated reprint edition by Tarcher is available in North America on Amazon.

Click here for more posts on Norman Rosenthal on my blog, and also visit Norman Rosenthal’s website and blog: http://normanrosenthal.com.

For more information on Transcendental Meditation for business executives and companies please visit www.tmbusiness.org.


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