Archive for November, 2012

Why CEOs, actors, and pop stars love Transcendental Meditation | Well+Good NYC

November 30, 2012

Here is an excerpt from a Well + Good NYC article, Why CEOs, actors, and pop stars love Transcendental Meditation, posted under their Good Advice column on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. The top photo shows Russell Brand meditating with students at a San Francisco Middle School.

Russell Brand meditates with students in a San Francisco School

The Beatles famously credited Transcendental Meditation with helping them write their best music. Oprah swears by her daily practice. So does billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio, British comedian Russell Brand, and music mogul Russell Simmons.

In fact, the list of celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs who say Transcendental Meditation has helped them in their personal and professional lives is so long that we may need to start a new list: “Successful People Who Don’t Practice Transcendental Meditation.”

Just what is this popular style of meditation and how does it differ from others? We’ll tell you!

“TM,” the acronym used by insiders, is the practice of sitting for 20 minutes, twice a day, repeating a personal mantra given to you by a TM teacher. The technique is based on a Vedic tradition, an ancient Indian process of enlightenment. Fifty years ago, spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced the practice to the rest of the world, founding the Transcendental Meditation Program.

“A Creative Edge”

According to the program, TM allows your mind to settle into a state of pure awareness, known as transcendental consciousness. In this state, the body is at its most relaxed, and the brain supposedly has the greatest access to its creative energy. Devotees claim that TM gives them a creative edge, allowing them to be more focused throughout the day and access innovative ideas.

Shel Pink, founder of the cutting-edge SpaRitual line of nail polishes and cosmetics, credits TM for helping her run her successful business. David Lynch, the movie director who is arguably TM’s biggest (and most recognizably creative) spokesperson at the moment, told an auditorium of film students how indispensable TM is to the craft: “it boosts awareness of pure vibrant consciousness” and “experiencing the act of enlivening your consciousness makes creativity flow.” (Check it out here at minute 7.)

But Lynch would also say TM is not just for film students (or celebrities and CEOs). It’s also a potent healing practice. That’s why The David Lynch Foundation raises money to offer TM programs for high-stress, at-risk populations, such as inner-city students and the homeless.

Peter Trivelas, a Navy veteran who now teaches TM to other veterans, agrees that this simple practice has powerful benefits for post-traumatic stress. “TM teaches you to put your brain in a state of profound rest, so your body can begin to repair itself on a profound level.”

See the rest of this great article with photos of David Lynch and Shel Pink here: t.co/p0UJwQ6W.

Also see 14 Executives Who Swear By Meditation–10 do TM.


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Op-Ed peace piece spreading around the world: Reducing Tension in the Middle East

November 29, 2012

In a response to the current volatile situation in the Middle East co-authors David Orme-Johnson and David Leffler ask if we want to continue repeating history, killing and destroying to solve political problems, or transform ourselves with a more enlightened alternative approach that’s been scientifically proven to create peace.

Modern unified field theory supports the perennial philosophy of all major cultural traditions that there exists a transcendental field at the most fundamental level of natural law, which can be directly accessed as the silent transcendental level of the human mind. Hundreds of studies have shown that experience of transcendental consciousness breaks the chain of conditioned reflexes coming on from past behavior, as seen in reduced addictive behaviors of all kinds, decreased prison recidivism, and reduced behavioral problems in inner-city children.

Are we as nations to go on like rats trapped in a conditioning cage, reacting the same way decade after decade? Or shall we step out of the cage into the transcendental level of our own consciousness and grow up into enlightened human beings, rather than continuing to resort to destroying and killing? This is the choice we have right now.

Read this paradigm-shifting Op-Ed piece on how we can put an end to war and create permanent peace: Reducing Tension in the Middle East. It’s being posted on news websites and online journals around the world. The AsiaN published it as Transcendental meditation proved helpful in solving enmity among nations. The Israel Herald published it under: Lasting peace in Middle East may need warring parties to meditate, and the Palestinian News: Meditation cited as possible remedy to reduce tensions in Mideast conflict.

Here is a list of publications under dates in the countries where the article was published, over 50 times so far: Israel, Afghanistan, Romania, UK, Nepal, USA, Pakistan, Greece, Cyprus, Ghana, Liberia, Balkans, India, Ivory Coast, Africa, Australia/Tonga, Canada, Jordan, Balkans, Palestine, South Korea, Kashmir, Ireland, China, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Thailand. Check them all posted here: Op-Ed Piece “Reducing Tension in the Middle East” by Drs. Orme-Johnson and Leffler is Available Worldwide in over 50 Locations.

For more information on this powerful benign approach, see: The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin and John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog. Here are reports: Group Meditations Reduce Crime, As Predicted and Explanation to Steady Decline in Major Crime in the US.

CNN Hero Robin Lim visiting Fairfield

November 14, 2012

CNN Hero Robin Lim visiting Fairfield

By DONNA SCHILL CLEVELAND, Ledger staff writer | Nov 13, 2012

PHOTO SUBMITTED Midwife Ibu “mother” Robin Lim holds one of the countless babies she has helped deliver since she opened her first free birthing clinic in Bali more than a decade ago. Lim won the CNN Hero of the Year award by popular vote in 2011 for her service as a midwife through her nonprofit, the Bumi Sehat Foundation. “It was a special victory for all midwives,” she said.

Renowned midwife and CNN Hero of the Year Robin Lim has returned home with a message for midwives practicing in Iowa: “Don’t give up.”

Lim has taken leave of her free clinics and birthing centers in Bali, Indonesia, the Bumi Sehat Foundation, for a speaking tour in the United States. During a stop in Washington, D.C., the ambassador of Indonesia invited her for tea, and insisted she stay with his family next time she visited. Before arriving in Fairfield Monday, Lim addressed an auditorium full of college students, doctors, midwives and nurses at Des Moines University. The city of Fairfield will be recognizing Lim’s service at 8 p.m. today at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, where she will speak about her work and Mayor Ed Malloy will proclaim Nov. 13 “Robin Lim Day.” Admission is free.

Lim’s newfound celebrity status has not caused her to overlook the place she still calls home. She’s booked extra events in Fairfield, not only to see old friends, but because Iowa is one of more than a dozen states where it is illegal for midwives to assist with home births.

“I find it ironic, CNN called me a hero for my work as a midwife, when in my home state, delivering a baby at home is considered a felony,” she said.

Lim won CNN Hero of the Year last December by popular vote for assisting thousands of low-income women through her clinics, offering free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care.

Under Lim’s direction, Bumi Sehat has been a first responder in disaster relief efforts in Indonesia including Aceh in 2004, Yogyakarta in 2006 and Padang in 2008. She also helped set up a clinic in Haiti in 2010. Lim said reproductive care falls by the wayside in tsunami zones, leading to an urgent need for midwives who can deliver reproductive healthcare, even in the most dire circumstances, without access to running water or electricity.

“Every baby’s first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet,” Lim said during the CNN award ceremony in Los Angeles, with a reported 16 million viewers watching.

“It was a special victory for all midwives,” she said Monday. “I received hundred of emails from people who said they were crying tears of joy.”

Lim hopes her recognition by CNN will help states like Iowa see the merits of midwifery beyond disaster-relief settings.

Her goal? “For the state of Iowa to embrace midwifery care as an important option.”

While Lim faces many challenges in Bali, such as high rates of hemorrhaging during labor due to malnutrition, she said midwives in Iowa face challenges of their own.

In the United States, Lim has seen fellow certified professional midwives prosecuted for assisting with home births. She said the controversy surrounding midwifery discourages young women from pursuing training in midwifery, and causes women to have hospital births who would prefer to do it at home.

“There are people all over the world who would rather have their baby safely at home,” she said. “The sad thing in Iowa, is many, many families are not getting that opportunity.”

Lim said home births could help decongest hospitals and lower welfare expenses.

In Bali, she said it creates an environment where she can work harmoniously with hospitals and doctors when pregnancy complications arise.

“Midwives are well respected in their profession in Indonesia,” she said.

Lim believes midwives and hospitals should not be at odds, but providing complimentary services.

“Hospitals are amazing life-saving places,” she said.

Lim said The Bumi Sehat Foundation “stands on three feet:” excellent medical science, respect for nature and holistic medicine.

The clinic carries antibiotics, oxygen, intravenous fluids, anti-hemorrhagic treatments and also has an ambulance at the ready for when complications arise. Lim said less than 2 percent of the women she sees need to be transferred to the hospital.

Last year, she expanded services to include community healthcare, elderly yoga, birth attendant training, disaster preparedness support, acupuncture and homeopathic medicine, youth education, village-based recycling and organic gardening.

Lim’s dedication to providing the highest quality care to poor, marginalized women emerged after a crushing personal loss. Lim’s younger sister died 22 years ago due to complications with a pregnancy.

“She felt unwell during her pregnancy,” said Lim. “She called her doctor, and he said “I’ll see you in three weeks.’”

Before she got that chance, Lim’s sister suffered a stroke in her sleep and died. Lim said they determined she had high blood pressure and hypertension.

“Simple medications could have saved her life,” said Lim.

Shortly thereafter, Lim decided to take the plunge into midwifery. She moved to Indonesia where she began offering services informally out of her living room and returned 12 years ago after completing training as a certified professional midwife.

In her work, she said she treats each woman with the love and respect she wished her sister had received.

“When a woman calls me, I’m not going to say let’s talk about it in three weeks, I say ‘I’ll see you right now,’” she said. “I decided to be a very good midwife.”

“Licensed certified midwives are the guardians of normal birth,” she said. “They are trained to notice when a mother needs special care.”

Lim said she’s had very positive childbirth experiences herself, which gave her the vision for her clinic.

“What inspired me was the birth of my own children,” she said. “It is the biggest life passage you can have.”

She said her goal has been to try and help other women have safe, positive birthing experiences.

Lim’s Iowa roots took hold when she moved to Fairfield as a teenage mother in 1976. She had all of her children at home, and researched natural approaches to childbirth, postpartum diet and exercise.

“I wanted to be a happy, good mom,” she said.

Looking into her past, Lim said it was inevitable she would one day become a midwife. At 14, for instance, she was fascinated by a school course on reproductive health.

Lim will be speaking to students about their interests 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Maharishi School, and 9 a.m. Friday at Fairfield High School.

“I will tell them, ‘Pay attention to your dreams when you are young, they are there for a reason,’” she said. “For me, it turned into a lifetime of service, which has brought me more joy than most people ever experience.”

Related: KTVO’s Tess Hedrick posted her news piece on Robin’s return visit to Fairfield: CNN Hero of the Year and native Iowan shares her passion in life, midwifery. Mark Newman of the Ottumwa Courier wrote: Health care for poor moms and babies was CNN Hero’s dream. The Des Moines Register put up two articles: CNN’s 2011 Hero of the Year to speak in Des Moines and Midwife returns to Iowa as a hero. Here are two articles posted in The Iowa Source, one of them was a cover story: Robin Lim Day — CNN Hero Returns to Fairfield, Iowa for a Hometown Hero’s Welcome. And this is my first post: Robin Lim is the 2011 CNN Hero Of The Year.

Excellent article by Tom Jacobs on Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients

November 14, 2012

Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients

New research finds major health benefits of meditation for African Americans with heart disease.

November 13, 2012 • By for Pacific Standard

Meditation is usually thought of as a practice of healthy, well-off white people and Asians. But newly published research suggests it can produce hugely significant health benefits in a very different demographic group: African Americans with heart disease.

A study of that followed 201 African Americans for an average of five years found those who meditated regularly were far more likely to avoid three extremely unwelcome outcomes. Compared to peers participating in a health-education program, meditators were, in that period, 48 percent less likely to die, have a heart attack, or suffer a stroke.

“It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy—to repair and maintain itself,” said Dr. Robert Schneider, the paper’s lead author and director of the Institute for National Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. His research is published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The paper was originally scheduled to be published in 2011 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, but was withdrawn just before being posted “to allow time for review and statistical analysis of additional data.” The AHA’s Maggie Francis reports that the paper “went through peer review, statistical review, editorial discussions, and the authors of the article were responsive to the review process.”

While, two decades ago, research from Maharishi University was often regarded with skepticism, the institution is now well-regarded for its scholarly work.

Schneider and his co-authors undertook this research in part because African Americans “suffer from disproportionately high rates” of mortality due to cardiovascular disease. As we have reported, this may in part reflect high stress levels, the result of living in a society where racial prejudice continues to linger.

The study was conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin in two phases: From 1998 to 2003, and from 2004 to 2007. Participants were African Americans whose blood flow to the heart was seriously obstructed. Specifically, at least one of their coronary arteries had been narrowed by at least 50 percent.

The patients’ mean age was 59; almost half reported an income of under $10,000. Males slightly outnumbered females. Around 40 percent were cigarette smokers; their mean body mass index was just over 32, making them, on average, clinically obese.

They were randomly divided into two groups. Half took part in a cardiovascular health education program, in which they “were advised to spent at least 20 minutes a day at home practicing heart-healthy behaviors,” including exercise and eating healthy food.

The others were taught the technique of Transcendental Meditation, and encouraged to engage in this activity for 20 minutes each day. “Follow-up and maintenance meetings were held weekly for the first month, biweekly for the next two months, and monthly thereafter,” the researchers write.

The researchers followed up on the participants an average of 5.4 years after they initially joined the experiment. They found those in the meditation group were 48 percent less likely than their peers to have suffered one of three negative outcomes: a heart attack, a stroke, or death from any cause.

“There was a significant association between regularity of home (meditation) practice and survival,” the researchers report. “The subgroup of subjects who were regular in their TM practice had a 66 percent risk reduction, compared with the overall sample risk reduction of 48 percent.”

Regular meditators also reduced their blood pressure, on average, and reported feeling less anger than they did before beginning the experiment.

“This trial did not address the effects of other mind-body, meditation-type interventions on clinical events,” the researchers note. So it’s not clear if these apparent health benefits were the result of some specific aspect of Transcendental Meditation, or would apply to any regimen involving deep breathing and clearing one’s mind.

Nevertheless, as the researchers note, this appears to be the first randomized, controlled trial to find the risk of mortality, heart attack and stroke declined “with the individual practice of a relatively simple mind-body intervention.”

It’s some of the clearest evidence yet that reducing stress through regular meditation can have a positive effect on one’s physical health.

About Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Ventura County Star.
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Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry) — Daily Mail

November 13, 2012

Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry)

  • Twice daily mantra meditation, where a sound is made repeatedly, may also reduce blood pressure

By Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED: 15:03 EST, 13 November 2012 | UPDATED: 15:03 EST, 13 November 2012

Twice daily mantra meditation, which involves making a sound repeatedly, lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes

Meditation helps reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers found that Transcendental Meditation, made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s, could cut heart attack rates by half.

This type of meditation, which involves making a sound repeatedly, lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes.

In the new study, researchers found that people with heart disease who practised transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice a day were 48 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with those who attended a health education class over more than five years.

Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger.

And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival, said researchers who conducted the study at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Lead researcher Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Iowa, said: ‘We hypothesised that reducing stress by managing the mind-body connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease.

‘It appears that transcendental meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy – to repair and maintain itself.’

For the study, researchers randomly assigned 201 people – with an average age of 59 – to participate in a transcendental meditation stress-reducing programme or a health education class about lifestyle modification for diet and exercise.

Transcendental Meditation was made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s

The average BMI of the people involved was 32 – classed as obese.

Both groups showed beneficial changes in exercise and alcohol consumption, and the meditation group showed a trend towards reduced smoking.

Although there were no significant differences between the groups in weight, exercise or diet, regular meditation was correlated with reduced death, heart attack and stroke.

Dr Schneider added: ‘Transcendental meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions.

‘The research on transcendental meditation and cardiovascular disease is established well enough that doctors may safely and routinely prescribe stress reduction for their patients with this easy to implement, standardised and practical programme.’

The findings were published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

More news coverage: Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk: WebMD Heart Disease Health Center and Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA and Science Codex: Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

The Daily Mail does not explain Transcendental Meditation properly. We do not repeatedly make a sound. It is a silent mental practice of experiencing the thought process at more refined levels until the mind transcends thought and arrives at an inner state of restful alertness. This natural level of deep rest releases stress and allows the body to repair itself resulting in improved health.

Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk: WebMD Heart Disease Health Center

November 13, 2012

Heart Disease Health Center

Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk

By 
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 13, 2012 — Transcendental Meditation is good for the heart, according to a new study.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. It found that African-Americans with heart disease who regularly practiced TM reduced their risk of death, heart attack, and stroke by 48%.

Researcher Robert Schneider, MD, says those results should apply to the general population. Schneider is director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa.

“This taps into a universal physical phenomenon that is not related to race, age, culture, etc.,” Schneider says. “This state of restful alertness has restorative benefits for everyone. It’s a way to utilize the body’s own internal pharmacy.”

TM is a trademarked form of meditation. It requires training by a certified teacher to “settle inward” to a place called “transcendental consciousness.” The technique is one of the two pillars underlying education at the Maharishi University of Management, according to the school’s web site.

Health Benefits of TM

The study was a collaboration between MUM and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Researchers recruited 201 African-American men and women whose average age was 59 and who were generally considered obese.

All of the participants previously had been diagnosed with heart disease. Many of them were current smokers. African-Americans, says Schneider, have a 35% higher risk of dying from heart disease than the general population.

The people in the study were divided into two groups. While both groups continued to receive standard care and medication for heart disease, the study group attended a seven-step course in TM. The people in that group were then instructed to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes for the duration of the study.

Schneider says that the program was standard for TM practitioners and had not been modified for the study.

The comparison group received conventional health education. The people in that group were told to spend at least 20 minutes a day on heart-healthy activities.

Members of both groups were followed for as long as nine years.

In addition to reducing the risk of death, heart attack, and stroke by nearly half, TM also significantly lowered systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading.

Anger control and overall anger also improved. Those who entered the study with either high blood pressure or high stress benefited the most from meditation.

“What this is saying is that mind-body interventions can have an effect as big as conventional medications, such as statins,” says Schneider.

The TM group was expected to meditate 14 times per week. But the researchers found that on average participants only practiced the technique 8.5 times.

They would have done well to stick to their instructions. Those who followed the study guidelines more strictly, Schneider says, had even greater benefits. Their risk reduction was 66%.

Second Opinion

“In cardiology, we are always impressed when we see any effective intervention,” says cardiologist Michael Shapiro, DO, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “But to actually show a reduction in overall mortality — that is really impressive.”

Shapiro, who reviewed the study for WebMD, says that its design appears scientifically rigorous and that its results are likely valid. But he says the study was too small to draw any definite conclusions.

“I am enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic,” says Shapiro. “Overall, I like the study, and it provides justification for a much larger study.”

Shapiro, who practices a different form of meditation, also says that more needs to be learned about what drives these results. He says the reduction in blood pressure, while significant, is likely not enough to account for all of the study’s positive outcomes.

“Meditation can do a whole host of positive things: reduce anger and stress, encourage happiness,” he says. “Who is to say that these are not the most important factors? This study can’t get at the mechanism involved. We don’t know how it works.”

A Cost-Effective Means of Prevention

Transcendental Meditation, says Schneider, is “a simple, effortless, and natural way to settle down to a quiet state of mind.”

But it is not free. According to the Maharishi Foundation USA’s web site, the seven-part introductory TM course that the study participants attended costs $1,500. Financial aid and sliding scale fees are available to those who can’t afford the full amount.

To Schneider, this study shows that TM is a cost-effective means of prevention.

“This is the strongest study ever done on meditation or any mind-body intervention for cardiovascular disease,” he says.

In July 2011, the study was pulled from publication in Archives of Internal Medicine, a last-minute decision made when one of the journal’s reviewers raised questions about the data. Schneider says that in the intervening time, the data was re-analyzed. Also, new data was added and the study underwent an independent review.

“This is the new and improved version,” Schneider says. It appears in the current issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Note: Check November 20 when the next issue comes out in print: http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org.

Also see: Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA

Science Codex: Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry) — Daily Mail

Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA

November 13, 2012

Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

November 13, 2012

Study Highlights:

  • Twice-a-day Transcendental Meditation helped African Americans with heart disease reduce risk of death, heart attack and stroke.
  • Meditation helped patients lower their blood pressure, stress and anger compared with patients who attended a health education class.
  • Regular Transcendental Meditation may improve long-term heart health.

DALLAS, Nov. 13, 2012 — African Americans with heart disease who practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with African Americans who attended a health education class over more than five years, according to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger. And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival, said researchers who conducted the study at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Robert Schneider, M.D., director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and dean of Maharishi College of Perfect Health in Fairfield, Iowa. Courtesy MAPI

“We hypothesized that reducing stress by managing the mind-body connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease,” said Robert Schneider, M.D., lead researcher and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa. “It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy — to repair and maintain itself.”

For the study, researchers randomly assigned 201 people to participate in a Transcendental Meditation stress-reducing program or a health education class about lifestyle modification for diet and exercise.

  • Forty-two percent of the participants were women, average age 59, and half reported earning less than $10,000 per year.
  • Average body mass index was about 32, which is clinically obese.
  • Nearly 60 percent in both treatment groups took cholesterol-lowering drugs; 41 percent of the meditation group and 31 percent of the health education group took aspirin; and 38 percent of the meditation group and 43 percent of the health education group smoked.

Those in the meditation program sat with eyes closed for about 20 minutes twice a day practicing the technique, allowing their minds and bodies to rest deeply while remaining alert.

 Participants in the health education group were advised, under the instruction of professional health educators, to spend at least 20 minutes a day at home practicing heart-healthy behaviors such as exercise, healthy meal preparation and nonspecific relaxation.
Researchers evaluated participants at the start of the study, at three months and every six months thereafter for body mass index, diet, program adherence, blood pressure and cardiovascular hospitalizations. They found:
  • There were 52 primary end point events, which included death, heart attack or stroke. Of these, 20 events occurred in the meditation group and 32 in the health education group.
  • Blood pressure was reduced by 5 mm Hg and anger decreased significantly among Transcendental Meditation participants compared to controls.
  • Both groups showed beneficial changes in exercise and alcohol consumption, and the meditation group showed a trend towards reduced smoking. Although, there were no significant differences between the groups in weight, exercise or diet.
  • Regular meditation was correlated with reduced death, heart attack and stroke.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Death from heart disease is about 50 percent higher in black adults compared to whites in the United States. Researchers focused on African Americans because of health disparities in America.

“Transcendental Meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions,” said Schneider, who is also dean of Maharishi College of Perfect Health in Fairfield, Iowa.

“The research on Transcendental Meditation and cardiovascular disease is established well enough that physicians may safely and routinely prescribe stress reduction for their patients with this easy to implement, standardized and practical program,”he said.

Co-authors are: Theodore Kotchen, M.D.; John W. Salerno, Ph.D.; Clarence E. Grim, M.D.; Sanford I. Nidich, Ed.D.; Jane Morley Kotchen, M.D., M.P.H.; Maxwell V. Rainforth, Ph.D.; Carolyn Gaylord-King, Ph.D.; and Charles N. Alexander, Ph.D. Author disclosures are available on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded the study.

Follow @HeartNews on Twitter for the latest heart and stroke news.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding .

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2012; 5: 750-758. Published online before print November 13, 2012, doi: 10.1161/ CIRCOUTCOMES.112.967406. November 2012 issue. Stress Reduction in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Randomized, Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education in Blacks. Abstract | Full Text | PDF | Figures Only

Also posted on EurekAlert! http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-11/aha-mmr110812.php

Also see: Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk: WebMD Heart Disease Health Center

Science Codex: Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry) — Daily Mail

TIME Strongest Study Yet Shows Meditation Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Excellent article by Tom Jacobs on Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients

AHA Newsletter: News from the Heart: Update from CEO Nancy Brown for AHA Volunteers (11/15/12) features Dr. Schneider’s study, “meditation reduces cardiovascular risk”

And many major articles around the world, including reports by CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC.

I also included a review of some of the global news coverage and the report in our university paper the Review: New Study Shows Reduced Mortality, Heart Attack, Stroke (Vol. 28, #6, November 28, 2012). You can also read it in this news post: Results of American Heart Association publishing landmark TM study.

Soledad O’Brien interviews Russell Simmons and Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation on TM for Vets with PTS on CNN’s Starting Point

November 12, 2012

Soledad O’Brien interviews Bob Roth and Russell Simmons on Starting Point

This morning, November 12, 2012, in honor of Veterans Day, CNN’s Starting Point news anchor Soledad O’Brien interviewed Russell Simmons and Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation. They talked about the successful use of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in healing veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Click on the title to see the (3:41) clip from the interview Vets find wellness in meditation. The show airs weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET.

Bob Roth and Russell Simmons

Hip-hop founder, fashion designer and philanthropist Russell Simmons is on the board of The David Lynch Foundation. Bob Roth, a 40-year teacher of Transcendental Meditation, is the executive director of the David Lynch Foundation and president of Operation Warrior Wellness, the newest division to bring relief to veterans and their families suffering from PTS, and to develop greater resilience in cadets at military colleges.

Soledad O’Brien, anchor of CNN’s morning news program Starting Point

Bob Roth described the benefits veterans were experiencing with Transcendental Meditation. Soledad O’Brien enthusiastically said, “What a great gift for Veterans’ Day, when you think about it. I mean if you can give some peace of mind and some calmness in dealing with some of the terrible things they experienced.”

Soldiers practicing Transcendental Meditation

Bob mentioned DLF working with the VA, the Wounded Warrior Project and many military bases. He also mentioned Norwich University, home to the oldest private military college in the nation, using TM to develop resiliency in their cadets. See the Norwich University video Meditation Improves Performance at Military University.

Research shows reductions in anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and heart disease. One study showed a 50 percent reduction in PTS symptoms within 1-2 months. See Veterans show a 50 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms after 8 weeks of Transcendental Meditation. See this video of Norwich University Professor Carol Bandy presenting findings of TM on resilience and psychological hardiness in cadets and veterans.

Here is the latest video of veterans discussing their PTS experiences and relief with Transcendental Meditation: Training from the Inside: Treating PTSD with TM.  Click on the titles listed at the end of that post to see other videos and articles on this subject. Also see video highlights of the Iowa Veterans Summit – PTSD and Transcendental Meditation.

And here is the full CNN interview now available on YouTube.

Found in translation: Local literary legend finds her voice by interpreting the words of others

November 12, 2012

Ovation

Local literary legend finds her voice by interpreting the words of others

Margaret Peden has spent her career translating Spanish and Latin American works into English. Ryan Henriksen | Buy this photo

By Jill Renae Hicks

Sunday, October 28, 2012

“We who have attempted a translation often disagree in both meaning and expression. I believe nevertheless that there is a perfect translation, and that it lies among the lines of all the versions produced by diligent and sincere ‘readers,’ ” said Margaret Sayers Peden, professor emerita of Spanish at the University of Missouri, in the introduction to one of her works. Near the end of a decadeslong career translating Spanish and Latin American literature into English, Peden was recently awarded the prestigious PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation. She traveled to New York City to accept her award this week, surrounded by such authors as E.L. Doctorow, Barbara Kingsolver and Susan Nussbaum. Only a handful of translators have been recognized with the award since its inception.

Peden, known by many simply as “Petch,” was born in West Plains and attended MU for her degrees in Spanish. She began her translation career somewhat by chance in the latter part of the 1960s. At the time, she was working on her Ph.D. and came across a small novel by the playwright Emilio Carballido. She told her husband, English Professor William Peden, how interesting it was.

“And he said, ‘Well, you know I can’t read Spanish. Why don’t you translate it?’ ” she remembered. She did — “and I found I loved it, so I just kept doing it.” Peden has translated some 65 books, including most of Isabel Allende’s novels and nonfiction works, books by Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz, the writings of intelligent and progressive 17th-century nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Juan Rulfo’s novel “Pedro Páramo,” and, most recently, Fernando de Rojas’ “Celestina,” a turn-of-the-16th-century work of Spanish literature second in cultural significance only to “Don Quixote.”

That work, published by Yale University Press in 2009, earned Peden the Lewis Galantière Award, sponsored by the American Translators Association. “Celestina” was one of the more complicated works she has translated, Peden said, because of the centuries-old language and the Spanish history she had to research. But she appreciated the challenge of immersing herself in the world from which the tome emerged, and the resultant English translation remains complex in its tragicomic ironies yet is accessible to today’s readers. In comparison, another work Peden said is one of her favorites is Allende’s contemporary memoir “Paula,” which tells the story of her daughter Paula’s coma and subsequent passing, mixed together with vivid, poetic stories of Paula’s and Isabel’s own history and ancestry.

When Peden first began her translation work, she was teaching Latin American literature at MU. Translation courses at universities were not very common, and she did much of the work on her own time. Later she would strive to teach her own students to unearth the true essence of each text while translating, rather than simply switching the language word for word. “I tried to teach my students this: You have to scrape off the words, get down to an under-level. … That’s where the meaning is, below the words,” she emphasized. Gregory Rabassa, a friend and fellow translator, said in Peden’s PEN award statement that her translated characters “speak as they would have had they been born to English and their authors likewise acquire a style in their transformed tongue that is true to what they say or are trying to say.”

Peden will often rewrite five to 10 pages of a work in Spanish at a time, using a combination of both Spanish and English. Then she returns to the beginning and revises, looking up the words she doesn’t understand, and revises again. By the time each book is published, she has pored over it numerous times. She has another hard rule that she judges her work by, a telling aphorism Rabassa passed on to her: ” ‘You can’t commit the sin of improvement.’ That’s not the point. If it’s a bad book, it has to be a bad book!” she reasoned with a laugh. “Though I try not to ever get one.”

Translating a work is a constant solving of puzzles, Peden noted. “And that’s one of the nice things I love about it, is that you don’t get bored. You can’t get bored.” Often she does as much as or more research than academic writers and critics for the works because she must learn everything she can about a book’s historical and cultural contexts, the way the Spanish language is used in those contexts, and the specific vocabulary and voice of each author — not to mention the voices of all the author’s characters, if applicable. “I don’t have a writing style except the ones I pick up from the books I translate,” Peden explained. “I have done a lot of writing, but that’s not my thing. I’m just better at hearing what somebody else writes.” Indeed, Roberto González Echevarría, Yale professor of Hispanic and comparative literature, praises her ability to nearly turn “herself into” the writers she translates. In his introduction to “Celestina,” he said Peden “is today the most accomplished active translator of Spanish-language literature into English.”

People don’t typically realize how dependent they have been on translations, Peden mused about the often-overlooked role of a translator. “Look at our Western civilization. It came to us in translation: the Greeks, the Bible, all these things.” She is proud to be part of that long tradition and recognizes that she has gained other benefits from walking the “road less traveled” of her chosen career, including a greater tolerance for elements of other cultures she might have felt impatient with before. But Peden added perhaps the best part of her journey has been the relationships she has gained — with her authors, with translators and with other readers who love and respect good literature as much as she. “I’m lucky, the people I’ve met,” she said.

Jill Renae Hicks has previously written arts features for the Tribune and now works as a freelance writer, editor and illustrator. She is interested in the local literary and writing scene and how it connects to the rest of the arts and the greater Columbia community.

Reach Jill Renae Hicks at 573-815-1714 or e-mail jrhicks@columbiatribune.com.

This article was published on page C5 of the Sunday, October 28, 2012 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune with the headline “Found in translation: ” Click here to Subscribe.

You’re probably wondering why I’m posting this well-written article on Margaret Peden, legendary literary translator. There is a personal connection here. Petch is my sweetheart Sally Peden’s step-mother. Petch will be celebrated for her lifetime achievements in translation at Missouri University this Friday, November 16, 2012. I asked her if there was an article about it and she mentioned this one, which came out two Sundays ago. Petch is a great lady, and its always fun being around her and husband Robert Harper.

Training from the Inside: Treating PTSD with TM

November 11, 2012

Training from the Inside: Treating PTSD with Transcendental Meditation

“I deal with pain every day. I have nerve problems in my leg and the PTSD that the doctors diagnosed me with…functioning becomes impossible, lack of sleep, your work ethic sucks, you can’t focus at work, you can’t do anything, everybody pisses you off…it’s different for everybody. Memories saturate your mind…for me every day is a constant reminder — you relive the same crap over and over and over.” – Sgt James Thrasher, USMC

“I myself have been deployed eight times and been to combat four times. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, insomnia. We fight through whatever problems we have, we suck it up, and I did that for many many years. The trauma that I’ve seen the situations that I’ve been through…you take all of that stuff and you put it in a bag and we keep filling up our bag with all these problems rather than dealing with them. – GySgt Richard Wilson, USMC

“What peaked my interest in TM was all the research that’s been done and how incredibly effective it is for trauma, stress…the evidence now is that in combat stress the trauma actually changes the brain so that the ability to self-regulate isn’t there. Meditation helps with information processing, helps with self-regulation. Here we have another tool that is fabulous and they can do for themselves.” – Anna Benson, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

“I was interested in the TM program but I was skeptical at the same time. The power of the TM meditation…it really came out fast and it was surprising to me. Having that inner peace after meditation really really emboldened me to deal with things that I’d been just kind of stuffing away. So to be able to have relief from agitation, have relief from anger, frustration, sleeplessness, alcoholism, drug addiction…that’s huge.” – Sgt James Thrasher, USMC

Uploaded by on Aug 28, 2012

See updated article with photos by Mario Orsatti posted on the TM Blog December 13, 2012: U.S. Marines Talk About the Effect of TM on PTSD.

For more information on the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness program please visit http://operationwarriorwellness.org.

For more information on the Transcendental Meditation technique please visit http://tm.org.

Since 2005 the David Lynch Foundation has shared Transcendental Meditation with our most stressed populations. The David Lynch Foundation runs entirely on donations and there is a long list of veterans and sufferers of post-traumatic stress eager to participate.

If you were inspired by this video and would like to make a donation please visit: http://www.operationwarriorwellness.org/how-to-help. Your donations will be used in 3 ways—to help active duty military and veterans suffering from PTS, cadets in training and activated soldiers, and family members of retired and active service personnel. Thank you!

Related news: Soledad O’Brien interviews Russell Simmons and Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation on TM for Vets with PTS on CNN’s Starting Point | Military Leaders to Promote Meditation at Iowa Summit to Help Reduce Veteran Suicide EpidemicMatt Kelley of Radio Iowa interviews Jerry Yellin about an Iowa Veterans Summit solution to PTSD | See video highlights of the Iowa Veterans Summit – PTSD and Transcendental Meditation | KTVO News: How one soldier regained his life with help from WWII veteran and TM for PTSDFairfield and Ames war veterans team up to bring meditation (TM) to fellow Iowa vets with PTSD | Mark Newman: Courier: Iowa soldier seeks peace of mind through meditation and medicationMilitary veterans speak on need to increase resiliency: by Diane Vance, Fairfield Ledger | Story County Veteran Once Suicidal Finds Relief from PTSD with Transcendental Meditation: AmesPatch article by Jessica Miller | Veterans speak out on post-traumatic stress, offer a proven way to heal PTSD | Healing the Hidden Wounds of War: open forum for Iowa veterans and their families affected by PTSD, sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness | Post Traumatic Stress and How Transcendental Meditation Can Help [Infographic] | Meditation Improves Performance at Military University | Meditation Saves A Veteran From PTSD and SuicideDr. Oz on the Benefits of the TM Technique


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