Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

US News and World Report selects Fairfield, Iowa with Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities

June 22, 2018
USN&WR-Transcending Together

Ashia Freeden of Canada journals on campus at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. (Rachel Mummey for USN&WR)

Fairfield, Iowa — Of the dozens of Iowa cities with populations hovering around 10,000, only one can tout repeated visits from A-list celebrities and Transcendental Meditation practitioners from across the globe.

For more than 40 years, the city of Fairfield, Iowa, has been coming to terms with its dual role as the county seat of largely rural Jefferson County and the host city to the Maharishi University of Management, the institution founded in the 1970s by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his followers.

The city of approximately 10,400 residents has the familiar mix of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and big-box retailers seen in other similarly sized enclaves throughout the state. But it also boasts a retail area filled with yoga studios, wellness centers, high-end coffeehouses and the largest organic and natural foods store in southeast Iowa.

Over the past half-century, most of Iowa’s rural counties have seen a population and economic decline. Fairfield, however, earned the nickname Silicorn Valley during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, highlighting the presence of dozens of tech and programming companies within its small confines. It’s been touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America of its size.

“It’s kind of a side attraction of Fairfield that every once in a while there’s Oprah, or there’s David Lynch or there’s Jim Carrey,” says Dick DeAngelis, a New Jersey native who first came to Fairfield to study in the 1970s and returned a few years after graduation to raise his family. “But it’s also this small, Midwestern hometown steeped in family values and apple pie, which I love.”

City and county leaders say the health and overall success of their community comes through the effective bridging of the small-town experience and the university’s broader draw. The school incorporates Transcendental Meditation alongside more traditional academic offerings, such as majors in computer science, business or art.

“It’s really gratifying to see the culture change so now we don’t talk as much about the difference anymore,” says Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who was first elected to the office in 2001. “I’m always tickled when I hear a local person refer to one of our strengths as diversity. I think everybody is on board now. They understand that good values and good things come out of our diversity.”

Read the rest of this excellent US News and World Report, Iowan City Transcends a Divide, written by Jeff Charis-Carlson with photos by Rachel Mummey posted June 20, 2018 on Healthiest Communities: Transcending Together. Fairfield, Iowa, has found success as a home for townies and meditators alike. (Much to my surprise I’m in the third photo walking underneath the movie theater marquee.)

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Related news: Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | “Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield | @DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

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Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll podcast with Bob Roth on the power of #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018

June 10, 2018: Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll 372 Podcast: Strength in Stillness: Bob Roth On The Power of Transcendental Meditation & Bringing Calm To The Center of Life’s Storm. Also scroll down to see Rich’s comprehensive SHOW NOTES.

Excellent interview with @meditationbob by @Caitlinscarlson for @Furthermore from @Equinox on #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018
bob_roth_ph_alexander_berg_0276_crop

Bob Roth, TM Teacher and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation

Can Meditation Cure Stress?

The David Lynch Foundation CEO on the benefits of a regular practice

With Transcendental Meditation, through the use of a mantra—which is a word or a sound that has no meaning—you’re trained to effortlessly dive within and access deeper, quieter, more subtle levels of the mind beneath the waves, beneath the thoughts. And when we do that, there’s a completely different style of the way the brain functions. During TM, there’s what’s called alpha 1 brain waves and that’s the state of deep inner reflection and calm. During mindfulness, it’s called theta brain waves and that is sort of a dream onset.

Why were you excited to collaborate on a mindfulness-based meditation with Equinox to benefit Move for Minds?

I’m always happy to call attention to anything that’s scientifically proven to work. It’s like Vitamin A is different than Vitamin C is different than Vitamin D. And so mindfulness can be a good coping tool for someone and TM is completely different—you use them for different purposes.

You can have multiple tools in your toolbox.

That’s exactly right.

And when you say it’s scientifically proven to work—there’s research that shows how meditation can benefit brain health, right?

Yes. Stress and anxiety either cause or exacerbate 80 percent—if not more—of all illnesses and disorders. There’s a lot of talk these days that stress and anxiety may be an actual causal factor in Alzheimer’s or accelerating the symptoms. High levels of cortisol fuel anxiety, compromise the immune system, and actually undermine memory, the hippocampus. When you get a good night’s sleep, cortisol levels drop about 10 percent. In 20 minutes of TM, cortisol levels drop 30 to 40 percent and remain low afterwards. So this is why we encourage people to meditate at any time during their life. We’re also encouraging research so we can document quite clearly the impact of TM on pre-onset Alzheimer’s and for the symptoms of that.

Any time in life because what researchers are discovering now is Alzheimer’s begins as early as 30 years old.

Even what happens at 30 has been building up probably since you were a kid. It’s like high blood pressure, which doesn’t just come on suddenly. That’s been building for decades.

And you think this is the same thing?

I think any of these things that manifest later in life have been building since the 30s, if not earlier.

So, start meditating in your teens if you can. I know The David Lynch Foundation teaches in schools.

That’s right. It’s an effective preventive modality with enormous side benefits: increased energy, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, increased focus, all those things.

Speaking of energy, can meditation help your athletic performance?

Oh yeah. I teach professional and Olympic athletes and a lot of them will tell you, at the peak levels, it’s not a physical game, it’s a mental game. I teach an Olympian who is in the best imaginable physical shape and they can’t sleep at night and they’re anxious. For health, it’s not just attending to the neck down. And so you could look at TM as an effortless exercise to bring the whole brain into peak performance. And then you’ve got more energy because we deplete so much of our energy in anxiety and worry and insomnia. I like to say, if you’re really on a healthy regime, you exercise, you eat properly, you transcend.

Your book, Strength in Stillness, came out a few months ago. What were the three most surprising things you learned while writing it?

Number one, new research documenting the holistic or global impact that TM has on healthy brain functioning. The second thing I was very surprised or inspired by was to see that, whether you’re the CEO of a huge company or a single mom with two kids, when you look into the eyes of both of them you can see anxiety. Worry is universal. Anxiety is universal. Insomnia is universal. That was shocking to me. And the third was, I’ve been teaching TM for 45 years. It was a wonderful experience for me to just basically have it all flow out. I took the time to write the essential pieces of information that a person would like to know about meditation in general and about my area of expertise, Transcendental Meditation. I didn’t want to try and convince anybody of anything. I just wanted to give them the information and let them be able to make an informed choice for themselves.

The David Lynch Foundation hosted a recent Festival of Disruption. What was the inspiration behind that?

Life itself is perpetual change. We’re changing spouses, we’re changing relationships, we’re changing jobs. There’s so much political upheaval, disruption in the world. And through meditation, we can have the clarity, the energy, really the resilience to make life less of a nightmare and more of a festival. Because it’s happening anyway and we can either be destroyed by it or we can become a master of our life. We can become in control of our life. And we can even enjoy our lives. So the Festival of Disruption means let’s celebrate the creative people who are, in the spite of everything that’s going on in the world today, managing to be creative and inspiring and innovative and forward-looking.

Meditation can help you to do that.

It gives us the resilience, the creativity, the energy, the power to do just that. To enable us. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed by stress, we get overwhelmed by anxiety, and then we start self-medicating. And then life becomes a hell.

What do you think about the evolution of meditation and how it’s now the cool thing to do?

It was really cool and trendy when the Beatles were doing it back in 1968 and 1969 when I started meditating, a billion years ago. And then it sort of disappeared. It’s come back in the last few years and I think there are three reasons why it’s on the one hand trendy, but, on the other hand, being taken very seriously by educators, by medical doctors, by researchers. Number one, we live in an epidemic of stress, and that’s killing us. Number two, modern medicine has no magic pill to cure or prevent this epidemic. We mask it with alcohol and tobacco and drugs and coffee. We mask it or we manage it with sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication. But stress is like a tumor. Even though on the surface we’re masking it, it’s still metastasizing. So that’s the second reason, to be free. And number three, there’s been so much research on meditation in general that it’s given a legitimacy to the whole field.

What’s ahead in the next three years, I think, is that there’s going to be a clearing out because a lot of it is just junk. A lot of it is trendy stuff to make a buck. But, as the problems of stress become greater, society is going to look more carefully, like we would with medicine, at what’s really working.

The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women

May 21, 2018

Each week, The Hawk Eye, Iowa’s oldest newspaper based in Burlington, focuses on an Iowan who is making a difference in the world. Bob Saar, a great storyteller of other people’s stories, came to Fairfield earlier this month to interview Leslee Goldstein about her TM study empowering disadvantaged Ugandan mothers. The Hawk Eye published his article on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Leslee Goldstein cropped from The Hawk Eye

I cropped this photo taken by Bob for The Hawk Eye. The caption reads: Leslee Goldstein at her home near Fairfield. The Detroit area native came to Iowa in 1975 to study Transcendental Meditation, and went on to earn a doctorate in Vedic science. Her research is in the area of using TM to address stress and improve learning opportunities among women in poverty.

To read this well-written, comprehensive personal profile in their 52 Faces section, click on the title to go to the website where you’ll also see a gallery with 5 photos: Road to Africa is paved with good intentions. You’ll enjoy reading this inspiring heartfelt story. It’s also available in this PDF without the photos.

KTVO had also reported on the study: Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report.

ENJOY TM NEWS reproduced The Hawk Eye article with additional photos and a video made on Leslee’s study by her daughter Alena Goldstein: Empowerment from Within for Mothers in Africa.

Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report

May 3, 2018

(Wednesday, May 2, 2018): KTVO’s Aish Menon visited Leslee Goldstein to talk about her research study in Uganda and aired this story on last night’s KTVO News at 10. Click the title below to see the report.

Fairfield woman researches benefits of Transcendental Meditation on Ugandan women

Leslee Goldstein is a faculty and research scholar at the Maharishi University of Management.:KTVO

Leslee Goldstein is a faculty and research scholar at Maharishi University of Management./KTVO

What started out as research for her PhD, has turned into something much larger.

Back in 2012, Leslee Goldstein, a faculty and research scholar at Maharishi University of Management, visited Uganda to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation on women.

In her research, she found that their self-efficacy and mental and physical quality of life greatly improved after practicing the technique just twice a day.

“When they could start to create more balance in their own lives, then they were able to do their job better as a mother, and I see it as the highest profession,” said Goldstein.

Now, Goldstein’s research is being published, but that’s not putting a stop to her work – it’s just inspired her to do more.

She says she plans on returning to Uganda and conducting more research in the area as well as in other parts of Africa.

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Note: Visual excerpts used in the news report were taken from Alena Goldstein’s documentary of the project, Mothers of Uganda.

Related: New research shows Transcendental Meditation empowers disadvantaged Ugandan mothers. The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women.

A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust Told Through Art and Poetry, by Olga Campbell

May 1, 2018

I wanted to share something special with you. A friend of mine had been repressing, then actively processing an inherited trauma for most of her life. By educating herself, seeking professional help, writing and creating art, she has been able to make sense of it all. She just published a book about her powerful healing journey. She hopes it will resonate with those going through a trauma-induced grief, deepen our understanding and prevent such future catastrophes. I’ve seen the book. It’s a stunning artistic record of her ongoing transformation. Here’s what she sent me.

A Whisper Across Time book coverA Whisper Across Time is the story of one family’s experiences in the Holocaust. Olga Campbell tells a very personal and moving story through prose, art and poetry, creating a multi-dimensional snapshot of family losses and inter-generational trauma. Campbell’s art and poetry reflect the theme of sorrow and sadness created by this dark period of history. This is a story of remembering and healing. It is also a cautionary tale asking the reader to look at what is happening in the world today. Part memoir, part poetry, and art, A Whisper Across Time will make you stop, feel and reflect.

Seventeen years ago, after listening to a radio program about second generation Holocaust survivors, Olga Campbell experienced feelings she had spent a lifetime repressing. Her experience of grief, sorrow and sadness had their origins in events that happened to her family during the Holocaust. She started to confront these feelings by creating a solo multimedia exhibition in 2005 called Whispers Across Time. 

A year ago she felt compelled to write her family’s story. It felt as if her ancestors were whispering to her, encouraging her to do this. A Whisper Across Time is the result of these whispers.

Olga Campbell is a visual artist living in Vancouver, B. C. Her art work includes photography, sculpture, mixed media painting, and digital photo collage. She is also the author of Graffiti Alphabet. See more of Olga’s work at www.olgacampbell.com and olgacampbellart.

Olga has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since 1967. She became at teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India in 1970 and is a recertified Governor.

In her book she writes: “This personal journey was at times very difficult. However, there were and continue to be experiences in my life which make it easier … This daily practice of meditation for over half a century of time, has been transformational and life-affirming.

Praise for A Whisper Across Time

Olga Campbell’s poignant tribute to family murdered in the Shoa is a personal triumph. With words and art she has created an emotional response to a psychologically wounded mother and her inadvertent legacy of trauma. Her enormous artistic talents and insights provide not only a measure of healing but also of faithfulness to memory — the lives unlived are not forgotten. This is a precious contribution to the literature of the Holocaust and to resolving the consequences of catastrophic trauma. — Dr. Robert Krell, Founding President, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre

A Whisper Across Time is a profoundly moving experience. It is a healing ritual, a Shamanic soul retrieval, a celebration of life, and a gift of gratitude to the family Olga Campbell never really knew. She reminds us that it is never too late to heal the sorrows of the past or to protect the future from the dangers of forgetting.Ann Mortifee, Performing Artist, Writer for theatre, ballet and films

A Whisper Across Time by Olga Campbell is now available in Vancouver, BC, Canada. To order a copy, contact Olga at olgac1@telus.net. The cost is $25 US plus $6 shipping and handling.

@LynchFoundation CEO @meditationbob and @katyperry address #UniteToCare at #VaticanCity on the benefits of #TranscendentalMeditation

April 30, 2018
Bob Roth and Katy Perry present TM at Unite to Cure at 4th International Vatican Conference

Bob Roth and Katy Perry present TM’s benefits for children at Unite to Cure during the Fourth International Vatican Conference

Enjoy this video published by The Cura Foundation at their Unite to Cure event during the Fourth International Vatican Conference on Saturday, April 28, 2018: Impacting Children’s Health Through Meditation Globally. This presentation was delivered by Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and Katy Perry, well-known American singer and songwriter.

Bob explained how easy it is to practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) and showed a 4-minute video about the David Lynch Foundation’s Quiet Time program offered in schools around the world that showed how effective it is in reducing stress in students, and improving their health and academic outcomes. He then introduced a special guest—Katy Perry.

Katy shared how TM has helped to naturally ease her anxiety. She also expressed her concern for young people who are glued to their phones for hours at a time posting on their social media platforms to be liked. She said they don’t even know how to just be themselves.

Katy also admitted to being connected to her phone, always ‘on call’. “I want to disconnect to connect back with myself.” And she does this with TM, which for her, “has been such an incredible tool.” It provides her with a more powerful rest than napping. She says it’s “key to finding your authentic self, finding that stillness, recharging,” which gives her the added mental, physical, and immune strength “to take on this big technological world.” After meditation, she adds, “it brings some of the best, most creative ideas to me.”

I enjoyed the banter between them. Watch this fun and informative video.

Newsweek covered the event and wrote an informative report: Katy Perry Says She Treats Her Anxiety with Meditation, Not Prescription Drugs. As did The Fix: Katy Perry Talks Treating Anxiety With Meditation.

Related news: TM teacher and DLF CEO Bob Roth talks with Ellen and Dr. Oz about Strength In Stillness and Bob Roth promotes Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation on Today Extra, Australia’s popular TV morning show and @GMA’s @RobinRoberts & @GStephanopoulos interview @meditationbob on his new book #StrengthInStillness: The Power of #TranscendentalMeditation.

TM teacher and DLF CEO Bob Roth talks with Ellen and Dr. Oz about Strength In Stillness

April 21, 2018

Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation and longtime Transcendental Meditation teacher, was on Ellen’s show Monday, April 2, 2018. Bob had taught Ellen and her partner Portia to meditate around 7 years ago. Ellen said it’s changed her life. They discussed the benefits of adding TM to your daily routine, and Bob’s book, Strength In Stillness. Bob added the introduction on his Instagram.

Then on Thursday, April 19th, Bob appeared on Dr. Oz’s show. Bob had also taught TM to Dr. Oz years ago. Together they discussed the misconceptions of meditation, some of the scientific benefits of the practice, and Bob’s bestselling book, Strength In Stillness. Watch these excerpts from the show and website by clicking on their titles below.

Bob Roth talks Transcendental Meditation with Dr. Oz.png

Busting the Biggest Meditation Myths

What do celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld have in common? They all meditate! Meditation expert and author Bob Roth joins Dr. Oz to discuss the benefits of meditation and explain why he turned to meditation himself.

The Different Types of Meditation

Meditation expert and author Bob Roth explains who can benefit from meditation and some of Dr. Oz’s guests reveal how meditation has helped them.

Oz Talk: The Impact of Transcendental Meditation

Celebrities like David Lynch and Oprah have praised the powers of Transcendental Meditation but what is it exactly? Meditation expert and author Bob Roth explains what it is, how it differs from guided meditation, and its potential benefits.

The Dr. Oz Podcast: HowStuffWorks (May 29, 2018)

Mehmet & Lisa Oz host Bob Roth on The Dr. Oz PodcastAfter the TV interview, Mehmet and Lisa Oz taped a friendly conversation with Bob for the premier of The Dr. Oz Podcast. Mehmet called Bob one of the most skilled and sought after meditation teachers in the world, a good friend, and a mensch! Listen to 24 minutes of fun and information: Episode 2, How to Conquer Anxiety with Meditation. I loved it!

Watch these other interviews from Bob’s book tour

Bob Roth promotes Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation on Today Extra, Australia’s popular TV morning show and @GMA’s @RobinRoberts & @GStephanopoulos interview @meditationbob on his new book #StrengthInStillness: The Power of #TranscendentalMeditation.

New research shows Transcendental Meditation empowers disadvantaged Ugandan mothers

April 18, 2018

Summary: A new study with disadvantaged women in Uganda using measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life, found significant differences between a group practicing Transcendental Meditation and controls after three months. Results indicate improved ability to cope with difficult situations, decreased perceived stress, and improved clarity of mind and physical vitality. In follow-up questionnaires after 8 and 36 months, the women reported improvements in health, employment, and social relationships. Decreased Perceived Stress and Increased Self-Efficacy in Women in UgandaApril 18, 2018, 8:00 ET: A study published today in Health Care for Women International shows how the Transcendental Meditation technique can empower women’s lives, using measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life.

The practice was shown to help single, disadvantaged, illiterate mothers in Uganda deal with high levels of physical and psychological stress in their daily lives while improving their health, well-being, and ability to support themselves and their children.

“Transcendental Meditation has been in the news in recent years, with many celebrities talking about how they’ve benefitted,” said lead author Leslee Goldstein. “Moreover, many educational institutions and organizations around the world have successfully adopted Transcendental Meditation in programs for students, veterans, and the general population. This pioneering research shows that it can also aid vulnerable women in Africa who’ve never before heard about meditation.”

Impoverished mothers able to help themselves

A top leader in the Uganda Ministry of Health, Dr. Grace Nambatya, said the findings are extremely important in showing how this simple meditation technique can provide a platform for impoverished mothers to help themselves.

“There is a significant need for evidence such as this to help us improve women’s health and promote empowerment for vulnerable women in Uganda and worldwide,” she said. “Given the global impact of stress on women’s health and self-efficacy, this study has wide, interdisciplinary applicability.”

How it began: Uganda NGO introduces Transcendental Meditation

The research was conducted under the auspices of the United Women’s Platform for Empowerment and Development (UWOPED), a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) that offers training and educational programs to impoverished women to build practical skills to help empower their lives and increase their competencies and productivity.

UWOPED founder Brenda Nakalembe learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 2012, and due to the benefits she experienced, decided to offer it as one of her training programs for women to help them cope with the challenges they face.

“These women face serious deprivation, and have so much stress in their lives that they become hopeless,” Ms. Nakalembe said. “The result is that it’s a real challenge for them to engage in meaningful action.”

Ms. Nakalembe collaborated with the African Women and Girls Organization for Total Knowledge (AWAGO) to provide instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique. Licensed in 2011, AWAGO offers programs, including Transcendental Meditation, to develop the full potential of women and girls in Uganda.

Single-blind, controlled study

AWAGO’s certified Transcendental Meditation teachers initially taught the technique to 60 women in the village of Nsambya in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. After observing the benefits experienced by their neighbors, 81 more women requested to learn. UWOPED and AWAGO then elected to invite these 81 women to participate in a single-blind, controlled study.

Of these 81, 42 of the women learned Transcendental Meditation immediately, and the rest (39), were put on a waitlist to learn the technique after three months, serving as a control group. All subjects were assigned to groups without known bias, and there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of demographics or study outcomes at baseline. The women on average were 28 years old and instruction was conducted in their mother tongue. The participants practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day for about 20 minutes. Twice a month they attended group follow-up meetings.

Ugandan women meditate together

Improvements in self-efficacy, stress, and mental/physical health

Assessment after three months of practicing Transcendental Meditation found benefits on standardized measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life. Further questionnaires after 8 and 36 months suggested that the women enjoyed improved health, better relationships with others, and increased employment rates.

A total of 71 participants completed the three-month post-test. The primary outcome was a significant improvement in self-efficacy in the Transcendental Meditation group, as measured by the 10-item General Self-Efficacy Scale, which assesses the ability to cope with difficult life challenges. These outcomes are particularly relevant because self-efficacy is considered a critical element of empowerment.

“This Self-Efficacy Scale, which has been in use for nearly 40 years, is a good way of getting a sense of how optimistic a person is, and how much belief a person has that she or he can overcome obstacles,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Those in the Transcendental Meditation group clearly had a changed attitude and greater confidence in their ability to overcome difficult demands in life.”

Secondary outcomes in the study included the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, which measures the degree to which situations are perceived as stressful and the Medical Outcomes Survey, which measures general physical and mental health as well as social functioning. Again, there was a significant difference between the Transcendental Meditation group and controls.

“These instruments used in the study measured energy and vitality, decision-making, problem-solving, and how overloaded the respondents feel,” Dr. Goldstein said. “What’s really interesting is that the participants simply learned a meditation technique that’s been shown scientifically to provide deep rest and relieve stress. After three months of practice so many aspects of the participant’s lives were greatly improved.”

Long-term benefits

A follow-up questionnaire was completed by 54 of the original 81 participants after 8 months, and 56 of the original participants completed a questionnaire after three years. All of the women who completed the questionnaire at three years were still practicing Transcendental Meditation.

The women’s self-reported benefits included improved general physical health, fewer headaches, better sleep, greater ability to deal with HIV, greater calm and peace, and less worry and anxiety. There were also reports of decreased drug use and prostitution.

Furthermore, women reported that their employment situations improved, as did their social relationships at home, at work, and in their community – such as more cooperation, love, respect, trust, and friendliness.

Comments from participants

“I used to be stressed to get enough to eat. I would cry and argue with my husband. I used to get so angry I would get a headache and fever from the stress. TM has calmed me down and I feel happy from inside because I can manage stress better. I am thankful for my TM training for giving me self-control and a better feeling about myself as a woman and that I can do something to take care of myself and my children.” (NA)

“Before TM I was unable to get myself going to find work, I couldn’t even think of working. TM has opened up my mind, and help me think better, and now I have a job selling bananas and my children are going to school and feeling happy.” (NG)

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, Transcendental Meditation practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. It automatically and effortlessly allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of deep inner calm. For more information visit http://www.africanwomenandgirls-uganda.org and http://www.tm.org.

The effect of Transcendental Meditation on self-efficacy, perceived stress, and quality of life in mothers in Uganda
Leslee Goldstein, Sanford I. Nidich, Rachel Goodman, and David Goodman

Health Care for Women International, an online international journal that provides a unique interdisciplinary approach to health care and related topics that concern women around the globe.

This research was supported by funding from the Abramson Family Foundation.

Contact information: lgoldstein@mum.edu

Source: EurekAlert!

Watch a video made on how UWOPED partnered with AWAGO to provide instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique to Empower Women from Within. Author and freelance writer Linda Egenes wrote an article of how Leslee’s daughter, Alena, came to make this documentary film, and was transformed in the process: A Young Filmmaker Documents the Transforming Experiences of Women in Uganda—And Finds Her Own Life Changing as a Result.

Some news coverage: The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women | KTVO: Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report.

New study highlights unique state of “restful alertness” during Transcendental Meditation

March 24, 2018

fMRI shows increased blood flow to frontal areas of brain and decreased blood flow in pons and cerebellum

Summary: A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that Transcendental Meditation is associated with a unique state of “restful alertness.” The study, which monitored blood flow, found that, compared to eyes-closed rest, during Transcendental Meditation there was increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, indicating the sort of alertness also seen in other meditations. However, unlike other meditations, there was decreased activity in the cerebellum and pons, indicating deep rest.

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Mahone - side view fMRI

fMRI images show significant areas of activation during Transcendental Meditation compared to resting with eyes closed. Areas of activation (orange) included the anterior cingulate gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Areas of deactivation (blue) included the pons and cerebellum. These findings suggest the mind is alert but that mind and body are in a deeply restful state.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is said to lead to a state of “restful alertness,” and now a new study in Brain and Cognition using brain-imaging supports the assertion that during the practice one’s mind is alert but that both mind and body are in a deep state of rest.

Functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI) patterns of 16 subjects during their practice of Transcendental Meditation found that, like meditations that involve focused attention or open monitoring, there was increased activity in the areas of the prefrontal cortex related to attention – indicating alertness. However, unlike other meditations, during Transcendental Meditation there was also decreased activity in the areas related to arousal – indicating deep rest.

“Given the wide variety of meditations that are practiced today, it’s important to distinguish among them in order to see the different ways they affect the brain,” said Michelle Mahone, lead author. “It makes sense that different approaches to meditation would use the brain in different ways.”

A state of restful alertness

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced Transcendental Meditation in the West, taught that TM practice leads to this state of restful alertness. And over the past decades, researchers have sought to verify this claim scientifically.

Early research suggested that Transcendental Meditation practice lowers sympathetic nervous activity, as indicated by a reduction in skin conductance and plasma lactate – two physiological markers of sympathetic functioning – and a decrease in breath rate.

“This reduction in sympathetic activation results from gaining the state of restful alertness during Transcendental Meditation practice,” said Fred Travis, a coauthor of the study. “This restful alertness is the key to Transcendental Meditation. It’s a very different kind of rest than sleep. It’s rejuvenating and healing, as evidenced by a wide range of clinical studies, while at the same time it allows the person to experience deeper mental states – with profound implications, such as an ongoing experience of transcendence.”

The restfully alert state gained during Transcendental is more than a concept, Dr. Travis says. “These blood flow patterns give a physiological picture of the reality of restful alertness in the mind and body.”

Increased blood flow to prefrontal cortices

The sixteen subjects, who had been practicing Transcendental Meditation an average of 34 years, were each tested as they meditated for 10 minutes while the blood flow in their brain was monitored by an fMRI scan.

Compared to just resting peacefully with their eyes closed, the fMRI scan found an increase in blood flow in the bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices – areas of the brain’s prefrontal cortex associated with attention and executive functions such as decision making, reasoning, working memory, inhibition, and reward anticipation.

Frontal blood flow is also reported during other meditations and indicates that the mind is alert.

Decreased blood flow to pons and cerebellum

However, unlike other meditations, during Transcendental Meditation there was a decrease in blood flow to the pons and cerebellum. The pons modulates the individual’s overall state of arousal and governs breath and heart rates. The decrease in activity in this brain area supports the experience during Transcendental Meditation of a deeply silent mind and rested body.

The cerebellum modulates the speed and variability of information processing, both related to coordination and motor control and to cognitive functions such as attention and language. The decrease in activity suggests that the body reverts to a more automatic mode without the need of cognitive effort to exert control.

Together the decrease in activity in the pons and cerebellum activity suggests an overall reduction in cognitive control and executive processing during Transcendental Meditation – as if the attentional system is at a balance point ready to act when needed, Dr. Travis said.

“By using the mind in a specific way, restfulness follows,” Dr. Mahone said. “While this may seem contradictory, this finding is compatible with other research supporting that meditation could be key to balancing the autonomic nervous system and improving quality of life.”

Natural tendency of the mind

This state of restful alertness is said to result from correct practice of Transcendental Meditation: without effort.

“Transcendental Meditation is effortless because it follows the natural tendency of the mind,” Dr. Travis said. “One begins the practice in a simple way, and then it goes automatically, without any analyzing or intention. Maharishi said that it simply follows the natural tendency of the mind to settle down to quieter states if given the opportunity.”

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easily learned, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It doesn’t involve concentration, control of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts or breathing. The practice allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of inner calm. For more information visit http://www.tm.org.

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“fMRI during Transcendental Meditation practice”
Michelle C. Mahone, Fred Travis, Richard Gevirtz, David Hubbard
Brain and Cognition 123 (2018) 30–33

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Reports: Health Imaging: fMRI confirms state of ‘restful alertness’ during transcendental meditation | EUPB | Press Locker | Bioengineer.org | Science Newsline: Medicine | INTO.AI | The London Economic | Scicasts | SCIENMAG | The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest wrote an impressive review of the study (April 16, 2018) in their section: Brain, In Brief: First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation.

 


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