Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan War’

From Jerry Seinfeld to the US Army, regular TM energizes, clarifies, and heals mind and body

December 21, 2014

You don’t have to be a wounded warrior returning home traumatized and depressed to benefit from Transcendental Meditation. Even comedian Jerry Seinfeld says his regular TM practice gives him a rested body and a clear mind, and the energy to do almost anything. For Jerry, it’s his ultimate work tool for success! Here are two articles about TM’s value.

TM is the ultimate work tool for Jerry Seinfeld

New York Magazine’s Dan Hyman interviewed Jerry Seinfeld, again, for Vulture: Jerry Seinfeld on the Comedians in Cars Season Finale and Late-Night TV. It’s excellent and revealing! At the end, Dan asks Jerry how he stops obsessing about creating his comedy bits and web series, and mentions his longtime TM practice. Jerry’s reply beautifully sums up the value of regular Transcendental Meditation practice!

How do you relax when not obsessing over your bits or working on your web series? I know you’re a longtime practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.

I’m obsessed about that, too. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do as soon as we hang up. I started doing TM in ’72, and that’s kind of how I recover from doing things that are tiring. It keeps my energy really high. I don’t know if it clears your mind. What it really does is it helps your body and mind to rest. They don’t really get a good rest in sleep. And this has been studied by virtually every medical school in America these past 40 years or whatever that this stuff has gotten popular here. And if you just look at the medical research of what goes on in the brain and the body in this process, it’s totally different from sleep. So forget about relaxation or anything like that: It’s the ultimate work tool to me. It’s like you have a phone and someone hands you the charger and you go, “Just try plugging this in and watch what your phone will do now.”

It’s the ultimate work tool to me. It’s like you have a phone and someone hands you the charger and you go, “Just try plugging this in and watch what your phone will do now.”

Listen to Jerry Seinfeld talk about TM in other venues posted here.

US Army uses TM to help heal wounded warriors

This article, Transcendental meditation: A path to healing, is archived on WWW.ARMY.MIL, The Official Homepage of the United States Army. Written by Wesley Elliott, DDEAMC Public Affairs Officer, it first appeared on the front page of The Fort Gordon Signal: Soldiers meditate as alternative therapy.

After nine months of combat in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Todd Knauber was wounded. Upon his return home he was told things would get better, but instead they got worse. He was in pain, depressed, taking a cocktail of medications, and didn’t know where to turn for help. Then someone gave him an opportunity to participate in Transcendental Meditation as part of his treatment at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center. TM was being offered as an alternative way to help heal his wounds, both physical and mental. It turned his life around. Here is an excerpt from the article.

“I got to a tipping point. Things were bad, but then I was given the greatest gift I have ever received from a stranger.”

Knauber was offered an opportunity to participate in Transcendental Meditation as part of his treatment at Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

Transcendental Meditation was something he had never heard of but it offered him the possibility of dealing with the medications, the nightmares, and the physical and emotional pain.

“It was not a branch for me to grab hold of but rather a taproot under my feet. A stable platform which gives me a moment’s respite so I can put my pain into perspective enough that I can reattempt the climb.”

Since he began meditating, there has been a change in his life. He meditates twice a day for 20 minutes and over the course of four months, he has been able to entirely discontinue two medications, Prazosin and Trazadone, and has reduced his Zoloft by half.

In addition to the calm he says he experiences through Transcendental Meditation, Knauber says it has made it easier to manage his physical pain from his injuries.

“I typically have a regimen of several pain medications to manage my physical injuries. Rather than taking a handful of pills seven days a week, I can manage my pain regularly with a few tablets, two to three times a week.”

Others have even told him that he looks like an entirely different person after starting to meditate.

“I am vibrant, I smile, and I look much more grounded. The truth is you can’t practice Transcendental Meditation without it positively affecting you.”

The truth is you can’t practice Transcendental Meditation without it positively affecting you.” — Staff Sgt. Todd Knauber

Doctors promised him through medication and hard work he could potentially heal over the course of years, but since Transcendental Meditation he has moved much closer to achieving his recovery in months.

“At times the troubling thoughts and nightmares come back, but as a whole, the progress is palatable.”

“I feel more in control of my life now, and I’m becoming hopeful about rebuilding and getting better.”

See many more articles on the value of TM for Veterans posted on this blog, here, here, and here. Check out this website to find out more about TM for Veterans.

The David Lynch Foundation brings support and programs to Veterans and their families. Visit their website: Operation Warrior Wellness.

WHO-TV 13 News: WARRIOR WELLNESS: Healing Hidden Wounds with Meditation for Veterans

July 27, 2012

WARRIOR WELLNESS: Healing Hidden Wounds

July 27, 2012, by for WHO-TV 13 Des Moines, Iowa

One veteran says he’s finally found a way of dealing with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Afghanistan. And, he wants to share his story to help other warriors heal the hidden wounds of war.

Every day used to be a struggle for Luke Jensen. He says, “I was having a lot of anxiety, depression. I was ashamed.”

Jensen served in Afghanistan in 2009. He says he fell apart after a few months of service and sent home. He says, “At the beginning of deployment, I was the guy keeping everybody cheered up and joking around. I thought I was kind of a tough guy people could lean on, and I really just started deteriorating and lost control.”

Jensen says he wasn’t himself when he came home to his wife and two girls. Last July, the Des Moines Register shared his story. World War II Fighter Pilot Jerry Yellin read the article and says, “It’s a devastating story:  At war with PTSD. The next battle for families. “

Yellin saw the article, and as a veteran, recognized his stress. He says, “What I thought was, here’s a guy who needs me. Who needs what I know.”

Yellin says he called Jensen the next day. He invited him to Fairfield to learn a practice called Transcendental Meditation. He says, “A lot of people think TM is a religion, you have to follow the guidelines, but it isn’t. It’s a technique, it’s a mental technique.”

Jensen says the technique was simple for him to learn. He finds a comfortable chair in a quiet place and closes his eyes. For twenty minutes two times a day, he repeats his personal mantra. He says, “It’s just a word that takes you in a deep state of rest and while you’re doing that, you’re getting rid of stress and giving yourself peace and relaxation.”

Jensen says his wife also learned TM. He says it’s given him his life back. He says, “It helped me relax right away. It helped me start getting better sleep, helped me with my anxiety to the point where I got off my anxiety medication completely.”

Jensen will share his story Saturday afternoon. All Iowa veterans are invited to attend with their families. Veterans will learn more about a program called Operation Warrior Wellness that offers scholarships for veterans to learn Transcendental Meditation. The seminar is Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m. at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.

You can find information at www.operationwarriorwellness.org/iowa.

Veteran Meditation video published on Jul 27, 2012 by . Link to article: http://bit.ly/PJehMh.

Related news coverage: Des Moines Register: Fairfield and Ames war veterans team up to bring meditation (TM) to fellow Iowa vets with PTSD  |  Fairfield Ledger cover article by Diane Vance: Combat stress subject of public forum Saturday Veterans speak out on post-traumatic stress, offer a proven way to heal PTSD  |  Story County Veteran Once Suicidal Finds Relief from PTSD with Transcendental Meditation: AmesPatch article by Jessica Miller  |  Healing the Hidden Wounds of War: open forum for Iowa veterans and their families affected by PTSD, sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness  |  TM Blog: “TM saved my life”—Suicidal Afghanistan war veteran who suffered from PTSD

Fairfield and Ames war veterans team up to bring meditation (TM) to fellow Iowa vets with PTSD

July 26, 2012

Meditation, fellow veteran help Colo reservist heal from PTSD

Written by Daniel P. Finney for the Des Moines Register

Luke Jensen has found Transcendental Meditation to be a help to him as he copes with the aftereffects of his service in the war in Afghanistan.  Christopher Gannon/The Register

Luke Jensen was in bad shape when Jerry Yellin reached out to him last year.

Jensen, a 32-year-old U.S. Army Reserve veteran of the Afghanistan war, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He yelled at his wife and two daughters. He stormed about his Colo home. He rarely slept. He drank until he passed out. He overdosed on his anti-anxiety medication. One dark night, in front of his youngest daughter and wife, he held a loaded gun up to his head.

“I thought about suicide on a daily basis,” Jensen said. “It was that bad.”

Also an Army veteran, Yellin contacted Jensen after reading a profile in The Des Moines Register last year detailing Jensen’s struggles.

Yellin, a New Jersey native who lives in Fairfield, told Jensen he felt the same way after his World War II service. Yellin, 88, had lived with suicidal thoughts and anhedonia — an inability to experience pleasure from usually enjoyable activities — for 30 years until he and his wife, Helene, discovered Transcendental Meditation.

“I read that story and I knew I had to get to Luke,” Yellin said. “I don’t want anyone to live with the hell I did for 30 days let alone 30 years. I believed I could help.”

The pair seek to bring their message to more veterans Saturday in Fairfield. Both will speak at “Healing the Hidden Wounds of War” at 2 p.m. at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. The seminar is free. Scholarships also will be awarded free of charge to veterans and their spouses to learn the technique and practice it for six months.

The event is sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness, which promotes Transcendental Meditation to veterans struggling with their experiences in war. Operation Warrior Wellness is sponsored by filmmaker David Lynch, known for the TV series “Twin Peaks” and “The Straight Story,” a film about a man’s journey from Iowa to Wisconsin to visit his estranged brother.

Transcendental Meditation is based on an Indian philosophy that trains the mind and consciousness to realize a benefit by focusing on a mantra, a meaningless word that helps bring about calm and reduce stress. The technique dates back more than 5,000 years, but it became especially popular in the U.S. during the 1960s when championed by charismatic guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Iowa and meditation have a long history. Followers established the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield in 1974, considered the world’s largest training center for the technique.

The U.S. Department of Defense does not specifically offer meditation technique, though officials are not opposed to the practice as a way to mitigate PTSD and other war-related disorders.

“When you’re talking about PTSD, it is a toolbox issue,” said Col. Greg Hapgood, spokesman for the Iowa National Guard. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. We wouldn’t discourage veterans from informally reaching out to anything that some have found to be a positive.”

Some skeptics dismiss the technique as hokum, but Yellin and Jensen believe their meditation has alleviated years of struggles. Yellin got into the technique after his wife, Helene, saw the Maharishi on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1975. The couple lived in Florida at the time and called a local Transcendental Meditation teacher.

“After the war, I lived my life without purpose,” Jerry Yellin said. “As a fighter pilot, I had purpose. I came home. I got married. I had four sons. I was a father in presence. I was a husband in presence. But I had no purpose.”

In the years after the war, Yellin struggled to work. He held as many as 30 jobs. He worked for his wife’s father several times. His office was in a nine-story building and he often thought about jumping to his death.

“I loved my children and I loved my wife, so I didn’t,” he said. “But I thought about it a lot.”

The meditation, Yellin said, helped him process decades-old memories from the war. He flew strafing runs to support U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima, where 7,000 Marines and 21,000 Japanese soldiers died.

“The Marine mortuary was right behind our station,” Yellin recalled. “I saw hundreds upon hundreds of bodies being buried. I saw thousands of Japanese dead being pushed into mass graves.”

He carried a hatred for the Japanese people until 1988, when one of his sons married the daughter of a former Japanese Zero pilot. The meditation helped him make peace with his memories and become a better husband, father and now grandfather, he says.

Oddly, Yellin said the feeling he gets when he meditates is similar to the feeling he got when he flew fighter planes.

“It’s a warrior’s technique,” he said. “When you go to battle, you’re in the zone. I became the airplane. I can tell you how many aircraft I shot down. I can remember the aftereffects of what I did, but I can’t remember what I did to make that happen. You become one with the moment.”

The same warrior’s technique also helped Jensen make his peace. He and his wife, Abi, both practice. After returning from service, he couldn’t sleep despite a regimen of pills specifically prescribed to make him drowsy.

After his first session, Jensen slept better than he had before the war. He felt “a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It really made me a better person in every conceivable way.”

Both Jensen and Yellin acknowledge some skeptics doubt Transcendental Meditation. Some worry the practice will interfere with their religion. Yellin, however, said his meditation makes him a better Christian.

“This is not psychology,” Yellin said. “This is not religion. It’s a healing practice. If you served your country in war and you’re suffering, it’s worth a try.”

warrior wellness

For more information on Operation Warrior Wellness, visit iowaveterans.eventbrite.com.

David J Gudenkauf· Top Commenter

Great article! Keep writing about these veterans returning back from combat zones and how difficult it is to transition into a normal lifestyle. Once you keep raising awareness, the “Investment” will be forced on politicians to continue the promises of CARE they are planning to cut from these traumatized citizens. Ask those people in that Aurora theater how long it will take to recover from the incident of that gun fight and you can get a basic understanding of a veteran leaving a normal family and spending a YEAR’s worth of those days living like that and then being expected to act “normally” like nothing happened. Then when they need help, a government tells them that they should look elsewhere because it is not in the defense funds anymore (even though they put them there in the first place).

Jean Welch Tobin

I have spoken to a number of veterans who have learned the TM technique and their stories mirror the stories told here. I encourage all veterans, men and women, to take advantage of this opportunity.

Also posted on DefenseTracker.com: Meditation Helps Reservist Heal and Wounded Times Blogspot and Altoona Herald-Index.


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