Posts Tagged ‘group meditation’

Four-year study finds large advanced Transcendental Meditation group reduces drug-related deaths nationally

March 14, 2017

Large groups practicing the advanced Transcendental Meditation program were associated with significant reductions in rates of drug-related death and infant mortality during the period 2007–2010

A new study in SAGE Open reports a novel solution to US fatality rates from the misuse of prescribed and illegal drugs. In a prospective social experiment from 2007 to 2010, practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® program by a large group at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa was associated with a 30.4% reduction in the rate of growth of US drug-related fatalities, preventing an estimated 26,425 deaths.

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A rapidly rising trend in the drug-related fatality rate during the baseline period leveled out significantly when the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group exceeded 1,725 participants beginning in January 2007 (vertical line).

Four-year study finds group meditation reduces drug-related deaths in general population

The rate of US drug-related fatalities fell 30.4% nationwide from 2007 to 2010 due to the reductions in societal stress and increased alertness in the individuals in society created by a large group practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique and its advanced program, the TM-Sidhi® program, a new study shows.

The hypothesis: the reduction comes not from drug abusers using meditation to get off drugs, but from a TM-Sidhi group large enough to create an effect in the environment due to a hypothesized “field effect of consciousness.”

“It’s a bold claim,” said lead author Michael Dillbeck, “but there are now 14 peer-reviewed published studies that suggest that one’s individual consciousness is directly connected to an underlying, universal field of consciousness, and that by collectively tapping into that universal field through Transcendental Meditation, we can have a positive effect on the environment.”

26,425 drug-related fatalities averted

The surge in drug-related deaths began in 1990, fueled by skyrocketing rates of drug overdose, largely from prescription painkillers and anxiety drugs. Drug deaths exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing more than 37,000 people a year nationwide.

The study found that during the four-year period 2007 through 2010 this upward trend in the rate of drug-related deaths was interrupted by a highly significant shift to a greatly reduced, flatter trend. As a result, the drug-related fatality rate was reduced 30.4% relative to the 2002-2006 baseline average. The researchers estimated that 26,425 drug-related fatalities were averted by the significantly reduced trend in fatality rates.

The probability that the reduced trend in rates of drug-related fatalities could simply be due to chance was reported to be 3.1 in 10 billion.

During 2007–2010, the size of the TM-Sidhi group located at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, was above or near 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have a positive influence on the US quality of life. This predicted threshold represents the square root of 1% of the US population.

Time series analysis shows a reduction

The researchers first calculated a baseline trend for monthly fatality rates during 2002–2006, and then used time series intervention analysis to compare that baseline with the corresponding trend for the intervention period 2007–2010. A rapidly rising trend in the drug-related fatality rate (see Figure 1) during the baseline period leveled out and slowed significantly when the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group exceeded 1,725 participants beginning in January 2007 (vertical dashed line). This flatter trend continued through 2010. (The irregular ups and downs of the fatality rate shown in the graph are largely due to seasonal fluctuations around the trend.)

Change produced by enlivening “field of pure consciousness”

How could this change in society be produced by the meditation practice of participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group? Published research has shown that Transcendental Meditation creates a state of restful alertness, increases brain integration, reduces individual stress, and enables greater use of one’s inner potential.

“These benefits are the natural by-product of the experience during Transcendental Meditation practice of a silent, wakeful state of the mind known as ‘pure consciousness’,” Dr. Dillbeck said.

According to coauthor Kenneth Cavanaugh, the basis for the effect on society is that pure consciousness has a field-like character and is a universal field at the basis of everyone’s thought and behavior. When the participants in a group equal to or exceeding the square root of one percent of the entire population are experiencing pure consciousness during group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, the field of pure consciousness is enlivened in the entire population.

“This field effect positively influences the quality of consciousness in the individuals in society in much the same direction as that experienced by those practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique,” Dr. Cavanaugh said. “It’s as if the non-meditating populace experienced the same benefits of those meditating.”

Reduces social stress

This research tests the hypothesis that practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program by a group of sufficient size will result in reduced stress and increased alertness in the individuals in society, thus contributing to reduced trends of these two stress-related public health indicators.

“Chronic stress contributes to increased likelihood of illness as well as to the use and abuse of illicit and prescribed drugs,” Dr. Dillbeck said. “Stress can reduce the degree of conscious alertness and vigilance necessary to avoid drug misuse, especially highly potent and potentially addictive narcotic painkillers.”

Alternative explanations ruled out

The authors noted that reductions in the trends of both fatality rates occurred at the predicted time and in the predicted direction, and neither reduction could be predicted from baseline trends or seasonal cycles. The researchers also were able to rule out other alternative explanations. For example, the reduction in drug-related death rates could not be explained by such factors as unemployment and national economic conditions, increased public and professional medical awareness of the hazards of opioid painkillers, and sales of such painkillers.

Reduction in infant mortality

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With the onset of the intervention period in January 2007 (vertical line), the infant mortality rate significantly shifted from a flat to a declining trend.

This study of stress-related public health indicators also found that during the same period the rate of infant mortality was reduced by 12.5%. The researchers found a highly significant shift from a flat or slightly declining trend in 2002–2006 to a substantially faster declining trend in 2007–2010. An estimated 992 infant deaths were averted. The probability that the reduced trend in rates of drug-related fatalities could simply be due to chance was reported to be less than 2.1 in 100,000.

Third study in a series

The study, titled “Group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reductions in infant mortality and drug-related death: A quasi-experimental analysis” was published in the social science journal SAGE Open, Mar 2017, 7(1).

This article is the third in a series that comprehensively evaluates the impact of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group on US quality of life and public health. The first in the series, published in 2016 in SAGE Open journal, reported a highly significant 21.2% reduction in US homicide rates during the same 2007-2010 period, resulting in the prevention of an estimated 8,157 homicides. A reduction of 18.5% in violent crime rates in 206 urban areas was also found, thus averting an estimated 186,774 violent crimes.

The second article in the series, published in the January/February 2017 issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, found a highly significant reduction of 20.6% in the rate of US motor vehicle fatalities and 13.5% in the rate of all other accidental fatalities during the same experimental period. The study estimates that 19,435 motor vehicle fatalities and 16,759 other accidental deaths were averted by the significantly reduced trends in fatality rates.

A total of fourteen peer-reviewed articles have now been published validating the prediction by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, that a TM-Sidhi group of this size would lead to reduced societal stress, as reflected in reduced crime, violence, accidents, illness, and increased positive trends in society.

The authors call for governments to implement and evaluate this approach as the natural next action step.

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Group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reductions in infant mortality and drug-related death: A quasi-experimental analysis. Michael C. Dillbeck and Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Maharishi University of Management. DOI: 10.1177/2158244017697164 (PDF)

Source: EurekAlert/AAAS

See the first study in this series: Can group meditation prevent violent crime? Surprisingly, the data suggests yes: New study.

Can group meditation prevent violent crime? Surprisingly, the data suggests yes: New study

April 14, 2016

Large groups practicing the advanced Transcendental Meditation program were associated with significant reductions in U.S. homicide and urban violent crime rates during an intervention period of 2007–2010

Summary: A new study, in a series spanning decades, suggests again that a sufficiently large group practicing an advanced program of Transcendental Meditation, the TM-Sidhi program, is associated with decreased violence in the whole society. From 2007–2010 the homicide rate dropped nationally 21.2% (5.3% per year), and violent urban crime dropped 18.5% (4.6% per year) for a sample of 206 urban areas nationwide with a population over 100,000. Both reductions were relative to prior trends, 2002–2006.

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During 2007-2010 when the size of a group of advanced TM-Sidhi program participants exceeded the threshold predicted to reduce negative trends (√1%), there was a significant shift in the U.S. national homicide rate and urban violent crime. Relative to the baseline period of 2002-2006, the drop in homicide rate was 21.2% (5.3% per year) and 18.5% (4.6% per year) for violent crime.

Can group meditation prevent violent crime?

Can large group meditation lower the crime rate? The most recent in a series of studies spanning decades suggests again that a sufficiently large group practicing an advanced program of Transcendental Meditation, the TM-Sidhi program, is associated with decreased social violence.

For the period 2007–2010, when there was a sufficiently large group, statistical analysis found a significant decrease in both the national homicide rate and urban violent crime rate compared to trends during the baseline period of 2002–2006.

The total drop in the homicide rate relative to the baseline average rate was 21.2% over the four-year intervention period (5.3% per year). Analysis of monthly data showed that a rising trend of U.S. homicides during the baseline period 2002–2006 was reversed during the intervention period 2007-2010 of the study (see graph). Researchers estimate that 8,157 homicides were averted by the highly significant shift from an increasing to a decreasing trend in homicide rates.

The drop in the violent crime rate was 18.5% (4.6% per year). The study found a highly significant shift from a flat trend in 2002–2006 to a declining trend in 2007–2010 for a sample of 206 urban areas nationwide with a population over 100,000 (see graph).

Predicted in advance

Starting in July 2006, advanced meditators assembled at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, to create a group large enough to have this influence on the U.S. as a whole.

Predictions were lodged with the press and other scientists that significant decreases in violent crime would occur when the group reached or exceeded the theoretically predicted threshold of the square root of 1% of the U.S. population. By January 2007 the group exceeded the required size of 1,725 participants, the square root of 1% of the U.S. population at the time, and remained above or near that level through 2010.

The study was published today in SAGE Open Apr 2016, 6 (2). This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

A new hypothesis in the social sciences

“I understand it’s a new hypothesis in the social sciences that meditation could have a stress-reducing and coherence-creating effect in society,” said lead author Michael Dillbeck. “But such research is increasingly suggesting that there’s a field effect of consciousness. If you get a large enough group together practicing this technique to experience the field quality of consciousness, these extended ‘field-like’ effects are expressed in society.”

The hypothesis of a field effect of consciousness implies that there is an underlying connection between individuals in much the same way that physics has uncovered greater unity beneath the diversity of matter and energy fields. The more powerfully that underlying field is enlivened, the greater the unifying influence of peace and harmony on the surface levels of life.

The hypothesis was first proposed in 1960 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique. This hypothesis was first confirmed by published research in the 1970s and 1980s when it was observed that those cities that had 1% of the population practicing Transcendental Meditation showed significant increases in positive trends.

The effect was found to be even greater when the advanced TM-Sidhi program was introduced, with observations suggesting that just the square root of 1% of a population could increase harmony and improve diverse measures of the quality of life in society.

Nine peer-reviewed articles, comprising 14 studies, have now been published that support this hypothesized effect.

While the earlier studies were based on groups doing their advanced meditation programs for periods of several weeks or months, this current study was for a number of years, giving researchers an opportunity to study potential long-term changes.

Rigorous statistical analysis

The study’s authors used a battery of diagnostic tests to establish the validity of the key statistical assumptions of the analysis, which utilized “broken-trend intervention analysis” of outcomes, a form of “interrupted time series analysis.”

They also found that alternative hypotheses, such as economic trends, incarceration rates, seasonal cycles, demographic changes, and policing strategies, weren’t sufficient to explain the observed reduction.

For example, violent crime rates fell significantly during the severe recession of 2007–2009 rather than rising as widely expected. According to a leading expert on crime and the economy, this was the first time since World War II in which crime rates failed to rise during a major economic downturn.

See NBC News: Jobless rate up, but crime down: What gives? (Jan 3, 2012). The New York Times published a similar report the previous year: Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts (May 23, 2011). The Washington Post first reported this news in May 25, 2010: Violent crime in U.S. on the decline.

Important implications for crime prevention

“Given that there are now multiple studies showing a highly significant relationship between a large group practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs and decreased violence in society, this obviously has implications for crime prevention,” Dr. Dillbeck said.

The group that gathered in the period 2007–2010 has now somewhat dispersed. Dr. Dillbeck suggests that if governments were to support the establishment of groups in various countries, so that these groups could be maintained over long periods, it could have a remarkable effect in reducing hostilities and fostering coherence among nations, which could be assessed by further research. Indeed, a number of countries are already creating such groups through private organizations, and gaining increasing governmental support.

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Societal violence and collective consciousness: Reduction of U.S. homicide and urban violent crime rates. Michael C. Dillbeck and Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Maharishi University of Management. DOI: 10.1177/2158244016637891

Download a PDF of the study, and a PDF of the EurekAlert! press release. The English press release has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German.

NB: SAGE Open is an online open access social science journal.

UPDATE (Mar 14, 2017): See latest studies published in this series: Four-year study finds large advanced Transcendental Meditation group reduces drug-related deaths nationally.

John Hagelin discusses his Global Union of Scientists for Peace offer to World Leaders

December 11, 2015
Hagelin on Meet The Press

John Hagelin

Huffington Post blogger Jeanne Ball spoke with John Hagelin about his Global Union of Scientists for Peace and their Open Letter to prominent world leaders published in the Times. The interview was posted 12/08/2015 1:00 pm EST.

As governments falter in their struggle to find a solution to unpredictable outbreaks of terror, an international alliance of concerned scientists has offered a possible solution.

The Global Union of Scientists for Peace has recently published an Open Letter to Presidents Obama, Hollande and Putin—and to the leaders of all nations—proposing a scientific alternative to the conventional approach of creating peace through force or violence (International New York Times, December 3, 2015).

In the following interview, Quantum Physicist John Hagelin, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, answers questions about this novel, yet scientifically-validated approach.

Read this thought-provoking interview, which includes a short video of John Hagelin explaining how group meditation can bring world peace:

Scientists Propose “Peace-Promoting Technology” To Counter Terrorism: An Interview With Quantum Physicist John Hagelin

See The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin, an in-depth interview on this topic published in Shift, the journal of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

See this related Huffington Post article: Collective Consciousness And Meditation: Are We All Interconnected by an Underlying Field?

Psychology Today also asked a similar question: “Can Meditation Change The World?” See Ken Wilber said meditation can change the world. Jaochim Chissano showed it could – Steve Taylor.

As the world struggles to fight terrorism, scientists propose a plan for world peace, Good Magazine reports: World-Renowned Physicist Proposes ‘Peace-Promoting Technology’ to Counter Terrorism.

See this related video presentation: Dr. Tony Nader delivers a special message of Proven Solutions to Terrorism and Conflict.

A New Development

Watch HuffPost Live, Wed. 12/16, 1 PM EST (Noon CST): Dr. John Hagelin on the Solution to Terrorism. #WhatsWorking: Using Meditation Against Terrorism.

Join the conversation tomorrow, when John Hagelin, Bob Roth and Col. Brian Rees from the Global Union of Scientists for Peace join HuffPost Live, to discuss the use of a scientific alternative to violence against terrorism. Share your questions and comments here for this segment: http://huff.lv/1RQxtZb.

If you missed this interview, it’s available for replay:

It is also available on the TM Blog: Is There A Solution To Conflict And War?

Watch this brief edited synopsis of that interview.

Capetown’s Shafiq Morton interviews David Leffler on a solution to the violence in Kiev

February 20, 2014

The VoicThe Voice of the Capee of the Cape’s after five Drivetime Show has a national and international flavor focusing on issues making news where the biggest story of the day or week is analyzed. South African host Shafiq Morton interviewed American Dr. David Leffler this week, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, on a unique solution to the growing violence in Kiev.

Dr-David-LefflerDavid R. Leffler, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. He spoke on IDT, Invincible Defense Technology, as a viable solution to the rising crisis. Dr. Leffler explained how increasing stress levels erupt into opposing factions, violence and war, and how group practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced procedures can defuse such collective stress and prevent war, softening the atmosphere for people and groups to more harmoniously discuss solutions to their problems without resorting to violence.

Listen to the 20-minute interview on 91.3 FM http://iono.fm/e/74837.

I was so impressed by Morton’s questions and responses to Leffler’s informative answers, I posted this comment:

When Marconi said we could communicate through the airwaves they thought he was crazy. He was just using a technology that was able to take advantage of the electromagnetic field that was already there. Invincible Defense Technology similarly uses an advanced procedure to allow our minds to collectively enliven the all-powerful, all-nourishing Unified Field, the source of all the force and matter fields, the home of all the laws of nature, for the good of society, and the world, depending on the size of the group. Thank you for exposing your listeners to this hopeful and intelligent out-of-the-box proven approach to creating world peace!

The editorial piece referred to in the interview was co-authored by Dr. Leffler and Dr. Mykola Didukh, National Director for TM in Ukraine. Titled, “Proven Strategy to Prevent Turmoil in Ukraine,” how Invincible Defense Technology could be implemented to solve the crisis, the Op-Ed was published earlier this month in a number of locations: NEPAL: Review Nepal; WORLD SERVICE: The Common Ills; UNITED STATES & CANADA: Times of Earth; INDONESIA: Sigma News; and UKRAINE: Evening Lugansk, which was also published in Russian and Ukrainian.

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