Posts Tagged ‘military college’

Norwich University, oldest private U.S. military college, benefits from Transcendental Meditation

May 10, 2016

Five years ago the Transcendental Meditation technique was introduced at Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest private military college in the U.S. They began with 30 cadets and now there are 300 at any given time practicing TM on campus.

Dave Zobeck, the TM teacher who began the program, which was funded by the David Lynch Foundation, has a permanent, full-time position teaching TM to cadets, faculty, and administrators at Norwich. Below is a David Lynch Foundation update with a new video report from DLFTV.

TM teacher Dave Zobeck and Norwich University President Dr. Richard Schneider .png

Dave Zobeck and Norwich University President Dr. Richard W. Schneider

Transcendental Meditation at Norwich University

Founded in 1819 near Montpelier, Vermont, Norwich University has educated young adults to become leaders in the community, in business and in the military. It has the distinction of being the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Transcendental Meditation (TM) was first introduced to Norwich in 2010 when the longtime donor and supporter Joan Andrews Prentice brought information about TM to Norwich University President Dr. Richard Schneider.

After reviewing articles and research from the David Lynch Foundation Dr. Schneider said, ”I was reluctant—skeptical—but the more I learned, the more confident I became.” After presentations from the David Lynch Foundation, he saw TM as a way to prevent stress and help with focusing and clearing the mind. He decided to be the first to learn TM saying, ”You have to lead from the front . . . ”

In collaboration with Norwich’s board of trustees, the university directors decided on a trial research project for TM. The idea of participating in the trial was presented to all incoming students and their parents in 2010. Thirty new students learned TM and thirty were in a non-meditating control group.

Group TM at Norwich U

For the TM group after learning, ”the reaction was dramatic,” says Dr. Schneider. A typical comment from a student on learning TM: ”After the first week of practicing it, you felt a difference, you felt calmer and much more aware of your surroundings, and you could focus.” Another said, ”TM is the greatest tool that I’ve had for stress-management and for keeping clarity in my life.” Since then the program has grown. Today Dr. Schneider says there are currently 300 TM participants at the University.

Major General (Ret.) Stephen Rippe, a member of the NU board of trustees, says, ”[TM practice] is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. You work out, you take care of your body, you do Transcendental Meditation, it helps you take care of your mind. The powerful part of that is that it actually, physiologically improves your brain functioning.”

Referring to their extremely full day, one young woman said that ”after I do TM, I just get it done instead of sitting around being overwhelmed by so much to do.”

improvement in psychological parameters in students.png

Psychology professor Dr. Carole Bandy reviewed scientific research showing overall improvement in psychological parameters in students, saying, ”constructive thinking, behavioral coping, and resilience all went up significantly.”

Staff and faculty are also practicing TM at Norwich University. As a student says, ”people here want to do what works—we see it as a tool that enables us to handle stress.” Dr. Schneider concludes, ”I think it should be made available to every college student.”

Copyright © David Lynch Foundation

Earlier Related News

The Norwich Guidon: Rooks experiment with meditation

Norwich University President Receives “Resilient Warrior Award” at National Veterans Summit in Washington, DC

Good Morning America anchor George Stphanopoulos interviews Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Roth on the importance of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD.

Read more reports about TM at Norwich University on their website.

A similar situation has occurred in medical education. See The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school.

Newly posted Oct 31, 2017: Central Saanich Police Service and Area Police Officers Benefit from #TranscendentalMeditation.

Washington Post: VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD

May 4, 2012
 

VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD

By Steve Vogel, Published: May 3

Seeking new ways to treat post-traumatic stress, the Department of Veterans Affairs is studying the use of transcendental meditation to help returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans Affairs’ $5.9 billion system for mental-health care is under sharp criticism, particularly after the release of an inspector general’s report last month that found that the department has greatly overstated how quickly it treats veterans seeking mental-health care.

VA has a “huge investment” in mental-health care but is seeking alternatives to conventional psychiatric treatment, said W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary of veterans affairs.

“The reality is, not all individuals we see are treatable by the techniques we use,” Gould said at a summit Thursday in Washington on the use of TM to treat post-traumatic stress suffered by veterans and active-duty service members.

By some estimates, 10 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan show effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, numbers that are overwhelming the department

“Conventional approaches fall woefully short of the mark, so we clearly need a new approach,” said Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University’s medical school.

Rosenthal told the gathering that TM, a meditative practice that advocates say helps manage stress and depression, is “possibly even a game-changer” in how to treat PTSD.

VA is spending about $5 million on a dozen clinical trials and demonstration studies of three meditation techniques involving several hundred veterans from a range of conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Results from the studies will not be available for 12 to 18 more months.

But Gould said he was “encouraged” by the results of other trials presented at the summit.

Two independent pilot studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans showed a 50 percent reduction in symptoms of post-traumatic stress after eight weeks, according to the summit’s sponsor, the David Lynch Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the American filmmaker and television director.

Results from the initial phase of a long-term trial investigating the effects of TM on 60 cadets at Norwich University, a private military college in Vermont, have shown promise, school officials said at the summit.

Students practising TM at Norwich showed measurable improvement in the areas of resilience, constructive thinking and discipline over a control group not using the method. “The statistical effect we found in only two months was surprisingly large,” Carole Bandy, an associate professor of psychology who is directing the Norwich study, said at the summit.

“For us, it’s all about the evidence,” said Norwich President Richard W. Schneider, who added that he was a skeptic before the trial began.

Operation Warrior Wellness, an initiative of the David Lynch Foundation, is providing TM training to troops recovering from wounds at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Soldiers report “dramatic improvements” in sleep, according to the foundation, as well as significant reductions in pain, stress and the use of prescription medications.

Lynch, the director of “Blue Velvet,” “Mulholland Drive” and the television series “Twin Peaks,” is a longtime practitioner of TM.

“The VA is very interested in what this can do,” Lynch said in a telephone interview Thursday. He acknowledged that many in the military are wary of transcendental meditation, with its New Age and mystic connotations.

“Big-time,” Lynch said. “They’re skeptical until they start hearing stories, or experiencing it for themselves.”

Related articles: Washington Post: Does Transcendental Meditation help veterans with PTSD? | POLITICO: Coping with PTSD | Norwich University President Receives “Resilient Warrior Award” at National Veterans Summit in Washington, DC | Huffington Post: David Lynch Brings Transcendental Meditation To D.C.

Washington Post: Does Transcendental Meditation help veterans with PTSD?

May 4, 2012

Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 05/03/2012.
This story has been updated. Previously titled: Summit Examines Use of Transcendental Meditation to help Vets with PTSD. Later published in Washington Post: VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD

Does Transcendental Meditation help veterans with PTSD?

By Steve Vogel

Seeking new ways to treat post-traumatic stress, the Department of Veteran Affairs is studying the use of transcendental meditation to help returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The reality is not all individuals we see are treatable by the techniques we use,” said W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, told a summit on the use of TM to treat post traumatic stress Thursday in Washington.

Director David Lynch founded a charitable organization that funded a summit on using Transcendental Meditation to treat military veterans with PTSD. (David Livingston – GETTY IMAGES)

The VA is spending about $5 million on a dozen trials involving several hundred veterans from a range of conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Results from the trials will not be available for another 12 to 18 months.

But Gould said he was “encouraged” by the results of trials which were presented at the summit.

Two independent pilot studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans showed a 50 percent reduction in symptoms of post-traumatic stress after eight weeks, according to the summit’s sponsor, the David Lynch Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the American filmmaker and television director.

Results from the initial phase of a long-term trial investigating the effects of Transcendental Meditation on 60 cadets at Norwich University, a private military college in Vermont, have been encouraging, school officials said at the summit, held at The Army and Navy Club.

Students practising TM showed measurable improvement in the areas of academic performance and discipline over a control group. “The statistical effect we found in only two months was surprisingly large,” Carole Bandy, an associate professor of psychology who is directing the study at the university, said at the summit.

“For us, it’s all about the evidence,” said Richard W. Schneider, president of the university, who added that he was a skeptic before the trial began.

“Conventional approaches fall woefully short of the mark, so we clearly need a new approach,” Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School.

Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the foundation, is providing TM training to troops recovering from wounds at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Troops report “dramatic improvements” in sleep, according to the foundation, as well as significant reductions in pain, stress and the use of prescription medications

Lynch, the director of “Blue Velvet,” “Mullholland Drive” and the television series “Twin Peaks,” is a longtime practitioner of TM, a meditative practice advocates say helps manage stress and depression.

Related articles: POLITICO: Coping with PTSD | Norwich University President Receives “Resilient Warrior Award” at National Veterans Summit in Washington, DC | Huffington Post: David Lynch Brings Transcendental Meditation To D.C.

The Norwich Guidon: Rooks experiment with meditation

October 8, 2011

Rooks experiment with meditation

By Thomas Carson
Norwich Guidon Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Norwich University has received a $40,000 grant from Foundations of America to conduct a study on how to lower stress among rooks. One rook platoon is using Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, every day, to see if meditating helps, according to Dr. Peg Meyer, director of academic achievement and educational effectiveness.

“The big thing about the TM practice is that it is an individual tool, people will say, ‘What about a team performance or a platoon performance’ but it is really about what it does for you,” said Shelby Wallace, the director for student success. “I have been TM’ing for almost a year now this December, and it has definitely helped with a level of prioritization.”

“I can handle situations in a more effective way, and reduce my stress, so I have seen a lot of positive results in a personal and professional way,” said Wallace.

Last February, Norwich conducted a study with the men’s lacrosse team to test TM.

“The spring study was more or less an intro for the university to take a cross section of students, staff and faculty who were trained, as well to learn a little more about the TM practice to understand if this was something that we wanted to do,” said Wallace.

After seeing good results, Meyer, Wallace and President Richard W. Schneider went to New York to meet with the David Lynch Foundation to get trained in TM and to see its effects firsthand.

After receiving the grant, Norwich sent out emails to the rooks of 4th Company, 3rd Platoon, asking if they would participate.

Twenty-eight rooks volunteered.

“I received an email, I volunteered, and now I am apart of this great study,” said Frank Ruscito, an 18-year-old freshman study of war and peace major from Rome, N.Y. “I feel it has worked better than I expected.”

“I see other people falling asleep (in class), and I am energized and focused,” Ruscito said. “I’m doing much better in my classes than I expected.”

The 4-3 platoon cadre are trained in TM and do it with the platoon, as well as by themselves when needed to. The rooks are free to meditate whenever they please as well. The platoon meditates at 0800 and between 1620 and 1630 as a platoon.

“My stress levels are down. As far as academics, everything seems to be clicking very well,” said Scott Heimann, a 18-year-old freshman computer security major from Colorado Springs, Colo. “I do believe with the help of the TM, my rookie knowledge is sticking very well.” Heimann added, “I strongly believe that I will continue TM after rookdom.”

“It has helped me with my academics tremendously. I feel more alert, I can focus better on my homework,” said Timothy Hunter, a 18-year-old freshman biology major from Stratham, N.H. Hunter also described how the effects of the TM helped him with his rookie knowledge, and how it relieved the stresses of balancing the rook environment and school work.

All the rooks who were interviewed said TM should be done by everyone; and that they will continue doing TM.

“I feel more organized, I feel I have more energy, I’m more productive, and it helps relieve stress,” said Madison Dupouy, a 22-year-old senior physics major from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Dupouy went to a dinner for people interested in this new study. After discovering that TM actually helped him with his academics, his stress and his energy level, Dupouy decided to get involved as one of the cadet officers who will oversee the study.

“I have always been interested in meditation,” said Brandon Jennings, a 21-year-old senior history major from Gales Ferry, Conn. Jennings found out about the study, and when he tried it for himself he noticed an improvement in his energy levels, organization habits and his academics.

“I took 23 credits with two seminar classes last semester, and I got a 3.407 GPA for the semester,” said Jennings. These good results got him interested in being a part of the study, and he became one of the officers in charge.

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