Posts Tagged ‘Norman Rosenthal’

@ParadeMagazine asks @meditationbob what makes #TranscendentalMeditation so special

February 22, 2020

This is one of the most informative articles on Transcendental Meditation I’ve read. Nicole Pajer put it together for the February 19, 2020 issue of Parade. I asked Bob Roth about it and he said, “The reporter sent me a bunch of questions and I answered them, thinking she would lift parts of the answers for an article… instead they printed the whole thing!”

What Is Transcendental Meditation, the Practice Beloved by Celebs—and What Makes It So Special?

If you’ve done any research into the meditation, you’ve likely heard of Transcendental Meditation. Just about every celebrity seems to be practicing it these days. Popularized by The Beatles (who originally learned in 1967), it’s now a favorite of Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Sheryl Crow and Liv Tyler. After discovering it herself, Oprah even paid for her 400 employees to become trained in the methodology!

But what exactly is TM and how does it differ from the other types of meditation out there? We caught up with Transcendental Meditation expert and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, Bob Roth, who walked us through the ins and outs of this popular form of meditation.

What is Transcendental Meditation (TM)?

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a mental technique that is practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. During the technique, the mind and body settle down to a unique state of “restful alertness” where the whole physiology is deeply relaxed while the mind is quiet inside, yet wide awake. Hundreds of published studies show the technique is effective for reducing stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and at the same time, improving health, focus and performance. TM does not involve religion, philosophy or a change in lifestyle. It has been learned by 10 million people.

How does TM differ from other forms of meditation?

The ocean is a great analogy for understanding different approaches to meditation. Just as the ocean can be turbulent on the surface with innumerable waves and quiet at its depth, so, too, the mind is active on the surface with innumerable thoughts but it is also naturally, profoundly quiet deep within. Other forms of meditation work to bring calm to the mind by stopping or observing thoughts—or visualizing new thoughts. This is like trying to create calm in the ocean by stopping the surface waves. On the other hand, Transcendental Meditation doesn’t mind the surface thoughts, it provides access to deeper levels of the mind, which are already calm and peaceful. For this, TM does not require concentration or control of thoughts, nor does it involve visualization or any type of guided practice.

It requires one-on-one instruction to master.

Unlike other forms of meditation that can be learned from a book or tape, TM is always taught in personal, one-to-one instruction by a certified instructor. That is because the ability to “transcend,” to settle down and access a field of silence that lies deep within the mind, while completely natural, is also a special skill that everyone learns at his or her own unique pace. For this, a teacher is incredibly helpful. The TM teacher instructs you in the skill of how to turn the attention of your mind, which is usually directed outward to the world around us, inward and to experience the deepest, most settled level of the mind where you are peaceful and quiet inside, yet wide awake and alert. For this your teacher will give you a mantra and then teach you how to use the mantra properly.

Transcendental Meditation is taught over four consecutive days, about 60 to 90 minutes each day. During the first session, your teacher will give you a mantra and then teach you how to use it properly. During the following three sessions over consecutive days, you learn addition information to stabilize the correct practice of the technique as well as learn about how the body reduces stress, improves health, and enhances brain functioning as you continue to meditate twice a day over the ensuing weeks, months, and years. Visit TM.org to find a certified TM teacher who offers a course in your area.

The technique is learned from a certified instructor, not from a video or book. That said, there are several videos you can watch that will help answer your questions about the technique and help you decide if you would like to learn:

(1) Transcendental Meditation: A Complete Introduction with Bob Roth

(2) An introduction to Transcendental Meditation by Dr. John Hagelin.

There are also books that will give you more of a background on this type of meditation: Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation by Bob Roth and Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live and Richer, Happier Life through Transcendental Meditation by Norman Rosenthal, MD.

Your practice will center around your own personal mantra.

The mantras in TM come from an ancient meditation tradition that is over 5,000 years old. A mantra is a specific word or thought that (1) has no meaning associated with it—because if there was a meaning then the mind would be stuck on the surface trying to it out and (2) the mantra is a soothing sound whose effects are known to be positive and life-supporting. When you learn TM, your teacher will give you a mantra and then equally importantly, will teach you how to use the mantra properly, which means effortlessly, without any concentration or control of the mind.

It’s best performed for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day.

Once in the morning, before the day begins to give you the energy, resilience, and focus to enjoy the day with less stress and fatigue, and again, in the late afternoon or early evening, to wash off the stress of the day so that you can truly enjoy the evening with family and friends and sleep better at night.

How much does Transcendental Meditation cost?

The initial TM course is four sessions, and a one-time fee—based on income and ranging from $380-$960—is charged to cover the teacher’s salary. There is an option to split these payments over four months, and those who receive federal assistance such as SNAP may be eligible for a partial grant to help cover the fee. After these four sessions there is a lifetime of free follow up offered through any of the more than 200 teaching centers in the U.S. and any of the thousands of teaching centers worldwide.

What is a typical TM session like?

You sit comfortably with your eyes closed and you think the mantra in the easy, effortless way that your teacher has instructed you. There is no need for electronic apps or guided imagery. It is a natural process that is equally natural to practice. No tools, no apps, no videos. Just a comfortable place to sit and close your eyes for 20 minutes is all you need to participate.

Who can learn Transcendental Meditation?

Anyone from the age of 10 years and older can learn TM. Children ages 4-10 can learn a technique that is more appropriate for a youngster. TM is ideal for anyone: skeptic or advocate, experienced with other practices or novice. It is ideal for anyone who has had difficulty with techniques in the past that advocate stopping thoughts, clearing the mind of thoughts, or any form of concentration on the breath, sound, or areas of the body.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t do TM?

TM can be learned by anyone and can benefit everyone. That said, if a person is suffering from PTSD or another form of extreme trauma and is under the care of a physician or therapist it is important to continue those treatments along with the addition of TM practice.

What are the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation?

Research shows that TM is highly effective for giving the body deep rest and reducing stress, fatigue and trauma. At the same time, research also shows that TM can have a positive impact on the 80 to 90 percent of the diseases and disorders that are either caused by stress or exacerbated by stress, which includes reductions in high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, along with improvements in focus, creativity, problems-solving, and overall physical and mental health.

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Related: Other Parade articles posted on this blog: ‘Dear Prudence’ Bruns in Parade discusses world peace, the ’60s, and why kids love the Beatles and What Transcendental Meditation does for Ringo. Parade also covered Lady Gaga’s appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour. She shared her history of trauma and the pain she’s been dealing with, what she’s doing for it, and how TM has been helping her in a big way. They discovered they had both learned TM from Bob Roth. You can see that part of the interview here.

Bob Roth recently appeared on a Frontiers podcast (S2:E4) by The Upside. In this episode Bob shared his journey to bring Transcendental Meditation to the Frontiers of medicine, education and the workplace. You can also listen to it on Apple Podcasts.

Excellent article on Transcendental Meditation written by Sarah Klein in Prevention Magazine

February 14, 2016

Preface: Electrical Analogies

Rosenthal_N

Norman Rosenthal

I find it fascinating that Norman Rosenthal and Jerry Seinfeld have come up with their own opposite electrical analogies to describe how Transcendental Meditation works — as both a surge protector and a battery charger!

People exposed to continual stressful trauma suffer from PTSD. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal says Transcendental Meditation is like a surge protector against stress. First it calms the amygdala; it turns down that alarm bell where there no longer is a fire.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

And equally important, TM acts as a buffer against future stressful reactions. The nervous system becomes more resilient to stressful stimuli; they’re no longer interpreted as such. The individuals have normalized.

Jerry Seinfeld compares TM to a phone charger for your whole body and mind. He reminds us how we charge our cellphones and then use them throughout the whole day. That’s what TM does for him. It sets him up for his day fully charged until his next TM session to recharge.

Prevention Magazine article on Transcendental Meditation

Bob Roth

Bob Roth

Rosenthal was interviewed and Seinfeld mentioned in an excellent article for Prevention Magazine by staff writer Sarah Klein. It’s nicely designed with graphics, photos and relevant links to cited studies and video clips.

Others interviewed were Bob Roth, executive director for the David Lynch Foundation, and Sandy Nidich, professor and researcher at Maharishi University of Management. Others referenced and linked to are Ellen Degeneres, Jim Carrey, and Oprah Winfrey.

Klein seems to understand her subject even though she probably has not experienced it. Her writing is clear and objective. She’s done her homework when it comes to the science, and integrates her interviewees remarks to full advantage. It’s a pleasure to read a TM article like this when someone gets it right!

Enjoy reading This Is Your Brain On Transcendental Meditation.

For information on Transcendental Meditation visit www.tm.org.

Transcendental Meditation at Prevention R3 Summit

A month before the Prevention Magazine article, Bob Roth was invited to give a talk on Transcendental Meditation at the 3rd annual Prevention R3 Summit. He spoke January 15, 2016, the opening night of the Summit, at ACL Live in The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Check the DavidLynchFoundation YouTube Channel for a description of his talk. Austin Art Examiner writer Nicolette Mallow was there and interviewed Bob Roth for her article on this self-transcending form of meditation that can transform people’s lives for the better.

In related news, read about The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school.

Jennie Gritz explored the use of TM in education in her article for The Atlantic: Quiet Time Brings Transcendental Meditation to Public Schools.

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.’s new book, The Gift of Adversity, helps us to look at life differently

September 1, 2013

Throughout his storied career as a research psychiatrist, Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal has searched outside the box for ways to help people struggling with depression and other mood disorders.  This search led him to diagnose and name seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and develop light therapy as a wonderfully effective treatment while at the National Institute of Mental Health. He went on to write several books that brought alternative, non-pharmaceutical treatments straight into public awareness, including “Winter Blues,” “St. John’s Wort: The Herbal Way to Feeling Good,” and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller, “Transcendence,” which explores the power of Transcendental Meditation in healing and transformation.

The Gift of AdversityIn his new book, “The Gift of Adversity: The Unexpected Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks and Imperfections,” Dr. Rosenthal shares personal stories of adversity, as well as case studies and lessons he has learned from his heroes. Less scientific than his previous books, “The Gift of Adversity” is part memoir, part inspiration, and thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Adversity is an irreducible fact of life. Although we can and should learn from all experiences, both positive and negative, bestselling author Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, believes that adversity is by far the best teacher most of us will ever encounter.

Whether the adversity one experiences is the result of poor decision-making, a desire to test one’s mettle, or plain bad luck, Rosenthal believes life’s most important lessons—from the value of family to the importance of occasionally cutting corners—can be best learned from it. Running counter to society’s current prevailing message that “excellence” must always be aspired to, and failure or mistakes of any sort are to be avoided at all costs, Rosenthal shows that engaging with our own failures and defeats is one of the only ways we are able to live authentic and meaningful lives, and that each different type of adversity carries its own challenges and has the potential to yield its own form of wisdom.

David Lynch Foundation executive director and author, Bob Roth, interviews Dr. Norman Rosenthal on how he went from writing “Transcendence” to “The Gift of Adversity.”

In this excerpt from the interview, Dr. Rosenthal shares with Bob Roth the gift he received from a very adverse situation early on in his life.

There are many reviews and interviews coming out on The Gift of Adversity and with Norman Rosenthal. Here are a few of them on Huffington Post and elsewhere: The Gift of Adversity: A Book Review by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD on HuffPost’s HealthyLiving. Norman Rosenthal on the Surprising Benefits of Life’s Biggest Challenges on Bookish. Norman Rosenthal ‏posted an article on HuffingtonPost: The Gift of Adversity. Norman wrote Your Mind, Your Body, How to live a happier, healthier life, for Psychology Today. Jeanne Ball ‏ posted 3 Ways Meditation Helps You Deal With Adversity also on HealthyLiving. The TM Blog posted an article by Dr. Norman Rosenthal: From Transcendence to The Gift of Adversity. And this excellent review by Jane E. Brody in the Personal Health section of the New York Times titled, Life’s Hard Lessons.

Norman Rosenthal was interviewed on Writers’ Voices: Looking for the Silver Lining with Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal and “The Gift of Adversity”. Dennis Raimondi on his show Speaking Freely asks Norman Rosenthal about his new book, The Gift of Adversity on KRUU-LP 100.1 FM (23:51).

Susan Page and Norman Rosenthal at WAMU 88.5 FM

Guest host Susan Page interviewed Dr. Norman Rosenthal on The Diane Rehm Show

Norman Rosenthal was booked on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss his latest book, The Gift of Adversity, Wednesday, Sept 4, 11:00am to noon ET. Listen live on WAMU 88.5 FM or online.

As it turned out, Diane was on vacation, and guest host Susan Page, American Journalist and Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, conducted the interview. Visit their post to read an excerpt of the book, Dr. Norman Rosenthal: “The Gift Of Adversity”, and listen to a replay of the interview on their audioplayer.

He was also interviewed by Dr. Sherrill Sellman on her show What Women Must Know – The Gift of Adversity with Norman E. Rosenthal – 09/26/13.

As I continue to read this wonderful book I find myself quietly reflecting on my own life’s experiences and lessons learned, triggered by reading Dr. Rosenthal’s and those of the people he discusses. Each chapter has a takeaway point, something to reflect on and learn from the transforming alchemy of adversity.

I am reminded of two quotes that beautifully encapsulate the message of the book: One by Buddha: “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” And the other by Tom Bodett: “In school, you’re taught a lesson, then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Dr. Rosenthal looks for and finds the blessings and lessons that adversity has brought him and the subjects in his book. It should be required reading for young adults to help them build empathy and understanding, preparing them for their journey through life.

Dr. Rosenthal also gives us hope when he says that the stressful experiences of adversity can also lead to growth. Quoting Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous dictum: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” he tells us of the dividend of PTG from the payment of PTS, the post-traumatic growth that may come from the post-traumatic stress we’ve endured. And he also gives us the tools to deal with the stress, mentioned in his earlier books, like “Winter Blues”, using light therapy to chase away the winter blues, and from “Transcendence”, his most recent bestseller, extolling the healing and transformational virtues of Transcendental Meditation. Discovering what Dr. Rosenthal says in his books is like finding a thoughtful friend who dispenses wise advice.

On December 20, 2013 he spoke in New York at TEDx: Norman Rosenthal on The Gift of Adversity in which he describes the three kinds of adversities, and mentions his three heroes.

‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly … Or SAD? Article for Ageless Living by Helen Foster-Grimmett

December 14, 2012

‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly … Or SAD?
By Helen Foster-Grimmett

Tonight, my husband told me that this article lacked pizzazz. I said: “Sorry, my serotonin is seasonally challenged – no sparkle.” I find myself standing in front of travel agency windows mesmerized by posters of sun-drenched Hawaii, Mexico, Barbados. Mauritius looks delicious.

By Christmas – the season to be jolly – some people have been feeling sad, down, or downright depressed since the onset of autumn. And they’ll motor on through to the first buds of spring feeling the same way. If you are one of those people, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, about five million Canadians experience the “winter blues,” a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. At least two to three percent have symptoms severe enough to be diagnosed as “SAD” – an apt acronym. People with SAD often feel a sense of happiness on a cloudy day when the sun peeks through the clouds, then deflated when the clouds cover the sky again. It’s as if the clouds are a manifestation of their minds. For people with SAD, those inner clouds can be dark, and they sometimes don’t lift until the spring flowers bloom and sunshine is more constant. The Canadian Mental Health Association tells us that women are more at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder than men: eight times as many women as men report having SAD. Although the reasons for this are not defined, one suggestion is that women may spend more time indoors with their children than men and, therefore, less time in sunlight.

Sunless and SAD
Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they generally link it to lack of sunlight. SAD is rare in those living within 30 degrees of the equator, where daylight hours are consistently long and bright. It is more common in northern countries, including Canada, where bright winter sunlight is sparse. Lack of light may upset our cycles and other rhythms. It may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin, which affects mood. People with mild winter blues manage to cope throughout the season. However, those diagnosed with SAD could feel more severe symptoms, including:
• Depression, apathy, negative thoughts, loss of self-esteem
• Sleep problems
• Lethargy, fatigue
• Overeating or little appetite
• Difficulty with concentration and memory
• Withdrawn – finding it hard to be around people
• Anxiety
• Inability to deal with stress
If you are affected by any of these symptoms, take heart: there are remedies that work wonders for SAD.

Relief for SAD Symptoms
Millions of people with SAD have been helped by the work of Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a world-renowned psychiatrist. Rosenthal and his team at the National Institute of Mental Health pioneered research that first led to describing Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the use of light therapy to treat it.

According to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association in the UK, “light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 percent of diagnosed cases.” Light therapy is now routinely prescribed for SAD in northern countries, but at the time Rosenthal and his team first used it, the results were dramatic. In his New York Times best-selling book Transcendence, Dr. Rosenthal recalls a comment from one of his colleagues. He had noticed a remarkable change in a patient who had been having light therapy for SAD for just one week: “I don’t know what treatment she is receiving, but she’s blooming like a rose!” A vivid metaphor for our need for light from the life-giving sun.

Dr. Rosenthal’s other guide for readers who suffer from SAD is called Winter Blues. This book provides a self-test that readers can use to evaluate their own seasonal mood changes, presents remedies for SAD, research on the use of medication, and new recipes to counterbalance unhealthy winter food cravings. A cautionary caveat: if you or someone you know is seriously depressed, it is imperative to seek professional advice, as depression can be debilitating or even life-threatening.

The good news? The incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder decreases with age. So for all you seniors out there, as we approach the holiday season, ‘tis truly the season for you to be jolly!

Helen Foster-Grimmett writes on issues of health, education, and stress management. These days you may find her outside travel agency windows, looking wistful. Article references available upon request.

This is Helen’s 2nd article for the Canadian magazine, Ageless Living. You can read her first article there: The Answer To Cancer.

For more information on Dr. Norman Rosenthal, his work and books: Winter Blues, and Transcendence, visit: http://normanrosenthal.com.

THE REMARKABLE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION — written by Norman Zierold for Healthy Referral

June 8, 2012

Posted 27 January 2012 in Healthy Referral Newspaper

THE REMARKABLE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION

It’s no secret that problems abound in our society, but two areas that quickly come to mind are major sources of national stress—at-risk school children and veterans returning from wars abroad with post-traumatic stress.

Enter iconic American filmmaker David Lynch, director of TV’s groundbreaking Twin Peaks, and feature films that include Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, The Straight Story, and most recently, Inland Empire. The United Kingdom’s highly reputed Guardian has dubbed Lynch “the most important film-maker of the current era,” but an illustrious career has not impeded his concern for the needy.

Mind you, many individuals and organizations have stepped forward in the troubled areas of our society. Much has been done, yet even more remains to be done. What is his modality of choice to help? Meditation, he declares, and specifically Transcendental Meditation, or TM, which is neither a religion nor a philosophy, and therefore requires no change of lifestyle.

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, easily learned technique, practiced for 20 minutes twice daily while sitting comfortably in a chair with eyes closed. This quiet time provides the mind and body with a unique state of “restful alertness” which allows stress and fatigue to be released in a natural way, resulting in better health, greater energy, more clarity of mind, and overall enhancement of the joy of life. It utilizes the natural tendency of the mind to go to a field of greater happiness, hence is basically effortless, differing thereby from all other meditation techniques, which invariably involve either concentration or contemplation, modalities that tend to keep the mind on the surface level of thought and so impede the transcending process.

John Hagelin, Ph.D., world-renowned quantum physicist (“What The Bleep Do We Know!?” and “The Secret”) and recipient of the coveted Kilby Award in physics, describes Transcendental Meditation as “a systematic means to turn the attention powerfully within, to experience and explore deeper levels of mind, quieter levels of human awareness, a state of rest for the body deeper than sleep, where deep-seated stress is dissolved, providing an effective prevention and treatment for stress-related illness.”

Over 600 scientific studies have been conducted on Transcendental Meditation at 250 medical schools and universities in over 30 countries to verify its wide range of benefits for the individual and society. Most notably, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, or NIH, funded in recent decades $26 million in grants to study the effects of TM practice on high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, obesity, and heart disease. Subjects for research have been readily available because the TM technique has now been taught to six million people in over 120 countries.

The timeless knowledge of TM derives from the Vedic heritage of India, the world’s oldest system of knowledge. Veda means truth, or knowledge, and this tradition provides knowledge about many areas of life. For example, Yoga comes from the Vedic tradition, as does Ayurveda, the world’s most ancient system of health care, and Sthapatya Veda, knowledge about building in accord with Natural Law. The knowledge of Transcendental Meditation was revived in our era by the revered sage Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, launched, in 1957, a worldwide movement to make it available on every continent. Maharishi first came to the United States in 1959, and on various occasions thereafter, to oversee the progress of the local TM movement.

Why did David Lynch take up the TM practice? Well, he just couldn’t think of anything better to do. Just kidding. Lynch not only writes, produces, and directs his own films, but also composes popular music, and paints stunning pictures that are exhibited in major art galleries. And oh, yes, crowning a plethora of other avocations, he recently opened his own nightclub in Paris.

As for Transcendental Meditation, his sister first brought it to his attention. “My sister called, and she had started TM,” he reminisces. “There was something in her voice—less stress and more happiness, a certain upbeat lilt. ‘I gotta have that,’ I said to myself. When I actually started, it was like boom, as if a cable had been cut and the elevator plunged right down into pure consciousness.

“I have been ‘diving within’ through the Transcendental Meditation technique for over 30 years now,” he continues. “It has changed my life, my world, allowing me to release stress that was causing fear and anxiety, opening the door to heightened creativity and bliss.”

“Not long ago, when I heard about the crippling levels of stress and violence in the lives of children today, about the need for armed guards to patrol school corridors, and about widespread use of prescription drugs with deleterious side effects, I became concerned about what this was doing to the health of these children and their ability to learn.”

“Discussing the matter with a friend, the thought came that in today’s turbulent world all school kids should have a class period to begin and end the school day where they can dive within and experience the field of silence, the transcendental level of life, which is an enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence within all of us.”

To help at-risk students, the director established the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace—and promptly made hefty donations to give it a jump-start.

Since then the DLF has helped fund “Quiet Time” programs, which are always voluntary, around the world, teaching TM to over 250,000 children in the United States and Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The US schools can be found in more than a dozen states.

Progress was made in the financial area by a benefit concert given at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and featuring such renowned meditating artists as Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, legendary singer/songwriter Donovan, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, flute virtuoso Paul Horn, Sheryl Crow, Moby, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Russell Simmons, co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, and Jerry Seinfeld in a winning stand-up comic skit. Since a huge number of schools around the world remain on a waiting list for Quiet Time programs, plans are underway for future benefit concerts in different venues. Watch News conference Highlights from the day before the concert, and Watch Event Highlights, which include clips of David Lynch interviewing Paul, Ringo, Sheryl, Eddie, and excerpts from that amazing magical evening. Check here for other DLF featured past events.

Transcendental Meditation in Education

Dr. Sanford Nidich, professor of education and physiology at Maharishi University of Management, has been working with at-risk adolescents in U.S. schools and reports on a study conducted at the University of Connecticut involving 106 secondary school students from three public schools, primarily from lower-income, minority populations. “Meditating students,” he relates, showed significant reductions in anxiety, emotional problems, and hyperactivity, and improved overall mental health after an average of four months compared to controls.”

“Something must be done to help today’s youth deal with the enormous amount of stress in their lives,” says Dr. Robert Colbert, professor at the University of Connecticut and co-author of the study. “This study shows that something can help immediately—and it is easy to implement in any school setting.

Two more recent studies out last year, also funded by the David Lynch Foundation, showed TM improved standardized academic achievement and effectively lowered record stress levels in students.

The study, published in the journal Education, reported students who practiced the Transcendental Meditation program showed significant increases in math and English scale scores and performance level scores over a one-year period. Forty-one percent of the meditating students showed a gain of at least one performance level in math compared to 15.0% of the non-meditating controls.

The latest study published in the Journal of Instructional Psychology found the Transcendental Meditation technique significantly decreased psychological distress in at-risk racial and ethnic minority public school students by 36 percent over 4 months compared to controls. The study also found significant decreases in trait anxiety and depressive symptoms.

In the area of students with learning disabilities, one study, published in the 2009 issue of the peer-reviewed Current Issues in Education, followed a group of 10 middle-school students with ADHD who were practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day at school. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD behavior regulation.

“The effect was much greater than we expected,” says Dr. Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and lead researcher on the study. “The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, and organization.” The study was funded by grants from the Abramson Family Foundation and the David Lynch Foundation.

A follow-up study, also funded by the David Lynch Foundation, came out last year. This random-assignment controlled study conducted over a period of 6 months in an independent school for children with language-based learning disabilities in Washington, DC, found improved brain functioning, decreased symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD), and improved language-based skills among ADHD students practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. The paper, ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice, was published in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry.

At the Ideal Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., students from the 5th through 12th grades now practice the TM/Quiet Time program. “It changed the whole climate of the school, says principal Dr. George Rutherford, a highly regarded D.C. educator. “It was just beautiful. The academic achievement has gone up, and behavioral problems have gone down. I could never work in a school that doesn’t have the TM/Quiet Time program.”

One student at the Ideal Academy reports, “I notice I haven’t been mad for a while, since I learned TM. I used to get in fights and talk to people behind their back. And it helps me to not get distracted.”

A student at the Tucson, Arizona, Museum of Art School was struggling in math, but now says, “I’m doing really good in there, and my behavior’s been a lot better.” One of the students at the Kingsbury School in Washington, D.C., states that just two weeks after practicing TM twice a day the nightmares he was having stopped, allowing him to sleep much better and so avoid the fatigue that usually followed during the day.

“I have had the pleasure of meeting many students who are “diving within” and experiencing Consciousness-Based Education,” sums up DLF founder David Lynch. “These students are all unique individuals, very much themselves. They are amazing, self-sufficient, wide-awake, energetic, blissful, creative, powerfully intelligent and peaceful human beings. Meeting these students, for me, was the proof that Consciousness-Based Education is a profoundly good thing for our schools and for our world.”

Principal James Dierke agrees. The 2008 National Association of Secondary School Principals—National Middle School Principal of the Year, says, “Stress is the number one enemy of public education, especially in inner-city schools. It creates tension, violence, and compromises the cognitive and psychological capacity of students to learn and grow. The TM/Quiet Time program is the most powerful, effective program I have come across in my 39 years as a public school educator for addressing this problem. It is nourishing children and providing them an immensely valuable tool for life. It is saving lives.”

TM for Veterans: Operation Warrior Wellness

While the DLF’s work with at-risk children got into full gear, founder David Lynch was given the staggering statistics from the Veterans Administration showing that more soldiers are dying from the trauma of combat incurred in Iraq and Afghanistan than at the hands of enemy combatants. Over 500,000 veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, or PTS, since 2001, with 18 veterans committing suicide each day.

To help meet this challenging situation, the David Lynch Foundation launched Operation Warrior Wellness, a national outreach to help 10,000 war veterans suffering from PTS by teaching them Transcendental Meditation. A December 2010 press conference and follow-up fund-raiser Gala Event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was supported by noted film directors Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese, fashion maven Donna Karan, pop music mogul Russell Simmons, and yet another Russell, versatile actor/comedian Russell Brand, plus “America’s Doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz.

A year later on December 2, 2011 the David Lynch Foundation launched Operation Warrior Wellness in Los Angeles with a global press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel where David Lynch presented a check for one million dollars for Veterans to learn Transcendental Meditation. The 3rd Annual Change Begins Within Gala Event took place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.Ellen DeGeneres opened the evening and then turned the proceedings over to host Russell Brand. Photos can be seen on the David Lynch Foundation photo stream.

Combatants from past and present conflicts delivered testimonials of their devastating war experiences and told of how TM gave them a new lease on life. World War II pilot Jerry Yellin spoke eloquently of the toll that extensive bombing raids against Japan had on his nervous system so that for three decades after the end of the war he felt no satisfaction from anything he did. “At 51,” he recounted, “I took up TM and only then did I finally find peace.”

Vietnam vet Dan Burks gave a moving account of the mental scars he carried after a battle in which he killed Vietnamese soldiers and lost many of his own comrades. “PTS is a wound,” he concluded. “It takes your life away, just like losing a limb. But guess what? You can get rid of that wound. My life, after the discovery of Transcendental Meditation, was like the difference between heaven and hell.”

Finally, David George, 23, a former infantry soldier, told of the trauma he experienced not only in Iraq, but also on returning home, where long ago battles still raged deep within his system. “Happily,” he said, “I found TM and that cleared the air and I could tell where I was going. I felt this warm, groovy feeling. It just keeps getting better and better.”

Veterans with PTS showed a 50 percent reduction in their symptoms after just eight weeks of practicing the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique, according to a pilot study published in June 2011 in the scientific journal Military Medicine. The study found that Transcendental Meditation produced significant reductions in stress and depression and marked improvements in relationships and overall quality of life.

The paper’s senior researcher, Norman Rosenthal, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School and director of research at Capital Clinical Research Associates in Rockville, Maryland. “These young men were in extreme distress as a direct result of trauma suffered during combat,” he affirms, “and the simple and effortless Transcendental Meditation technique literally transformed their lives.”

The findings were similar to those from a randomly controlled study of Vietnam veterans conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1985. In that study, published in the Journal of Counseling and Development, after three months of twice-daily TM practice, the veterans had fewer symptoms than those receiving conventional psychotherapy of the day. In fact, most of the TM-treated subjects required no further treatment.

“The soldiers are truly suffering,” affirms David Lynch. “No one knows what they’ve been through. No one knows what they’ve done, what they’ve experienced, what they’ve seen, and their lives in many cases are a true nightmare. That’s why we want to offer them Transcendental Meditation. It’s a beautiful thing for the human being. It’s a big stress-buster, and when these soldiers get this simple effortless technique, they’re going to get their lives back again. It’s not hocus-pocus. It’s going to save lives, and help not only the soldiers, but all the families who are suffering, and their friendships as well.”

For the already noted Operation Warrior Wellness benefit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Clint Eastwood, best known for playing violent, hardened characters on-screen, sent a video in which he stated his strong support of Transcendental Meditation. “I’ve been using it for almost 40 years now,” he declared. “It’s a great tool to combat stress, especially considering the stress our men and women in the armed forces are going through. There’s enough studies out there that show TM is something that can benefit everybody.”

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Norman Zierold is the author of a bevy of books on Hollywood, including The Child Stars, The Moguls, Garbo, and Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen, as well as two true-crime stories—Little Charley Ross: The Story of America’s First Kidnapping for Ransom, and Three Sisters in Black, recipient of a Special Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He has also published articles in a plethora of magazines, ranging from New York Magazine, McCall’s, and Popular Mechanics to Good Housekeeping, Variety, and Reader’s Digest.

REFERENCES:

David Lynch Foundation http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org

Operation Warrior Wellness http://www.operationwarriorwellness.org

The Transcendental Meditation program http://tm.org

Ask the Doctors: Specialists answer your questions about TM and health http://askthedoctors.com

ADHD, the Mind and the TM technique http://www.adhd-tm.org

Maharishi University of Management http://www.mum.edu

If read in the UK, use this for The Transcendental Meditation Program: http://www.t-m.org.uk

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Related article by Norman Zierold: Embody: focus on TM: Iconic Filmmaker David Lynch has a viable solution to a pressing problem.

And enjoy this article about Norman: The Chronicle of Higher Education: Notes From Academe: The Spokesman Who Kept Calling.

Here is an excellent Huffington Post interview with David Lynch that came out two years later, Dec 9, 2014: Interview With David Lynch: His Mission to Change the World Through Meditation.

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.

Russell Brand Interviews Quantum Physicist At David Lynch Foundation Gala

December 6, 2011

DECEMBER 5, 2011, 6:00 PM ET

By Michelle Kung

Russell Brand Interviews Quantum Physicist At David Lynch Foundation Gala

With his manic energy and cheeky vocabulary, British comic Russell Brand hardly seems like a poster boy for Transcendental Meditation.

But Mr. Brand, who credits the meditation technique for helping him stay sober, is indeed a practitioner of TM and served as a master of ceremonies Saturday night for the David Lynch Foundation’s annual “Change Begins Within” benefit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was performing gratis, and hoped his good will would buy him “some wiggle room to act subversively and deviously.”

Mr. Brand was introduced by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who Mr. Brand turned onto TM a year ago, and in turn introduced David Lynch. Though best known to American audiences as the director of atmospheric films like “Blue Velvet” and the television series “Twin Peaks,” Mr. Lynch has also been an avid meditator for over three decades and created the David Lynch Foundation in 2005 to help implement meditation programs for both at-risk students and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Lynch summed up his thoughts about TM by producing a painting of a tree and explained to the audience, which included actors like Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Bell and honoree Russell Simmons, that the key to meditation was to “water to root” of the mind and “enjoy the fruit” of the ensuing knowledge. He also introduced his psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal to the crowd, who thanked his client for his “confidential” introduction and explained the health benefits of transcendental meditation — a subject they have written about for The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page.

After hearing first-person account from war veterans and current high school students about how TM has personally affected their lives, Mr. Brand wrapped up the evening by interviewing quantum physicist John Hagelin — a situation that seemed to fill the actor full of glee. We’ve embedded the interview below:

(The included interview was from last year’s Change Begins Within Gala Event in New York City. You can see this year’s interview here, and the complete Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala, which took place December 3rd, 2011 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) See Ellen DeGeneres and Russell Brand raise awareness about TM for overcoming traumatic stress.

Replay of David Lynch Foundation Launch of Operation Warrior Wellness Los Angeles

December 2, 2011

Watch Replay of Launch of Operation Warrior Wellness Los Angeles
http://www.livestream.com/davidlynch

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News coverage: The Associated Press: The Washington Post: David Lynch donates $1 million in grants through his foundation to teach veterans to meditate | CBS NEWS: David Lynch gives $1M to teach vets meditation | and many more. Related: The Case for Using Transcendental Meditation to Treat Combat Related PTSD.

Watch the entire Operation Warrior Wellness press conference – Los Angeles launch, Dec 2011 then watch the Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala. See Ellen DeGeneres and Russell Brand raise awareness about TM for overcoming traumatic stress.

Russell Brand Does Stand-Up for Transcendental Meditation

November 29, 2011

Medical Unit

By Susan Donaldson James

Nov 29, 2011 2:39pm

Russell Brand Does Stand-Up for Transcendental Meditation

Comic actor Russell Brand credits his sobriety with practicing Transcendental Meditation.

Russell Brand, who credits Transcendental Meditation for helping him stay off addictions to alcohol, drugs and sex, will do a stand-up comedy show tonight at the Palace of the Fine Arts in San Francisco to benefit the David Lynch Foundation.

Brand has said publicly that meditation had helped him find a “deeper state of happiness.”  Other celebrities — including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres — are devotees of TM.

“What it felt like to me was the dissolution of the idea of myself,” he said at a press conference last year. “Like, I felt separateness evaporated, this tremendous sense of oneness. I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection. My tendency towards selfishness, I felt that exposed as a superficial and pointless perspective to have.”

Brand, who is best known for his films, “Get Him to the Greek” and “Arthur” –  and for being the husband of pop start Katy Perry – gave up alcohol nearly a decade ago. He has said,  ”I was really, really committed to that drug addiction.”

The David Lynch Foundation, the brainchild of the filmmaker of the same name, has been committed to helping those who suffer from trauma since 2005. The often dark and abstract director credits his creativity with 37 years of meditation.

Their meditation programs have helped those in the military, who are at higher risk for post-traumatic stress and in schools where students grow up in a climate of fear with bullying, violence and substance abuse. They also work with other at-risk populations like Native Americans and the homeless.

The Lynch foundation now teaches 150,000 students for free in 350 schools around the world; 15 of them are in the United States.

Click here for video of David Lynch discussing His First Meditation.

“It’s not a religion,” Lynch told ABC last year. “It’s not against any religion, it’s not mumbo-jumbo. It truly does transform life. Kids come to school and they meditate together for 15 minutes in the morning. And before they go home they meditate for 15 minutes. A lot of them come from, you know, bad situations, and so this gives them this thing you know, at the beginning and the end of the day, the rest of the time you just watch the violence stop. Watch relationships improve. Watch happiness in the hallways, in the classroom, watch creativity flow more and more, watch that heavy weight that we are living under gently lift away.”

Brand learned TM at the foundation headquarters in Fairfield, Iowa, during a time when he was making a  documentary on happiness with directors Oliver Stone and Albert Maysles.

David Lynch Foundation Executive Director Bob Roth asked Brand if he wanted to learn TM. “I have all the time in the world,” Brand responded, according to foundation spokesman Ken Chawkin. “He taught him and he loved it and came back a second time.”

Brand went to India, where he was married to Perry last year, to research the film. The comedian is a vegetarian and devotee of Buddhism and Hari Krishna. He also practices yoga.

Oprah also meditated with 500 other women at the “dome” in Iowa, according to Chawkin. ”Her companies are now instructed as part of their daily routine,” he said. “It’s awesome. She really got it.”

On Dec. 3, Brand will join actress Ellen DeGeneres and Def Jam’s Russell Simmons in Los Angeles for another benefit performance. The foundation will webcast from their website  a live global news conference on Dec. 2 on its gift of $1 million to teach veterans to meditate. The celebrity event will be replayed online Sunday, Dec 4.

Various studies funded by the David Lynch Foundation have shown that those under stress, particularly ethnic and racial minorities, can reduce their stress levels by 36 percent by practicing TM. Students in “quiet programs” that include meditation have also shown higher rates of achievement.

 ”It allows the thinking process to naturally settle down,” said Chawkin. “And just automatically and quietly you transcend beyond to the source of thought within. You are twice as deep as the deepest point of sleep, while awake inside.”

Brand has said that his stress was rooted in his celebrity. “I used to be poor, now I’m not,” he said last year at a conference with young people. “I didn’t used to be famous, now I am. And I thought that both of these significant transitions would bring a certain amount of satisfaction.

“They did a bit, initially as being famous gives you enormous access to– given there are some young people here– partners in physical nocturnal activities.”

SHOWS:

User Comments

Brand is FUNNY but when he talks about profound stuff like how TM helps him he is REALLY good. I wish I could be there tonight!

Posted by: quirkysquirrel | November 29, 2011 November 29, 2011, 3:15 pm

I’m really impressed with David Lynch’s work as well as Russell Brand speaking up and stepping up to help promote David’s foundation. TM has been a remarkably helpful and profound practice for me, in all areas of my life. Whether you are a vet, a student, a down and out artist to be or a person who could use more chill, more health, more creativity in your life – it’s a fantastic tool.

Posted by: Tlccabin | November 29, 2011 November 29, 2011, 6:42 pm

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The David Lynch Foundation will host two events: a live global news conference, webcast from the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Friday, December 2, 11 AM (PT), 2 PM (ET); and the Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala, Saturday, December 3, 5 PM (PT), 8 PM (ET) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will replay online Sunday, December 4, at 5 PM (PT), 8 PM (ET). Click here for more information: http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/emailing/2011_11_29.html.

Also see: An Evening of Stand-Up With Russell Brand — a Benefit for the David Lynch Foundation Tuesday, November 29th at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco | The SF Examiner: Russell Brand makes it to the Palace | The Times of India: Russell Brand to headline comedy show for charity | Examiner.com: Russell Brand makes San Francisco laugh for The David Lynch Foundation | What do Stephen Collins, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and Oprah have in common?


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