Posts Tagged ‘scientific research’

Excellent interview with @DAVID_LYNCH about #TranscendentalMeditation & @LynchFoundation

September 16, 2018

Huffington Post writer/interviewer Marianne Schnall produced this wonderful, comprehensive Interview With David Lynch: His Mission to Change the World Through Meditation. It was posted December 9, 2014 and updated February 8, 2015.

I can remember being absolutely hooked and engrossed into the surreal world of the cutting-edge television series Twin Peaks back in the ’90s. That was when series creator and director David Lynch became a household name and the show developed a massive and passionate cult following (which the show still has — there was much excitement over the recent announcement that Twin Peaks will return as a limited series with new episodes written, directed, and produced by Lynch to air on Showtime in 2016). In addition to receiving numerous Emmy nominations for his work on Twin Peaks, Lynch has also received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay for iconic films like The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. All these years later, I found myself playing my own cameo in a seemingly surreal scene: hanging out with David Lynch in a hotel cafe in NYC, sipping lattes and talking about topics such as meditation, consciousness, the Unified Field, and “positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions.” What I experienced during our inspiring and thought-provoking time together is that while he is an explosive force of nature creatively, in person he is a gentle, soft-spoken, thoughtful, and deeply caring and compassionate soul. In addition to being a consummate artist in a variety of mediums (as well as being a film and television director and writer, he is also a musician, actor, author, and visual artist), David has one passion that is especially dear to his heart: the David Lynch Foundation, a non-profit founded by the legendary filmmaker to help people overcome trauma and transform their lives through the Transcendental Meditation technique. It began when he first experienced how dramatically TM transformed his own personal life experience, which he says granted him “access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity, and happiness deep within.” But he says, “I had no idea how powerful and profound this technique could be until I saw firsthand how it was being practiced by young children in inner-city schools, veterans who suffer the living hell of post-traumatic stress disorder, and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence.” The organization was founded in 2005 as the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to ensure that every child anywhere in the world who wanted to learn to meditate could do so. Now, the foundation has expanded and is actively teaching TM to adults and children in countries everywhere and offers a variety of pioneering campaigns and programs, including many innovative initiatives aimed at youth and a variety of at-risk communities. The positive effects of the organization’s work is backed up by measurable results and emerging scientific data and research, as well as support from celebrities and fellow TM practitioners such as Russell Brand, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, Ringo Starr, Ellen Degeneres, Lena Dunham, and Katy Perry. In the following interview, David Lynch shares the story of his own personal transformation and his belief in the power of meditation to not only positively affect one’s own enjoyment of life, creativity, and ability to cope with stress and trauma but also transform our “collective consciousness.” As he told me, “The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed, and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.”

Marianne Schnall: Tell me a little about your journey that led you to found the David Lynch Foundation and just in general how you wound up at this place, your own experience with Transcendental Meditation.

David Lynch: I started Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973 in Los Angeles, California, on July 1st on a beautiful Sunday morning, about 11:00. I loved my experience with Transcendental Meditation. I loved my experience, I just loved it. And I’ve been meditating twice a day for 41 years now, never missed a meditation in those 41 years. I went to Fairfield, Iowa, one time to visit a high school where the entire school’s teachers and students practiced Transcendental Meditation. While I was there on a cold and raining night, I was invited to a high school play and I thought maybe it would be one of the most boring nights of my life. I went to a little theater that was packed with people. Then on the stage came students, high school students, and they put on a play that blew me away.

A lot of things about the play impressed me so much, but the main thing was a glow on every face — this glow of consciousness, of intelligence, of happiness. None of them were actors. They were high school students. They weren’t going into acting, but they were so beyond good and the timing of everything was so good, the humor of everything, where it was supposed to be humorous, was so good. It was tight. And it was performed so beautifully. There was some kind of extra thing coming off them that was thrilling. After that, I thought every actor, every actress, should learn Transcendental Meditation. It’s that thing, that charisma, that magic thing that was coming off the high school students.

Around this time, I started hearing about different schools around the country. I started hearing about students bringing guns to school and then more and more through the years, about more and more violence in schools, metal detectors, no learning, fights in the school, a lot of depression, a lot of pharmaceutical drugs, a lot of illegal drugs — the whole thing that by now everybody’s heard about. And I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if students knew about Transcendental Meditation? And one thing led to another and this foundation got born in 2005.

The main focus was on schools, called Consciousness-Based education, meaning that every human being has a treasury within of consciousness — of pure consciousness, unbounded consciousness within every human being. When a human being transcends, they experience that pure consciousness. And that consciousness within has the all-positive qualities of unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, unbounded peace — within every human being. We just need the technique to get there to that deepest eternal level.

When a human being gets this technique of Transcendental Meditation — the ability to transcend — they start getting happier. All the torment that’s in the human being starts lifting away, the students’ grades go up, relationships improve, their ability to focus and comprehend becomes bigger every day. When whole schools start practicing Transcendental Meditation, within one year there is a 180-degree turn around. The school becomes a school that we would love to go to or have our kids go to.

Then the Foundation’s projects branched out, to not only students, but vets and Native Americans, homeless, prisoners — people who really were suffering — girls in prostitution, boys in prostitution, young kids having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, real bad traumatic stress that was just ruining their lives.

I just read this thing this morning about vets. People are trying all different kinds of things to help the vets, and I read about the fact one of the things they’re giving them is fish oil [laughs] and they’re giving them all of these different things to try to help. But these things they are trying are all surface cures. It’s like trying to help a sick tree at the level of the leaves. The experienced gardener knows to water the root. Get that nourishment from the deepest level and then the whole tree starts coming up to perfection. The vets I know that started Transcendental Meditation say, “I’ve got my life back again. This is such a blessing.” And if you can tell the vets in your report that this thing of Transcendental Meditation is not a surface cure. It goes to the deepest level and it will rid people of traumatic stress.

People who are suffering have got to give this technique a try. With this technique of Transcendental Meditation, in simple terms, you could say gold is coming in, garbage is going out. It works. And the vets and all the people suffering with the stress of today have got to get this technique and the government has got to get behind this, the government has got to support this.

MS: There is a lot of research and statistics emerging that are beginning to back this up. Do you think that we are evolving to that place, where it would get that kind of widespread, mainstream support?

DL: Big time. The word’s gone out. There’s hardly any resistance to it. Still, there are people who don’t know about this technique, and there’s still probably a thing in some people’s head about Transcendental Meditation being a weird Eastern religion or it’s just too weird to sit and meditate. It’s not a macho thing, maybe they think, or it’s not an American thing. The problem is, it works, and people have got to know that. When you meditate, it’s not something weird. You sit in a comfortable chair, close the eyes and practice this technique the way the teacher taught you, and it works. It’s easy and effortless — it’s not a concentration technique, it’s not a contemplation technique, it’s a unique form of meditation, which is very natural. It’s a very natural thing for every human being to do. It’s such a powerful and beautiful thing to experience the treasury within. When a human being transcends every day, life gets better every day. Say goodbye to suffering. Say goodbye to that torment and start enjoying life.

MS: And for you personally — obviously you are a multi-talented artist in so many mediums — how do you see your own evolution as a human and an artist? How has this transformed your own consciousness?

DL: Well, first of all, this word “consciousness” is something that most people don’t fully understand. There used to be what they called “consciousness-raising groups” — they weren’t raising consciousness, they were raising information, and there’s a big difference. Consciousness is the “I-am-ness of life” — you can only say I am, because of consciousness. Consciousness is really life itself. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. The potential for each one of us human beings is infinite consciousness. This is called supreme enlightenment, and it just needs unfolding by transcending each day. The more consciousness we have, the better life is.

I was creative before I started meditating, but I had, looking back, a weakness. I wasn’t self-assured. I had a little bit of melancholy. I had a lot of anger for my situations in life, and I would take this out on my first wife. Also on the day I got the go ahead to make my first feature film, having been given a place to work in the stables area of a 55-room mansion and all the equipment I could dream of, I felt I should have been the happiest person in the world. But I looked inside, and that happiness was only on the surface, not so deep. Beneath it was hollow. Up until that time, I had been thinking meditation was a joke, a fad and a waste of time. Around that time I heard a phrase: “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.” And this phrase had a ring of truth for me. I thought maybe this thing of meditation is a way to go within and find that happiness. And I started looking into different kinds of meditation — there are so many different meditations out in the world. I thought, like everybody else, you could get meditation from a book — why do you have to pay for meditation? What is this? I read about this kind of meditation and that kind of meditation, but nothing felt right. One day my sister called, and said she started Transcendental Meditation. I liked what she told me about it, and I said, “This is for me.” And I went and got it and never was sorry I did.

Within two weeks of starting Transcendental Meditation, my wife comes to me and asks, “What’s going on?” I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “The anger, where did it go?” The changes in me were so natural, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t angry anymore. I didn’t try to get the anger away. It just went. I realized all these changes are so natural — you just naturally get happier, you just naturally feel better in your body, you just naturally have more fun in the doing of things, you just naturally appreciate people in the world and life. It just creeps up on you. And I always say this negativity that we live under is like the suffocating rubber clown suit of negativity. This clown suit starts to dissolve when you transcend every day. And this gives a person a huge freedom. Surface cures are not going to get rid of the torment that’s inside the students or the vets or the prisoners or anyone suffering from this torment. Drugs cover it over, but they don’t get rid of it. When a human being is transcending every day, that torment dissolves. It lifts away.

MS: You were talking earlier about its use in a school setting — I would love programs like this to be in my daughters’ school. When I think about children today, I look at my daughters, I have a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, and kids today are all constantly on their phones and devices, so many inputs coming at them — I do have concerns about the role of technology and, as you were saying, the angst and stress that we’re seeing in our youth. I do feel like it would be important to learn these skills and practices in school, to be part of educational system. Maybe we’re headed that way.

DL: I think we are definitely headed that way. Education should unfold the student’s full potential. The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation does unfold the human being’s full potential. So consciousness-based education, which I am helping to promote, is basically the same education that good schools are giving today with Transcendental Meditation added for the students, teachers, staff, and principal. In learning or education, they say there is the knower, the process of knowing, and the known. In schools today, we have the process of knowing and the known, but nothing much is being done for the knower — the student, the human being, so many of whom are filled with torment. You give them this technique of Transcendental Meditation and start them unfolding their full potential. They start understanding more and more. They get that ability to focus. Their relationships improve. They become great, great, happy creative, energetic, and peace-loving human beings. And they get very much more self-assured and self-sufficient. They’re feeling great with this all-positive coming in from their practice of Transcendental Meditation and they’re seeing the negativity and torment lifting away. This goes for the teachers, staff, and principal as well. Transcending is what they call a holistic experience, so all avenues of life improve. And this secret has always been within, within, within.

MS: As you are saying, this has obvious benefits for one’s own personal experience, but I know you also talk a lot about how it’s connected to outer world change. How do you see that connection?

DL: In the world there’s a thing called collective consciousness. All of us billions of human beings together create that collective consciousness. With all the problems in our world today, you can see that the collective consciousness is not so high. The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.

Then there’s the phenomenon of the peace-creating groups. Maharishi brought out advanced techniques and if these techniques are done along with Transcendental Meditation in a group, their effect is quadratically more powerful than the same number scattered about. Peace-creating groups are like a lighthouse of positivity, creating a huge glow of harmony and happiness in collective consciousness. I would like to help establish peace-creating groups on a permanent basis in our world.

A university would be a great place for a peace-creating group. The freshman students would learn these techniques and join the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The students would practice these techniques for an hour or so in the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon together as a group. The rest of the time they can go about their university business. This would be such a powerful thing for every country to have — a university as a lighthouse for peace.

All that’s needed is the square root of one percent of a population. That number is very small. And it seems to me it would be easily accomplished. So you see, for the whole world it would only take one big peace-creating group of at least 9,000 to bring enough harmony and happiness to collective consciousness to make a huge difference in the entire world. It’s amazing to me that this hasn’t happened yet. The main reason is that people just don’t believe it and they try to solve the problems of hatred and violence the old way, through killing and through war, etcetera. It doesn’t matter if all the people don’t believe this — just a few have to believe this and it would be great for the people who want to do this. They’d really be floor boarding their own evolution and they’d be doing a giant service for the world.

MS:
You talked earlier about some of the great programs and initiatives the David Lynch Foundation has–there are so many people dealing with so many different forms of pain and trauma. I run a women’s non-profit organization, and I am remembering hearing about the Women’s Initiative event you had at the Paley Center. Using even that as an example, how does that initiative seek to help women who have experienced various forms of violence?

DL: Domestic violence and violence against women in general seems to be a big problem everywhere in the world. It seems to me this problem comes from stress, pent-up anger, frustration, and all kinds of negativity within human beings. If people in a relationship are both filled with torment inside, it’s easy to see how violence can erupt. And people do things on the spur of the moment without having a chance to think about the consequence of their actions. If the people in a relationship were able to get rid of this torment within and replace it with happiness, love, and a sense of well-being, they would never think to hurt another human being. They would be filled with an understanding of others and an appreciation of others and have an ability to reconcile differences without any violence whatsoever, to reconcile differences in a very loving way, a very happy way.

As collective consciousness goes higher and higher, all the differences in the world will be appreciated more and more. A definition of peace is unity in the midst of diversity. Or you could say happiness, love, and peace in the midst of all diversity. All the differences would be appreciated fully in the light of this peace.

MS: Do you think part of the problem is we’re all so busy, almost an autopilot — people are just trying to get through their checklist each day, almost sleepwalking — not even aware of being able to come from this conscious place just because of all the inputs and demands of modern life?

DL: Yes, everyone knows there’s so much more input these days, so much more information coming to us, it’s no longer just from around the house or around the neighborhood, but it’s coming to us from all around the world. All this adds to the stress, the worry, the fear and it causes people to do strange things, sometimes violent things, sometimes hurtful things. And even if they don’t mean to do this, they still do it. It’s like they can’t help themselves. The torment causes it.

Transcending gives a human being a chance to think before acting. And experiencing this beautiful treasury within gets rid of that torment and replaces it with happiness, inner peace, creativity intelligence, love, energy. This fuels a real good life and fuels an appreciation for all human beings. It’s so powerful and it’s a blessing for humanity.

MS: You are of course a multitalented artist, and I know right now in the world we could use lots of creative ideas. In addition to just enhancing one’s well-being and help deal with stress, can you talk a little bit about how it is connected to fostering creativity, either for yourself or in general?

DL: I say negativity is the enemy of creativity. For instance if you’re filled with depression, you can hardly even get out of bed, let alone feel like creating something. If you are filled with bitter, selfish anger, this occupies the mind and leaves little room for creative ideas. It’s like we have a conduit that ideas flow through. Negativity squeezes this conduit. By transcending every day, the negativity starts lifting away and that conduit opens up.

When we transcend we are diving into a field of unbounded creativity. This is real creativity and when we experience that and grow in that, we can more easily find solutions to problems. We can get ideas for whatever it is we’re working on. And we will get happier by transcending every day and we will find that we’re happier doing almost anything. We’ll get more energy to do our work.

Artists don’t want to lose their edge and they worry that meditation might take away that edge and make them calm and worthless. This was one of my worries before starting meditation, but I find way more of an edge, way more creativity flowing, way more happiness in the doing, way more energy to do the work. And I say that this transcending every day fuels the work and a very good feeling in life. No one likes to suffer. Sometimes in a romantic way, artists think suffering is part of the art life. But looking a little deeper we see that it is only romantic for others, it’s not really romantic for the artist to be starving, cold and suffering in the garret. It’s absurd to think suffering fuels creativity. The artist should understand suffering, but the artist doesn’t have to suffer to do his or her work. Suffering and negativity kill creativity. So let’s get real and experience that treasury within which fuels real creativity.

MS: Obviously there is a lot of negativity in the world right now — it’s hard to not turn on the news and feel overwhelmed by the violence and war and the images that we see. At the same time, I feel very hopeful that there are people like you, and more and more influential people like Oprah using her network and programming like Super Soul Sunday. There seems to be a new consciousness emerging, which is becoming more mainstream. Where do you see humanity right now — because some people feel we’re in a very dangerous place — do you feel hopeful that we can, as a collective, move ourselves in a positive direction?

DL: You wouldn’t know it from watching TV, but people who study these things say that there’s far less violence in the world today than in the past. Things seem to be getting better. Like I said before, the peace-creating groups are so important for raising the collective consciousness and bringing real peace. This Unified Field within, this ocean of consciousness is where all the power is anyway. People know how powerful the atomic level is, well, the treasury within is the deepest field and millions of times more powerful than the atomic level. It is the most profound, most beautiful, eternal field and it’s all-positive. It’s such a life-transforming thing for the good to experience it, to enliven it. It’s so beautifully powerful. They say that once enlivened by peace-creating groups it moves isotropically at the speed of light. Positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions. This positivity projects out, seeing no barriers and it makes a huge difference for peace in the world. So let’s get going on peace-creating groups and completely end the torment and suffering in our world.

MS: You could have just used this practice to enliven your own experience and continue your art, but you were moved to found this incredible organization to help people. What drives you, what is the source of all of your energy and passion around this work?

DL: I’ve seen so many cases where lives have been transformed for the good and heard so many stories about this. This technique of Transcendental Meditation really works for the human being. The David Lynch Foundation is headquartered in NYC and is run by the great Bobby Roth and his team. As I said before, there are many programs now going through the David Lynch Foundation, programs for schools, for prisons, for the homeless, for the vets suffering with Post Traumatic Stress, for abused children, for people suffering with ADD, ADHD, bipolar, etcetera. But EVERYONE is really at risk these days because of the amount of stress and negativity still in the world. Unless one is supremely enlightened, Transcendental Meditation is something to be seriously considered for a better and better life. In Transcendental Meditation, you need a legitimate teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. And if you can’t afford the price, you can write a letter to the David Lynch Foundation and if we have the money, we will try to get a scholarship for you — either a reduced fee or if you can’t even afford that, for no fee at all.

Transcendental Meditation is not a religion, it’s not against any religion, it’s for human beings, no matter what color, what religion, what walk of life. If you’re a human being, it will work for you. And you will be very glad you found this technique and took advantage of it.

MS: I believe in putting out these positive visions — what is your wish for the future of humanity? What would it look like if we manifested everything you want for people and the world?

DL: We would have heaven on earth, peace on earth. Everyone would be enjoying life. There would be affluence, happiness, good health and a clear path for the fulfillment of desires. Some old desires of course would change and new positive desires would naturally come up. In this world of peace, your fulfillment of desires would not only benefit you, but would in turn benefit everyone else. No one would feel to hurt anyone, we could travel anywhere in the world and meet a friend, not an enemy. This could very easily be the reality if we enliven that all-positive eternal field within us and help establish large peace creating groups on a permanent basis.

Another name for this field within is the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Bible it says, “First seek the Kingdom of Heaven which lies within, and all else will be added unto you.” Seeking implies finding, finding implies experiencing. Anyone who experiences that kingdom of heaven within infuses some of that every time they transcend. Staying regular in their meditation, in their transcending every day, in time they infuse Totality, infinite consciousness and that is “all else is added unto you.” This is the full potential of every human being. It’s every human beings’ birth right to one day enjoy supreme enlightenment, immortality, total fulfillment, infinite bliss, a state described as more than the most. All we really need is this technique of Transcendental Meditation, which allows any human being to easily and effortlessly transcend. When you get this technique of Transcendental Meditation, stay regular in your meditation twice a day and you will begin to rapidly unfold your full potential as a human being and see life get better and better and better.

Mankind was not meant to suffer — bliss is our nature. The individual is cosmic. Let’s rock.

(more…)

Veterans who learn TM find relief from PTSD. New study shows symptoms had reduced by 80% to below the clinical level in one month

January 11, 2018

SUMMARY: A study published in Military Medicine showed that after 30 days of practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, 80% of the 46 veterans and active-duty personnel no longer had PTSD. All participants had been clinically diagnosed with PTSD using a standard assessment. By comparison, standard treatments for PTSD—prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and medication—are only partially successful: approximately two-thirds of patients receiving cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure still have PTSD after treatment.¹

PTSD Graph (figure 1)

Participants in the study went from an average PCL-5 pretest score of 51.52 (with a score of 33 or above indicating PTSD) to an average posttest score of 23.43 after 30 days of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Veterans of the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found significant relief from their symptoms as a result of practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, according to a new study published in Military Medicine. (PDF

The 41 veterans and 5 active-duty soldiers in the study had been diagnosed with clinical levels of PTSD, as measured by the PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-5). After one month, 87% had a clinically significant decrease of more than 10 points. The reduction was so great that 37 participants (80%) had their symptoms reduced to below the clinical level, meaning that they were no longer considered to have a disorder.

The effect size, which is a measure of the magnitude of a treatment, was 1.91. This is unusually high, with a value of .8 considered to be a strong effect. In addition, the very low p-value (p < 0.0001) indicates these results were probably not due to chance. The study included a 90-day posttest; PTSD symptoms continued to improve.

“It’s remarkable that after just one month we would see such a pronounced decrease in symptoms, with four out of five veterans no longer considered to have a serious problem with PTSD,” said lead author Robert Herron.

More effective than standard treatment

By way of comparison, the standard treatment, which entails veterans attending counseling and re-experiencing their trauma as part of the therapy, is typically only partially successful, with approximately two-thirds still suffering from PTSD after being treated.

“Transcendental Meditation is very easy to do and results come quickly,” said James Grant, Director of Programs for TM for Veterans, which provided partial funding for this study. “TM promotes self sufficiency – it’s a tool that the veteran can use for life, on his or her own.”

In addition, research has shown that Transcendental Meditation has a positive benefit for many of the conditions associated with PTSD, such as high anxiety, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.

“Because it works on the neurophysiological level to reduce stress, it has broader impact than cognitively-based therapies,” he said.

Veterans able to help themselves

An interesting facet of the study was that the veterans were recruited through media advertising rather than through a veterans hospital.

“The importance of this study is that it shows that veterans are able to help themselves,” said lead author Robert Herron. “After learning about the opportunity to participate in the study, they went to local Transcendental Meditation centers to be instructed in the practice.”

Dr. Herron said that because of their huge caseload, the Veterans Administration hasn’t been able to help all veterans in a timely manner. And veterans are often in desperate need of help.

Veteran practicing Transcendental Meditation #1.png

Veteran practicing Transcendental Meditation

“The veterans involved were pleased that they were able to do this on their own, and no doubt the VA hospitals appreciate that there are therapeutic approaches that can be undertaken without the costly intensive care of a therapist that treatment typically entails,” he said.

Dr. Grant said some veterans are reluctant to go to counseling because of the perceived stigma, but that there’s no stigma associated with meditation, which is widely practiced by healthy people.

Practiced 20 minutes twice a day

The participants learned the standard Transcendental Meditation technique, which is practiced 20 minutes twice a day. The study found that the veterans who practiced twice a day as recommended had greater benefits than those who practiced once a day.

This approach to meditation, which was introduced in the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi beginning in the late 1950s, has been widely researched over the past 50 years, with over 400 peer-reviewed studies. It is unique in that it doesn’t entail contemplation or concentration and is easy to learn and effortless to practice.

“Researchers have been calling for new approaches to PTSD treatments, and Transcendental Meditation seems to be particularly effective,” Dr. Grant said. “Veterans who elect to learn Transcendental Meditation themselves can find significant reductions in PTSD. The results are promising and suggest that this is a treatment modality that deserves more rigorous study as a potential treatment for PTSD.”

DoD supports research on TM

The current study follows four previous studies on veterans that suggested a benefit for PTSD. Because of these promising findings, the U.S. Department of Defense has supported a randomized controlled trial involving 210 veterans that is now nearing completion.

“The evidence is mounting that Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for PTSD,” said Colonel Brian Rees, MD, coauthor of the current study. Dr. Rees was the lead researcher on two earlier studies on Congolese refugees suffering from PTSD, and found a significant benefit after just 10 days of TM practice.

Watch a video conference held at the US Institute of Peace on Dec 2016, Exploring the Science of Meditation on Trauma, Stress, and the Brain: Military Panel, where leading experts in the field of military and veteran health discussed the benefits of utilizing TM in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Funding for veterans to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique in this study was provided by the Wege Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Watch veterans describe their PTS symptoms and how TM changed their lives in this video made by the David Lynch Foundation: Real PTS Relief for our Veterans.

A more recent DLF video, Training from the Inside: Treating PTS with Transcendental Meditation, appears in a report on the study published in Issue 20 of Enjoy TM News: Military Medicine: New Study Shows Veterans Gain Dramatic Relief from PTSD Symptoms | 80 percent dropped below the PTSD threshold after just 30 days of TM practice.

Peter Swan, host of Maharishi’s Global Family Chat, interviewed Robert Herron about his study (Jan 15, 2018): Transcendental Meditation Reduces PTSD Symptoms.

1. Steenkamp MM, Litz BT, Hoge CW, Marmar CR: Psychotherapy for military-related PTSD: A review of randomized clinical trials. Journal of the American Medical Association 2015; 314(5): 489–500. (PDF)

2. Robert E Herron, Ph.D., MBA, Brian Rees, M.D., MPH, MC, USAR (Ret.): The Transcendental Meditation Program’s Impact on the Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder of Veterans: An Uncontrolled Pilot Study. Military Medicine, 29 December 2017.

Source: EurekAlert!: Veterans who learn Transcendental Meditation find relief from PTSD, new study shows.

 

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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Australian TV show objectively reports on TM

January 30, 2014

Transcendental Meditation on ABC’s Catalyst Sydney, Australia

Published over a year ago, this report on Transcendental Meditation, by the ABC’s Catalyst in Sydney, Australia, takes an objective look at the uniqueness of the practice, and its personal and health benefits. One skeptical physician says most people would sooner pop a pill to lower their blood pressure than waste time meditating. But, based on the scientific research, the American Heart Association now recommends that physicians may safely prescribe only TM for those patients who want to lower their blood pressure naturally, instead of taking long-term costly medications with potentially harmful side effects.

Dr. Robert Schneider’s tour in Australia and New Zealand educating physicians on the value of TM for heart health

Dr. Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, a leading medical researcher on the application of Transcendental Meditation for heart health, toured Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2013. He presented the breakthrough scientific research findings of TM’s ability to reduce heart attack, stroke and early death by about 50%.

Dr. Schneider also mentioned the AHA statement, based on meta-analyses of data on different relaxation and meditation techniques, that physicians could only recommend TM to their patients wanting to naturally lower their HBP. You can see a video clip from a presentation made at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

While making presentations in New Zealand, Dr. Schneider appeared on NZTV’s Breakfast ONE News program explaining how TM improves heart health, and the response from the medical community. You see that lively interaction here.

Related: @MaharishiU’s Dr. Robert Schneider presents @TMmeditation research to @uiowa Hospitals and Clinics medical staff | George Stephanopoulos interviews Jerry Seinfeld & Bob Roth on the importance of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD | Transcendental Meditation May Help Fight Heart Disease—article on Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s blog | Effects of TM Practice on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Article reports meditation studies done on stressed students with beneficial outcomes

April 24, 2013

Here is an informative article. I applaud the authors’ efforts for putting together this collection of beneficial meditation studies related to stressed students dealing with the pressures of school and college, inspiring them to not only consider the idea of meditation, but also the practice of it. I didn’t change a word, except capitalize Transcendental Meditation to honor its unique trademarked practice. Comments and additional information are added at the end of the article.

10 Telling Studies Done on Student Meditation

Posted on Monday March 26, 2012 by Staff Writers of Best Colleges Online

As the semester draws to a close, many college students are starting to feel the pressure of completing projects, writing final papers, giving presentations, and of course, studying for finals. Add to that holding down a job and you’ve got a perfect storm of stress. How to calm your mind? Meditation may be the answer.

Scientific studies are increasingly revealing some pretty amazing benefits of regular meditation practice, both for the general public and students in particular. Meditation can help you better deal with stress and may make your life as a student healthier and happier overall, a great tradeoff for just a few minutes of mindful thinking a day. Read on to learn about some of the latest and most telling studies on student meditation to learn the amazing benefits it can offer you this finals season and beyond.

Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

A 2009 study of 189 students in California who were performing below proficiency levels in English and math found that meditation actually helped to improve their test scores on the California Standards Tests. Students were asked to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day over a three-month period. At the end of that period, 41% of students participating in the study showed improvement in both math and English scores, sometimes moving up an entire performance level, compared with just 15% who didn’t participate in the program showing improvement.

Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

Those who have ADHD may find meditation an effective method for improving concentration and brain function, at least according to one study published in The Journal of Psychology. A paper called “ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice” appeared in the journal just last year, showcasing the results of a study that followed a group of middle school students with ADHD as they participated in a program that asked them to meditate twice a day for three months. At the end of the three-month period, students reported 50% reductions in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms. Researchers also found improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, and improved language-based skills among ADHD students who practiced Transcendental Meditation.

Meditation can reduce academic stress

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of meditative practices on reducing academic stress, all with a similar finding: it works. In 2007 researchers at SIU in Carbondale, Ill. released a multi-year study on 64 post-baccalaureate medical students who participated in a deep breathing meditation program. Students in the study were found to have reduced perceptions of test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss. Another study of students at American University had similar results, finding that students who participated in three months of Transcendental Meditation practice reported lower levels of stress (as well as increased concentration, more alertness, and greater resistance to the physical effects of stress, as well as brain function changes) during finals, often the most stressful part of the academic year.

Meditating may improve the integrity and efficiency of certain connections in the brain

It should come as no surprise that meditation practice can cause physical changes in the structure of the brain; monks have been saying this for years. Yet a surprisingly small amount of meditation can have an impact, even with as little as 11 hours of meditating. A 2010 study looked at 45 University of Oregon students, having 22 of them participate in an integrative body-mind meditation training program while the control group simply completed a relaxation program. The IBMT students were found to have changes in the fibers in the brain area related to regulating emotions and behavior, changes which became clear via brain imaging equipment with just 11 hours of practice. The same changes were not seen in the control group. Researchers believe that meditation may help students to better control their actions, resolve conflict, and manage stress by actually physically changing the brain connections that regulate these functions.

Meditation reduces drug and alcohol abuse

It’s no secret that many college students go overboard with drugs and alcohol, many binging on potentially dangerous substances multiple nights a week. Yet meditation practice may help limit the desire to engage in these activities, a study in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly reveals. Looking at both students and adults, the study found that daily Transcendental Meditation practice greatly reduced both substance abuse problems and antisocial behaviors. The results held true for all classes of drugs including illegal substances, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription medications, with meditation being in many cases two or three times more effective than traditional drug prevention and education programs.

Meditation reduces behavior incidents and absenteeism in high school students

In 2003, researchers Vernon Barnes, Lynnette Bauza, and Frank Treiber set out to study the effects of meditation on adolescents, specifically looking at the way it could potentially reduce stress and affect school infractions. Their results were pretty striking. Forty-five high school-aged African-American students were studied, some in a control group and others practicing Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis for four months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the meditation group had lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of behavior incidents at school, and lower levels of suspension. On the flip side, these behaviors actually increased in the group that didn’t meditate, suggesting that the meditation helped reduce the psychological stress, emotional instability, or hostility that was leading to negative and often self-destructive behaviors in these teens.

Meditation may make students happier and boost self-esteem

Meditation might not just help your studies, it might also help you be happier and more satisfied as well. Researchers at the University of Michigan found 60 sixth-graders to participate in a study, asking a group of them to take part in daily practice of Transcendental Meditation over a four-month period. At the end of the study, researchers reported that students had undergone some positive changes in emotional development, with students getting higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence than when they started the program and when compared to their peers who did not meditate.

Meditation has heart health benefits

Meditation is as good for your body as it is for your mind, a study at American University reports. A study published by the university in conjunction with the Maharishi University of Management found that regular Transcendental Meditation helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among college students. The study chose 298 students at random to either be part of the meditation group or a control group, with a subset of students at risk for hypertension also analyzed. After three months, students were measured on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability. Students who were formerly at-risk of hypertension showed a major change in blood pressure, associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension in later years.

Meditation reduces depression and anxiety

Feeling a little overwhelmed with college life? You’re not alone. Studies are demonstrating that meditation may offer one solution to better coping with the stress, anxiety, and even depression that many college students experience. Research at Charles Drew University in LA and the University of Hawaii in Kohala found that adults who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms (an average of 48% lower than the control group), even those who had indications of clinically significant depression. Similar results have been found in students, with decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms at significant levels after participating in a meditation program.

Meditation may increase intelligence

A study done by the Maharishi University of Management suggests that meditation is a great way to work out your brain and that it might even have positive effects on intelligence when practiced regularly. Looking at three different studies, the university found that high school students who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program had significant increases in creativity and intelligence levels, compared to those who took part in a napping or contemplative meditation program. Students in the Transcendental Meditation group saw increases in brain function across the board, but most dramatically in measurements of creative thinking, practical intelligence, and IQ.

Comments and further information

There were 8 comments posted at the end of this article making the same point. The reason being, I think, is that the authors gave simple instructions taken from various websites on how to meditate, then listed 10 studies on meditation, 9 of which are all done on one specific meditation technique, Transcendental Meditation® (http://www.tm.org).

Assigning all improvements to a generic notion of meditation can be misleading and could generate false expectations in those willing to experiment on their own. That’s why the comments contributed to a better understanding of the subject. Still, the authors’ efforts were sincere, and those readers who are interested in learning meditation can always seek out more information and actual classes.

Since most of the studies listed were on the Transcendental Meditation technique, I would naturally recommend those interested to find a certified TM teacher in their area. Call 888-LEARN-TM (888-532-7686) or go to http://www.tm.org/contact-us.

A recent paper published in Consciousness and Cognition gives a scientific explanation of different categories of meditation from major traditions, their practices, brainwave signatures and outcomes. See Are all meditation techniques the same?

Op-Ed peace piece spreading around the world: Reducing Tension in the Middle East

November 29, 2012

In a response to the current volatile situation in the Middle East co-authors David Orme-Johnson and David Leffler ask if we want to continue repeating history, killing and destroying to solve political problems, or transform ourselves with a more enlightened alternative approach that’s been scientifically proven to create peace.

Modern unified field theory supports the perennial philosophy of all major cultural traditions that there exists a transcendental field at the most fundamental level of natural law, which can be directly accessed as the silent transcendental level of the human mind. Hundreds of studies have shown that experience of transcendental consciousness breaks the chain of conditioned reflexes coming on from past behavior, as seen in reduced addictive behaviors of all kinds, decreased prison recidivism, and reduced behavioral problems in inner-city children.

Are we as nations to go on like rats trapped in a conditioning cage, reacting the same way decade after decade? Or shall we step out of the cage into the transcendental level of our own consciousness and grow up into enlightened human beings, rather than continuing to resort to destroying and killing? This is the choice we have right now.

Read this paradigm-shifting Op-Ed piece on how we can put an end to war and create permanent peace: Reducing Tension in the Middle East. It’s being posted on news websites and online journals around the world. The AsiaN published it as Transcendental meditation proved helpful in solving enmity among nations. The Israel Herald published it under: Lasting peace in Middle East may need warring parties to meditate, and the Palestinian News: Meditation cited as possible remedy to reduce tensions in Mideast conflict.

Here is a list of publications under dates in the countries where the article was published, over 50 times so far: Israel, Afghanistan, Romania, UK, Nepal, USA, Pakistan, Greece, Cyprus, Ghana, Liberia, Balkans, India, Ivory Coast, Africa, Australia/Tonga, Canada, Jordan, Balkans, Palestine, South Korea, Kashmir, Ireland, China, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Thailand. Check them all posted here: Op-Ed Piece “Reducing Tension in the Middle East” by Drs. Orme-Johnson and Leffler is Available Worldwide in over 50 Locations.

For more information on this powerful benign approach, see: The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin and John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog. Here are reports: Group Meditations Reduce Crime, As Predicted and Explanation to Steady Decline in Major Crime in the US.

The H20 Network on Blog Talk Radio interviews Janet Hoffman about Transcendental Meditation

May 2, 2012

Click on this link to go to the website and listen to this great interview! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theh2onetwork/2012/05/02/transcendental-meditation-with-janet-hoffman

Janet Hoffman has 42 years of experience working on the international, national, regional, and local levels of the Transcendental Meditation program in leadership, organizational, creative development, and teaching positions. After 40 years of directing the New York City TM center, Janet became the nationwide Director of the TM program for women professionals She learned the TM technique in 1968, became a TM teacher in 1971, and directed five TM teacher training courses under the guidance of the program’s founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

To sign up for the July conference on women and consciousness go to: http://www.gmdousa.org/4Day.

For more information on the Transcendental Meditation program: http://tmwomenprofessionals.org, http://www.tm.org, 800-635-7173.


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