30 December 2008

TM helps Teens

Transcendental Meditation Helps Teens Reduce ADHD Symptoms

The study was published in the online journal Current Issues in Education

A new scientific study claims that children and teenagers suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can experience a relief in their symptoms through the use of transcendental meditation. The paper also says that, when medical treatments fail, praying and meditating may prove to be a therapy worth trying. In a three-month-long study, the researchers in charge of the new experiment noticed a 50 percent decrease in middle school students’ stress levels, a noticeable change.

"Medication for ADHD is very effective for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient or accompanied by troubling side effects," says study co-author William Stixrud, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they're under stress. So it stands to reason that the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) which reduces stress and organizes brain function would reduce ADHD symptoms," he adds.

"The effect was much greater than we expected. The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation. […] Teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious," says Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed. D., a cognitive learning specialist at George Washington University, who is also the lead researcher on the new study.

"What's significant about these new findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn't require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD," Grosswald concludes, in the paper published online, in the journal Current Issues in Education.


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29 December 2008

TM reduces ADHD symptoms

Transcendental meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: New study

Dissatisfaction with medication
spurs interest in meditation

Transcendental meditation reduces ADHD symptoms
among students, according to a new study.

The Transcendental Meditation technique may be an effective and safe non-pharmaceutical aid for treating ADHD, according to a promising new study published this month in the peer-reviewed online journal Current Issues in Education.

The pilot study followed a group of middle school students with ADHD who were meditating twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50 percent reduction in stress and anxiety and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

Effect exceeds expectations

"The effect was much greater than we expected," said Sarina J. 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, organization, and behavior regulation."

Grosswald said that after the in-school meditation routine began, "teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious."

Stress interferes with the ability to learn

Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress. "Stress interferes with the ability to learn-it shuts down the brain," said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of the study.

"Medication for ADHD is very effective for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient or accompanied by troubling side effects," Stixrud said. "Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they're under stress. So it stands to reason that the TM technique which reduces stress and organizes brain function would reduce ADHD symptoms."

While in some cases a child cannot function without medication, there is growing concern about the health risks and side effects associated with the common ADHD medications, including mood swings, insomnia, tics, slowed growth, and heart problems. In 2006 the FDA required manufacturers to place warning labels on ADHD medications, listing the potential serious health risks.

These high risks and growing concerns are fueling parents' search for alternatives that may be safer for their kids.

The study was conducted in a private K-12 school for children with language-based learning disabilities. Participation was restricted to 10 students, ages 11-14, who had pre-existing diagnoses of ADHD. About half of the students were on medication. The students meditated at school in a group for 10 minutes, morning and afternoon.

To determine the influence of the TM technique, at the beginning and end of the three-month period, parents, teachers and students completed standard ADHD assessment inventories measuring stress and anxiety, behavior and social competency, and executive function. Students were also given a battery of performance tests to measure cognitive functioning.

"The results were quite remarkable"

Andy and Daryl Schoenbach's daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade. Like most ADHD children she was taking medication. "The medication helped but had mixed results-she still lost focus, had meltdowns, and the medications affected her sleep and appetite," said Andy, who lives with Daryl in Washington D.C. "She was not performing close to her potential and we didn't see the situation improving. So at the end of seventh grade when her doctor recommended increasing the medication, we decided it was time to take a different course-stopping the medication and using Transcendental Meditation."

"The results were quite remarkable," Daryl said. "The twice daily meditations smoothed things out, gave her perspective, and enabled her to be in greater control of her own life when things started falling apart. It took some time, but it gradually changed the way she handled crises and enabled her to feel confident that she could take on greater challenges -in her own words, 'climb a mountain.'"

"Everyone noticed the change," Andy added.

Grosswald explained that there is substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety, and improving cognitive functioning among the general population. "What's significant about these new findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn't require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD," she said.

This study was funded by the Abramson Family Foundation and the Institute for Community Enrichment.

A second, recently completed TM-ADHD study with a control group measured brain function using electroencephalography (EEG). Preliminary data shows that three months practice of the technique resulted in significant positive changes in brain functioning during visual-motor skills. Changes were specifically seen in the circuitry of the brain associated with attention and distractibility. After six months TM practice, measurements of distractibility moved into the normal range.

A third TM-ADHD study, to be funded by a $2 million grant from the David Lynch Foundation (DavidLynchFoundation.org), will more fully investigate the effects of the technique on ADHD and other learning disorders.



Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

* The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly 50 percent of the 4.5 million children (ages 4-17) in the United States diagnosed with ADHD are on ADHD medication-and the majority of those on medication stay on it in adulthood.

* The rate of prescriptions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the U.S. has increasing by a factor of five since 1991-with production of ADHD medicines up 2,000 percent in 9 years.

* The commonly used drugs for ADHD are stimulants (amphetamines). These drugs can cause persistent and negative side effects, including sleep disturbances, reduced appetite, weight loss, suppressed growth, and mood disorders. The side effects are frequently treated with additional medications to manage insomnia or mood swings. Almost none of the medications prescribed for insomnia or mood disturbances are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with children.

* The long-term health effects of ADHD medications are not fully known, but evidence suggests risks of cardiac disorders and sudden death, liver damage and psychiatric events. It has also been found that children on long-term medication have significantly higher rates of delinquency, substance use, and stunted physical growth.

The Transcendental Meditation Technique

* The Transcendental Meditation technique is an effortless technique practiced 10-20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.

* TM is not a religion or philosophy and involves no new beliefs or change in lifestyle.

* Over 350 peer-reviewed research studies on the TM technique confirm a range of benefits for mind, body and behavior.

* Several studies have compared the effects of different meditation practices and found that Transcendental Meditation provides deeper relaxation and is more effective at reducing anxiety, depression and hypertension than other forms of meditation and relaxation. In addition, no other meditation practice shows the widespread coherence throughout all areas the brain that is seen with Transcendental Meditation.

* The Transcendental Meditation technique is taught in the United States by a non-profit, educational organization.

* More information can be obtained by calling 888-LEARN-TM or visiting www.ADHD-TM.org, www.AskTheDoctors.com, or www.TMEducation.org.

Contact: Ken Chawkin

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Gaza Violence

International Meditation Society of Israel
17 Wiessburg St, Tel-Aviv 69358, Israel
Tel. 972-3-6482482, Mobile 972-50-2780785
E-mail ims3@012.net.il

Press Release

Violence in the Gaza can be calmed immediately by establishing a large peace-creating group in Israel
“This is not a fanciful dream—this is scientific fact”

December 29, 2008 - Dr Alex Kutai, Director of the Meditation Society of Israel, said today the violence and conflict in the Gaza, which threatens to engulf the region, can be “calmed literally overnight” through the strategic establishment of a peace-creating group of 500 advanced Transcendental Meditation experts in the country.

Dr. Kutai said his solution is based on science, not mere hope, and invited philanthropists and well wishers of peace in the nation to partner with his nonprofit organization to establish the group on a permanent basis. “The cost would be less than $1 million—a fraction of what is spent each day on defense by the government,” he said.

Dr. Kutai said the peace-creating group will safeguard Israel’s borders and make the country invincible by creating “coherent national consciousness” and neutralizing the acute underlying stress and tension which fuel violence and terrorism. “Nothing else has worked in the past—and nothing else will work today. This is the best approach for peace,” he said.

The Transcendental Meditation program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is a simple, nonreligious, medically proven technique, which dramatically reduces stress and stress-related disorders and develops the total brain and creative potential of the individual. “When individuals practice Transcendental Meditation, along with the advanced Yogic Flying technique, together in a group, the calming influence spills over into the surrounding environment, dramatically reducing societal stress, crime, violence, and warfare,” Dr. Kutai said.

Extensive research published in the world’s leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Yale University’s Journal of Conflict Resolution, has verified the peace-promoting effect of the meditation group (www.InvincibleDefense.org).

Dr Kutai said establishing a peace-creating group in Israel provides a practical, proven approach that can immediately resolve the crisis,” he said. “This is not a dream—this is a scientific fact.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Kutai, please call Dr. Alex Kutai, Tel. 972-50-278078

# # #
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21 December 2008

Transcendental Meditation (TM), the most popular method of meditation

Alternative therapies that really work
by Dr. Mark Liponis

Parade Magazine

On 16 December 2008 Parade Magazine reported: The National Institutes of Health estimates that Americans spend between US$36 billion and $47 billion out of pocket each year on alternative therapies that they consider important in taking care of their health. Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme shows how the practice is effective in promoting heart health as well as in calming the mind. It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring fulfilment to the field of health.

The article discussed Transcendental Meditation in the context of 'three commonly used mind-body therapies that have scientific backing and have passed the litmus test of rigorous medical inquiry'-acupuncture, a traditional Chinese practice that deals with the flow of energy; biofeedback, a relatively new technique designed to use the brain to control 'automatic' functions of the body; and meditation.

The article described Transcendental Meditation (TM) as the 'most popular method' of meditation, and noted several scientific research results [among many published studies on the practice].

Included in the article were indications of 'positive effects on blood pressure, insulin, blood sugar, and heart health. It also can improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and help with post-traumatic stress.'


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Invincible Defense Technology

A realistic collective strategy to prevent terrorism

NI Wire

The attack by gunmen on Mumbai's landmarks and hotels shows that the armed forces of India, despite their advanced technologies and valiant efforts, are still struggling to eliminate violent extremism and cannot guarantee peace for the nation. Pakistan's military is in the same situation. For instance, over 50 people were killed in September when a truck bomb exploded, gutting the Marriott hotel in Islamabad.

Clearly, a new counter-terrorism strategy is badly needed in both countries.

Violent extremism is a human problem requiring human solutions. The underlying cause of extremist social violence is accumulated social stress. Therefore, to protect their nations effectively, the armed forces of both India and Pakistan need first to reduce the collective societal stress in their nations.

A new technology of defence now exists that can accomplish this goal. It is based upon the latest discoveries in the fields of physics, neuroscience, and physiology. Ultimately, it is based on the discovery of the unified field of all the laws of nature -- the most fundamental and powerful level of nature's dynamics. Extensive research has confirmed its effectiveness. This new technology is easily applied, highly cost-effective, and can prevent disruption and attack from within the country or outside the country.

This approach is known today as the Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). It has its roots in ancient technologies of consciousness, revived in modern times by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a non-religious approach to peace. These technologies of consciousness directly access and harness the unified field on the deepest level of human experience -- pure consciousness itself. Extensive scientific research indicates that this approach reduces collective societal stress, eliminates extremism and thereby snuffs out war and terrorism. Over the past three decades it has been quietly and successfully used by members of many faiths to defuse and eliminate conflict.

The approach involves the creation of large groups of peace-creating experts practicing Invincible Defense Technology together. A Prevention Wing of the Military consisting of approximately 2% to 3% of the military of each country could easily achieve this goal. These special units in both countries would be trained in the technologies of consciousness revived by Maharishi -- the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM-Sidhi programs -- and would practice these techniques in large groups, twice a day.

Extensive research shows that the size of the group needed to reduce social stress in a given population should exceed the square root of 1% of the population size. India would there need to train approximately 3,350 soldiers and Pakistan approximately 1,288 soldiers as IDT experts.

Studies show that when the required threshold of IDT experts is crossed, crime rates go down in the affected population, quality of life indices go up, and terrorism and war abate. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as the Maharishi Effect in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who first predicted it. As an example of this effect, in 1993 a two-month Maharishi Effect intervention was implemented in Washington, DC, the capital city of the US. Predictions of specific drops in crime and other indices were lodged in advance with government leaders and newspapers. An independent Project Review Board approved the research protocol. The findings showed that crime fell 24 percent below expected levels when the group size reached its maximum. Temperature, weekend effects, and previous trends in the data failed to account for these changes. The study was published in Social Indicators Research (1999, vol. 47, 153-201).

Over 50 studies have shown that IDT works. The causal mechanism has been postulated to be a field effect of consciousness -- a spillover effect on the level of the unified field from the peace-creating group into the larger population. On this basis, a study in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (2005, vol. 17, #1, pp. 339-373) additionally offers a proposed explanation of causality in biological terms. Research conducted on the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin shows that it produces feelings of contentment, happiness and even euphoria. Low levels of serotonin, according to research, correlate with violence, aggression, and poor emotional moods.

The IDT study showed that higher numbers of IDT experts correlated with a marked increase in serotonin production among other community members. These results were statistically significant and followed the attendance figures in the IDT group. This finding offers a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism to explain reduced hostility and aggression in society at large.

The Maharishi Effect has also been documented on a worldwide scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation (2003, vol. 36, #1-4, 283-302) using data provided by the Rand Corporation. When large assemblies of IDT experts exceeded the Maharishi Effect threshold for the world during the years 1983-1985, terrorism decreased globally 72%, international conflict decreased 33%, and violence within nations was reduced without intrusion by other governments.

In the 1990s, the military in Mozambique used IDT to end its civil war. Today, The Netherlands, Bolivia, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Peru have enough practitioners of IDT to create the Maharishi Effect. The United States of America is close to achieving the requisite number of IDT experts through its Invincible America Assembly in Fairfield, Iowa. And a group large enough to have a global effect is planned for India. But these are all civilian groups, and most require financial support.

Since the militaries of Pakistan and India are funded by their governments and their personnel are paid to perform their duties and protect their nations, IDT groups in both militaries would not be subject to fluctuations of donors, jobs, student graduations, and optional activities. They would be permanent peace-creating groups for their nations.

The armed forces of Pakistan and India are responsible for protecting their respective countries, and are obligated to thoroughly examine realistic, scientifically proven methods for ending war and terrorism. IDT is such a method. Therefore, we feel it is the duty of the militaries of India and Pakistan to each create a Prevention Wing of the Military and make their nations truly invincible. It is the most realistic collective strategy for their good minds to cooperate and to root out and combat the menace of terrorism.

About the Authors:

Maj Gen (Retd) Kulwant Singh, UYSM, PhD leads an international group of generals and defence experts that advocates Invincible Defence Technology.

John Hagelin, PhD is the Director of the Institute of Science , Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP), an organization in the United States that advocates prevention-oriented technologies. He is a Harvard-trained quantum physicist who won the prestigious Kilby Award, and appeared in the feature films The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know?

David Leffler, PhD, a United States Air Force veteran, is the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) at ISTPP.


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20 December 2008

Latin America: Brazil raising to invincibility

Students raising Brazil to invincibility
11 December 2008

Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Invincible Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, recently reported that this year 158 schools in 19 Latin American countries are offering Consciousness-Based Education and Transcendental Meditation to their students.

The number of students now practising Transcendental Meditation has reached 61,000, and 14,000 are practising Yogic Flying, thereby creating a powerful influence of coherence, harmony, and invincibility for their nations.

Speaking on the Maharishi Global Family Chat on 11 December, Raja Luis presented news from six countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Leaders of the programmes in some of these countries also spoke about the success of Consciousness-Based Education in the schools and the deep appreciation of the students, teachers, and parents for this programme.

In Brazil, many schools in many locations are offering Transcendental Meditation and Consciousness-Based Education to their students, Raja Luis said.

A leader of the programmes in the nation said that some of these students who are already practising Transcendental Meditation are now learning the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, which includes Yogic Flying.

The children are enjoying the programme so much, he reported, that they run after the Administrators asking when the next instruction will take place.

He also reported that the society as a whole is reaping the benefit. One municipality of Brazil had the greatest drop in crime rate of all the municipalities of the entire state, after nearly 5,000 students in that municipality began practising Transcendental Meditation. The leader said that in one area 2,500 students from four different schools learned Transcendental Meditation and in a nearby area 2,200 students learned the technique.

During the first month that all these thousands of students began learning Transcendental Meditation there was a 55 per cent drop in violent crime, and the following month there was a 40 per cent drop.

The leader said that this is what they predicted would happen based on extensive scientific research—and further research is being conducted for this particular dramatic decrease in crime rate.

Raja Luis expressed his appreciation and congratulations to all the dedicated leaders, Teachers of Transcendental Meditation, and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme Administrators who are creating an unshakable basis of invincibility in Brazil.


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17 December 2008

Maharishi Interview

TV-Interview with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Vancouver

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School students meditate

School sees quiet gains as its students meditate

By Rhonda Bodfield

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.02.2008

Students Danielle Eagle, 16, left, and Jasmine Contreras, 14, practice meditation at the Museum School for the Visual Arts.
greg bryan/ Arizona Daily Star

For 10 to 20 minutes twice a day, some students and teachers at alternative education programs in the Tucson Unified School District close their eyes and shush their minds.

There are no chants or incense sticks or burning candles, although some will use a mantra — a phrase repeated over and over to themselves — to help slow their thoughts.

Despite its simplicity, the practitioners report they're seeing significant benefits from Transcendental Meditation, the trademarked technique created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi more than 50 years ago.

Priscilla Ramos, an 18-year-old senior at Project MORE High School, said she was only passing some classes before. Now, even though she's carrying 10 classes in an attempt to graduate on time, she's focused and making A's and B's.

Favian Marquez, a 17-year-old at MORE, said he used to "blow up really fast." Last month, some guy picked a fight with him on the bus, he said, shoving him and ultimately punching him in the face. "I got mad, but I controlled myself. I just said, 'It isn't worth it.' It's just helped me with my anger a lot."

David Tran, 16, said he immediately felt the calming effects after his first session, even though he'd scoffed at it beforehand. Even his mother noticed he was less anxious and sleeping better, he said; she even asked him if he was feverish.

The director of the district's alternative education department, Robert Mackay, acknowledges it all sounded a bit far-fetched to him when a teacher came back from a conference talking it up.

Mackay said the students who come to him often are troubled, some with severe family and academic issues. In some cases, his programs are their last hope of graduating.
"I had grave doubts because I had never seen some of these kids ever stop moving or talking. I expected that we'd have a 15-minute discussion and that would be it," he said.

Instead, he heard the pitch, including testimonials from schools around the nation using it with populations no less difficult than his.

Mackay went through the training first in fall 2006, along with his teachers. His blood pressure dropped so much that it was the equivalent of what he would see with a prescription pill. His teachers have been known to ask before launching into a discussion if he's done his meditation for the day — and if the answer is no, will postpone the discussion for another time.

As for the students, he found them less aggressive, less anxious, even happier. And they didn't go right back into wild mode after it was over, either.

The program was offered as an elective last year, and 40 MORE students signed up. This year, because of a new focus on academics, it can't be fit into the school day, but there are still more than 20 students who regularly come before and after school to meditate. "That's saying something," Mackay said. "It's hard to keep a kid here. When the bill rings, you almost have to get out of the way."

Meditation also is being offered as an elective at the Museum School for the Visual Arts, with about 20 students enrolled.

In January, the Drake Alternative Middle School will begin the program schoolwide, and staffs at the TeenAge Parent School and the Broadway Bridge alternative schools are both getting training.

Dynah Oviedo Lim, a TUSD number-cruncher, said preliminary achievement results with only one year of data are inconclusive. But some of the findings on its social aspects are encouraging, she said. The meditators began the year with higher anxiety than a control group of students but ended with lower anxiety. Their happiness increased from mildly happy to pretty happy, while the control group reported no change in happiness levels. They also reported higher self-esteem.

The program is voluntary. Students who don't want to participate can spend quiet time doing something else.

And it's free to the district, which has received about $150,000 in grants from the David Lynch Foundation. Lynch, a director known for his unconventional work, which includes the "Twin Peaks" television series, has credited the practice with transforming his own life and career, and has donated millions to share it with students nationwide.

Research studies, including some funded by the National Institutes of Health, have linked meditation with a host of benefits, including stronger creativity, better academic performance and reduced stress.

But some critics, such as Barry Lynn, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have expressed concern about the practice, saying it's rooted in ancient Eastern religious traditions.

"It has no place in public schools," Lynn said. "There are other meditation exercises that schools could use that do not have this connection to a religious group, but no one's coming and promoting them to educators," he said.

"The risk is that it helps to promote one religious philosophy over others. In the long run, this is just a bad idea."

Denise Denniston Gerace, who is working with TUSD on the training, said there is a growing awareness of alternative paths to mental and physical wellness. But even with Eastern practices such as yoga taking off in this country, some misperceptions linger. And the big one, she said, is that Transcendental Meditation is religious-based.

"It's a mechanical technique. The idea that it's religious is left over from 50 years ago, when it was possible to disregard contributions from somewhere else by simply saying it must be a religious practice," she said.

On occasion, the critics win. Among the more high-profile cases: In 2006, parents at Terra Linda High School in California protested plans for the program and funding was withdrawn.

Mackay said he hasn't received any complaints from parents, although a few have called with questions and some have asked for training themselves.

Brisa Gutierrez can just draw on what she's seen in her own classroom.

In her fourth year of teaching English and social studies at MORE, Gutierrez tells of one student who was troublesome for years. He was unruly and disruptive. His grades were up and down. "He was out of control, actually," she said.

After he began meditation, she said, "not only did I see a radical change in his behavior, but his academic performance shot up. We're talking day and night."

The boy graduated and is now employed full time.

"This should be in schools across the nation," Gutierrez said, adding that many of her more vulnerable students are bombarded in their neighborhoods with violence and drugs.

"This just gives them a chance to quiet the brain. And just for me, anecdotally, it's amazing to see what's happening as a result."

● Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at 806-7754 or at rbodfield@azstarnet.com.
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15 December 2008

Deepak Chopra remembers Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Love and loss: obituaries 2008

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

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World Health Organization supports traditional medicine

November 2008

The World Health Organisation has called on governments to integrate traditional herbal medicine into their national health care systems, according to a report in the China Daily.The declaration was issued during WHO's first-ever congress on traditional medicine, staged over two days in Beijing last month, said the newspaper.

"Governments should establish systems for the qualification, accreditation or licensing of traditional medicine practitioners," said WHO in the declaration. "Traditional medicine practitioners should upgrade their knowledge and skills based on national requirements." "For millions of people, often living in rural areas of developing countries, herbal medicines, traditional treatments and traditional practitioners are the main — sometimes the only — source of healthcare," Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, told the China Daily.

"The two systems of traditional and Western medicine need not clash. Within the context of primary healthcare, they can blend together in harmony, using the best features of each system. "She added: "Many countries have brought the two systems together. Here in China, herbal therapy of proven utility in many disorders is provided in state hospitals throughout the country, alongside conventional medicine."


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Meditation soothes students

Lowell Whiteman Primary School students Hailey Gray, front, and Dominique Katthain meditate as part of their school day. The school has two, 20-minute meditation periods each day.

Meditation soothes Lowell Whiteman students

LWPS conducting meditation exercises twice a day

By Zach Fridell

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dan Swanson, the co-director of the TM Center of Boulder,
rings a bell signaling the start of meditation.

Teacher Kate McFee leads her class through a 20-minute
meditation period at the Lowell Whiteman Primary School.

— Nancy Spillane wants to spread the serenity.

As director of the Lowell Whiteman Primary School, Spillane has seen the success of a new type of teaching method that uses Transcendental Meditation to instill a sense of concentration and focus in the school’s fifth- through eighth-grade students.

Practicing for 20 minutes twice a day and instructed by meditation coaches from the Transcendental Meditation Center of Boulder, the students are in their second year of using meditation in the classroom.

Spillane, who has been an educator for about 30 years, said she first saw the results of the meditation technique on TV a couple of years ago, when an interview with administrators in Detroit and Fairfield, Iowa, convinced her to take a look at bringing meditation into her school.

“I stayed away from the research the meditation centers put out, and I found research from medical schools and journals,” she said.

Several journals, including “American Journal of Hypertension” in 2004 and the American Medical Association’s “Archives of Internal Medicine” in 2006, have found benefits from Transcendental Meditation, including a decrease in blood pressure and increased concentration in students.

Spillane also visited a school in Iowa where the technique was being practiced.

“I felt that if we didn’t do this in school it would be a disservice to the students,” she said. “In my mind, we would give it a two-year trial to see if we could find a difference in our students and staff, and we started to see a difference in days.”

Relaxing the mind

The meditation time is used for students to sit with their eyes closed and repeat a personalized mantra — given to them by the coaches — as they relax and establish what is claimed to be a fourth state of consciousness, something called “restful alertness.”

Dan Swanson and Gail Lynch, co-directors of the Boulder meditation center and coaches for the school, teach each group of students how to properly meditate, then visit once a month to check their progress and technique.

The David Lynch Found­ation, an organization set up by “Mulholland Drive” film director David Lynch to bring Transcendental Meditation around the world, funds the program at the Lowell Whiteman Primary School.

This is the second school Swanson and Lynch have worked with, and they said three other schools are in talks to bring meditation into the classrooms.

“It’s doing exactly what the research said it would,” Spillane said.

Parents have reported lower stress at home, and students have become better test takers, she said. Overall test scores have not been compared yet because the students have not been tested two years in a row on the meditation regimen, but Spillane said individual test scores have increased across the school.

“Some of that we can attribute to them maturing, and some we can attribute to TM,” she said.

Seventh-grader Patrick Mill said the meditation time is an important part of his daily routine because it allows him to unburden himself from daily concerns.

“It’s definitely helpful when you sit to relax … you forget about your school problems or after-school problems,” he said. “You get all the stuff off your mind, and you feel more energized, but not in a crazy energized way.”

The technique also has helped in the family life for some students, such as eighth-grader Aly Bemis.

“My mom and I argue a lot anyways, but (now) it’s a lot easier to slow down and understand her side,” she said.

The younger students in the school, from kindergarten to fourth grade, practice quiet time every day before they are taught the meditation technique in fifth grade.

Many of the benefits claimed from Transcendental Meditation are quantifiable, but some of the benefits go beyond the school. According to Transcendental Meditation literature, enough people practicing the technique can even bring about world peace as it is exuded by meditation practitioners and transferred to everyone around them.

But for seventh-grader Quinn Cain, the results are physical.

“It helps me in sports; you feel more energized, and you understand (the game) better,” he said. “I’m a better hockey player.”

The program is not affiliated with any religion, but Spillane said she would like to proselytize the method to other schools in Routt County.

“One of our goals really is for this to spread to as many children in Routt County as possible because, boy, it’s really a great thing for children,” she said.


Meditation soothes studentsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

12 December 2008

The Washington Post: Bricks, Mortar and Serenity

Mario Orsatti, the national director of comminication, just informed us that on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post this beautiful article with large color photo appeared.

Bricks, Mortar and Serenity

New Rockville Building Has a Peaceful, Meditative Air
By Miranda S. Spivack, Washington Post Staff Writer

From afar, the shiny office building seems like so many others in the Washington area: glistening, glassy, gray. But inside there are signs of something different.
Sunlight flows through the building, end to end, side to side. Paintings and plants are arrayed throughout. Everyone, no matter where they sit or what job they hold, can see the world outside.

Washington Post Dec12 08
The Washington Post: Bricks, Mortar and SerenitySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Dr. Heather Hartnett presenting on Social Media

Dr. Heather Hartnett presenting on Social MediaSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

11 December 2008

What makes MUM unique? The people! (a student video)

Watch this beautiful example of a well prepared video. The students of Maharishi University of Management present the unique features of MUM in a very direct, simple, and engaging way.

What makes MUM unique? The people! (a student video)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend