Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 780763

Shown: posts 1 to 18 of 18. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

My therapist recommended TM. I think it sounds great. However, I didn't know where to go for it. There is a small branch office of The Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfeld, IA, in my town. I called them. I was instructed to watch three videos on my computer and did so. They were very repetitive and seemed "sale" oriented. My next step is to have a private interview, followed by three individual sessions on three days in a row.

My concern is that no fee has been mentioned. Looking on the internet, I see some charge $2,000 to $2,500 for this service. That's for 4 l 1/2 hour sessions, I think the last three of which are small group. Honestly, that seems terribly expensive to me. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there another way to seek the training? At no time during the videos did they say exactly what the meditation process was like, although it was frequently stated that it would cover that topic at the beginning of the videos.
I'm out of my depth here.

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by Honore on September 4, 2007, at 11:27:07

In reply to Considering transcendental meditation, posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

A lot of DBT (or even CBT) therapists (or even Eastern-influenced Ts) use meditative methods that are a lot like any other-- meditation is somewhat meditation, no matter what mantra or image you use to clear your mind.

I wouldn't take TM as any more useful than any other-- and the quality of instruction is really more important. How about yoga, or someone less involved in an organized movement that has a lot of less than necessarily clear theories attached to it?


Honore

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget

Posted by arora on September 5, 2007, at 4:29:58

In reply to Considering transcendental meditation, posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

Widget-
I do try to meditate, and have been to several different types of classes... that sounds like a lot of money to me. TM is just one kind of meditation, but because it's so well known it's become a bit trendy, (ie. expensive!)

Are there any good yoga centres near you? They often offer meditation classes as well- many will have drop-in classes where you just pay whenever you can make it. That is WAY too much money for a meditation course, i think.

I did a Google and found this place- unfortunately the course they offered was LAST September! but their phone no. is listed, and they might be able to recommend a class for you:

http://www.amma-fairfield.org/archives/000070.html

arora

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by idoruby on September 5, 2007, at 7:23:28

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget, posted by arora on September 5, 2007, at 4:29:58

I started TM in 1972 and have been a regular meditator ever since. It simply changed my life.

Over the years, I have urged many people to do TM. Of the 15 friends who took my advice only three have continued regular practice. I have decided that when it is good it is very very good but when it is bad it is a loss. I do not feel it is my place to recommend the practice. All I can say is it worked for me.

I paid $75 and it was worth much more. But given the current initiation price, I would never have paid it and I believe my life would still be a misery.

For context, since starting meditation, I have had 1600 hours of psychotherapy including on-the-couch psychoanalysis and group therapy. Each of my therapy hours cost at least $30 more than my single TM initiation fee.

Most of my therapy was successful. But if I had to choose between the benefits of TM vs therapy. TM wins hands down.

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by jake374 on September 5, 2007, at 8:42:54

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation, posted by idoruby on September 5, 2007, at 7:23:28

While TM has positive effects for many, there is something the Maharishi and the TM organization don't disclose, and that is TM's Hindu origins. In essence, it's a Hindu religious practice disguised as a relaxation technique. If that doesn't bother you, and you don't mind paying lots of $$ for a mantra that is the name of a Hindu deity, then you might benefit from it. If you want to learn more about this aspect of TM, I suggest two websites:
http://trancenet.net/personal/abe/abe12097.shtml
http://tmfree.blogspot.com/

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget

Posted by LlurpsieNoodle on September 5, 2007, at 9:13:30

In reply to Considering transcendental meditation, posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

Hi Widget,
I've practiced meditation off and on for the last 4 years.

I recommend that you see if there is a meditation group that meets near you. Like anything else, having social support will keep you motivated and make sure that you practice at least as often as you meet with the group.

A number of buddhist temples offer free or donation-based meditation courses. The buddhist philosophy/religion that I have learned so far does not preclude worshipping in a more traditional Western judeo-christian sense. In fact, the notion of "sangha" or community can be applied to any community which provides support, including a church congregation.

TM is expensive, but the limited number of research studies show that it can be effective in the short run for boosting mood.

It IS a practice though- you get as much out of it as you put into it. You will need to set aside quiet time each day for your practice.

I have found the meditation experience to be enlightening, sometimes terrifyingly so. When one really starts to pay attention to the flow and ebb of thoughts, feelings, and stimuli in one's environment, all kinds of things happen. I have experienced what in retrospect were little psychotic cracks, PTSD-flashbacks, somatic expression of psychic fears etc. If you think that you may have elements of terror lurking in your subconscious, it may be wise to have a therapist to help you understand everything that gets stirred up when one quiets the mind.

just a few thoughts...

-Ll

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by John M. Knapp, LMSW on October 3, 2007, at 12:43:57

In reply to Considering transcendental meditation, posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

Many critics consider Transcendental Meditation a cult led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. For an alternative view of the TM Movement, readers may be interested in checking out <a href="http://tmfree.blogspot.com/">TM-Free Blog</a>, <a href="http://TranceNet.net/">TranceNet.net</a>, or my counseling site, <a href="http://KnappFamilyCounseling.com/">KnappFamilyCounseling.com</a>, where individuals recovering from Transcendental Meditation and similar groups will find helpful information.

John M. Knapp, LMSW
http://KnappFamilyCounseling.com/

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget

Posted by peer-reviewed on October 5, 2007, at 10:11:15

In reply to Considering transcendental meditation, posted by widget on September 4, 2007, at 11:16:09

Widget, as another person who has practiced TM for many years (35+), I can vouch for it's wonderful effects. Many of the critical posts above make claims that are personal judgments, and I respect their opinions--I have my opinion about TM also and I expressed a very strong one in my opening sentence. However, there are certain facts stated in the above posts that are absolutely wrong and based on common misunderstandings. The claim that the TM organization does not disclose all information about the TM program is totally misleading and flat-out confabulation. There is NO HIDDEN AGENDA related to the TM program. (I should know, my wife has been teaching it for over 20 years). In the same way that a first-year physics course does not introduce physics 101 with the more intricate, more esoteric mathematical nuances of, say, Quantum Tunneling, the TM introductory lecture does not at first interface address the more intricate points of teaching (i.e., details about higher states of consciousness, how to impart the technique, the mechanics of sidhis practice, etc.--but anyone can learn all these advanced or "confidential" points by going to teacher training). This is ENTIRELY to maintain the effectiveness of the practice so that the student can properly learn and benefit. It is not at all unreasonable, even though this point commonly comes under attack from the small handful of well-known anti-TM individuals (at least one of which has posted above--two of the posts supply advertisements for his personal "attack" web sites).
TM has been "deconstructed" by such people, has been "swift-boated" and maligned, and I can't help but wonder about the pathology behind such an impulse to denigrate something that has proven to be so beneficial. But I digress, sorry.

Another opinion stated above is that TM is no different from other forms of meditation, and no more beneficial. At one time this was a reasonable postulation, because TM was the only technique of meditation that had been scientifically researched. But in recent years there have been many studies on the TM technique that have used other meditations as controls, comparing them to TM, including Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhist, Relaxation Response, Mindfulness, Zen, and others. While these other forms of meditation do produce good results (and also have different aims), it is quite clear from the research that the TM practice, which is specifically for 'transcending,' creates an entirely different brain pattern as indicated by EEG studies, and is the only such practice to enliven all areas of the brain. The comparative research also shows that the TM technique provides an average of 30% more reduction in respiration rate than controls, 70% greater relaxation as indicated by GSR (skin resistance), and greater drops in plasma cortisol and lactate. It is not a matter of opinion, it is now a scientific fact that not all meditation techniques produce the same results. These studies have been published in the most prestigious, peer-reviewed academic and scientific journals, including the International Journal of Neuroscience, Psychosomatic Medicine, the AMA's journal, ect. Hundreds of these studies were conducted at independent research institutions such as Harvard, Yale, UCLA Medical School, Stanford, ect. I feel compelled to mention all this to qualify my statements because I am aware of the unfounded criticisms that are launched by John Knapp and the few others like him, internet activists who have a personal agenda of defaming the TM program. Mr. Knapp's stock diatribe about TM being a cult is a reoccurring "copy and paste" post that pops up whenever TM is mentioned in the blogosphere (the exact same post above can be found scattered thorough cyberspace like bird droppings). Mr. Knapp will tell you things like, there is no credible research on TM, and that there is actually "real" research showing that it has ill effects--which is categorically false (please see truthabouttm.org).

Finally, someone stated above that there is "limited" research showing that TM has some benefit. True, the research is limited, but it is limited to about 612 separate studies--all showing positive effects for mind, body, and relationships.

I do not work for TM, I'm a writer and musician, but when I see misinformation about a practice that I know is good, simple, and innocent, I feel a responsibility to clarify the facts. And by the way, the $2500 breaks down to a mere 34 cents a day over ten years, and TM is a lifetime program. I would not take $1000 to miss a single meditation because TM is so enjoyable and valuable a practice. $2500 is the best deal in the universe, in my opinion. It's NOTHING like other forms of meditation. Check it out, Widget. But don't take my word for it. Go to an intro lecture and find out for yourself.

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed

Posted by John M. Knapp, LMSW on October 6, 2007, at 13:26:14

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget, posted by peer-reviewed on October 5, 2007, at 10:11:15

Widget,

I think it's a sad commentary on the effectiveness of TM that a 35+ year practitioner of a spiritual discipline such as yourself would engage in personal attacks and name calling to my rather mildly worded, brief post. If the value of TM is so self-evident, what do you need to defend? Why do you need to attack?

There is no doubt that there are many people that disagree with you, Widget, on the benefits of TM or its allegedly cult-like nature. But there is no reason to suppose that they are "pathological." The TM Org, which began benignly enough 50 years ago, has become stranger and stranger over the years. Today they claim to teach people to levitate (for thousands of dollars) but have not been able to demonstrate levitation at any time in the past 30 years. They charge $2,500 USD to learn a basic mantra-based meditation that takes less than an hour to learn -- while a similar technique can be learned off the Internet or at your local yoga center for free. And advanced courses, for which there exists constant pressure within the organization to sign up for, can cost as much as <i>$1 million USD.</i> They claim to be able to control the weather and war by application of their mental technique. The Maharishi has indulged in a kind of "spiritual terrorism" -- fortunately without any measurable effect -- when he withdrew his teachings from England, threatening that country with war and ruin because they would no longer be "protected" by advanced TMers presence.

I, too, was a teacher, widget, for nearly 20 years. There is no doubt that the Maharishi has a "hidden agenda." I believe, although I could be wrong, that you live in the Maharishi's city on the outskirts of Fairfield, Iowa. Living in such a sheltered enclave perhaps this agenda is so prevalent that it has become invisible to you. But most third-party observers of the Maharishi's movement that I am aware of long ago came to the conclusion that the man and the movement, by any meaningful definition of the term, long ago went insane.

J.

 

Please follow site guidelines John M. Knapp, LMSW

Posted by Deputy Dinah on October 6, 2007, at 15:38:34

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed, posted by John M. Knapp, LMSW on October 6, 2007, at 13:26:14

> I think it's a sad commentary on the effectiveness of TM that a 35+ year practitioner of a spiritual discipline such as yourself would engage in personal attacks and name calling to my rather mildly worded, brief post.

Please don't post anything that could lead others to feel accused or put down, such as characterizing another poster's post as an attack. If you feel a post is not in keeping with site civility guidelines, please use the Notify the Administrators function at the bottom of the screen where you read a post.

Also, I believe the post you are responding to was in response to Widget, not posted by Widget.

If you or others have questions about this or about posting policies in general, or are interested in alternative ways of expressing yourself, please see the FAQ:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#civil

Follow-ups regarding these issues should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration. They, as well as replies to the above posts, should of course themselves be civil.

Dr. Bob is always free to override deputy decisions. His email is on the bottom of each page. Please feel free to email him if you believe this decision was made in error.

Dinah, acting as deputy to Dr. Bob

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation John M. Knapp, LMSW

Posted by widget on October 7, 2007, at 7:52:19

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed, posted by John M. Knapp, LMSW on October 6, 2007, at 13:26:14

Dear Mr. Knapp, Thank you for the information and wel articulated defense of TM. One question: the price. As I'm sure you know, it is now $2500 per person. This is a lot of money. A friend who does TM explained that the organization uses the money to fund teaching people in poverty stricken countries. Can you comment on that and the price in general? I am fairly confident in proceding with the training but the cost is prohibitive. Thanks! Widget

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by peer-reviewed on October 7, 2007, at 15:08:06

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation John M. Knapp, LMSW, posted by widget on October 7, 2007, at 7:52:19

To All,

Widget, you asked an innocent question, and received responses from a couple of "internet activists" whose personal "anti-TM" agenda might call into question their open-mindedness about whether TM can help you. I wanted you to know who you were hearing from. I will directly address your question about the TM course fee, but first, Mr. Knapp has posted more fabricated charges against TM, which you might want to hear the truth about. I will also reply to his comments pertaining to me.

Contrary to Mr. Knapp's accusation, I was not impugning him as a person; rather, I was repudiating his assertions and shedding light on his ACTIVITIES as a crusader against the TM program. It is just too ironic that my post is reduced by Mr. Knapp, of all people, to being a "personal attack." To put his allegation in perspective, please keep in mind that Mr. Knapp maintains at least two web sites, possibly more ("tm-free.blog," "trancenet,"), devoted ENTIRELY to wholesale attack, defamation and denunciation of TM, and much of the language on those sites is vicious to a degree that makes my most ardent repudiations of his criticisms sound about as sinister as a nursery rhyme. Mr. Knapp, please know that I imply nothing against you as a person, and I wish you well, but I strongly deny the validity of your denigration of TM, a preoccupation that may very well prove, in the long run, to be pathological in nature, if pathological means a departure from a "healthy, productive norm."

Mr. Knapp's "mildly worded, brief post" contained links to web sites that are in no way mild or brief. He asks why I feel a need to defend TM. I don't. But I do feel a need, for the sake of people like Widget, to refute the disingenuous and dubious information being vigorously presented by him and a few others. I am sorry, Mr. Knapp, if you are irritated by this and feel inclined to take such refutations personally. You can call my references to your disinformation campaign as "bird droppings" an insult if you want (admit, John, that WAS kind of funny, huh?), but anyone who visits your web sites will see that personal attack against all-things-TM, including its founder, is the MO.

Furthermore, Mr. Knapp implies that Widget made claims against the benefits of TM and that she charges that it's a cult--untrue, it was Mr. Knapp who brought that up, as he commonly does.

It is also blatantly false that the TM organization claims to teach people to "levitate," as Mr. Knapp alleges. The TM-Sidhi program, which includes Yogic Flying, is based on the venerable Yoga Sutras, a compilation of aphorisms composed many centuries ago by the Vedic seer Patanjali. Yogic Flying is one of many advanced practices which enliven subtle states of consciousness and create brainwave coherence, leading to increased intellectual performance, broader comprehension, and improved health--results documented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The "flying" technique was described by Patanjali as a means to enliven the mind's full potential. Many ancient rishis are recorded in the traditional Vedic texts as encouraging this practice, which is indeed said to lead, over time, to mastery of the "supernatural power" of Yogic Flying. Every branch of science has aspects of theory that are verified, and has other aspects that are more speculative and considered to be ongoing research programs. To decry the validity of Yogic Flying is not only to cynically rail against the very potential of human life, but it is also a denouncement of a longstanding, venerated tradition, the oldest tradition of knowledge on earth. Such cultural bias is not uncommon, but to assert that the TM organization claims to teach people to "fly" for a fee is a gross confabulation, and Mr. Knapp must know this if he was once a TM teacher as he claims.

Regarding Mr. Knapp's claim that there is "constant pressure within the organization to sign up" for advanced courses--just ask any meditator, Widget, if this is true. I live in a town where there is a very active TM center, and I have never once been pressured or solicited by a TM center to sign up for advanced courses. All I've ever seen is an occasional email notification (once a year) and an occasional sign up sheet in the center. This assertion is an out-and-out fib.

Regarding Mr. Knapp's claim that advanced TM courses cost as much as $1 million, again, this is intentional confabulation. The fact is, there was once a special course in Holland for wealthy people who felt sufficient appreciation for the benefit they had gained from TM that they were glad to donate $1 million to assemble together and receive advanced knowledge personally from the founder of the TM program, Maharishi. This was as much a fund-raising initiative as an advanced course, and the money was used to support peace-creating groups and TM schools around the world. Make no mistake: no one makes money off of TM, least of all Maharishi. And there is absolutely NO PRESSURE for people to take advanced courses. What a bunch of bunk.

As far as "controlling the weather," whether or not human actions in general or fluctuations within the field of collective consciousness can influence weather events is, of course, outside the mainstream paradigm of science. However, scientists far more credentialed than Mr. Knapp (he's a licensed social worker) are studying the implications of this question (such as Nobel Laureate Dr. Brain Josephson). It is not among the stated (or proven) benefits of TM that the practice influences the weather, as Mr. Knapp implies.

Knapp's more hostile accusation, though temperate compared to his web sites, that Maharishi has indulged in "spiritual terrorism" is so far out on the fringes of unreality that there's not much here to address. Knapp claims that Maharishi withdrew his teachings from England, and "threatened that country with war and ruin because they would no longer be 'protected' by advanced TMers presence." What really happened was this: there was so little encouragement from the government of England for Maharishi's peace-creating programs, that Maharishi invited all his teachers and people wanting to participate in peace-creating groups to join the teams in other countries where there was more support from the governments, such as the many countries in South America or Asia where TM is currently being implemented in schools and the military on a massive level. Maharishi issued a clear statement to England advising the population that he was doing this, and suggesting that England reappraise the TM program, noting that the TM Movement would return its attention to England at a moment's notice if there was sufficient support there. Mr. Knapp has his own negative interpretation of events that are in totally sensible and innocent in the light of reason.

If Maharishi has a hidden agenda, as Knapp claims, after all these years I can't wait to know what it is! It can only be more bliss and positivity!

Mr. Knapp exerts much effort, with his multiple web sites and assertions of unverifiable "TM victim lists," to create the illusion that TM is controversial and has harmful effects. There appears to be a deep-seated emotional venom in his declaring that Maharishi is "insane."

Widget: If you want to know what "third-part observers" think of TM, I suggest that you don't ask John Knapp and his handful of disgruntled x-meditating friends. Check with the peer-reviewed journals that published studies that were conducted at independent institutions such as University of Virginia Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, Yale Medical School, University of Ohio, etc. Consider the fact that the National Institutes of Health have given $24 million to research the health effects of TM, and are funding more research money for TM as we speak. If Knapp's claims were true, this money would never have been released--believe me, there is intense competition for that funding from scientists across the U.S., and only the most solid and promising research proposals win out. After you consider all this, then you may have a new perspective on who is INSANE.

Oh yeah, the $2500 course fee. If TM were only as effective as all the other forms of meditation that are free or inexpensive, then it would perhaps be an unreasonable fee. But research clearly shows that TM is unique in its range of effects. When you learn TM you are on the receiving end of a flow of Vedic knowledge that cannot be deconstructed on a web site, that is soft and lively and innocent and effective because it is kept in its pure form; a flow of knowledge that is passed on from teacher to student in the traditional way. Some people dishonor and disrespect this oral tradition, and they denounce it, even people who were once teachers themselves. Let them, if that's their choice. To learn TM is to experience a renewed wholeness of life--of your own self, a delicate experience that is 'transcendental,' -- beyond words. It is a direct personal experience that you can only evaluate first hand, not by another's interpretation of it. Best of luck, Widget.

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by peer-reviewed on October 7, 2007, at 15:22:01

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed, posted by John M. Knapp, LMSW on October 6, 2007, at 13:26:14

Oh yeah, I forgot, TM as a technology for creating world peace, about which Mr. Knapp also spoke disparagingly (are we surprised?) Go to www.uspeacegov.org if you want to learn about the Maharishi Effect and the research that has confirmed it.

It gives great hope, despite the nay-sayers.

There's also www.invincibileamerica.org.

take care, Mr. Knapp.

and be well, all,
peer-reviewed


 

Please follow site guidelines peer-reviewed

Posted by Deputy Dinah on October 7, 2007, at 15:30:19

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation, posted by peer-reviewed on October 7, 2007, at 15:08:06

> Widget, you asked an innocent question, and received responses from a couple of "internet activists" whose personal "anti-TM" agenda might call into question their open-mindedness about whether TM can help you.

Please don't post anything that could lead others to feel accused or put down. If you feel a post is not in keeping with site civility guidelines, please use the Notify the Administrators function at the bottom of the screen where you read a post.

If you or others have questions about this or about posting policies in general, or are interested in alternative ways of expressing yourself, please see the FAQ:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#civil

Follow-ups regarding these issues should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration. They, as well as replies to the above posts, should of course themselves be civil.

Dr. Bob is always free to override deputy decisions. His email is on the bottom of each page. Please feel free to email him if you believe this decision was made in error.

Dinah, acting as deputy to Dr. Bob

 

Re: Please follow site guidelines

Posted by peer-reviewed on October 7, 2007, at 20:07:48

In reply to Please follow site guidelines peer-reviewed, posted by Deputy Dinah on October 7, 2007, at 15:30:19

Yes, certainly, thank you Deputy Dinah for your attentiveness. It is a fine line between addressing the statements being made and the person making them. I'll let the issue rest unless Widget has a question for me.

 

Re: Please follow site guidelines peer-reviewed

Posted by widget on October 8, 2007, at 5:27:26

In reply to Re: Please follow site guidelines, posted by peer-reviewed on October 7, 2007, at 20:07:48

I am a bit confused. Who is "peer reviewed?" I should also add that I greatly appreciate the discussion which has helped me make a decision. I'm just wondering who has helped me. Thanks, Widget

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed

Posted by widget on October 8, 2007, at 5:37:10

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation widget, posted by peer-reviewed on October 5, 2007, at 10:11:15

> Widget, as another person who has practiced TM for many years (35+), I can vouch for it's wonderful effects. Many of the critical posts above make claims that are personal judgments, and I respect their opinions--I have my opinion about TM also and I expressed a very strong one in my opening sentence. However, there are certain facts stated in the above posts that are absolutely wrong and based on common misunderstandings. The claim that the TM organization does not disclose all information about the TM program is totally misleading and flat-out confabulation. There is NO HIDDEN AGENDA related to the TM program. (I should know, my wife has been teaching it for over 20 years). In the same way that a first-year physics course does not introduce physics 101 with the more intricate, more esoteric mathematical nuances of, say, Quantum Tunneling, the TM introductory lecture does not at first interface address the more intricate points of teaching (i.e., details about higher states of consciousness, how to impart the technique, the mechanics of sidhis practice, etc.--but anyone can learn all these advanced or "confidential" points by going to teacher training). This is ENTIRELY to maintain the effectiveness of the practice so that the student can properly learn and benefit. It is not at all unreasonable, even though this point commonly comes under attack from the small handful of well-known anti-TM individuals (at least one of which has posted above--two of the posts supply advertisements for his personal "attack" web sites).
> TM has been "deconstructed" by such people, has been "swift-boated" and maligned, and I can't help but wonder about the pathology behind such an impulse to denigrate something that has proven to be so beneficial. But I digress, sorry.
>
> Another opinion stated above is that TM is no different from other forms of meditation, and no more beneficial. At one time this was a reasonable postulation, because TM was the only technique of meditation that had been scientifically researched. But in recent years there have been many studies on the TM technique that have used other meditations as controls, comparing them to TM, including Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhist, Relaxation Response, Mindfulness, Zen, and others. While these other forms of meditation do produce good results (and also have different aims), it is quite clear from the research that the TM practice, which is specifically for 'transcending,' creates an entirely different brain pattern as indicated by EEG studies, and is the only such practice to enliven all areas of the brain. The comparative research also shows that the TM technique provides an average of 30% more reduction in respiration rate than controls, 70% greater relaxation as indicated by GSR (skin resistance), and greater drops in plasma cortisol and lactate. It is not a matter of opinion, it is now a scientific fact that not all meditation techniques produce the same results. These studies have been published in the most prestigious, peer-reviewed academic and scientific journals, including the International Journal of Neuroscience, Psychosomatic Medicine, the AMA's journal, ect. Hundreds of these studies were conducted at independent research institutions such as Harvard, Yale, UCLA Medical School, Stanford, ect. I feel compelled to mention all this to qualify my statements because I am aware of the unfounded criticisms that are launched by John Knapp and the few others like him, internet activists who have a personal agenda of defaming the TM program. Mr. Knapp's stock diatribe about TM being a cult is a reoccurring "copy and paste" post that pops up whenever TM is mentioned in the blogosphere (the exact same post above can be found scattered thorough cyberspace like bird droppings). Mr. Knapp will tell you things like, there is no credible research on TM, and that there is actually "real" research showing that it has ill effects--which is categorically false (please see truthabouttm.org).
>
> Finally, someone stated above that there is "limited" research showing that TM has some benefit. True, the research is limited, but it is limited to about 612 separate studies--all showing positive effects for mind, body, and relationships.
>
> I do not work for TM, I'm a writer and musician, but when I see misinformation about a practice that I know is good, simple, and innocent, I feel a responsibility to clarify the facts. And by the way, the $2500 breaks down to a mere 34 cents a day over ten years, and TM is a lifetime program. I would not take $1000 to miss a single meditation because TM is so enjoyable and valuable a practice. $2500 is the best deal in the universe, in my opinion. It's NOTHING like other forms of meditation. Check it out, Widget. But don't take my word for it. Go to an intro lecture and find out for yourself.
>
>

Dear peer-reviewed, It was to you I sent my message thanking you for the balanced reveiw of TM. You say you are a musician and that is how I will identify you. I misaddressed my "other" thank you messaged to Mr Knapp. I think the "peer reviewed" name as poster confused me since it didn't seem to be a single person and your message was certainly from a real person. So, it is to you I say thanks and to the other mysterious "peer reviewed" posters. I think I know what to do now which brings me much peace of mind. Thanks again. Widget

 

Re: Considering transcendental meditation

Posted by peer-reviewed on October 8, 2007, at 10:25:03

In reply to Re: Considering transcendental meditation peer-reviewed, posted by widget on October 8, 2007, at 5:37:10

Dear Widget,

"Peer-Reviewed" is just my handle for this site, something I made up on the spur of the moment to signify my position about TM in relation to those few but very noisy voices on the internet who cast aspersions against it for their own reasons. You probably know this, but "peer-reviewed" is a term that specifically refers, in this context, to the review process that all research studies are subject to when they are submitted to scientific or academic journals for publication. A particular journal, such as The International Journal of Neuroscience, may receive dozens of submissions every month, and select only 2-3 studies for publication, ones that reflect the most rigorous standards of research. The peer-review process is carried out by an independent board of scientists. Note that in all cases these scientists are not practicing TM, do not necessarily even believe in it, but feel compelled to publish the research anyway out of their dedication to objectivity and the enterprise of science. It's not like these publications are paid to "advertise" TM, they publish all these TM studies because they are convinced that the research may contribute significantly to the furthering of science and human knowledge. The fact the studies on the TM program have been accepted by so many such journals for publication (hundreds) over the past 40 years, and the fact that all such legitimate, peer-reviewed research on the effects of TM shows only positive results, speaks far more loudly than the criticisms leveled against the practice (that it really doesn't work, that it is no different than other practices that can be learned from a book, that it is a sect or cult with secret connections to hinduism, etc.). Hence I thought "peer-reviewed" was an appropriate handle to address these issues.

Yes, I am a musician and writer, living in the Southeast--the beautiful "southern highlands." I've played in local bands here since I was a teenager, have published work in literary journals and now am I writing a novel. I hope I was not too hard on Mr. Knapp. I really do wish him well.

all the best,
"PR"



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