Posted by Vishva News Reporter on May 24, 2006



Transcendental Meditation
Prescribed As Sentence
For Fraud & Drug Trafficking In USA

headlines.agapepress.org: By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
April 11, 2006

(AgapePress) - An attorney with the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (AFA Law Center) says a circuit judge in St. Louis, Missouri, may have overstepped his authority when he sentenced a woman who plead guilty to voter fraud and drug possession to take part in a transcendental meditation program.

When Michelle Robinson pleaded guilty to 13 violations of election law and possession of crack cocaine and a crack pipe, Judge David Mason sentenced her to four years of probation for all charges. He also ordered her to get training in the Hindu practice known as transcendental meditation.

AFA Law Center attorney Brian Fahling is troubled by the judge's sentence. "Even if you don't regard transcendental meditation as a religion within the constitutional sense," he explains, "what you have here is a judge ordering an individual to engage in a practice that does have a spiritual dimension to it, and it intrudes on the heart and the mind."

What that means, Fahling says, is "you've got a governmental actor who's ordering an individual to participate in something that perhaps may run contrary to their own particular beliefs and belief system." Still, the attorney says he is not really surprised by the judge's order because it is consistent with a larger trend toward secularization that is progressing in America.

Transcendental meditation, of which Judge Mason is an advocate, is traditionally associated with Hinduism; however, it is practiced by members of many world religions and has become popular with adherents of New Age spirituality as well. Those who engage in "TM" are encouraged to clear their minds and sit in silence, with eyes closed, mentally repeating a simple sound known as a mantra, their objective being what practitioners call "pure consciousness."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Founder of the Transcendental Meditation program
which has been around the world for 50 years

Brian Fahling  

The question of whether or not transcendental meditation constitutes a religion is one that is still being debated, even though those who say it is a religion can point to a wealth of prima facie evidence. The abundant proofs include TM's references to and use of Hindu astrology, terms, scriptures, and even ceremonies, including one in which practitioners are asked to get on their knees and bow before a picture of Guru Dev, a revered Hindu "enlightened" master. A federal court has even weighed in on this debate. In Malnak v. Yogi (1979), a U.S. District Court ruled that under the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, transcendental meditation is too religious to be taught in public schools. Nevertheless, the practice continues to be promoted by advocates under the rubric of health and wellness and stress-reduction programs, and other attempts have been made to incorporate TM techniques into public schools and other institutional settings.

Christian Lawyer Sees in TM a Poor Substitute for Spiritual Truth
Fahling believes the persistent popularity of such pseudo-spiritual techniques is a by-product of spreading secularism in America -- the effect of a society that has largely rejected biblical truth yet still hungers for something to believe in. "To coin an old phrase, nature abhors a vacuum," he notes. "The nature of man, as Luther said, [is that] there's a God-shaped void in his heart.

"To the degree you take out Christianity as the predominant 'hole filler,' if you will, then something is going to rush in to fill that void," the pro-family attorney continues. "And so, certainly, it's not unexpected [that] we do see this increasing cultural embracing of anything else -- other than Christianity -- that has a spiritual dimension to it."

Among the primary appeals of transcendental meditation, according to proponents, is that it offers a scientific means of overcoming stress while conferring many physiological benefits. Critics, however, contradict this claim and point to studies and anecdotal evidence suggesting that TM may actually be hazardous to participants' health and psychological well being.

© 2006 AgapePress all rights reserved

There is a rich, unbounded field of creativity, energy, and intelligence within each of us.
To the degree we’re able to draw from this inner field of life,
we grow in health, happiness, and success in our outer life.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a
simple, natural procedure to contact
your inner reservoir of creativity, energy and intelligence
on a daily basis.

Please click on the next line to learn more about Transcendental Meditation which is also a trade mark registered in USA....where as its fundamentals are from yog which is described in all sNskrut vED texts.....you can get a primer on yog = meditation in the section  Yog(Yoga): Brings health welfare & prosperity to Life on this knowledge sharing PVAF WEB SITE by clicking here



Transcendental Meditation
(click on the yellow hilite to visit the web site which contains comprehensive information about TM)

There are more than 600 scientific studies documenting the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program such as
Better Memory
Lower Blood Pressure
Decreased Anxiety
Decreased Crime Rate

By Frederick Travis, Ph.D.

Optimizing Brain Functioning
By Frederick Travis, Ph.D.

With every experience, we optimize brain circuits to better meet future challenges. At birth, we are born with over 10 billion brain cells. However, they are not completely connected. Connections are created through experience. Experience links individual neurons into larger circuits, called neural cell assemblies, which respond as a unit to future experiences. The circuits that we create today determine how we react to the world tomorrow. Thus, the key to continued growth in life is to choose those experiences that promote continual development.

This article reviews effects of early childhood experiences, language acquisition, and traditional education on brain functioning. It then investigates the critical role of experiences during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in fostering further development. By the end of this article, you will understand that (1) your brain is dynamically molded by experience; (2) you can choose experiences to optimize your brain functioning; and (3) by adding practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique to your daily routine, you can unfold full human potential.

In the first few months of life, specific sensory experiences are necessary for connecting brain neurons into sensory maps. For instance, songbirds that do not hear species-specific songs do not develop the brain connections necessary for making those sounds. Kittens who are deprived of vertical images in early months of life do not develop cells sensitive to vertical objects. These kittens will not see vertical bars in the environment and will walk right into table and chair legs. These findings led to the concept of critical periods of development. Specific experiences during these so-called critical periods create sensory and motor maps in the brain. If an organism misses specific experiences during this time, then the corresponding sensory and motor maps do not develop.

Recent research, however, suggests that these critical periods may not be so critical. Rather, experience continually changes brain connections throughout life. For instance, in animal studies, a more enriched environment—such as adding an exercise wheel to a rodent’s cage—leads to increased brain connections and a thicker cortex. In violin players, the brain’s representation of the left hand, which makes chords, is more differentiated and larger than the brain’s representation for the right hand, which holds the bow. In individuals who have suffered a stroke, recovery from the impact of the stroke is directly related to how often the person uses the dysfunctional limb.

The critical role of experience in shaping brain circuits may explain development in the first two decades of life. Interacting with the environment promotes development of sensory-motor skills and preconceptual thought in young children. Language learning promotes development of conceptual thinking: we can think about objects. Critical thinking tasks in school, work, or play promote development of abstract adult thinking: we can think about thinking. At each stage of development, a more stable and unified internal frame of reference is established, providing an increasingly comprehensive context within which information is processed and given meaning.

Why does development “freeze in late adolescence? This “freezing” of development may result from the absence of appropriate experiences to activate more abstract levels of feeling and thinking. Just as language learning was necessary for developing conceptual thought, so a technique that transcends language may be necessary to promote development beyond language-based thinking to more abstract levels of feeling, thinking, and sense of self, as characterized by (1) synthetic thinking, (2) the ability to move between and integrate different perspectives, (3) the ability to grasp complex systems through broad interpretative models, (4) tolerance of differences in culture, values, religions, and world view, (5) the motivation to help others, (6) an unconditional acceptance of others, and (7) embracing the interconnectedness between all individuals.

Alexander and colleagues have proposed that the Transcendental Meditation technique may be a developmental technology for “unfreezing” human development. The TM® technique is a simple, effortless mental procedure that is easily learned and practiced 20 minutes twice a day. It has been defined as turning the attention inward to subtler levels of awareness (beyond the ordinary conceptual level) until consciousness transcends the experience of even the most subtle thoughts and feelings and arrives at the source of thought, pure consciousness. Pure consciousness has been described as silent and unbounded, beyond time, space, and body sense.




This experience of expanded self-awareness is sometimes written with a capital “S”—representing the transcendental “Self”—to differentiate it from a sense of self that is identified with thoughts and actions. When we are identified with thoughts and actions we may describe ourselves in this way: “I am open to new experiences.” Or “I am a Renaissance man.” Or “I am an American.” The experience of one’s universal Self is a “Self-referral” experience. We might describe our transcendental Self in this way: “It’s my Being. There is a channel of unbounded silence underlying everything. It is my essence and it doesn't stop where I stop.”

The experience of our transcendental Self—like any other experience—changes brain connections. Over time, the brain circuits that support the experience of pure consciousness begin to co-exist with the brain circuits that support waking processes, sleeping, and dreaming. When these new brain circuits are developed, one has a new platform from which to live life, to evaluate situations, and to make decisions for oneself, one’s family, one’s nation, and the world. That platform is one’s silent, inner, unbounded nature rather than our ever-changing thoughts, concepts, and experiences.

Research supports the hypothesis that practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique “unfreezes” human development. For instance, in two subject populations that are highly resistant to change—the institutionalized elderly and maximum-security prisoners—TM practice led to significant gains in cognitive flexibility, systolic blood pressure, mental health, and ego-development. In a longitudinal study, a group with 15 years of TM practice increased scores on ego development as compared to four control groups. The TM subjects moved to levels five and six in Loevinger’s Sentence Completion Test. Less than one percent of the population score at these levels.

“Unfreezing” of development is also reflected in changes in brain patterns. The brain signature that characterizes TM practice—high frontal EEG coherence—is increasingly seen outside of meditation with regular TM practice. As the experience of pure consciousness during TM practice becomes integrated with waking experience outside of meditation, so the EEG signature of TM practice becomes integrated with the EEG patterns that support waking processes. By experiencing our transcendental Self, our most universal nature, brain circuits are strengthened that support the experience of greater expansion and silence along with the ability to focus on details of experience. This is called “total brain functioning.” This is optimal brain functioning, which maintains inner silence and evenness as the backdrop for the ever-changing waves of experience.

In summary, experience changes our brain throughout life. By choosing experiences today we determine our brain circuits tomorrow. Adding the experience of pure consciousness to our daily routine enlivens total brain functioning and strengthens those circuits that integrate broad, expanded awareness with the ability to focus sharply. These are the brain circuits for maximum success and happiness in life.

Suggested reading:
Alexander, C. J., and Davies, et al. (1990). “Growth of Higher Stages of Consciousness: Maharishi Vedic Psychology of Human Development.” Higher Stages of Human Development, Alexander and Langer, New York, Oxford University Press, 259-341.

Buonomano, D.V. , and Merzenich, M.M. (1998). “Cortical Plasticity: From Synapses to Maps.” Annual Review of Neuroscience, 21: 149-186.

Elbert, T., Pantex, C., Wienbruch, C., Rockstroh, B., Taub, E. (1995). “Increased Cortical Representation of the Fingers of the Left Hand in String Players.” Science, 270: 305-307.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1969). Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad Gita. New York, Penguin.

Travis, F. T., Arenander, A., DuBois, D. (2004). “Psychological and Physiological Characteristics of a Proposed Object-Referral/Self-Referral Continuum of Self-awareness.” Consciousness and Cognition, 13:401-420.

Travis, F. T., and Pearson, C. (2000). “Pure Consciousness: Distinct Phenomenological and Physiological Correlates of ‘Consciousness Itself’.” The International Journal of Neuroscience, 100 (1-4).

Travis, F. T., Tecce, J., Arenander, A., Wallace, R.K. (2002). “Patterns of EEG Coherence, Power, and Contingent Negative Variation Characterize the Integration of Transcendental and Waking States.” Biological Psychology, 61: 293-319.

Travis, F.T., and Wallace, R.K. (1997). “Autonomic Patterns During Respiratory Suspensions: Possible Markers of Transcendental Consciousness.” Psychophysiology, 34(1): 39-46.

Travis, F.T., and Wallace, R.K. (1999). “EEG and Autonomic Patterns during Eyes-Closed Rest and Transcendental Meditation Practice: The Basis for a Neural Model of TM practice.” Consciousness and Cognition, 8: 302-318.

About the Author
Dr. Frederick Travis received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Maharishi University of Management in 1988. After a two-year post-doctoral position studying brain changes during sleep, he returned to Maharishi University of Management to direct the EEG, Consciousness and Cognition Lab. Over the last 14 years he has authored or co-authored 39 papers that investigate the relationship between brain patterns, conscious processes and states of consciousness.

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