|JUDICIAL CONUNDRUM IN USA: IS yog (Yoga) AND ITS MEDITATION TECHNIQUE A RELIGION OR PART OF SCIENCE OF CREATION AND LIFE CALLED vED.....|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on May 24, 2006
Prescribed As Sentence
For Fraud & Drug Trafficking In USA
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
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
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
His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Founder of the Transcendental Meditation program
which has been around the world for 50 years
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
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.
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
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
(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
Lower Blood Pressure
Decreased Crime Rate
SEE BELOW THE SAMPLE LATEST
By Frederick Travis, Ph.D.
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
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
“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.
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:
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
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