> Clearing up facts about Transcendental Meditation
> Guest Commentary
> By Bob Roth 
> November 17, 2005
> I appreciate serious, informed debate over new ideas and concepts. In that
> light, I offer the following facts in response to your editorial Thursday
> (“Meditation movement lacks proper credentials,” ODE Nov. 10).
> Fact: The National Institutes of Health has granted $20 million to study the
> health benefits of Transcendental Meditation — in particular, benefits for
> reducing heart disease, hypertension and the effects of a stroke. This
> research has been published in leading, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
> The studies have been conducted by the NIH-funded Center for Natural
> Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management as well as by
> more than a dozen other independent universities and health centers,
> including Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and the West Oakland Health
> Center in Oakland, Calif.
> Fact: Three hundred students at American University in Washington, D.C., are
> now taking part in a two-year study by the AU Psychology Department on the
> effects of TM on brain, behavior and health. Similar studies are now under
> way on the effects of TM on ADHD, high blood pressure, grades and overall
> academic achievement, anxiety and depression, and substance abuse at middle
> schools, high schools and universities around the country.
> Fact: Research on the effects of collective Transcendental Meditation
> practice has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the
> Journal of Conflict Resolution, Social Indicators Research and the Journal
> of Mind and Behavior.
> Fact: There is no scientific evidence to suggest that all meditation
> practices are the same. In fact, over the past 30 years, there have been
> several meta-analyses distinguishing the effects of TM from other techniques
>  including studies published in the American Psychologist, the Journal of
> Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality.
> Fact: The course fee to learn Transcendental Meditation is about the same as
> the cost of a 3-unit course at most universities. However, the TM course is
> not just one semester but includes personal instruction from a qualified TM
> instructor as well as a lifetime of follow-up meditation instruction at
> thousands of meditation centers around the United States and the world. The
> Lynch Foundation is providing full scholarships to students at schools,
> colleges and universities throughout the country.
> Fact: Transcendental Meditation is not a religion. It is taught and
> practiced by people (and clergy) of all religions — and to people with no
> religious beliefs. Well before scientists began to explore the effects of TM
>  a judge in New Jersey in 1979 concluded there were religious elements to
> the teaching of TM. However, as we all know, there is a long tradition in
> the American judicial system (see civil rights in the south), where
> decisions are overturned with new evidence. Transcendental Meditation is
> offered to students of all religions in scores of educational institutions
> throughout the United States.
> David Lynch did not come to the University of Oregon to persuade anyone to
> meditate. He came to answer questions about his filmmaking, his creative
> process and his meditation practice. And to offer, if anyone is interested,
> to help provide them with the tools to “dive within.” It was — and is — a
> simple, genuine offer from a brilliant artist and a rare human being.
> Best wishes.
> Bob Roth is the Vice President for the David Lynch Foundation for
> Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace

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