Transcendental Meditation and the Schoolhouse Gates

6/2/2009 12:16:42 PM

Tags: Spirituality, meditiation, transcendental meditation, Church and State

Meditation SchoolIn 1979, a class on transcendental meditation was banned from New Jersey public schools on the grounds that it violated the separation between church and state. Today, transcendental meditation is making a comeback, supported by stars including filmmaker David Lynch and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

“Slowly but steadily, TM seems to be gaining a foothold in public schools across the country,” Church & State magazine reports. No matter how you package the practice, Church & State asserts that transcendental meditation is rooted in Hinduism, and any classes taught in public schools would violate the first amendment. The article quotes one angry parent who called the practice a “cult.”

Adherents, according to Church & State, are “promoting the program as the solution for everything from poor academic performance and fidgety kids to unruly student behavior and gang violence.”

David Lynch, in an article for Utne Readergave people this advice on the benefits of meditation: “Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you'll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!”

Image by Kanzeon Zen Center, licensed under Creative Commons

Sources: Church & StateUtne Reader 



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Margi
11/29/2009 7:33:33 PM
After I learned TM I started to really understand what Jesus was talking about. It all became simple and clear, along with everything else I was studying in school.

krulayar
7/29/2009 7:55:07 AM
ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS ALREADY ON EARTH !!! Please stop in http://manaalmahdi.wordpress.com Please refer to someone incharge fitted whatever doctrine you are. This is an exceptionally distinguished essence fitted all mankind Thanks. Krulayar

mckinley_2
6/4/2009 12:39:40 PM
There's some misunderstanding being propagated, perhaps innocently, about Transcendental Meditation. First, TM was not banned from the schools in New Jersey. TM is merely a technique and itself involves no beliefs or religious trappings. It was the theoretical aspects of self-development called the Science of Creative Intelligence (also taught by Maharishi, TM's founder) that a New Jersey judge had issues with because, he claimed, SCI dealt with ultimate concerns such as "full development of human consciousness" and similar principles. TM by itself is a technique, pure and simple. It's not dogma. People of all religions practice it and enjoy the benefits. My mother was a churchgoing Southern Baptist and practiced it all her life. In fact, it probably saved her life——for health reasons. Second, TM is not "rooted in Hinduism." TM comes from the Vedic tradition, which predates Hinduism at least 1000 years. Vedic practices for self-development, such as yoga and meditation, were used in a non-religious, secular context long before Hindu religious practice was associated with any aspects of Vedic knowledge. Although yoga and meditation became associated, over the centuries, with the great religious traditions of the East (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism), meditation and yoga are much older than these religions and were originally purely secular practices——as TM is now. This is common knowledge among scholars of Sanskrit, Vedic culture and Indology. With all due respect, claims that TM is a form of Hinduism come from a more alarmist sector of folks who just don't know the difference between Hinduism and the Vedic Tradition of self-development. TM is among the very best things we could offer our kids. Just look at the scientific research verifying TM's benefits and what doctors and researchers from medical schools are saying-- www.DoctorsonTM.org. The NIH has far spent $24 million researching TM's effects on brain function

James_3
6/4/2009 12:21:13 PM
And some children and adults will go on to become so involved in the TM Organization that they will be part of the following kinds of activities similar to those announced this week: > Guru Purnima Summer Assembly > http://invincibleamerica.org/ > > * Guru Purnima - On July 7 celebrate with our > world family the most auspicious day of the year > when we honor the greatness of the Holy Tradition. > > * Maharishi - float in the bliss of Maharishi's > Pure Knowledge each evening with a selection of > the most inspiring and historic lectures from his > 50 years of teaching, and enjoy each morning > program as Maharishi comments on the Invincible > America participants #1 experiences. > > * Group Program - Do your program with the > largest coherence-creating group in the western > hemisphere - 2,000 Yogic Flyers altogether, > including nearly 1,000 Maharishi VedicSM Pandits, > members of the PurushaSM Program, and Mother > DivineSM Program. > > * Vedic Performances - sit in the presence of our > Maharishi Vedic Pandits and experience the > thrilling performance of Rudrabhishek Maha Yagya. > > * Special TM-Sidhi® Checking Meeting - with the > TM-Sidhi Program Administrators of North America > Drs. Doug and Linda Birx. Personal consultations > will also be possible. > > * Create coherence for the nation - help keep our Super-Radiance numbers > high while the Maharishi School of the Age of EnlightenmentSM and Maharishi > University of ManagementSM students are on vacation. > > GUEST SPEAKERS > > * Raja John Hagelin, Raja of Invincible America - > on the success of the David Lynch Foundation and > the rapid expansion of our Movement in North > America. > > * Prime Minister, Dr. Bevan Morris - will present > the latest news and inspiration from around the > world and will answer questions from

jammyman_1
6/4/2009 9:27:08 AM
The Transcendental Meditation technique is in no way religious. it is a very simple technique to quiet the mind and allow the body to gain very deep rest. In this relaxed state stresses get released and the mind becomes more coherent. After the practice, one feels more alert, clear and energetic. A calm and settled mind allows one to focus more easily and absorb material better. This is want students need. And there is so much scientific research done on TM to support the good effects. I think that we need such a technique in the schools giving the problems the kids are having and the declining levels of achievements. Thanks to David Lynch for making the funds available to teach "at risk" children this valuable technique.

James_3
6/4/2009 12:30:56 AM
Oh, no! I'm now developing this side-effect of TM! Now what do I do? Just do TM once a day? I am confused and depressed.

James_3
6/4/2009 12:28:26 AM
Although I have not had this problem, some people report that they develop a tendency to repeat everything they say twice.

James_3
6/4/2009 12:27:23 AM
Although I have not had this problem, some people report that they develop a tendency to repeat everything they say twice.

Semolina
6/3/2009 5:13:00 PM
Transcendental Meditation is just a technique, a tool to reach deep silence, release stress and develop one's potential. Think of it a great washing machine for stress; your nervous system comes out cleaner and brighter. It is not, most definitely, a religion. In my life I have met catholic priests and nuns who practice TM, as well as Jewish rabbis, Muslims, Buddhist and atheists. It is simply a wonderful tool that we could use to help our kids.

DrScience
6/3/2009 12:46:43 PM
My understanding is that Transcendental Meditation is taught in schools in a secular fashion, on a voluntary basis with parental permission. I think this is OK since its so beneficial and highly researched. Transcendental Meditation is a self-proclaimed, non-religious technique for reducing stress and increasing learning potential, something our kids today desperately need. Also I think that the quote from David Lynch might have been taken out of context. Usually in interviews he just about his own experience.

dued
6/3/2009 10:11:17 AM
"...a New Jersey judge had issues with because, he claimed, SCI dealt with ultimate concerns such as "full development of human consciousness" and similar principles..." it could be further pointed out that "secular humanism", "ethical culture" and even atheism have all been legally ruled in the US to be religions under this broad "dealing with ultimate concern" definition of religion under this definition, i suspect a strong case could also be made for western science being religious in its search for ultimate truth

dued
6/3/2009 9:51:16 AM
"..My mother was a churchgoing Southern Baptist and practiced it all her life. In fact, it probably saved her life——for health reasons..." howard stern had a similar story about TM saving his mother's health: http://www.rencapp.com/Howard_Stern_on_Maharishi_02_06_2008.mp3

mckinley_2
6/3/2009 9:43:31 AM
There's some misunderstanding being propagated, perhaps innocently, about Transcendental Meditation. First, TM was not banned from the schools in New Jersey. TM is merely a technique and itself involves no beliefs or religious trappings. It was the theoretical aspects of self-development called the Science of Creative Intelligence (also taught by Maharishi, TM's founder) that a New Jersey judge had issues with because, he claimed, SCI dealt with ultimate concerns such as "full development of human consciousness" and similar principles. TM by itself is a technique, pure and simple. It's not dogma. People of all religions practice it and enjoy the benefits. My mother was a churchgoing Southern Baptist and practiced it all her life. In fact, it probably saved her life——for health reasons. Second, TM is not "rooted in Hinduism." TM comes from the Vedic tradition, which predates Hinduism at least 1000 years. Vedic practices for self-development, such as yoga and meditation, were used in a non-religious, secular context long before Hindu religious practice was associated with any aspects of Vedic knowledge. Although yoga and meditation became associated, over the centuries, with the great religious traditions of the East (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism), meditation and yoga are much older than these religions and were originally purely secular practices——as TM is now. This is common knowledge among scholars of Sanskrit, Vedic culture and Indology. With all due respect, claims that TM is a form of Hinduism come from a more alarmist sector of folks who just don't know the difference between Hinduism and the Vedic Tradition of self-development. TM is among the very best things we could offer our kids. Just look at the scientific research verifying TM's benefits and what doctors and researchers from medical schools are saying-- www.DoctorsonTM.org. The NIH has far spent $24 million researching TM's effects on brain function

mckinley_2
6/3/2009 9:42:42 AM
There's some misunderstanding being propagated, perhaps innocently, about Transcendental Meditation. First, TM was not banned from the schools in New Jersey. TM is merely a technique and itself involves no beliefs or religious trappings. It was the theoretical aspects of self-development called the Science of Creative Intelligence (also taught by Maharishi, TM's founder) that a New Jersey judge had issues with because, he claimed, SCI dealt with ultimate concerns such as "full development of human consciousness" and similar principles. TM by itself is a technique, pure and simple. It's not dogma. People of all religions practice it and enjoy the benefits. My mother was a churchgoing Southern Baptist and practiced it all her life. In fact, it probably saved her life——for health reasons. Second, TM is not "rooted in Hinduism." TM comes from the Vedic tradition, which predates Hinduism at least 1000 years. Vedic practices for self-development, such as yoga and meditation, were used in a non-religious, secular context long before Hindu religious practice was associated with any aspects of Vedic knowledge. Although yoga and meditation became associated, over the centuries, with the great religious traditions of the East (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism), meditation and yoga are much older than these religions and were originally purely secular practices——as TM is now. This is common knowledge among scholars of Sanskrit, Vedic culture and Indology. With all due respect, claims that TM is a form of Hinduism come from a more alarmist sector of folks who just don't know the difference between Hinduism and the Vedic Tradition of self-development. TM is among the very best things we could offer our kids. Just look at the scientific research verifying TM's benefits and what doctors and researchers from medical schools are saying-- www.DoctorsonTM.org. The NIH has far spent $24 million researching TM's effects on brain function

dued
6/3/2009 9:02:45 AM
this is just fear mongering... meditation rocks and TM meditation has several hundreds of peer reviewed medical research publications (performed at top research institutions around the world over 40 years) supporting its effectiveness (how many "religions" can claim even one such report? :)) further, the school graduation ceremony could be equally be argued to violate church/state separation - when getting your "academic" degree (which is from the greek "Akademia", a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy) while wearing a cap and gown and participating in the encaenia/egkainia (religious ceremonial procession) is directly from the tradition of hoods worn by the druid priests in their pagan religious ceremonies also, when a western physician goes through the symbolic ceremony of becoming a medical doctor and takes the hippocratic oath which begins "I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath...." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath ) so don't buy into the rhetoric - for half a century now, many millions of people of all (and no) faiths around the world have learned and significantly benefitted from their twice daily practice of TM



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