Transcendental Meditation and the Schoolhouse Gates

| 6/2/2009 12:16:42 PM

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 

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.

7/29/2009 7:55:07 AM

ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS ALREADY ON EARTH !!! Please stop in Please refer to someone incharge fitted whatever doctrine you are. This is an exceptionally distinguished essence fitted all mankind Thanks. Krulayar

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-- The NIH has far spent $24 million researching TM's effects on brain function

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