News & Views - Jun,
1997 Issue #46
by: Richard Beall, Ph.D.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Boone, North Carolina
A Valuable New Tool for Emotional Growth
In 1994 a special issue of Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly (Vol. 11, No. ˝
and 3/4) was published to draw professional attention to a successful new addition to therapeutic programs. It described the theory
and research on the Transcendental Meditation (TM)SM program, and discussed how this mental technique can dissolve stress and discover
the innermost Self of the participant, thereby supplying a missing dimension in addiction treatment. Now this valuable tool is being
brought to the attention of emotional growth schools and programs, to assist in the attainment of your educational goals. Managing
Stress: An Approach From The Inside Out One burden common to all at-risk students is stress: from dysfunctional families, social pressures,
inner emotional conflicts, and/or substance abuse. If students (or adults) lack systematic, constructive means to eliminate stress,
it accumulates and contributes to the wide range of inappropriate behaviors so familiar to educators today.
Emotional growth schools and programs are faced with the difficult task of
addressing these immediate and complex behaviors, while at the same time attending to their root causes. You who are working professionals
in this field already draw on a wide variety of approaches and have been receptive to additional techniques with proven records. We
would like to suggest this well-researched approach which works from “the inside out”. It offers students and adults alike a profound
means of dissolving stress, developing inner stability, and unfolding the latent potential of each individual.
The Transcendental Meditation Program.... Is and Isn’t During the last 40
years, over four million people have learned the Transcendental Meditation program and over 500 research studies have documented the
benefits to mind, body, and behavior from daily practice of this technique. Yet misunderstandings still persist about meditation and
the TM program so it is necessary to clarify at the start what it is and isn’t.
The TM program does not involve any philosophical or religious belief system.
It does not require special intellectual talent or the ability to concentrate the mind. Nor is any lifestyle change, new diet, or
special posture required. The Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple, natural, effortless mental technique practiced 15-20
minutes twice a day, sitting with eyes closed. Because it is natural, benefits begin to accrue from the first day of instruction;
it does not take months or years to “master” the technique. Based on humanity’s oldest continuous tradition of teaching, the TM program
is a systematic way to dissolve even deep-rooted stresses and allow the unlimited possibilities within every person to unfold.
How Does It Work? During the TM technique, mind and body settle to a deep
state of rest, even deeper than in sleep. Yet we remain completely alert, awake inside, not in some unnatural trance. This experience
addresses the needs of at-risk students in two important ways. 1) Deep rest dissolves stress. During TM, students feel less anxiety
and tension. This effect carries over into activity, resulting in more life-supporting, pro- social behavior. 2) Brain activity becomes
more orderly. During TM, brain waves become more coherent, more orderly, both between left and right hemispheres and from frontal
to posterior lobes. The brain begins functioning in a more integrated, harmonious way. Again, this experience carries over into the
daily life of the student, resulting in improved learning ability, increased creativity, and reduced use of drugs and alcohol.
What Does the Research Say? Since the first TM research was published in
Science (1970) and Scientific American (1972), a global research program has illuminated many of the benefits the TM technique offers.
Because it functions on such a fundamental level, the TM program produces holistic effects. Published studies have consistently shown
improvements in intelligence, academic performance, self-actualization, moral reasoning, health, productivity, and job satisfaction.
What About At-Risk Populations? The Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly issue
included a meta-analysis of 19 studies (with 4,524 subjects) on the effects of the TM program on the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and
illicit drugs. It showed that the effect size from the TM technique was 2-4 times greater than from relaxation programs, preventive
education programs, or preventive programs counteracting peer influence.
Aren’t All Meditations Alike? Some emotional growth schools and programs
already have elements of meditation included in their array of therapies. Research has shown that the actual results from different
techniques vary widely. For example, the TM program was found to be three times more effective than other relaxation programs for
reducing alcohol use. While we respect the value of each approach, these research results are unique to the TM program.
How Would It Work In Our Program? Wherever the TM program is taught around
the world, qualified instructors follow a uniform procedure. After introductory presentations, the course of instruction is given
over four days, with a systematic follow- up program thereafter. When offered as part of a treatment program, an intensive program
is structured after the initial course to ensure maximum progress of the participants. The TM program can be taught to individuals
(staff or students), to groups within the school, or school-wide.
For more information on the possible applications of this program please
contact Consciousness-BasedSM Education programs at 603-588-4176.
Copyright © 1997, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced
without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)