Monday, June 19, 2006

Turbulence Persists At KS Peace Capital

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The good Christian folks of Smith Center, Kansas are still put off by the idea of being at ground-zero of the new peace era, in the new peace capital of the new peace world, where waves of "coherence" will bring peace to all mankind. This quaint yet completely unrealistic scenario is all the result of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's grandiose vision of ushering in the Golden Age, in direct competition with Kalki Bhagavan, Adi Da, Sai Baba and probably a 100,000 other wackjobs on this planet, although the old Madharishi seems to be pulling way out in front at this point.

The mayor of Smith Center is cool with it – smelling boom times just around the corner:
Boyum held out the possibility of an economic boost for the town: "Our intention is to funnel as much finances and work through the local community as we can. We all are consumers and will bring resources into the county."
What red-blooded American can argue with that? It's benevolent capitialism!

And TM™ has just been shown to cure heart disease!
The study found that patients who used TM™ had “improved blood pressure and insulin resistance components of the metabolic syndrome as well as cardiac autonomic nervous system tone compared with a control group receiving health education. These results suggest that TM™ may modulate the physiological response to stress and improve CHD risk factors, which may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of CHD.”
What they don't want you to know is that any concentrative meditation practice would do the same exact thing. For this study, TM™ was put up against a "series of health lectures." What you won't ever see is TM™ put up against Vipassana, Zen practice or anything that could be called a relaxation technique. That's a race in which they know they can do no better than a tie.

4 Comments:

At 6/20/2006 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couple of points:

1) there was only 1 TM researcher involved in the study along with several non-TM researchers.
2) there HAVE been other studies on blood pressure and other health-related measures where other relaxation/meditation techniques have been compared with TM, where the researchers were proponents of several different kinds of meditation techniques.
3) the referenced study was just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the sister publications of JAMA. If you think that JAMA is going to publish a TM study without a LOT of scruitiny concerning its design and who did it, you're stupid. Period.

 
At 6/20/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger jody said...

It still stands that there are many meditation techniques that would be at least as effective as TM™, and it's quite possible that there are more effective means than TM™ for stress reduction.

TM™ is nothing more than a horrendously overpriced yet exceedingly simple mantra technique. I've said it before: the Madharishi is selling salt water by the ocean. Good thing for him there's a sucker born every minute, eh?

 
At 6/20/2006 9:48 PM, Blogger Shoonyata said...

Jody:

To be honest, yes, it is overpriced, and yes, it is a simply mantra-based technique, but I'll say one thing in defense of TM - somehow the way the initiation is conducted, the vibrational power of the bija akshara seems to be transmitted by the teachers. So, it appears, Maharishi has managed to transmit the energy underlying each common bija akshara, and that energy seems to have been preserved, so that even teachers who were not directly trained by him can transmit it.

It is acknowledged by Hindu tradition that a mantra given to one by a realized person (or ones guru; usually whispered in the right ear) has a transformational ability far more powerful that say reading a mantra and starting practice on ones own. The day that I got initiated into TM (in India, for the not-so-princely donation of Rs. 100, or $4!), I tried it out in the evening, and it put me in such a profound state of bodyless awareness, it was amazing for someone like me who had zero understanding of my own Hindu spiritual traditions.

True, the TM folks have a lot of financial muscle to encourage this kind of research, but all I'm saying is that it might prove to be a more effective meditation practice than if you were to google a mantra and start mentally repeating it. Just my hypothesis.

And oh, I'm not a TM apologist, in case it appears so. I gave up on the practice years ago, and have since moved beyond a formal sadhana routine after some intense personal experiences. TM used to have a decidedly narcotic effect on me, often putting me to sleep very rapidly, so perhaps its a great non-pharmacological sedative-hypnotic!

 
At 6/22/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger facedog said...

I don't do TM anymore either, since finding a reliable Guru but it was a great meditation technique for me for decades. There are TM teachers who will teach for little or nothing if the person is sincere. As a TM teacher, I was given that lee way. Whatever you may say about Maharishi, the method is very good and nicely taught. Many people cannot understand the incredibly simple process of meditation without being directly taught and inspired.

Having said that, the TM organization sucks and Maharishi is a ceo gone mad.

 

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