Meditation

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Ben W
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Eat shit

Postby Ben W » Thu May 11, 2006 9:13 am

Two clicks (on the same website) got me through to a statement:

Hinduism.about.com wrote:Why have six million people learned the Transcendental Meditation technique?


Reminds me of a joke - "Eat shit, 8 trillion flies can't be wrong." Sorry - couldn't resist.

Two further clicks got me to the following statement:

Hinduism.about.com wrote:Course Fee: Individuals $2400 (plus GST/HST)


Pro-SES - I've nothing in particular against TM (for consenting adults) but you have pointed us to an advert - hardly a balanced view.
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

leon
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Postby leon » Thu May 11, 2006 9:35 am

Exactly what is convincing, and why "relatively?
The fact some schools want to integrate TM into their curriculum does not
mean anything, many schools in the US and private religious schools in the UK such as the Adventist still try and teach creationism. TM has millions of zealous members including educators, politicians, and those in a position to fund schools.
The Maharishi school in the US is confident enough to have this picture on their website.

http://www.maharishischooliowa.org/educ ... sidhi.html

Children at the school are taught thus (quoted from the website)

"When Yogic Flying is practiced in a group, this influence of coherent brain functioning creates a positive and harmonious influence in the environment, reducing negative tendencies and promoting positive, harmonious trends in all areas of society. Scientists have called this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect and it is the basis for the program to create world peace."

Scientists?

it continues

"Scientific research has established that the group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi? programs, including Yogic Flying, on a sufficiently large scale (the square root of 1% of a population) is the most powerful peace-creating technology. Until now, the only alternatives have been discussion, negotiation, and peace treaties, none of which have created lasting world peace".

square root of 1%

And you want this stuff in schools?

I am not on any bandwagon, and do not necessarily equate Tm with automatic mind control,( although I do believe it helps artificially manufacture a state of "forced belonging to a group, and sows the seeds for more easy manipulation in the future), but happen to be someone who was made to practice TM meditation as a child in a school environment from the age of 5 to 11, and therefore well qualified to talk about it. I also have many years teaching experience, running workshops and classes in inner city london schools with children who often come from very difficult backgrounds. So I am also a part time educator who works in often tough environments who would resist any attempts at introducing TM into the curriculum.

My experience was negative. I never benefited from the 'meditation' in the slightest, and actually found it disturbing and damaging.
No one has ever convincingly explained why chanting the same sound over and over again leads to greater spiritual knowledge or creativity. I have a transcript of an old SES lecture that attempts do so that is simply ridiculous. Most people forget that TM is just one part of the Maharishi experience, there is the Yagya program, and the 'Vedic astrology'. I also recommend reading Maharishi's books, especially his "theory of absolute defense" and the "absolute theory of Government" for more of an idea of what he and the movement are about. If you think yogic flying and bouncing for peace are absurd...


There are plenty of 'holes' in the article, Maharishi did not found the TM technique,
just added a price tag.

anti_ses
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Postby anti_ses » Thu May 11, 2006 11:29 am

Errrm, nobody's answered my question. Ben W's ventured off the article by clicking on some links. Since a few links down the line he found an inaccurate/biased viewpoint, he's extended his opinions on that viewpoint to the article I quoted.

leon, similarly, has gone off to some other website and talks about 'yogic flying' even though this isn't even mentioned in the article I quoted. There has been much comment here on research 'proving' that TM is harmful, yet here there is research (over a long period of time, by professionals, funded by non-TM-organisations) showing otherwise.

Sorry, but it's clear from your comments you've looked for (and found) negative points on certain interpretations of TM and probably haven't even read the article in question. For instance, the point of the article was not to show that "Maharishi did not found the TM technique" is untrue, yet this is a principal point made by leon. I don't really care who invented it if it works!

leon
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Postby leon » Thu May 11, 2006 12:57 pm

anti_ses wrote:Errrm, nobody's answered my question.


The article names no sources, contains inaccuracies, is written by a Maharishi TM organisation and is therefore biased.

anti_ses wrote: leon, similarly, has gone off to some other website and talks about 'yogic flying' even though this isn't even mentioned in the article I quoted.


The issue is teaching TM in schools, the web site I linked to is entirely relevant as it shows how teaching TM is implemented by an official Maharishi organisation. The word "mantra" is also not mentioned, yet to argue it is not part of TM because it is not present in the article is illogical. Yogic flying is an intrinsic part of TM. I am surprised you find it a negative aspect. The TM movement consider it an advanced part of TM.

anti_ses wrote: There has been much comment here on research 'proving' that TM is harmful, yet here there is research (over a long period of time, by professionals, funded by non-TM-organisations) showing otherwise.


errrm, "yet here" errrm yet where????? Care to list them? The article doesn't bother, it does give us an assistant town administrator who refers to TM as "well documented technology", and a "stress free school commitee". The "stress free school committee" is actually the "committee for stress free schools" a funded Maharishi organisation dedicated to promoting and getting TM into schools for students of all ages. The article does not bother to say this, but give the impression it is an unbiased organisation. This organisation actually WROTE the article you posted. I can't be bothered to go on, but you get the picture?

anti_ses wrote:Sorry, but it's clear from your comments you've looked for (and found) negative points on certain interpretations of TM and probably haven't even read the article in question.


What negative points, would you care to list them, and explain whose interpretations they are? Have you actually read Maharishi's books?

The principle point was that I did TM meditation as a child for 7 years. I found it negative and harmful. I also watched many teachers act with extreme violence minutes after meditating. It obviously didn't work for them.

The issue is introducing TM in schools. It cannot be stated that it is completely harmless and beneficial, therefore it cannot be safely introduced into the curriculum. Furthermore a properly executed TM class would include history, a full background on Maharishi, his comments and writings. This is what true teaching involves, giving a complete picture, not just cherrypicking the bits one feels comfortable with ala SES, and leaving out natural law, yogic flying, and the rest.

Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu May 11, 2006 1:14 pm

There is no right and wrong answer as to whether TM works. There are, however, right and wrong answers as to whther TM works for you (one) personally.

My opionion is that meditation works if you have an expected outcome which is fulfilled as a result of practicing it. I believe that it is impossible to approach something such as meditation in a truly objective frame of mind. The circumstances through which you arrive at any form of meditation will always affect your perception and understanding of it.

To illustrate, I was initiated into meditation at the age of 10. The experience was very very strange and generally quite intimidating. I was given a mantra which I was warned must never be spoken out loud or revealed to anyone else, it is Raam, for those who don't know. To cement the experience in my malleable consciousness, I submitted a basket of fruit, a weeks pocket money and was observed throughout the ceremony by stern-faced elders.

On returning to school and taking part in the beginning and end-of-day meditation sessions, I remeber feeling that I would be in spiritual trouble if I didn't try to meditate. My experience therefore, was that I MUST meditate because otherwise I will get in trouble. There was never a feeling that I was realising the true nature of consciousness, finding my way back to the creator or any other spiritual sense.

Perhaps, my experience would have been different had I been given useful guidance intelligible to a 10 year-old, that might have allowed me to understand what meditation enables one to acheive. All I ever learned from teachers and tutors were esoteric vagueries with no notions that I could grasp at that age.


What I have realised in my adult life is that there is nothing special about TM. I meditate in my daily life but not using the bizarre ritual of TM. The question that arises reagarding the value of TM in the context of this discussion and this BB is, "Is it the ONLY form of meditation, or is it a form that some people find beneficial?"

I thnk it is the latter and that those with positive experiences of its effects find it beneficial. Some may suggest that I haven't ever tried it properly thus not allowing myself to find any benefit in it. This may be the case however I am confident that I have genuinely tried to medidtate and found it to be of negligible benefit to me.

Personally I think its a load of tosh and would waste my time repeating a pointless mantra let alone fork out money for someone to tell me what that word is, how to sit and how to close my eyes. BUNCH OF ARSE!

xstJ
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Postby xstJ » Thu May 11, 2006 1:34 pm

Does anyone remember the meditation 'checks' we used to have in our homes (I'm presuming it wasn't only me)? I can't remember the man's name now but he used to come over in the evening about once or twice a year to perform this 'check'.

How on earth do you check meditation? What was he checking for?

I just remember finding the whole situation really really uncomfortable, I hated being shut in the room with him and I really didn't understand what was happening.

mm-
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Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Thu May 11, 2006 1:53 pm

Anti-SES wrote:
Can anyone from the bandwagon equating TM and mind control find any holes?


This is a subject which is very close to my heart as I do unfortunately have a child that has been adversely affected by the use of TM meditation practised at St James. I have not seen any benefits of this practise in either of my children. In fact it is only now that they have been removed from the school and that the meditation has stopped, that the spontaneous crying, mood swings and distressing nightmares have come to an end. The upright manner and rigidity associated with this meditation makes children lose their spontanaeity and become submissive to their teachers. Since leaving St James I am happy to report that both my children are getting back their lovely open, bright, questioning, confident nature that they had before they set foot in the school. They are simply children and now act as children should. Gone are the controlled, austere, robotic like espressions brought about because of their participation in TM meditation sessions.

Unfortunately we are still experiencing bouts of 'floating' associated with this type of meditation with our eldest child. This is where a child spaces out during conversations and the mind goes elsewhere. The child itself is unaware that this is occuring. For a parent it is quite a frightening thing to watch. I am told that with time though in 90% of cases, once the meditation is stopped so will the negative episodes such as the one described.

It is one thing for an adult to decide to take part in TM meditation, it is quite another to force young children to practise it daily.

anti_ses
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Postby anti_ses » Thu May 11, 2006 2:10 pm

leon, your logic is twisted. If the article is written by a biased person, that does not make the article itself biased or any points raised in it unfair. It's like claiming a charged criminal will always give biased evidence under oath. I wish I had more relevant examples at hand, but your implication simply doesn't follow. The other sources you've all used are on the same subject, but not relevant to what I was asking.

Thank you, Snowman. I appreciate your honest and reasoned response: it informs my perspective on the subject. I can see how all the things that happened 'around' your experience meditating at 10 - giving money to receive such a method, the intimindating initiation experience, being forced to meditate at school - can at the very least negate any beneficial effects. However, what if one's introduction to meditation at such an age was completely different? In fact, what if it was made intelligible to a 10-year old.

For example, I haven't had to suffer any of those things you mentioned when I was introduced to TM at a similar age. Neither did I at any point feel I was forced to do anything against my wishes. I don't practice the meditation today, but that doesn't mean I don't see any value in it.

mgormez
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Postby mgormez » Thu May 11, 2006 2:54 pm

TM has been judged to be a relıgıon somewhere ın the US ıf my memory serves me rıghtr. It ıs faırly easy to fınd ıt back. Obvıously TM ıs more than just medıtatıon.
Mike Gormez

Free
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Postby Free » Thu May 11, 2006 3:22 pm

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Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

anti_ses
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Postby anti_ses » Thu May 11, 2006 3:36 pm

OK, so a court in New Jersey judges TM to be a religion (to be more precise, TM involves activities that are "religious in nature"). In reality, though, TM can be what you want it to be. It's entirely possible to ignore the philosophical and religious aspects, if any and if you so wish, while continuing to practise the meditation - in fact, many people do exactly this. Being baptised a Christian may make you a Christian in the eyes of the law, but not necessarily a Christian in practice (please correct me if this is inaccurate). Along the same lines, undertaking the puja ceremony doesn't make you a follower of a religion called TM. I understand why the law must make a distinction, but surely you can appreciate the common sense in this?

leon
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Postby leon » Thu May 11, 2006 3:50 pm

anti_ses wrote:TM can be what you want it to be.


You wish

leon
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Postby leon » Thu May 11, 2006 3:54 pm

mm- wrote:Anti-SES wrote:
Can anyone from the bandwagon equating TM and mind control find any holes?


Unfortunately we are still experiencing bouts of 'floating' associated with this type of meditation with our eldest child. This is where a child spaces out during conversations and the mind goes elsewhere. The child itself is unaware that this is occuring. For a parent it is quite a frightening thing to watch. I am told that with time though in 90% of cases, once the meditation is stopped so will the negative episodes such as the one described.

It is one thing for an adult to decide to take part in TM meditation, it is quite another to force young children to practise it daily.


I don't wish to alarm you, but the floating thing is something I never totally got over 20 years later. I still completely detach, and go into a sort of trance. It is very disconcerting. However I was forced to do it for over 7 years.
Those of simple dispositions would and used to equate it with a "spiritual" state. Actually I got over it somewhat by practicing Taoist yoga when I was quite a bit older. I would not advocate Taoism for kids either!!
Last edited by leon on Thu May 11, 2006 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Free
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Postby Free » Thu May 11, 2006 3:58 pm

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Free
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Postby Free » Thu May 11, 2006 4:01 pm

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