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1001 Benefits of Transcendence
by Blaze Compton and Dr Richard Broome
Transcendental Meditation in Johannesburg Translate This Article
11 January 2015
The Astounding Benefits of Transcendence
Regular and authentic transcending through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique gives you benefits that can only be described as astounding.
Astounding in their depth and astounding in their range.
How can you say this?
It's the Published Research on Transcendental Meditation.
What is so special about the research?
1. It's the Quality of the Research:
''Over the past 10 years or so the editors and reviewers of the International Journal of Neuroscience have accepted several papers on the effects of Transcendental Meditation because they have met the rigorous standards of scientific publication. IJN is honored to have two Nobel laureates on its editorial board. It also has a distinguished group of scientists from leading universities on every continent who judge the scientific value of the papers submitted for consideration.'' — Dr. Sidney Weinstein, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Neuroscience
2. It's the Implications of the Research
''The claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. The research has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of conflict resolution. I think this work, and the theory that informs it, deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.'' —David Edwards, Ph.D., Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin
3. It's the Consistency of the Findings
''In the studies that I have examined on the impact of the transcending on conflict, I can find no methodological flaws, and the findings have been consistent across a large number of replications in many different geographical and conflictual situations. As unlikely as the premise may sound, I think we have to take these studies seriously.' —Ted Robert Gurr, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland
4. It's the Demonstrated Simplicity and Cost-Effectiveness of the Approach
''I have been following the research on Transcendental Meditation as it has developed over the last twenty years. There is now a strong and coherent body of evidence showing that [this approach] provides a simple and cost-effective solution to many of the social problems we face today. This research and its conclusions are so strong, that it demands action from those responsible for government policy.'' —Huw Dixon, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at York University, England
5. It's the Technical Soundness of the Research Methods used
''The hypothesis definitely raised some eyebrows among our reviewers. But the statistical work is sound. The numbers are there. When you can statistically control for as many variables as these studies do, it makes the results much more convincing. This evidence indicates that we now have a new technology to generate peace in the world.'' —Raymond Russ, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine; editor, Journal of Mind and Behavior
For the past five years, Blaze Compton and a couple of colleagues have been going into a handful of major US state prisons and teaching inmates how to transcend. They also help conduct scientific research on the effects of regular transcendence on the criminal mind. His astonishing Linked-In post is the basis of the article below. Thank you Blaze!
See original article with lists
What is Transcendence?
By transcending I mean—for a few minutes every day—effortlessly and spontaneously turning the attention inwards and experiencing progressively more subtle stages of mental activity until the mind has the experience of the least active, most settled mental state. Then, just as easily and effortlessly, taking one final step and transcending—leaving the experiencer at the thought-free source of thought—an area of life beyond the mind variously referred to by yogis, masters, and spiritual teachers as Pure Consciousness, Samadhi, The Unified Field, Nirvana, the Peace that Passeth All Understanding, I AM THAT I AM, etc. etc.
It is important to understand that transcending, in the sense that it is used throughout the list and in this introduction, refers to a very unique and specific style of functioning of the mind and body. When a person genuinely transcends—in other words, when a person actually leaves the thinking, perceiving, conceptualizing, feeling, visualizing, intuiting mind behind and ''steps into'' the realm of Pure Consciousness (consciousness conscious of consciousness), that person's body responds by simultaneously and naturally producing what some neuro-physiologists call the Wakeful, Hypo-metabolic Physiologic State, or WHPS for short.
The WHPS, because of its physiological uniqueness (its characteristics do not match the three commonly recognized states of human consciousness—the Waking State, the Dream State, or the Deep Sleep State) and because it cannot be duplicated or induced by hypnosis, suggestion, neuro-entrainment, or any other known means, some progressive researches have called this transcendental state the 4th major state of human consciousness.
Forty years of research informs us that the WHPS associated with transcendence is not found in the vast majority of meditation programs other than the Transcendental Meditation technique as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi—TM for short. That is what Blaze teaches inmates, and what we teach here in Joburg.
Researchers have seldom found transcendence in the other meditation practices, and, when it is found, the practitioner reports doing their practice for 10, 20 years or more. For example, published research indicates that it has only been found once in an individual practicing Mindfulness Meditation. It is routinely found in the research subjects who have been practicing TM—and is unmistakable after four months (on average) of TM practice.
In my opinion, Transcendental Meditation should not be considered a meditation program because the process of transcending begins where most meditations end. The word ''meditation'' in the West conjures up concepts of clearing the mind, focusing, concentrating, controlling the mind, paying attention to the breath, watching thought, noticing the content of the mind, etc. Transcending (what the inmates learn and practice) has nothing to do with any of that.
I tell new inmates who want to learn TM that ''we do not teach meditation in our classes—we teach you how to transcend.'' That is, we teach inmates how to ''go beyond'' all mental, emotional, and perceptual activity while simultaneously allowing the body to slip into a state of very deep and emotionally nurturing rest (the WHPS).
And research shows over and over again that the WHPS is, in many respects, two to three times as restful as deep sleep. That is why I like to call the rest available during WHPS ''SUPER REST''.
For instance, moving from the waking state to deep sleep, oxygen consumption drops, on average, about eight percent. However, moving from the waking state to the WHPS of transcendence, oxygen consumption drops on average by 20 percent. Much deeper rest.
What are the Benefits of Transcendence in a Prison Setting?
According to our offender rehabilitation research and the research conducted by other teams investigating transcending's influence on criminal thinking over the past 43 years, just 16 weeks of transcending is enough to begin a major reordering of the criminal brain and nervous system to a more normal style of functioning that dramatically supports pro-social thinking and behavior.
And by ''more normal'' I mean that the inmates nervous system and brain, after learning and practicing TM—sometimes after just a few short weeks—begin to operate with significantly less stress and less anxiety. In short, the transcending inmate begins to relate to life with dramatically reduced ''subconsciously stored'' emotional toxins.
One of our primary investigators wrote: ''The results of this randomized controlled study indicated significant reductions in criminal thinking errors, psychological distress, perceived stress, and trauma symptoms and increased spiritual wellbeing in offenders (who learned how to transcend) compared to standard care controls.''
A co-author on the research paper, a man not given to hyperbole and who had 20 years experience in the Department of Corrections applying research findings to criminal rehabilitation, had this to say: ''After just 16 weeks of transcending—the results are stunning!''
As I kept sharing the benefits of daily transcendence with inmates and showing them published research articles and scientific papers that supported those benefits, I began to put together a list of benefits. Eventually my list got so big (and cumbersome) that I decided to find a professional source for this list of the benefits of transcending and share it with them. I found such a list in the work of Dr. David Orme-Johnson (http://www.truthabouttm.org) and Dr. Roger Chalmers (http://uk.tm.org/), both lifelong pioneers of the science of transcendence and higher states of consciousness.
The final product appears below. It is simply a reshuffled list of Orme-Johnson's and Chalmer's lists of some of the scientifically reported benefits associated with regularly allowing the human mind to transcend itself. I say ''some of the . . . . benefits'' because the sources that I used were a few years old and did not include the very significant important published research of the past 5 years or more. In other words, the list is evolving and a more updated version will be available soon.
If you want to find out more about transcending I suggest going to the TM website http://www.tm.org or pick up a copy of the 2012 New York Times bestseller entitled Transcendence written by Norman Rosenthal, MD, a renowned psychiatrist and former senior researcher for the National Institutes of Health. You can also Google Dr. Oz, go to his website and search for Transcendental Meditation.
Note from author Blaze Compton: The list at the bottom of the article is not so much for reading or referencing, but more as an educational tool to introduce those who are not familiar with TM and the science behind it to the sheer immensity of that research. I think most readers, after perusing the list, will agree that the research does indeed bring to light the dramatic, incomparable power of simple, effortless, daily transcendence. I have highlighted some of the benefits for ease of skimming, knowing that the list will rarely—if ever—be read through completely. Enjoy the list!
Copyright © 2015 Maharishi Vedic Institute
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