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Transcendental Meditation: Topping the bestseller list since 1975
by Philip Goldberg
The Huffington Post Translate This Article
21 June 2011
On 21 June 2011 The Huffington Post reported:
Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda, comments on the recent publication of psychiatrist Dr Norman Rosenthal's new book, Transcendence: Healing and transformation through Transcendental Meditation, and its rapid progress onto the New York Times bestseller list. This echoes the 1975 publication of another book about TM, which made the list after its author appeared on Merv Griffin's TV show with TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi--inspiring more than a million Americans to learn to meditate.
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This culminated a period that began 'when the Beatles famously learned TM', Mr Goldberg writes, and during which meditation entered the mainstream of American culture—aided by an 'avalanche' of scientific research beginning to document the effects of the technique in improving physical and mental health and well-being.
'In this era of soaring anxiety, depression and health costs . . . . the new book's bestsellerdom suggests that a new generation wants to hear the message,' he says. He describes Dr Rosenthal's distinguished credentials and the now 300 peer-reviewed studies on Transcendental Meditation, as well as recent findings of beneficial effects on ADHD, PTSD, and hypertension.
Mr Goldberg points out that the new book's title, 'Transcendence', highlights the 'deeper purpose' of meditation, which 'has always been the development of higher consciousness, as described in the Vedic tradition from which practices like TM derive'. He notes two trends that he feels require a discerning approach: 'the rise of imitation practices' that can lead to diminished effectiveness; and the lumping together of all forms of meditation, 'as if their differences were inconsequential'—a shortcoming being addressed by current research.
'The scientific investigation of ancient spiritual practices might be one of the most important advances of the modern era,' he writes. 'But we have to proceed with care and discernment, assimilating the methods without obscuring or dishonoring their roots . . . . and otherwise fail[ing] to harness their full potential.'
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