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Oprah reports on the history of Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
25 March 2012

While shooting footage for her recent show about Transcendental Meditation, Oprah Winfrey visited the unique town of Fairfield, Iowa, where several thousand people practise the technique.

Ms Winfrey, who recently learned Transcendental Meditation herself, encouraged around 500 of her employees nationwide to learn the meditation technique and continues to allot time during every working day for those who took the course to practise Transcendental Meditation together.

As a result of her positive experiences with the technique, Ms Winfrey created a show on her new television network, OWN, called 'America's Most Unusual Town'. Among other aspects, the show explored the roots of Transcendental Meditation, its benefits in education and in overcoming post-traumatic stress, and why many people moved from all over the world to the middle of Iowa to meditate together.

Ms Winfrey provided some background on the meditation's history.

'Transcendental Meditation took root in the United States when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought it here in the '50s. The movement continued to grow through the '70s,' she said, and now there are 6 million people practising TM around the globe.

Ms Winfrey asked Ed Malloy, the mayor of Fairfield and a long-time meditator, if the Transcendental Meditation movement was called a cult in those early days.

'A cult is something that involves mind control or oppression,' Mr Malloy responded, 'something that's narrow and constricted and confining. What we do is completely different. It's liberating, it's expanding, it's energizing.'

As to the philosophy behind the meditation, Ms Winfrey said, 'Maharishi believed if every person takes 20 minutes twice a day it will lead to a higher state of consciousness or a more awakened state of being and dealing with the world.'

'Can anybody learn TM?' Ms Winfrey asked Candace Badgett, a Transcendental Meditation teacher who has been meditating for more than 40 years.

Anybody can learn, Ms Badgett answered. 'It's a natural inherent ability within the mind to transcend and experience more quiet levels. It's as natural as thinking a thought, so anyone can learn.'

Where does the learning fee go and how is the money used?

Ms Badgett responded that these funds support Transcendental Meditation teachers, for whom this is their full-time profession. It also goes to support projects in other countries, projects involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, education, inner-city schools, and more.

Global Good News will continue to report about Oprah Winfrey's show on Transcendental Meditation and Fairfield, Iowa.

Several segments of the show are posted online on, and on the show's web page on

Check the Schedule web page on for any upcoming replays (look for 'Oprah's Next Chapter: America's Most Unusual Town').

© Copyright 2012 Harpo Productions, Inc.

Global Good News comment:

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