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Proponents want schools to introduce meditation
by The Associated Press staff

The Associated Press    Translate This Article
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
8 April 2004

A group of people who practice Transcendental Meditation want officials to consider introducing the technique into Lexington's public schools.

At a news conference Tuesday, Janet Smith, chairwoman of the Committee for Successful, Stress-Free Schools, cited studies about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, including one conducted in schools in Augusta, Ga. In that study, black students who meditated 15 minutes at school and 15 minutes at home for several months had fewer discipline problems and absences than a control group, and lower blood pressure.

Vernon Barnes, a researcher at the Medical College of Georgia who was the primary author of the study, said in a telephone interview from Georgia that blacks were chosen because they tend to have more high blood pressure problems. . . .

Schools in Augusta were closed Tuesday for spring break, and officials there could not be reached for comment. But Superintendent Charles Larke was identified by the Augusta Chronicle last week as a key supporter of the studies.

Several people attended the news conference and sang the praises of TM and its chief practitioner, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. 'One thing the Maharishi wanted people to know is about the scientific aspects of TM, because too many people think it's a religion,' said Richard Knittel, a retired chiropractor who lives in Versailles. 'I wouldn't want to live without it,' he said.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

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