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Transcendental Meditation appears in the classroom
by Alison Brody
NPR - National Public Radio Translate This Article
5 October 2007
On 5 October 2007 NPR - National Public Radio reported:
This year some US elementary schools are introducing Transcendental Meditation with the hope that the 'quiet time' will lead to better grades by reducing stress and increasing focus.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
fulfilment to the field of education.
Alison Brody reported, 'It's 8:40 in the morning and the halls of Washington, DC's Ideal Academy are alive with activity. Ten minutes later the soundscape at Ideal is transformed. This is what the inner city charter school calls quiet time; when students stop talking, close their eyes, and begin to practise Transcendental Meditation or TM.'
Fifth-grader Jamie Jones describes the 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon when she sits at her desk and quiets her mind in this way, 'It feels like you're floating on clouds.'
Ten-year old Mia Smith says, 'It makes you feel better. It makes you stop being frustrated. It makes you feel good about yourself.'
The Ideal Academy's pilot programme started last year. Based on its success, the programme has expanded to include all students in grades five through ten.
Dr George Rutherford, Ideal's principal, explains why he introduced TM to his school. He says his students are as smart as any he's ever seen but the stresses of poverty hold them back.
'If a child comes in and they are stressed out how do we expect them to learn?' Dr Rutherford asked.
He says the answer to his question is TM.
The radio broadcast explained that in 2006, 25 public, private, and charter schools across the United States started the TM programme, and this year 100 schools are expected to introduce the practice.
The report also discussed views of some who are opposed to TM in the schools on the basis of 'separation of church and state'; while noting that educators including Dr Rutherford state that TM is not a religion and does not conflict with their own religious views and practices. Also quoted in this regard was filmmaker David Lynch, whose David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace is raising funds for students to learn Transcendental Meditation.
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