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A gift for life, for at-risk children in violence-ridden regions: Transcendental Meditation

David Lynch Foundation - USA    Translate This Article
31 December 2010

''Every child traumatized by violence should be given this tool to find peace within. The research is compelling and the benefits are real.'' —David Lynch

Saving ''the disposable ones''
The problems of children in war-torn, violence-ridden areas—''the disposable ones''—are so enormous as to defy hope. This is because at the core of every outreach to help at-risk children in strife-ridden hotspots is the invisible epidemic—traumatic stress—which undermines and destroys health, learning, family bonds, community life—hope.

Yet now there is hope. With the support of the David Lynch Foundation, tens of thousands of children are being given a tool they can use for the rest of their life, a tool that can help them overcome the terrible stresses and wrongs they face literally every moment of every day of their lives.

Transcendental Meditation is practiced by children in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Muslim teenagers in the West Bank, and Catholic and Protestant kids in Belfast. The technique has such widespread application because it is easy for a child to learn and enjoyable for him or her to practice. The technique brings rest, calm, and peace to the heart and mind of a troubled child in the midst of a turbulent world. It boosts IQ and learning, reduces the symptoms of PTSD (fear, insomnia, hypervigilance, violent behavior), and reduces drug and alcohol addiction. It helps to empower any young person, no matter their circumstances, to rise above adversity and be successful in life.

The David Lynch Foundation – Quiet Time project worldwide
In collaboration with national and state government agencies and school districts throughout Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina), Africa (Ghana, Kenya, South Africa), Asia (Vietnam, the Philippines, India), the Middle East, and Northern Ireland, the David Lynch Foundation is empowering students and homeless youth with the tools to overcome the traumatic stress and terrible adversity of their lives and to dramatically increase their chances for sustained achievement and success in life.

The David Lynch Foundation – Center de Fundación Hogares Claret Project
The street children in Colombia are called ''the disposable ones.'' These children are unloved, often abandoned, and endure terrible abuse. However, an extraordinary priest, Father Gabriel Mejia, has founded 47 orphanages throughout Colombia—Center de Fundación Claretianas—which are transforming the lives of thousands of children through love, shelter, and Transcendental Meditation. Here the children are freed from the torments they have endured, and begin to gain an education and find an appreciation for their own strength and the beauty of life.

Scientific research has documented the beneficial effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in helping at-risk children. A few highlights:
Decreased Psychological Distress. Reduced psychological distress in racial and ethnic minority students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program. Journal of Instructional Psychology (in press).
Decreased Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Pilot Study (in review).
Decreased Anxiety. Differential effects of relaxation techniques on trait anxiety: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1989: 45(6), 957-974.
Improved Brain Integration. Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on brain functioning and stress reactivity in college students. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2009: 71(2): 170-6.
Decreased Absenteeism, Suspensions, and Rule Infractions. Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2001: 1, 1-10.
Improved Academic Achievement. Academic achievement and Transcendental Meditation: A study with at-risk urban middle school students. Education (in press).

Watch short videos on the effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in helping at-risk children, on the Global Outreach page of the David Lynch Foundation website:
∙ Catholic priest beings TM to Colombia orphanages
∙ David Lynch meditates with 3,000 children in Brazil

For more about global initiatives of the David Lynch Foundation with at-risk children, including how to implement a program, click here.

Future Global Good News articles will feature more about the work of the David Lynch Foundation with American Indians.

© Copyright 2010 David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace

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