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Middle East: The Maharishi Effect and the story of Baskinta

Transcendental Meditation News UK    Translate This Article
9 September 2013

Since the 1970s, the Maharishi Effect—the influence of harmony and positivity produced when one per cent of the population practises Transcendental Meditation—has been repeatedly demonstrated. At a time when the Middle East continues to be a focus of tension, the story of Baskinta is a vivid illustration of the effectiveness of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes for creating peace, even at times of intense conflict.

In 1982, one per cent of the citizens of the Lebanese village of Baskinta were instructed in Transcendental Meditation, at the height of the protracted Lebanese civil war. Baskinta, a village of 10,000 near Beirut, lay in the heart of the worst fighting, a focus of continuing battles between opposing leftist and rightist forces throughout the period that researchers examined (1978-1984) in a comparative, longitudinal study.

The Transcendental Meditation programme was introduced in Baskinta in May 1981. Once instructed, individuals were encouraged to continue regular practice on their own, 20 minutes twice a day. They were taught the practice for their own benefit, unaware that the programme was also part of a social experiment.

To assess changes in the quality of life, the research team gathered the following statistics covering the five and a half year period 1978-1984:
∙ the number of shells falling on the town
∙ the number of people killed or wounded
∙ property damage
∙ crop yields

They also gathered the same statistics for four control villages in the same area, matched for size and demographics.

Baskinta reached the one per cent threshold in July 1982—and hostilities in and around the village stopped, abruptly and completely. In the control villages and surrounding region, fighting intensified. But in Baskinta, for more than two years after it surpassed the one per cent mark (from July 1982 until the end of the study in the winter of 1984) the differences were remarkable:
∙ No shells fell into Baskinta [p<.005]
∙ No one in Baskinta was killed or wounded [p<.005]
∙ No property was damaged [p<.005]
∙ Violence ceased in Baskinta, with no such change in the control villages [p<.00001]

During the year and a half before Baskinta reached the one per cent level, 2,335 artillery rounds had hit the village. After it reached the one per cent threshold, the number dropped to zero—while in the control cities, the rate continued to climb.

The crop yield increased, and Baskinta even escaped a hail storm that struck the region at a time when trees and crops were especially vulnerable to damage. The researchers conducted interviews with citizens, who consistently stated that something remarkable had taken place—but were at a loss as to how it happened. Two different farmers explained, ''God loves us this year.''

The Maharishi Effect brought additional side benefits:

∙ After Baskinta reached the one per cent threshold, the national government unaccountably decided to pave and repair the roads in and around Baskinta (the first such work in 15 years) and to install an automatic telephone system (the manual system had been shut down four years earlier) while the control villages received no such improvements.

∙ Reflecting the peace in the village, the people also took part in more social and sporting activities, forming a football team and building a football field and tennis court.

Many of Lebanon's agricultural villages were torn apart by the country's long and bloody civil war. But when Baskinta surpassed the one per cent threshold, the village became a haven of peace.

The above article is reprinted from The Complete Book of Yogic Flying: Maharishi's Programme for Enlightenment and Invincibility (Maharishi University of Management Press) by Craig Pearson, PhD.

The study described in this article, ''The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field and reduction of armed conflict: A comparative, longitudinal study of Lebanese villages'', was authored by: Abou Nader TM; Alexander CN; and Davies JL; American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; and Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia, 1984.

Read the full research paper in
Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme: Collected Papers, Volume 4, paper 331. MERU Press.

Source: Transcendental Meditation News – UK

Copyright © 2013 Maharishi Foundation UK

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