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Transcendental Meditation: A solution for school bullying?
by Global Good News staff writer

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19 May 2010

Society is struggling to understand how 'typical' adolescent peer pressure has escalated into vicious school bullying and criminal acts. In all socio-economic levels, schools are experiencing heightened security concerns, and recent headlines bring attention to stresses faced by teens, of which parents and teachers are often unaware.

The (US) National Centre for Educational Statistics estimates that one third of students ages 12-18 are bullied at school and online.

High divorce rates, violent entertainment, and drug abuse among youth—even the use of prescription anti-depressants—are suspected of contributing to the problem. However, these are increasingly understood as symptoms of the underlying epidemic of stress in society.

Stress-free schools
'I remember the first time I heard that a little kid brought a gun into school, and then we start hearing all these problems . . . .' says renowned filmmaker David Lynch. His concern led him to establish the David Lynch Foundation, to create 'stress-free schools' through the Quiet Time Programme and the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Technique.

Hundreds of public and private schools throughout the US and around the world have benefited from the programme, and are experiencing dramatic improvements in students' and teachers' lives.

In a video featured on the David Lynch Foundation website, a teacher speaks about a student who had been extremely volatile before learning the Transcendental Meditation Technique: '[Now] he comes into class and says, ''I need to meditate.'' He hasn't been suspended one time this year.'

'TM is like a washing machine,' says Jody, a student at an American high school previously plagued by violence. 'Disturbing thoughts wash away.'

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation in schools
An extensive body of scientific research has verified that Transcendental Meditation leads to improved academic achievement, fewer behaviour problems, and reduced stress, anxiety, depression, violence, and drug use.

A newly-completed study found that 106 at-risk adolescents in three high schools reduced their levels of stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and emotional problems when practising the Transcendental Meditation Technique over four months at school, as compared with controls.*

Studies on 60 sixth-graders at two middle schools found that the practice of Transcendental Meditation positively affected emotional development. Meditating students also had significantly higher scores on self-esteem and emotional competence.** In another study, secondary school students who learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme showed increased tolerance after 14 weeks, compared to a control group. ***

Positive changes
'I'm a lot less angry, so it's easier to talk to people and communicate,' says a student about learning the Transcendental Meditation Technique. 'Relationships are a lot easier.'

* 'At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity through Transcendental Meditation.' Robert Colbert, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut (US). Presented at the Annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008
** 'Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and increases happiness among middle school students.' Rita Benn, PhD, Director of Education, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center, University of Michigan. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, April 2003
*** Dissertation abstracts International 38(7): 3372B-3373B, 1978. See

Global Good News will continue this topic in coming days, featuring the role of brain development and moral behaviour.

© Copyright 2010 Global Good News®.

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