TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION is well known for delivering adherents to a deeper spiritual level, but it’s now emerged as a tool for tackling trauma.
TM was introduced by Indian teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
“It has been 60 years since Maharishi came out to the West with this; we’ve seen 10 million people who have learnt this basis of self-development”, says local TM teacher Peter Smith.
“TM’s a … level of rest that’s twice as deep as deep sleep”, Mr Smith says.
He says studies in America showed that people who studied TM and were later victims of crime were 16 per cent less likely to need hospital admission.
Mr Smith says the technique can also be used to tackle drug addiction: “Anyone who’s feeling traumatised and they don’t have a direction in life, [we can teach them] so they can connect with that inner intelligence and creativity.”
TM was popular in US prisons during the 1970s (popular actor Burt Reynolds is a convert and gave a talk at Folsom Prison) and helped reduce recidivism rates by 10 – 15 per cent.
“[With war veterans] the trauma came into play after the Gulf Wars,” Mr Smith said.
“There’s been an increasing problem, where a lot of veterans haven’t been able to rehabilitate [back] into society.
“The thing that separates TM as being unique is that it’s effortless … that’s what got me as well.
“It relies on the nature of the mind, withdrawing from the outer world. This leads the mind inwards. As the mind settles down, the body settles down.”
Mr Smith has been meditating for over 43 years, teaching for 34 years and for the last 20 years has been involved in research into consciousness in a research facility in the Himalayas in India.
He is in Perth to teach at the Transcendental Meditation centre in Subiaco; which can be contacted on 0439 096 743 or via tm.org.au
by ALEX MURFETT