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Thursday, June 22, 2006

TM in Connecticut schools?

An interesting and revealing article in today's Greenwich Time about a push by some to promote Transcendental Meditation in Connecticut schools. The typical lines are given out about TM not being a religion. I find it a bit comical, however, that the article itself contradicts that proposition, giving this description of the practice:

The practice is a set of Hindu meditation techniques introduced to the Western world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The movement began in 1956 in India and is now worldwide, with more than 5 million followers. It became famous in the late 1960s, when celebrities like the Beatles, Mia Farrow and Donovan hung out in the Maharishi's ashram.

How can a set of Hindu meditation techniques not be religious? Would anyone say this about the various forms of Christian mystical or "centering" prayer? I'm not espousing those forms of prayer, simply making the point that such things are always brought into public life disguised as something else.

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Anonymous said...

Nick...keep in mind that the definition for the TM program in this article is the newspaper's definition and not the interviewee's. Hopefully, having seen how the media treats ALL programs of self-development, including religions, one cannot trust ALL that they say. One does see information in terms of how they view the world, however so let's view the world with love and kindness.
We are all trying to make the world a better, more peaceful place. Let's practice what we preach and love each other rather then finding differences that don't exist.
The "interviewee" from the article

Nick said...

Hi "I,"

I absolutely agree with you that the media can be less than charitable when it comes to religious groups and other programs. I also agree that people of good will in all belief systems are indeed working to make the world a better place.

Having said that, however, there are real differences that do exist between different thought systems. And the fact that there are Buddhists of good will, Muslims of good will, etc., does not mean that we can ignore the differences that do exist. Otherwise we will lose what makes us distinctive.

I don't believe we can seriously deny that TM arose out of the Hindu religious setting and cannot be completely divorced from it. Advocates of TM have always "Westernized" TM and yoga to make them more palatable and scientific for the materialistic societies.