The remarkable findings show that large groups of peace-creating meditation experts decrease international conflicts, including deaths and injuries due to terrorism. The study reports that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation(TM) and TM-Sidhi program by 7,000 people decreases terrorism and international conflicts worldwide.
On three different occasions during 1983-1995, groups of approximately 7,000 meditators were formed for periods lasting from 8 to 11 days, twice in the United States and once in Holland. The effects were studied using terrorism data collected completely independently by the Rand Corporation, the renowned California think tank. Five days after the assemblies started, terrorist activities in the world calmed down, the study reports. The study also found that warfare due to national and international conflicts decreased by approximately 30%. Assessment of the effects on warfare came from reports appearing in the New York Times and London Times.
"Our formula predicts that the square root of 1% of the world population meditating together would be needed to create a worldwide effect. That number was approximately 7,000 at the time of the study," said study author Dr. David Orme-Johnson of Maharishi University of Management. "We found that the effect could not be explained by any trends or cycles in the data, or by the time of year or other factors. Nothing else was happening that could have explained the sudden drop in armed conflicts throughout the world at that time," said the study's coauthor Dr. Michael Dillbeck, also of Maharishi University of Management.
Group Meditation Produces Coherence
So how does it work? According to the researchers, the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs take the mind to its innermost state of silence, which is the unified field of natural law, the source of order in the universe. When enough people in society experience this level of awareness, then the coherence of the unified field is spread throughout the world, softening ancient ethnic, political, and economic stresses that are at the basis of war. "Fifty studies have shown that the influence of Transcendental Meditation on the larger society is to replace crime, hostility and fighting with mutual respect and cooperation," said Dr. Orme-Johnson.
Experts Emphasize Importance of This Approach
According to Professor Ved Nanda, Director of International Legal Studies at the University of Denver College of Law, "These studies provide a great hope for humanity, a breath of fresh air. We have repeatedly seen that international law, treaties, and even the United Nations cannot prevent war, or even contain it within certain rules such as the Geneva Convention. Can we afford to overlook this research? It breaks my heart that so many people are being killed every day, including many fine young Americans, when we haven't even tried this first."
Another proponent of trying this approach is Dr. David Edwards, Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. "Although I myself have not been directly involved in this research, from my perspective of almost 40 years of study of foreign policy, arms control, and theories of social change, I can say that this is extremely significant research. I have participated in urging members of Congress and other government leaders to try it. The cost of implementing a permanent coherence creating group in the world is less than a single B2 bomber."
"Peace Palaces" Being Established
So far, the U.S. government has not added this approach to its arsenal of defense strategies, so Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who pioneered this approach to peace, is organizing a permanent group of 40,000 in India and 3,000 Peace Palaces throughout the world. Peace Palaces are places where these techniques are taught and practiced to generate coherence in their local region. A Peace Palace was inaugurated on April 10 in the Catskills of New York. In addition to creating coherence for the New York area, it will serve as a place where members of the United Nations can go to learn more about this approach.
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