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Meditation in the Classroom

An Antidote to Stress

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Meditation in the Classroom
New Hampshire (US) committee calls for Transcendental Meditation in schools: Proposal to be modeled after successful programs in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Iowa.

Can 10 minutes twice a day of a widely researched meditation technique cut epidemic levels of stress that are turning the greater Manchester area schools into a breeding ground for poor academic performance, anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and violence? The answer is yes, according to a committee of educators, researchers, parents, and students who are recommending that the Transcendental Meditation technique be offered to interested students in area schools. The Transcendental Meditation technique, founded by the Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is a simple, natural procedure to contact your inner reservoir of creativity, energy and intelligence on a daily basis.

“Educators understand that the student performance challenges in our schools demand effective new approaches,” says James Bingham, assistant town administrator for Goffstown, and Director of the New Hampshire Committee for Stress-Free Schools. “The Transcendental Meditation technique is the most thoroughly researched program for reducing stress in the world. Based on this research and 35 years of classroom experience, we are convinced Transcendental Meditation is that approach.”

In fact, the New Hampshire Stress-Free Schools Committee is so convinced that it is proposing that TM be offered to students throughout New Hampshire—either in class, after school, or in charter schools. The group will hold a news conference on Tuesday, May 9, at the Wayfarer Convention Center, Derryfield Room, 121 South River Road in Bedford, to outline the plan. The news conference will be followed by an educators’ conference at 12:00 noon.

Mr. Bingham emphasizes that the Transcendental Meditation program is not a religion or philosophy, but rather a simple technique that can be easily learned by anyone from the age of 10 years. “TM is mainstream in America,” Mr. Bingham says. “The technique promotes the full potential of the brain and provides the body with deep, rejuvenating rest. The National Institutes of Health has granted $20 million to study its effects on cardiovascular disease. But more than just an antidote to stress, TM is used in businesses to enhance job performance and in schools to improve academic outcomes.”

The most recent TM success story occurred at the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse, a Detroit middle school, where for the past nine years over 100 students and teachers have practiced the technique for ten minutes at the start and close of each school day. Recent research conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School found that kids practicing the technique handle stress better, feel happier, and get along better with their peers than a control group of non-meditating students. The $300,000 program was funded, in part, by donations from the General Motors and Daimler/Chrysler foundations.

“TM works so well in so many other schools,” Mr. Bingham says. “That is why we want to offer it here. We are asking the leading educators in our state to give very serious consideration to this well-documented technology to improve academic performance and student well being and begin its implementation in our schools.”

For more, please contact Ken Chawkin at +1-641-470-1314

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