Eastern, New Age movement lead by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Indian mystic woshipped by the Beatles in the 1960s. Claims to expand self-awareness and world peace, (and, at time, also to reduce crime) through meditation and levitation (yogic flying). TM Universities are located in several countries. The movement has its own political party, Natural Law, active in some 70 countries, and is said to have about 5 million voters worldwide.
More than 30 years since flower children were inspired by the Beatles' flirtation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India and his method of self-relaxation, transcendental meditation these days is being pitched at professionals looking for relief from the nerve-racking stresses of modern life.
Expansive claims have been part of TM since a little-known Hindu came to the West in the 1950s with a new version of traditional Hindu teachings he called Transcendental Meditation. He became world-famous in 1960s when the Beatles took up TM.
His theology was very traditional, said Scott Lowe, a religion professor at the University of North Dakota who studies new faiths and was a TM practitioner. The Maharishi based his teachings on his readings of the Vedas, the sacred texts at the heart of many Hindu beliefs, Dr. Lowe said. The faith requires a rigid caste system as one way to pay off karmic debts incurred in previous lives, for instance. And the theology also claimed an essential connection between sound and the power that undergirds the cosmos, he said. Repetition of the right sounds or phrases – called mantras – is said to confer power.
The Maharishi separated the mantra from its religious trappings and created TM. The practice has changed little over the decades. These days, practitioners pay $2,500 to be given a short word that they are told to repeat silently for 20 minutes, twice a day. As was true when TM started, current new practitioners are told that TM is not a religion and works without any changes in belief or lifestyle.
TM practitioners say the practice has positive effects on mental and physical health – claims that are challenged by some mainstream researchers.
Field of TM Dreams
by John W. Kennedy, ChristianityToday.com:
Fairfield, Iowa, of all places, is now a major world center for Transcendental Meditation, and local Christians are figuring out how best to evangelize Maharishi's devotees
Transcendental Meditation was ruled a religion by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Docket No. 76-341 (H.C.M.) Civil Action, in the case of Alan B. Malnak. et al., Plaintiffs, v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al., Defendants, in a summary judgment issued October 19, 1977, followed by an order and judgment, filed December 12, 1977.
Looks at the roots, teachings, and methods of Transcendental meditation.
Transcendental Meditation - A Christian Perspective
Brief, but effective overview.
Who Took the ''T'' Out Of ''TM''?
by Watchman Fellowship
Yoga and Transcendental Meditation - A Christian Option?
by George Smith, Assistant General Secretary of 'Christians in Caring Professions' (CiCP) and the organisation's official spokesman on New Age and Alternative Medicine. An article on the Christian Medical Fellowship
Beyond Gurus: A Woman of Many Worlds
by Nancy Cooke De Herrera. This insider's story is out of print. Well worth the search.
Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs
by John Weldon
and John Ankerberg
. Includes much information related to Transcendental Meditation (cross-referenced)
TM and Cult Mania
by by Michael A. Persinger, Normand J. Carrey, Lynn A. Suess. Hard to find, but excellent analysis. Describes problems with TM research.
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Database of archived news items on TM
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database
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Behind the TM Facade
(Contra) A look at TM's myths, peer reviews of TM research claims, crime statistics, etcetera.
Falling Down the TM Rabbit Hole
(Contra) "How Transcendental Meditation Really Works; A Critical Opinion"
By Joe Kellett, a former TM teacher.
Maharishi Global Construction
(Pro) Designs According To Maharishi Sthapatya Veda Architecture
(See also Vedic City
Creating Heaven on Earth "A Transcendental Meditation Portal"
Maharishi University of Management
Meditation Information Network
(Contra) ""Supporting critical examination of the programs associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi""
Good research resource.
(Contra) Site operated by a former TMer.
Stuff about TM
(Contra) Don Krieger's collection of information about TM includes ads, forms, personal testimonies, etcetera.
The Transcendental Meditation Program
(Pro) Official site.