Vets find wellness in meditation

When did you connect the idea that TM
(Transcendental Meditation) could work for veterans? Well, I’ve been teaching Transcendental Meditation for 40 years and I’ve been teaching it 20-30 years ago to Vietnam vets and even WW2 vets, but it’s just been in
the past years where the understanding that post-traumatic stress disorder is a real epidemic that has no conventional traditional solution. So you combine that, with the fact that there’s now 30 years of research on Transcendental Meditation showing that it’s profoundly affective for giving
deep rest, healing the brain and reducing stress. So we got approached by a lot of military people in veterans organizations, saying: “Hey, can you offer TM to the vets!” Just a quick question Bob: meditation has played a role in my life only on the periphery. I kind of know
what it is but you keep referring to Transcendental Meditation. Can you tell me what that is and how it is different than my concept of meditation? Meditation is sort of a generic word, that can mean anything. Transcendental Meditation is a
very simple, easily learned mental technique that’s practice for 20 minutes,
twice a day, sitting comfortably in the chair with the eyes closed and Russell
and i can both do it and…. Bob taught me Transcendental Meditation after I read Russell’s book! It’s an ideal meditation for people that have very busy minds. Thinking, thinking, thinking… Everyone benefits! Everyone benefits from Meditation. Were there soldiers who felt like: “Oh, this is too touchy feely… I may not want to do this.” “I am a soldier, I am a fighter and this is…”, you know that there’s some sort of cultural issue. I’m sure there are lots of people. We have the schools all over the country where we teach young people to meditate And there’s some people who think that meditation has something to do with religion. This idea of letting the mind settle is in every religion, but it’s also in every spiritual teaching but
also everyone needs to look inside for reflection in order to work outside and operating from a calmed space is gonna be the greatest gift anyone could be given to teach people how to look inside and to then give from the inside out, I
mean all your happiness sits inside. Everything, every creative idea you have comes from a moment of presence. So Bob, what do the veterans get out of it? What difference have you seen anecdotally in veterans who are practicing TM? Well, first of all it’s interesting that
it’s a generational thing because the young kids coming, you know, the 20’s – 30’s… the idea of meditation is fine. They go to yoga class, they hear about meditation and they just want to be able to do it. And they can do Transcendental Meditation. The research find this and this is the reason why now that VA is funding
research on Transcendental Meditation and we’re working with Wounded Warrior
Project and many, many military bases is that they found about 50 percent
reduction in the symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The
research shows a reduction in heart disease which is a byproduct of PTSD, anxiety, sleep disorders… (it doesn’t replace other metapsychological treatment ) No, it’s an adjunct therapy. We use it as an adjunct therapy, medically sound, scientifically tested. It’s even being use at Norwich University which is the oldest private military college in the country And their president, Richard Schneider, sees this as; “the missing element in promoting resilience” What a great gift for Veterans Day, when you think about it. You can gave some peace of mind and some calmness and dealing with some of the terrible things. You don’t have to give a kid ritalin, you
don’t need it for ADD, for instance. It does cure that. And there are many medical procedures that are not needed.

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