Marin IJ

Sunday Readers' Forum
Article Launched:10/16/2006 10:32:41 AM PDT

School not right place for TM

The "information meeting" at Terra Linda High School on Thursday night was a brazen recruitment presentation to parents by Transcendental Meditation. I've never witnessed such an unusual preparation for a so-called school "club."

Practitioners of the movement touted their expertise to portray "His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's" TM as an "all-good" solution for teen ills of every kind. Along with Principal Carole Ramsey, they tried to deny the spiritual/religious roots of the controversial program they are trying to insert into our public high schools.

Not one of the scientific studies presented included the negative side effects such as relaxation-induced anxiety, feeling "spaced out," anger and despair encountered by 62.9 percent of meditators in 75 scientific articles in the field of meditation, including Transcendental Meditation.

The dubious "Maharishi" (a revered title in Hinduism meaning "great seer of truth") is the leader of a multibillion dollar organization with an ambitious global plan to build "peace palaces" in "Maharishi Spiritual Centers."

Meditation and world peace initially may seem a welcome relief to teenagers and parents alike. But teens in the process of gaining their own identity and "fit" in the world are vulnerable to becoming mired in an organized belief system that can have harmful consequences for them and their families.

Pseudo-religious organization such as this should have no place in our public schools.

Colleen Russell,
licensed marriage and family therapist,
Mill Valley


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