JMVRI Issue Number 16

JMVRI Issue No. 16 contains three original research papers. The first by Dr Michael King, titled “Courts’ Response to Trauma and Application of the Transcendental Meditation Technique” (pp. 11-36), considers the role Transcendental Meditation might play in jurisprudence and sentencing because it produces a unique state of restful alertness and its regular practice alleviates the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in a variety of traumatised populations, promotes psychological growth and more positive behaviour, and reduces offender recidivism. Court programs have explored its use in small offender rehabilitation programs, but should, according to Dr King, consider its wider application to address the trauma of the criminal justice system and the secondary trauma and stress of court professionals.

The second paper by founding MVRI director, Dr Geoffrey Wells, is titled “Scholarship and Maharishi Vedic Science: Some Reflections” (pp. 37-62). This original research paper considers the standard principles of scholarship in academic writing and reading, and explores how these principles relate and can be applied to scholarship in Maharishi Vedic Science. Dr Wells argues that a new, expanded view of scholarship emerges from this analysis, and he highlights two key principles of scholarship in Maharishi Vedic Science which were identified and encouraged by Maharishi and have been applied by teachers and scholars since the 1980s.

The third paper, “Long-Term Practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in Puno, Perú: A Five-Level Exploratory Model of Theory and Research” (pp. 63-94), is by Lee Fergusson, Javier Ortiz Cabrejos, and Anna Bonshek. This research is the product of MVRI working collaboratively with Instituto Maharishi de Ciencia y Tecnología del Perú in Lima, and is one of the first of its kind to investigate the practice of Transcendental Meditation in Latin America. Using a qualitative approach to explore the practice in Perú, the paper reports the experiences in Puno of six long-term practitioners of Transcendental Meditation who have practiced the technique for an average of 15 years.

JMVRI Issue Number 16

JMVRI Paper 16.1

Courts’ Responses to Trauma and Application of the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Author: Michael King

This paper can be downloaded via the following link:

https://www.academia.edu/attachments/66298884/download_file?s=portfolio

Citation: King, M. S. (2021). Courts’ responses to trauma and application of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Journal of Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, 16, 11-36.

Summary (excerpt): 

The court system is one of society’s principal mechanisms for processing the consequences of trauma. Traumatic events may arise from criminal behaviour or give rise to civil proceedings and those coming before the courts as parties such as defendants or victims may have dysfunction in a number of life domains due to unresolved trauma from the past. Historically courts have failed to use processes sensitive to the effects of trauma and have consequently in some cases retraumatised people, particularly victims of crime. Professionals working in courts have been subjected to secondary trauma through exposure to traumatic cases. Courts are addressing trauma by using innovative processes, including connecting those with trauma-related needs to appropriate treatment and support services and by using more sensitive court processes.

Additional avenues to address trauma need to be explored. For example, research has found that the practice of the stress-reduction and self-development technique, the Transcendental Meditation technique, produces a unique state of restful alertness and that its regular practice alleviates the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in a variety of traumatised populations, promotes psychological growth and more positive behaviour, and reduces offender recidivism. To date court programs have only explored its use in small offender rehabilitation programs. Courts should consider its wider use to address the trauma of parties and the secondary trauma and stress of court professionals.

JMVRI Paper 16.2

Scholarship and Maharishi Vedic Science: Some Reflections

Author: Geoffrey A. Wells

This paper can be downloaded via the following link:

https://www.academia.edu/attachments/66298899/download_file?s=portfolio

Citation: Wells, G. A. (2021). Scholarship and Maharishi Vedic Science: Some reflections. Journal of Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, 16, 37-62.

Summary (excerpt):

In this essay I want to explore the idea of scholarship in relation to Maharishi Vedic Science. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is renowned for his vision of Veda and Vedic Literature and its applications, which offers full development of life for every individual and for the world family. Maharishi presented this teaching over 50 years, beginning in 1957, under the overarching title of Maharishi Vedic Science. The teaching of Maharishi Vedic Science is now available primarily in the thousands of hours of videotaped lectures Maharishi made and in the books he wrote and published.

This teaching, as we will see, rests on the experience of higher consciousness which Maharishi made available to everyone through his technologies of consciousness, the first and foundation of which is Transcendental Meditation. The highest purpose of these technologies lies in the transformation of life that they produce, as demonstrated by the experiences of these programs and their benefits, for individuals and societies, and as verified by a decades-long, world-wide, research program.

For at least five decades scholars have been writing about Maharishi Vedic Science in a variety of academic contexts for a variety of purposes. Academic programs in Maharishi Vedic Science have been developed and accredited. Leading international journals have published work in it, and journals have been founded to provide a dedicated academic space for it. Yet the question of what scholarship means in relation to Maharishi Vedic Science has received less attention. It seems to be time to take that conversation forward.

The contemporary view of scholarship, as it is found in universities and research organisations, centres on agreed practices and standards that underpin formal presentations of knowledge. Usually, students do not systematically learn this ‘code of scholarship’, if I can call it that, although books have been written about it and academic journals and publishers attempt to capture it in their guidelines for authors. More often it is learned by practice, as a graduate apprentice to a supervisor or mentor. Yet informal as this learning structure is, researchers consistently accept and share it. Critical thinking is central to it; an idea and a practice that is, paradoxically, more undefined than it may first appear. It includes precise terminology and propositions; logically developed arguments; evidential support; and an overarching commitment to submitting texts, as journal articles or books, one’s own and others, to searching texts according to these principles.

JMVRI Paper 16.3

Long-Term Practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in Puno, Perú: A Five-Level Exploratory Model of Theory and Research

Author: Lee Fergusson, Javier Ortiz Cabrejos, and Anna Bonshek

This paper can be downloaded via the following link:

https://www.academia.edu/attachments/66298920/download_file?s=portfolio

Citation: Fergusson, L., Ortiz-Cabrejos, J., & Bonshek, A. (2021). Long-term practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique in Puno, Perú: A five-level exploratory model of theory and research. Journal of Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, 16, 63-94.

Summary (excerpt):

Practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique has been well-documented in the published literature since the 1970s. However, the significance of the practice in South America generally and Perú specifically has been unrecorded, except for the recently published study on parent and teacher perceptions of Aymara children who meditate in Puno, despite its widespread use in schools, government agencies, and businesses in the last 20 years. This paper examines the theoretical foundations of the practice and compares these propositions to international research findings, all of which have been conducted outside Perú.

Using a five-level qualitative approach to explore the practice in Perú, the paper reports the experiences of six long-term practitioners of Transcendental Meditation in Puno who have practiced the technique for an average of 15 years. These reports have been coded and analysed thematically and organised into the following five levels: consciousness, mental, physical, behavioural, and sociocultural, with Puno data analysed for confirmatory or dissimilar evidence vis-à-vis international findings. Participants are from the Aymara population, an under-represented group in published literature from South America, making the study distinct. Findings suggest that experiences of long-term meditators in Puno are largely consistent with prior international research outcomes.

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