Break for meditation, anyone?
A 17-year-old study in progress is being hailed as a landmark in the field of meditation, showing that the widespread practice is having a positive impact on the American population, even those who don’t participate.
Published in the World Journal of Science, this research is the “longest and most comprehensive” of dozens of studies that have tested the benefits of meditation, otherwise known as the Maharishi effect. The theory was named in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who pioneered this research and founded Maharishi International University and Transcendental Meditation in Fairfield, Iowa, where the new study took place.
“What’s unique about this study is that the results are so visually striking and on such a large scale,” said study lead author Dr. David Orme-Johnson in a statement. “We are seeing a reduction in stress across multiple indicators at the forecast time for the entire United States over a five-year period. And when the size of the group decreased, the national stress began to increase again. Obviously, the band was causing the effect.
To be able to measure the long-term effects of group meditation, Maharishi International researchers had to establish a baseline of average stress levels in the United States during a period before the start of meditation. mass, from 2000 to 2006. They counted tens of thousands of stress-related problems. tragedies” at that time: 15,440 murders, 93,428 rapes and 86,348 accidental deaths of children and adolescents, for example.
Between 2007 and 2011, the researchers then began following a group of 1,725 participants who meditated daily.
These five years have brought something amazing. The data showed stress-related incidents overall dropped significantly as a mere fraction of the United States — the approximate square root of 1% of the population — meditated together.
In a graph showing the results of the study (above), the prominent blue line represents the size of the study’s meditation group. As the group meditation began and continued, the frequency of murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, etc., tended to decrease.
When the five years passed and the study entered its “post” period, from 2012 to 2016, the same stress-related incidents began to increase again, as before – and quite suddenly. When membership in the group plummeted in 2013, it only took one to two years before the beneficial effects wore off and the stress-related tragedies multiplied.
“This study used state-of-the-art time-series regression analysis methods to eliminate potential alternative explanations due to intrinsic pre-existing trends and fluctuations in the data,” said co-author Dr. Kenneth Cavanaugh. “We have carefully studied potential alternative explanations in terms of changes in economic conditions, political leadership, population demographics and policing strategies. None of these factors could explain the results.
Meditation has been touted as a way to reduce individual stress, reduce anxiety, reduce chronic pain and depression, reduce the risk of heart disease, and relieve sleep problems and headaches. While there are apps and courses to guide people through meditation, this research shows that on a larger scale, meditation can do more than just lower your heart rate.
Maharishi International researchers believe meditation could be the key to curbing crime and tragedy. In a plea to decrease further disasters, they called for creating a “permanent” group of 8,000 people – more than four times the original study cohort – who would meditate, in perpetuity, using their program. This, they hope, could produce benefits that go well beyond US borders.
As a “safety factor”, the researchers also advised world leaders to establish large-scale meditation groups on all continents.
The researchers received a $75 million grant from the Howard and Alice Settle Foundation to conduct the study, which included stipends for group participants and meditation leaders.
MIU’s Orme-Johnson concluded in his statement, “That’s a lot of money, but the savings from reducing crime by 10% would save over $200 billion, not to mention all the other savings made by reducing other sources of stress in the country. .”
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Group meditation curbs national tragedy: Study – CNET – ApparelGeek
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