Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation (TM) about the physiology of the TM-Sidhi program, the physiological and psychological development, the growth of self-actualization, Top Quality Management (TQM), the relationship between stress, neuroendocrine abnormalities, and aggression and crime, the treatment and prevention of criminal behavior and substance abuse, and Education (Reducing or eliminating violent behavior in schools)

Based on peer reviewed literature review, books and meta-analysis

Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation (TM)

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique has been the most widely researched [1]. Among the more than 600 published studies on the TM technique, many support its usefulness in preventing and treating Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) [1].

The experience of pure consciousness

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, from the Vedic tradition of India, was introduced in the West in the 1950’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The TM technique is described as a simple, natural means for the mind to experience Transcendental Consciousness, i. e., “a quiet state of inner wakefulness with no object of thought or perception, just pure consciousness aware of its own unbounded nature” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1976, p. 123). According to Shear (2006), the TM technique is a practice that makes the experience of the Transcendental Consciousness accessible in a manner that is “independent of all matters of belief and affiliation” (Shear p. 47) [2], [3].

Different class of meditation practices

The TM technique is a secular practice without a strong cultural context, and so people from all religions have learned and enjoy practicing TM (Rosenthal, 2011). As reported by Travis and Shear 2010, the TM technique represent a class of meditation practices which automatically transcends its own activity to give rise to experiences of pure consciousness ; which is fundamentally different in aim, procedure, experience, and brain activity then meditation practices involving focused attention or open monitoring [2].

How to learn the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique

The TM technique is learned through a seven-step course of instruction and is practiced 15-20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably with eyes closed. It is a process of automatic self-transcending and so needs guidance from a qualified teacher to lead one to the experience of self-awareness without thoughts. In this meditation practice, the individual begins appreciating a mantra, or sound without meaning, at “finer” levels in which the mantra becomes increasingly secondary in experience and ultimately disappears, and self-awareness becomes more primary [4].

The TM-Sidhi program

The TM-Sidhi program, and advanced meditation practice based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is said to accelerate the stabilization of Transcendental Consciousness during the performance of dynamic activity [4].

During the practice of the TM technique there are reductions in breath rate, skin conductance, and plasma lactate, and increased electroencephalographic (EEG) coherence indicative of a state of profound restful alertness, distinct from eyes-closed relaxation or sleep [4].

Brain functioning during the experience of pure consciousness

TM practice leads to consistent changes in brain functioning, which are distinct from the effect produced by other meditation practices. Specifically, blood flow increases to frontal areas, the executive areas of the brain, and decreases to subcortical levels. This indicates increasing activation of the frontal areas. Also, frontal EEG coherence is reported during TM compare to eyes-closed rest. Coherence is a mathematical measure of connections between brain areas indicating activation. Coherence is a measure of connections between areas. To engage in activities related areas. Between left and right front and back. Indicator integrated [4].

Physiological and psychological development

Empirical research indicate that experience of Transcendental Consciousness through the TM technique fosters the physiological transformation and holistic psychological development, including improved cognitive functioning, improve physical health, personality moderation, and more effective performance in business settings. A number of studies using standardized tests have found evidence of higher moral maturity in subjects practicing the TM technique [2].

Growth of self-actualization

Alexander, Rainforth and Gelderloos (1991) [5] conducted a meta-analysis of 42 independent outcomes to explore the reported effects of various meditation practices on growth of self-actualization. This meta-analysis found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, a specific meditation practice that is described as cultivating inner wakefulness that transcends thought, had three times the effect size of other meditation and relaxation practices that had been research longitudinally using self-actualization measures [3].

A central theme of our research program is to examine the transformative role of experiences of transcendental pure consciousness. The experience of pure consciousness is a silent “state of inner wakefulness with no object of thought or perception, just pure consciousness aware of its own and bounded nature” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1976, p. 123). This self referral experience is described as a state of “pure consciousness” because it is wakefulness as its essential nature, unmixed with images, thoughts, feelings, or any other object of perception color; and as “Transcendental Consciousness” because it transcends time, space, and all relative, changing experience. This inner state has been identified with the spiritual essence of life: “eternal silence, which is pure wakefulness, absolute alertness, pure subjectivity, pure spirituality” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1995, p. 271). The Transcendental Meditation technique (Rosenthal 2011) is a simple, natural practice from the Vedic tradition that is said to make the experience of Transcendental Consciousness accessible through an effortless means that is “independent of all matters of belief and affiliation” [2] , [4].

Top Quality Management (TQM)

Drawing on a case study of a Swedish top management team whose members were practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, this article argues for developmental maturity as an important causal factor for effective Top Quality Management (TQM) behaviors and success. It suggests that, first, increased maturity permits expression of more effective cognitive, affective, and team TQM behaviors, as indicated by improved team functioning and successful TQM planning, and, second, practice of the TM technique promotes the psychological maturation that allows a greater range of appropriate TQM behaviors. Thus, the inner development provided by the Transcendental Meditation program has practical value for managers engaged in TQM implementation [6].

Relationship between stress, neuroendocrine abnormalities, and aggression and crime

Both chronic and acute stress can cause long-lasting abnormalities in the neuroendocrine systems mediating adaptation. (Aggressive behavior has been associated with abnormalities in three principal regulatory systems in the body: (a) serotonin systems, (b) catecholamine systems, and (c) the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. Abnormalities in these systems also are known to be induced by stress, either severe, acute stress or chronic low-grade stress.) These abnormalities, in turn, are thought to contribute to psychological disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and hostility, and to behaviors such as substance abuse, violent aggression, and criminal acts. This article reviews evidence for neuroendocrine abnormalities in aggression and crime, defines stress as it relates to adaptation and behaviors, and reviews evidence that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program may reduce aggression and crime in part by removing these stress-induced abnormalities. The TM program appears to reverse or remove both the physiological and psychological disturbances arising from stress, thus strengthening the individual's coping abilities and restoring a sense of well-being. These normalizing effects of the Transcendental Meditation program are expected to enhance an individual's resilience and to promote the ability to fulfill desires in socially responsible ways [7].

Transcendental Meditation relevant to the treatment and prevention of criminal behavior and substance abuse

This article reviews research on the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program relevant to the treatment and prevention of criminal behavior and substance abuse. Over the past 30 years, 39 studies have been conducted on the rehabilitative effects of the TM program. These studies have involved various populations, including at-risk youths, participants in treatment programs, and incarcerated offenders. A few studies examined the effects of the TM program in the general population on use of alcohol, cigarettes, and non-prescribed drugs. Longitudinal, random-assignment studies with objective measures confirm the results of retrospective studies and other earlier research. Incarcerated offenders show rapid positive changes in risk factors associated with criminal behavior, including anxiety, aggression, hostility, moral judgment, in-prison rule infractions, and substance abuse. The substance abuse studies, taken together, indicate that the TM program reduces substance use as well as a number of the risk factors that underlie substance dependence, particularly anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and other forms of psychological distress. The TM program also produces a wide range of improvements in psychophysiological well-being, as indicated by better psychological health, enhanced autonomic functioning, and improved neuroendocrine balance. The changes in psychological health appear significant for long-term outcomes, as indicated by the lower recidivism rates for parolee practitioners of the TM technique and lower relapse rates for addicts. As a whole, these studies indicate that practice of the TM technique is an effective approach to rehabilitation for individuals prone to criminal behaviors and addictions. [8].

Education: Reducing or eliminating violent behavior in schools

This paper presents the thesis that Consciousness-Based education, including the practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, can be a highly effective tool for reducing or eliminating violent behavior in schools. After reviewing current approaches to preventing violence in schools, the authors review the factors contributing to the unique effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program. Central to this effectiveness is the program's ability to simultaneously deal with multiple causes of crime and violence. The paper reviews research demonstrating that practice of the technique reduces 23 identified risk factors for crime in four broad categories-physiological, psychological, and sociological circumstances and substance abuse. The paper concludes with a review of prior implementation of this program in educational and other settings as well as a discussion of the steps for implementation in new educational settings. Conclusions We have presented here the most significant evidence in support of the thesis that Consciousness-Based Education - even the Transcendental Meditation technique alone - can be a highly effective tool by which schools can reduce, and even eliminate, violent and criminal behavior. Because the causes of crime are complex - physical as well as mental, social as well as individual - a holistic program is needed to adequately prevent crime. Consciousness-Based Education is such a program. As has been shown, this program alleviates the student’s stress, develops his or her latent abilities, enhances his or her overall personal development, strengthens prosocial judgement, improved academic performance, and contributes in a direct way to a positive school climate. While Consciousness-Based education can be effective in itself, there is also no reason that it cannot be used with other conflict-resolution and violence prevention programs. Research on the effects of Consciousness-Based education on school crime is only in its early stages. However, compelling research already exists to show that the core technology - the Transcendental Meditation technique – can, by itself, dramatically impact drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior (including recidivism), and most of the risk factors tied to crime. In addition, research and outcomes assessment conducted at institutions where Consciousness-Based education has been applied suggest that many additional benefits should accompany the predicted reduction in school violence and antisocial behavior. These include such things as improved standardized test results and success at educational competitions. The potential impact of the approach is substantial for schools burdened with crime as well as those confronted with antisocial or disruptive behavior. Eliminating crime, violence, and antisocial and disruptive behaviors represents only a small fraction of the capability of education. Schools have the power to create moral individuals who have learned to fulfill their own desires while simultaneously serving the good of society at large. Research on the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and Maharishi University of Management indicates that, when educators set their sights on such a target, applying the technologies for development of consciousness that are now available, schools can become the agents of progress and social reform that John Dewey and other leading theorists have envisioned.

[1] Murphy M., Donovan S., Taylor E. The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Review of Contemporary Research with a Comprehensive Bibliography, 1931–1996. 2d ed. Ed. and with an introduction by Eugene Taylor. Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1997. With Annotated Update, September 2002. ISBN 0-943951-36-4.,

[2] SHEAR J. (Ed.) The experience of meditation: Experts introduce the major traditions. 2006. St Paul, MN, Paragon House. (ISBN = 978-1-55778-857-3)

[3] WANKEL , Charles. Ethical Models and Applications of Globalization: Cultural, Socio-Political and Economic Perspectives. 30 November 2011. ISBN: 9781613503331. 312 pages. Link to

[4] Pavlovich Kathryn, Krahnke Keiko. Organizing through Empathy. Routledge, 11 sept. 2013 - 248 pages (p. 18). Book onlinebook4_p18

[5] Alexander C. N., Rainforth M. Y., Gelderloos P. Transcendental Meditation, self-actualization and psychological health: a conceptual overview and statistical meta-analysis. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. 1991 ; 6:189–247

[6] SCHMIDT-WILK J. TQM (Top Quality Management) and the Transcendental Meditation program in a Swedish top management team. The TQM Magazine, 2003, 15:219-229. Link1 Link2Link3

[7] WALTON K. G., LEVITSKY D. K. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on neuroendocrine abnormalities associated with aggression and crime. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation , 2003, 36, 1-4, p.67-87. (DOI: 10.1300/J076v36n01_04) Link1Link2Link3 (Full-text)

[8] HAWKINS M. A. Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in criminal rehabilitation and substance abuse recovery: A review of the research. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation , 2003, 36, 1-4, pp.47-65. (ISBN : 1050-9674) Link1Link2Link3

[9] JONES C., CLAYBORNE M., GRANT J. D., RUTHERFORD G. Attacking Crime at Its Source: "Consciousness-Based" Education in the Prevention of Violence and Antisocial Behavior. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation , 2003, vol. 36, 1-4, p. 229-55. (DOI: 10.1300/J076v36n01_11) Link1, Link2,