TranceNet Is a Critical SiteTranceNet is a critical resource on Transcendental Meditation; by this we mean that our web site focuses on material that is critical of the TM program. We do, however, include links to online resources maintained by the TM movement and enthusiastic supporters of the TM movement. We offer our site not as a complete answer to questions about TM, but rather as a balance to the largely unbalanced and uncritical resources published by the TM movement and its followers. Many thousands of former members of TM have contacted us in the last years. A large number of these people report that they believe that they had a cultic relationship with the TM organization. Neither trancenet.org Society nor its editorial staff conclude that any group discussed on this site is necessarily cultic in nature. We provide suppressed and alternative information so that you may make informed decisions for yourself.
A (Mostly) Good Word about MeditationOver the years we at trancenet.org have received many communications that are variations on a basic theme, "What do you have against meditation?" (Feel free to substitute "alternative health," "multi-level marketing," you name it, for "meditation.") Many of us are not critical of meditation itself for most people. Meditation is one of nature's miracles. For most people it is an extraordinary experience that adds much to life. Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, and other researchers have shown that many forms of meditation offer specific benefits, such as lowered blood pressure and increased relaxation when practiced regularly. And TM seems to be as good or better than any of the forms of meditation that we know of. (Coauthor, with Maharishi University of Management's Keith Wallace, of seminal research on Transcendental Meditation, Dr. Benson later denied that the results from TM were substantively different from other forms of meditation.) We believe that the majority of people who practice TM will find that they enjoy it. We believe it is as good as similar techniques taught by Hindus, Christians, Muslims, hypnotherapists, and others. We do, however, think there is evidence that it is either not effective, not enjoyable, or downright dangerous for a certain percentage of the population, on the order of 10% to 20%. But the bottom line is if you enjoy Transcendental Meditation -- and the religious aspects or repressive policies of the TM movement do not conflict with your beliefs -- why not do it? We do feel, however, that the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation movement and the Natural Law Party are in need of serious reform to bring it in line with the ethical -- even legal -- standards our culture expects. It's not our purpose to debate satisfied members of these groups. We have no reason to doubt that many, many have experiences and beliefs that are very fulfilling. Who can ask for more? It is our hope, however, that by raising concerns that many of us on all sides have in common, we can move the discussion of TM -- and similar groups -- past futile name-calling and on to meaningful discussion of where we might go from here. The jury is still out on whether TM and similar groups will become yet more radical -- or whether they will enter the mainstream. Honest attempts at measured reform may hold the balance. Current and former members together, the future of our groups is in our hands.
The original website TranceNet.org was discontinued in 2005.
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