ID has a little brother: TM. And like his big brother, TM wants to be taught as science in public schools. The current spokesman for TM is David Lynch; with backing from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and a few more celebrities.

"Transcendental Meditation [wikipedia link] is a meditation technique introduced in 1958 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The technique is practiced for twenty minutes twice a day while sitting with one's eyes closed, involves repetition of a thought-sound called a mantra, and is stated to involve neither concentration nor contemplation."

In the 70s TM made a run at getting into the New Jersey public school curriculum; but the court ruled that TM is grounded in Hinduism. Now with backing from a few celebrities TM is making a run at the public school system again. Americans United asks "Has TM suddenly been secularized over the past 30 years?"

TM doesn't really associate with his big brother ID; what would the Religious Right think about that after all? He used to hang out with his political pal NLP (Natural Law Party); but in 2004 dumped NLP for the new kid PG (U.S. Peace Government).

TM (and his advocates) claim his "meditation can bring about world peace," "reduce crime," and "teach people to levitate." TM also steadfastly claims to be a "true science" even though his followers participate in the ceremony Puja (considered a religious ceremony by most), and typically chant the name of a Hindu god during meditation.

ID runs with a pack of bullies, while TM hangs with a more pacifist group; but they are still spawns of the same mother: Religious Dogma. And neither should not be allowed in our public schools.

Nod to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

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On a side note... From what I've read about meditation, it can be a great thing for some people. I've got nothing against it; over the years I've even thought about trying to learn some form of it. It is when meditation is taught as part of a religion that I dislike it; and if someone wants to teach it in public schools that way, I've got a problem with it.
TM's been around as a woo theory for years, I didn't know they were trying to push it into schools, though.
Meditation and religion aren't mutually exclusive. I was taught a form of it combined with breathing techniques in martial arts.
Now, if you are chanting the name of a deity, (even unknowingly) then it suddenly becomes an issue.
Funny thing about mantra is that the words themselves hold no meaning, only the physical response then invoke.
I could be chanting 'potato salad' over and over again if I've trained my body to lower blood pressure and heart rate in response to it.
I find 'cole slaw' is much more effective.
I say we need TM here at work, because it doesn't sound all that different than a nap to me. Lots and lots of TM, please.
What, pray tell, does meditation have to do with publicly funded education? Just curious what their arguments are. Would this be a program? Club? Class? What?

I attended a philosophy class in (public) high school, and we spent 15 minutes of every class meditating with chants playing in the background. I found meditation greatly beneficial for my mental state in school, but I doubt this is a practice that should be carried on throughout a public school system. I think the class I was in crossed the line when it came to religion in schools, and I don't see how TM would be much different.
They want it to be a science class.

How exactly they could turn it into a whole science class is beyond me though.

To me this seems so far fetched as a science class that comparatively it almost makes intelligent design look like science.
Then I find your subject line to be the perfect fit. To both I say: show me the scientific process, peer reviewed research, its falsifiability, and so forth, and then we can talk. ;)
*Nods Head with Johnny*
I'd prefer to see the relaxation techniques that are a part of TM taught in schools without all the world peace, love, Beatles, supernatural, new age hoohaa. It could be a valid part of physical education classes like a typical warm up/cooldown routine. It could be taught as a coping and de-stressing method, a way of focusing and improving concentration. All of that could be done without the slightest suggestion of spirituality.

The religious right, born-agains etc. see meditation, like yoga, as so laden with eastern terms that IT MUST BE A DEVIOUS PLOT TO TURN CHILDREN INTO HINDUS, MUSLIMS, BUDDHISTS, GANDHI-LOVERS and tambourine-banging krishnas in airports. So it when it comes their turn to decry it before their local school board, they claim bringing meditation into school is a violation of the separation of church and state. How convenient that argument is for them suddenly when it was not adequate reason for them to step back from pushing for ID and xtian prayer in schools. (Little do they realize the similarities between what they call prayer and what eastern faithful use meditation for).

I just watched this happen locally. Resolution was reached when the phys ed instructors, fresh from some conference where they learned meditation teaching techniques for phys ed classes etc., willingly agreed to instead have meditation taught after school on a voluntary basis and avoid all the eastern vocabulary that might accidentally call up Vishnu or Shiva. Agreement reached. Everyone seems happy now.

Then there are the TM people who can't seem to practice meditation/relaxation or advocate it without splashing everything with promises of world peace, the end to gang violence, better crop yields, lower golf scores etc. They dress it up with adoring references to some obnoxiously-named guru... some dork who wears sweats all the time and who sells mats and lame chant albums at his retreats, book signings etc. Then we start hearing the words chakras, inner eye, collective consciousness, spiritus mundi etc. The disciples (quite often celebrities) can't meditate without incense, quartz or aromatherapy while they relish overpronouncing the groovy eastern words they've memorized... stirring up all the super mystical clouds about their now floating souls...

So what is at its base, a valid technique for relaxing ("The Relaxation Response"), slowing oneself down, reducing tension, improving one's health etc. is ruined for almost everybody that might benefit from it. Thanks TM weirdoes and conservative xtians!! Teaching non-religion-soaked meditation really could be a valuable thing in a violent and hurried society. It would be wonderful to make it part of physical education in schools. There's no telling how many lives could be improved with a little 'mindfulness' and learned relaxation... if we could just wrest it from the hands of the celebrity granola gurus and the prejudices of the "IT'S A GATEWAY DRUG TO THE WRONG RELIGION!" crowd.
Deep breathing exercises can definitely be useful to relax your body and regain focus. In this regard, even the "count to ten" method of relaxation and stress relief is a form of meditation. I use it often with my students.

If they want to teach children how to refocus their thoughts on the task at hand, I am all for it, but stay the hell away from transcendental anything. I don't need them thinking they're going to another plane of existence, we've got math to cover...
Wait! When you're counting to ten, you're using Arabic numerals! This must be stopped and Arabican numerals must be eliminilated from our skool!! We're not makin terrorists in our schools, damnit.


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