USA 24 August 2014. The fighting between Israelis and Palestinians resumes and the fear and hatred that spawned the recent combat remains unabated or has even been exacerbated by the conflict. Fighting continues in Syria. And the violent consequences of the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime continues to haunt both Iraq and America. An intelligent person may well ask, is there not another solution to this growing Middle East violence other than more violence? And is violence even a solution to violence?
There is, in fact, a non-violent solution.
The ancient Vedic treatise, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, describes this solution in the verse that reads, "In the vicinity of that inner peace hostile tendencies diminish."
This solution was dramatically demonstrated in the transformation of Mozambique, from an impoverished, drought-stricken nation, engaged in years of civil war, the poorest nation in the world, to being an African economic superstar, a model for peaceful change. Former Mozambique President Alberto Chissano gives credit to his Prevention Wings of the Military using the "Maharishi Effect" for the amazing reversal experienced under his leadership. 19 years of civil war and drought ended when the Army of Mozambique had 16,000 soldiers instructed in Transcendental Meditation® and the advanced TM-Sidhi program. Chissano's cabinet learned TM and supported the instruction of TM to the army and the population as a whole. "According to Tobias Dai, the 2001 defense minister, "the effect was overwhelming" and included reduced crime, drought aversion and three times the expected level of economic growth.
In all, 23 scientific studies, published in respected, peer-reviewed journals, confirm the effectiveness of the Maharishi Effect in reducing war violence, war deaths, crime, traffic accidents, hospital admissions, and in improving positive trends, such as employment level, economic indicators, negotiation progress towards peace, etc.
One of the first such studies was done in Israel, during the Lebanon War. In 1983 a group of Israeli experts in the TM and TM-Sidhi program practiced their techniques together in a hotel in Jerusalem. Measurements were taken on
a) the quality of life in Jerusalem (automobile accidents, fires, and crime),
b) the quality of life in Israel (crime, stock market, and national mood, derived from news content analysis), and
c) the war in Lebanon (war deaths of all factions and war intensity, derived from news content analysis).
All of these parameters were positively affected when there were sufficient numbers of participants in the group. The study was published in 1988 in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. Follow-up studies appeared in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality and the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
What is the "Maharishi Effect?" Named after the Indian scientist and teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the International Transcendental Meditation Movement, the Maharishi Effect is found when a small group of experts practice an advanced form of Transcendental Meditation (TM) together in a group, or when 1% of the population practice the basic TM technique. The result is that violence of all forms subsides in the surrounding population.
Albert Einstein is famously quoted, defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The intractable conflicts of the Middle East cry out for an end to the insanity of continued violence that just spawn even more intense violence.
A peaceful world can only be based on peaceful individuals. Why not try the Maharishi Effect?
Dr. David Leffler and Dr. Joseph Boxerman
Dr. Joseph Boxerman, has been a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique for over 40 years, and a participant in international peace interventions groups using the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program in the United States, Central America, the Republic of the Philippines, and India. He has lectured on and taught the Transcendental Meditation program in Israel, the United States, the Republic of the Philippines, and India.
Dr. David Leffler is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He was a member of the US Air Force for nearly nine years. Dr. Leffler served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. He now serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) in Fairfield, Iowa and teaches IDT. He is on Twitter and Facebook.