Our organisation’s mission is to:
-allow each individual in our country to develop to their highest potential
-Create more coherence and peace in our society
Stress has been referred to as “the black plague” of the 21st century. The mission of our organisation is to reduce the negative impact of stress by helping people be more stress-resistant through the Transcendental Meditation Technique, so they can improve their own lives and develop to their highest potential. And just like the forest is green if the individual trees are green, if there is less stress in the individual members of our society, our society as a whole will benefit, leading to more coherence and peace.
Stress has been referred to as “the black plague” of the 21st century:
–Health: so many health problems that we are facing these days are either created by stress or aggravated by stress. Health aspects influenced by stress range from very basic “it’s harder to sleep” or worrying more to more advanced aspects like influence on our immunity, hearth health.
–Mental potential: Neuro-science has known for a long time that if we get stressed, our brain goes into “fight-or-flight”-mode. We get ready to defend ourselves from instant danger and the parts of our brain responsible for these functions get more bloodflow so we can act quickly. To create this speed of reaction, the pre-frontal cortex, the part of our brain responsible for the higher functions of our brain like intelligent planning, thinking about consequences, moral reasoning, etc gets less bloodflow. And while this fight-or-flight mode is very useful for our survival when there is physical danger, these days a lot of the stress we face is different. It might be a tight deadline at work, or a difficult problem to solve. In this case, it would be much better to have our full mental potential at our disposal to find solutions.
–Relationships: The instinctive defensive reactions associated with the fight-or-flight reaction created by stress can also have a very negative effect on our relationships, both personal and professional. In the heat of the moment, we say things we don’t mean and some of us will start fighting (hence the term “fight-or-flight”) but when our brain goes back to normal functioning, we might regret the damage we have done to our relationships with our words or actions. There is also an indirect effect of relationships. If we live in a city, where everybody around us is very stressed, then being in this atmosphere tends to have a stressful effect on us as well.
The mission of our organisation is to reduce the negative impact of stress by helping people be more stress-resistant. There is a lot of stress in the lives of most people. If we want to feel less stressed inside ourselves, we have 2 options:
-we can either change or live eg quit our job and move to a cave away from the world.
-or we can make ourselves more stress-resistant so that the stress around us doesn’t influence us so much.
Our organisation is focused on the latter. Transcendental Meditation (TM) is one of the most practiced (6 million practitioners), the most widely researched (600 research studies), and, according to the research, the most effective meditation technique in the world to reduce built-up stress inside ourselves and become more resistant to stress around us.
The work we do day-to-day includes:
-internet marketing campaigns to spread awareness around the negative impact of stress on individuals and society
-creating awareness around how the Transcendental Meditation technique can help and the availability of free intro lectures in various cities in the country
-If people come to the free intro lecture, they can get more information on the TM technique, meet a local TM coach and ask any questions and if they like they can sign up for the course to learn the technique
How are the finances managed?
Our organisation doesn’t rely on fundraising to the public to fulfil its mission. Instead it uses the “Robin-Hood” principle.
People that have sufficient financial means pay a course fee in return for learning the TM technique. The finances created in this way are then used to:
-cover the cost of offering the courses which includes the cost of highly trained TM teachers for the 4-day course and for the life-long follow-up that is included in the course fee (training to become a TM teacher takes 5 months full-time after several years of preparation), the cost of the marketing to create the public awareness, the cost of the over-arching organisation providing training for the TM teachers, quality control, day-to-day administration etc)
-creating partial scholarships for courses for people who don’t have the necessary financial means
-charity projects where people can learn TM for free (eg in schools, prisons, for at-risk populations etc)
-research projects to create more awareness around the unique benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique
Sometimes, our national and international organisations also partner with other organisations to share the costs of the research and the awareness building required to support the world in this way. Example of this include:
-Over the past few decades, the US National Institutes of Health has provided more than $20 Million US for scientific research on the TM Technique, specifically in the context of Cardio-Vascular Disease. Based on all this research, in 2012, the American Heart Association made a formal recommendation to American doctors to consider the prescription of TM (and no other form of meditation or relaxation) as an option for the treatment of hypertension. Ref.Brook RD et al., Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension, 61:00, 2013.
-Recently, the European Commission has provided 2 grants in the context of the EUROPE Project and the FRIENDS project where they paid ~80% of the costs for research studies in schools. In total close to €1 Million was provided by the European Commission and close to 1,000 students and several hundred teachers were able to learn TM for free as part of this project. Below is a video of a Swedish school that participated in this project.
-The US Department of Defense recently funded a randomized controlled trial with more than 200 participants showing that TM showed a significant improvement in PTSD symptoms in 61% of the participants while only 43% of the test subject that received Prolonged Exposure treatment (the gold standard offered to veterans) showed a clinically significant improvements. Ref.https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30384-5/fulltext
Thanks to all this work in the past 60 years, awareness is growing and various organizations are starting to support the cost for people to learn TM, for example:
-Switzerland: leading health insurance provider Swica is now reimbursing part of the TM course fee
-Belgium: Flemish government subsidises part of the course fee for people working for small and medium-sized companies in the context of burnout prevention through the KMO Portefeuille program
-US: US Veterans can receive special scholarship through the David Lynch Foundation