"as I mentioned I don't really know what a Hindu is specifically but I did think that the above definition applied to Buddism and Taoism. Are they considered Hindu also?"
Buddhism in a round about way came from Siddartha denying his rightful place as a warrior king and giving it all up to become complete. None of the rituals in Buddhism seem to have very many Hindu references, but I am no expert on Buddhism, so I could be wrong. I do know that Taoism defintiely had nothing to do with Hinduism. TM is most definitely from Hinduism.
You make many statements and references of the benefit of TM, and as far as meditation goes, I don't see it as harmful at all, but I don't necessarily see it as the cure-all the TM movement makes it out to be. And I'm not alone.
"TM & Improving Human Performance" Renowned social scientist Daniel Druckman, of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, discusses social science research consulting in the context of a three-year study undertaken for the National Research Council on improving human performance. This study is of importance to TranceNet readers for its findings that: (1) TM is ineffectual in improving human performance, and (2) its finding that the meta-analysis that pro-TM researchers have put forward as finding benefit for the technique are deeply flawed in their methodology.
"Meditation and Its Side-Effects in Therapy" This article, by Alberto Perez-De-Albeniz and Jeremy Holmes, reviews 75 scientific selected articles in the field of meditation, including Transcendental Meditation among others. It summarizes definitions of meditation, psychological and physiological changes, and negative side-effects encountered by 62.9% of meditators studied. While the authors did not restrict their study to TM, the side-effects reported were similar to those found in the "German Study" of Transcendental Meditators: relaxation-induced anxiety and panic; paradoxical increases in tension; less motivation in life; boredom; pain; impaired reality testing; confusion and disorientation; feeling 'spaced out'; depression; increased negativity; being more judgmental; feeling addicted to meditation; uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations; mild dissociation; feelings of guilt; psychosis-like symptoms; grandiosity; elation; destructive behavior; suicidal feelings; defenselessness; fear; anger; apprehension; and despair.
"The Use of Psychological Skills by Female Collegiate Swimmers" This article, >by Kaia E. Thiese and Sharon Huddleston, presents research on 147 female collegiate swimmers, approximately 50% of whom use psychological "skills" to enhance performance, such as autohypnosis, autogenic training, blank meditation, bracing, color, cue words, mantra meditation, and Transcendental Meditation. Of interest to TranceNet readers are the results that Transcendental Meditation had no significant effect, although techniques ridiculed by the Maharishi, such as positive self-talk, showed some indication of value.
"Analyzing the Maharishi Effect" In this balanced and deeply researched paper, philosopher of science Evan Fales and sociologist Barry Markovsky, both of the University of Iowa, discuss standards to which exotic scientific theories should be held. Using the "Maharishi Effect" -- Transcendental Meditation's claim that groups of advanced meditators can bring about peace in war- or crime-torn areas -- as an example, they give strong reasons why unusual theories deserve a hearing -- but not necessarily an endorsement -- from serious scientists.
As they point out, newspaper accounts, promotional materials, subsequent research reports, and their own communications with TM researchers, representatives, followers and defectors all indicate that the "Maharishi Effect" provides a special source of pride, vindication, and scientific legitimation for all affiliated with the movement. But when the authors analyze the theory and methods with the tools of the scientific method, they find the probability of the Maharishi Effect Theory is very close to zero. The Maharishi Effect Theory fails to predict or explain its purported effects, a crucial property of any scientific theory. Worse yet, the authors find mundane alternatives to the Maharishi Effect that may explain the data.
Their final conclusion? The Maharishi Effect theory and evidence are not ready to be given serious scientific consideration. The theory is vague and poorly constructed, and aspects of the methods and statistics used to test it are highly questionable.
As an interesting side note, Professor David Orme-Johnson, lead author of the study that was examined by Fales and Markovsky, repeatedly refused to supply Professor Markovsky with his raw data. This violates a standard scientific practice designed to allow the replication and further analysis of results. Within the scientific community, refusal to supply data generally calls into question any findings based on those data, and may severely damage the reputations of researchers who engage in such behavior.
Reprinted with permission from December 1997 in Social Forces Volume 76 (2):511-25.
There are other studies avaiable at the aforementioned link.
"Above you say Tim, that "Meditation" is but a technique........then you quote KM, " it has no technique" Could you elaborate on this a bit more, I seem to be stuck at this point."
Hmmmmmm......yeah, that was kinda hypocritical, I need to change it. The point I was trying to make (not very well) is that I agree Meditation unto itself is not religion, but there are religions that put a religious spin on the meditation techniques, and I feel as does KM that it is more of a personal thing than a learned technique.
Sorry for the confusion.....:)
Thanks for responding-