Impact of mantra recital, etc.

Steve Brown sb009h at MAIL.ROCHESTER.EDU
Fri May 12 19:50:33 UTC 2000

Oddly enough, i as a mere undergrad was having a great deal of trouble following Hoogscarpel's argument,  mainly because he failed to make one.  I find it hard to believe that one who claims to be a scholar, and purports to be attacking a movement from a scholarly position would post to a listserve of scholars and fail to even support his points.  All the arguments he made (if one were to call them that) lacked any form of reference or support.  He was rudely attacking the well supported arguments of another scholar in an increadibly unproffessional manner. I sincerely hope, as an avid reader of this list, that my experience of this group remains unchanged; which is to say i hope that those like Mr. Hoogscrapel are the exception.  

thanks to those of you who are both kind and insightful for giving me hope in the field.

Stephen J Brown
University of Rochester

Lord Buddha was once asked why a man should love all persons equally.
The great teacher replied, "Because, in the very numerous and varied lifespans of
each man, every other being has at one time or another been dear to him."

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Claude Setzer 
  Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 3:34 PM
  Subject: Re: Impact of mantra recital, etc.

  Dear Dominik,
  I would think that Mr. Hoogcarspel is an excellent candidate for lack of professional courtesy expulsion that has been afforded to others previously on the list. He seems to me to be intentionally less than truthful in order to discredit other members of the list. It would seem that his motives are more suspect than the things he criticizes.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Erik 
    Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 2:24 PM
    Subject: Re: Impact of mantra recital, etc.

      1.. As far as I know all the investigations which gave results in favour of TM where suspect. 
      2.. According to the TM-theory I learned in the days I took courses, the different mantras don't cause differences in the level of concentration attained, they are given in order not to disturb the meditators personality and way of life 
      3.. I discussed TM extensively with a very experienced vipassanateacher and he pointed out the disadvantages, being an increase in credulity and a decrease in creativity and criticism due to the overdose of zamatha, which was in perfect accordance with my experience with TM-practitioners (workoholics are not at risk, because they cannot acheive this level) 
      4.. I've known persons who got into serious mental problems (extramural treatment for over a year) because the experience of a moment of deep samadhi disturbed their psychological stability 
      5.. all the TM-teachers I've met only played 'his masters voice' and had very little social skills or psychological insight. 
      6.. I've seen systems of personal bijas in some translated texts of kasmiri zaivaism (I'm sorry I cannot recall which), which could very well explain the secret of the personal TM-mantra. 
      7.. there are groups which use the 'mantra om namo zivaya' the TM way 
      8.. there are have been experiments in the fifties with meditation on a blue vase; the participants also experienced feelings of wellbeing and developed affection for the object. 
      9.. the real number of TM-practicioners is considerably less then the TM-movement claims, because most people stop after a while without telling anyone 
      10.. the argument of mr Sands is a typical example of an argument ad verecundiam and so plain sophistry 
    Sorry to disturb the dream 

    "William F. Sands" wrote: 

        re: I never doubted that Transcendental Meditation and similar techniques had a 
        positive effect on those who practiced it (otherwise, why would they 
        bother?), but I am curious about exactly what that they help you achieve, 
        if you like: what the trade-off is for the time spent meditating. If I 
        spend one hour a day meditating, will it save me, say, two hours of sleep? 
        Will it improve my productivity, etc? Any time-saving info would be 
        appreciated! Particularly if it is exact! 
        Best regards, 

      Lars Martin Fosse 

      People practice Transcendental Meditation for lots of reasons, ranging from reduced blood pressure, less stress, greater creativity and intelligence,  to more inner happiness and the unfoldment of enlightenment. All of the reasons have quite a bit of scientific support  (there have been about 600 published studies over the last thirty years). 

      The basic idea is that during Transcendental Meditation the body rests very deeply (much deeper than deep sleep according to the physiological measurements) while the mind spontaneously settles to its quietest state,  which is experienced as unbounded, blissful, wakefulness (Atma).  Physiologically this process allows the  body to release accumulated stress, and mentally it enables one to  access  more of one's innate potential. As a result, one tends to find greater clarity of mind, more intelligence (studies have found that students improve in measures of intelligence, creativity,  grades go up, ability to concentrate improves, etc.), more creativity, etc. At the same time the body benefits by having less stress, resulting in less disease (as measured by fewer insurance claims for sickness, less hospitalization, etc.) and the reversal of ageing factors.  All of this  takes place completely effortlessly and spontaneously. 

      In terms of the question of saving time,  it won't replace sleep (the quality of  rest, though deeper, has  different physiological characteristics), and  so any savings of time will be accrued be in terms of improved efficiency (studies have demonstrated repeatedly, and it's certainly my experience). I've been practising for over 30 years, and I would say that I have grossly understated the benefits in the above. 

      I hope this helps, 
      Bill Sands 


      William Sands, PhD 
      280 Whispering Hills Road 
      Boone, NC 28607 
      Phone: 828-263-0054 


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