Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this document are solely of the Authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Defence and Security Alert Magazine (DSA), Owned by Ocean Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
Tensions are always high with bordering countries China and Pakistan. India’s military forces are now taking on even more responsibilities, combating Covid in India as the “Corona Warriors.” Times are difficult as India’s warriors are beset by even more fear, sadness and loneliness. The pandemic exposes them to more surges of sickness, severe illness, and even more number of deaths.
In February, prior to the Covid pandemic, the Times of India revealed a telling headline: “Worrying trend: Defence forces saw 1,110 suicides in 2010-19.” The current onslaught of the COVID-19 virus amplifies the psychological impacts of the high levels of stress affecting service members, military health care workers, veterans, MoD civilians, as well as their families and close relatives. High stress levels can produce decreases in the ability to interact normally with others, the ability to concentrate, and in many areas of day-to-day functioning. It is likely that higher levels of stress will escalate to depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). How can India’s defence leaders deal more effectively with these higher levels of stress, anxiety and other psychological symptoms in the new coronavirus world?
Some actions that are already being taken, such as deployment and training of psychological counselors, helplines, establishment of military psychiatric treatment centers, and new mechanisms for resolving organizational grievances, are steps in the right direction to alleviate stress levels. It is likely that all these steps as well as others would be even more successful with the addition of one new groundbreaking program: Transcendental Meditation© (TM)©.
300 cadets at Norwich University (Norwich is the oldest military college in America) participated in a two-year study on TM and resiliency. Watch this video about the effects of Transcendental Meditation in the lives of those people at Norwich University: https://vimeo.com/164761711
Hundreds of studies have been conducted on TM at more than 200 independent universities and research institutions worldwide, and published in over 400 peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals. TM is the most thoroughly researched program for self-development in the world.
The TM technique, based on India’s ancient Vedic wisdom, was founded and introduced to the world by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is a technique, not a religion – a highly successful mental technique for self-development, practiced in more than 192 countries by members of all faiths and people of no faith. There is no need for any change in lifestyle, food habits, etc. in order to learn or practice TM. TM is easily practiced because it involves neither concentration nor contemplation. It uses a natural, effortless and spontaneous means to access quieter and more powerful levels of the mind. TM is an effective technique which one can practice sitting comfortably anywhere.
THE METHOD BEHIND TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION
Other systems struggle with the mind and may take more than 20 years to produce desired results, whereas results of TM practice can be instantaneous. TM attracts the mind to go within, invites the awareness to go inward towards bliss and happiness, based on the tendency to seek what it likes. Here the mind comes into direct contact with the source of thought. The source of thought is a field of pure intelligence and is called “Transcendental Consciousness.” The word transcendental means going beyond thoughts. During the process of TM the mind settles down to a level where this is no activity, there is no thought.
The following summaries further explain what TM is, what it is not, and describe many of its profound benefits:
TM HEALTH BENEFITS
- TM provides deep rest to physiology, releases deep rooted stresses, which is the cause of psychosomatic disease (which amount to 85% of human suffering). These are eliminated through the regular practice of TM.
- During TM, the mind experiences a subtle state of thought and physiological changes occur. Research shows reduced oxygen consumption, as well as reduced respiratory and heart rates.
- TM slows the aging process; with continuous practice for five years, one often looks 12 years younger.
- TM reduces PTSD and depression symptoms. Extensive research has shown this to be the case under a great variety of circumstances.
ACHIEVEMENT OF FULL MENTAL POTENTIAL
- Intelligence becomes sharper; i.e. improvement in Intelligence Quotient – IQ.
- Memory increases, weakness, impulsiveness and anxiety decrease and emotional balance is gained.
- TM develops better decision making, more clarity in perception, faster reaction ability, inner happiness, contentment, and improved physical efficiency.
FOUNDATION OF GOOD PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
- The nervous system receives deep rest by the practice of this technique, releasing stresses and normalising the nervous system by bringing “ease” to the body, thereby eliminating “dis-ease”.
- Improves quality of sleep and provides relief from insomnia.
- Reversal of biological ageing and increased longevity.
- Normalization of body weight.
- Relief from psychosomatic diseases and psychological disorders including depression.
DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY
- Improvements in emotional maturity and stability; i.e. Improvement in Emotional Quotient – E Q.
- Increased psychological, physiological and social adaptability, and leadership ability.
- Tolerance increases with greater self-control and self-discipline.
- Enhanced decision-making ability.
- Inferiority complexes disappear.
- Greater analytical thinking ability with wider comprehension and better problem solving ability.
- Increased learning ability and intellectual performance.
- Improved concentration and memory.
- Improved perceptual ability of special senses and development of interest in learning.
- Relief from anxiety and neuroses.
IMPROVEMENT IN INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
- Tendency to drug addiction decreases along with gradual reduction in smoking habits, alcohol and drug abuses.
- Develops tolerance and sense of social responsibility, greater empathy and respectfulness.
- Improvement in moral maturity and orderliness in life.
- Increased capacity, long lasting interpersonal relationships, and good behavior.
- TM brings harmony in life with self and surroundings.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECT
- Positive effects on physiology, psychology and social environment as evidenced by studies showing lower accidents, crime rate, and hospital admissions.
- Increase in strength of the immune system.
- More co-ordination of mind and body.
- Increases energy, dynamism and stamina.
- Decreases in alcohol consumption, drug abuse and excessive smoking.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
- Increased productivity, creativity, and problem solving ability.
- Increased job satisfaction and improved job performance.
- Ability to focus attention, and increased alertness.
- Decreased absenteeism and decreased tendency to procrastinate.
- Increased organizational ability.
- Sense of completeness, fulfillment, mental peace and bliss in life.
- Develop feelings of oneness with the environment.
- Realization of the self, inner strength and unbounded in life.
- One is established in the self and one starts living on the higher levels of consciousness.
The Military is traditionally the most orderly and disciplined institution in society. According to Military historian Martin Van Creveld “Once the potential usefulness of a new concept is recognized, no organization is better placed than the armed forces to guide its development and bring it to fruition.” For this reason, it would be beneficial for India’s military members to meditate twice a day, morning and evening, 20 minutes per session. After the profound benefits are realized and appreciated, the MoD’s success could inspire other departments of India’s government to adopt TM to greatly reduce stress, increase efficiency and ultimately help solve the numerous current “unsolvable” problems and challenges India faces in the future.
In a time of increased responsibility, increased costs of military hardware, and declining military budgets in most countries, the technology discussed here is unique in its promise for meeting multiple laudable goals. Primarily, TM is cost-effective. Considering the hundreds of billions of dollars spent worldwide on defence, the cost of implementing this approach is minor.
It is generally accepted that TM practice increases energy and inner peace on the individual level; recent research indicates that it can also produce similar effects for society. A new book, An Antidote to Violence: Evaluating the Evidence, examines 20 peer-reviewed studies which indicate that governments can achieve a lessening of violence, not on the basis of political rhetoric or a stronger police presence but by a rise of harmony, coherence, and order in the collective consciousness of the majority of people who make up a society. The authors highly recommend this book because it examines not only the extensive research about how TM and its advanced practices reduce violence, but also discusses much of the extensive research whose findings were summarized earlier in this article.
On the basis of our own personal experiences and the 10 million people who have learned Transcendental Meditation worldwide, it would be highly advantageous for the MoD of India to offer this program as a scientifically-validated means to help to alleviate the high levels of stress of all people involved with its defense. They would then be able to deal more effectively with the higher levels of stress, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms in the new corona world.
About the Authors:
|COL. (Retd.) Shyam Prakash Bakshi, MA, Med had 28 years of distinguished commissioned service in the Indian army. He has taken part in two wars and has also served during insurgency in the North-Eastern state of Nagaland and Sikkim, facing international border with China, in the assignment of Intelligence and field security officer. Col. Bakshi is a certified teacher of the TM program and serves as an official member of Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) Advisory International Board. Email: [email protected]|
|Dr. David Leffler has a Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defense and has served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) and lectures and writes worldwide about IDT. He is available on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Dr. Leffler is a certified teacher of the TM program and has published extensively on the topic of TM. His list of publications worldwide is available by clicking here.|