“Stress is a major issue in education, in part because it impairs the executive functions of the brain. Without adequate executive functions, it is very hard for students to pay attention, to self-regulate, to learn and to remember.”
– William Stixrud, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington School of Medicine
Nearly 50 years of educational experience worldwide and hundreds of scientific research studies, verify that adding the practice of Transcendental Meditation to the academic routine of any school or university benefits all aspects of life and the environment. Day-by-day a few minutes of Transcendental Meditation practice unfolds the students’ great inner potential for learning, creativity, confidence, and happiness. Hundreds of schools around the world, but especially in India and Latin America, have introduced Transcendental Meditation twice a day as part of the school curriculum. Scientific research has measured improvements in school grades, health, behaviour, intelligence and creativity and found improvements in all five parameters.
Increased EEG Coherence
After two weeks of practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, individuals showed significantly increased EEG coherence during the practice, in contrast to their own eyes-closed control condition before they learned Transcendental Meditation.
Reference: International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147–151, 1981.
Increased Integration of Brain Functioning
University students who learned the Transcendental Meditation Technique showed significant improvement over a 10-week period on a Brain Integration Scale comprising several EEG measures during task performance, in contrast to students randomly assigned to learn later. Components of the Brain Integration Scale on which improvement was measured included increased broadband frontal EEG coherence and more efficient preparatory brain responses to stimuli. Students who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique also displayed decreased sleepiness and faster habituation to stressful stimuli in comparison to controls.
Reference: International Journal of Psychophysiology 71: 170–176, 2009.
Integration of Brain Functioning—correlates of high EEG coherence
High levels of EEG coherence measured during Transcendental Meditation are significantly correlated with higher creativity, greater efficiency in learning new concepts, more principled moral reasoning, higher verbal intelligence (IQ), less neuroticism, higher academic achievement, clearer experiences of Transcendental Consciousness, and greater neurological efficiency (faster spinal reflex recovery).
References: International Journal of Neuroscience 13: 211–217, 1981; 15: 151–157, 1981; Scientific Research on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program: Collected Papers, Volume 1: 208–212, 1977; Volume 4: 2245–2266, 1989.
Holistic Improvement in Intellectual Performance
Three randomized controlled studies among Chinese students found that, in contrast to controls, those who learned the Transcendental Meditation Technique showed significant improvement in five measures of intellectual functioning; they also showed decreased anxiety.
Reference: Intelligence 29: 419–440, 2001.
A statistical meta-analysis of 146 independent study results found that the Transcendental Meditation program is significantly more effective in reducing trait anxiety than procedures of concentration or contemplation, or other techniques.
Reference: Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957–974, 1989.
Increased Academic Achievement
Middle school students who learned the Transcendental Meditation program and practiced it twice daily as part of the school day were found to increase significantly after three months in achievement scores on mathematics and language (English) in comparison to control students matched on previous mathematics and English performance level scores.
Reference: Education 131: 556–564, 2011.
Decreased Dropout Rate in Secondary School Students
Urban secondary school students who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique and practised it during their senior year had a lower dropout rate than a control group of students matched for prior academic performance who did not learn the technique. Reference: Education 133: 495–501, 2013.
Increased Graduation Rate in Secondary School Students
A group of low-performing urban secondary school students who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique and practised it during their senior year had a higher graduation rate than a control group of students matched for prior academic performance who did not learn the technique.
Reference: Education 133: 495–501, 2013.
Reduced Behavior Problems in School
Adolescent children with high normal systolic blood pressure were randomly assigned to either learn Transcendental Meditation or participate in a health education control group. After four months the students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program showed decreased absenteeism, decreased school rule infractions, and decreased suspension days. Reference: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1: 10, 2003.
Meta-Analysis: Decreased Blood Pressure
This study was a meta-analysis examining the effect of all published randomized, controlled clinical trials on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, comprising nine studies with 711 subjects. The Transcendental Meditation program was found to have a statistically significant impact on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Reference: American Journal of Hypertension 21: 310–316, 2008.
Decreased Alcohol Use
A meta-analysis of all research studies on the Transcendental Meditation program related to alcohol use, in comparison to meta-analyses of standard alcohol treatment and prevention programs, found a significantly greater reduction of alcohol use among those who learn the Transcendental Meditation program, even though this program does not involve any guidance about change in lifestyle or habits.
Reference: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 13–87, 1994.
Greater Appreciation of Others
University students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program rated significantly more positively the important people in their lives (parents, spouse) than did control students.
Reference: Perceptual and Motor Skills 64: 1003–1012, 1987.
Greater Moral Maturity
University students who were practicing the Transcendental Meditation program showed significantly higher levels of moral maturity in comparison to control students who were not practicing the technique. Controls who were about to learn Transcendental Meditation displayed the same level of moral maturity as those who were not planning to learn, indicating that the observed difference among the Transcendental Meditation participants was due to changes after learning the practice.
Reference: Dissertation Abstracts International 36(7): 4361A, 1976.
Increased Tolerance in Secondary School Students
Secondary students who learned the Transcendental Meditation program showed increased tolerance after 14 weeks, in contrast to control students.
Reference: Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7): 3372B–3373B, 1978.
Improved Work and Personal Relationships
A study of executives and workers in the automotive industry found that after three months of regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, participants showed improved work and personal relationships, in comparison to controls from the same work sites.
Reference: Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal 6: 245–262, 1993.
Reduction of Teacher Burnout
This randomized controlled study found that residential school staff displayed a significant reduction in teacher burnout over a four-month period after learning the Transcendental Meditation technique, in contrast to wait-list control teachers. The Transcendental Meditation group also showed a significant decreased in perceived stress and depression. Reference: The Permanente Journal 18: 19–23, 2014.