Nav: Home

Group practice of Transcendental Meditation dramatically reduced violence in Cambodia, new study shows

May 23, 2019

The group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs in Cambodia between 1993 and 2008 was associated with a 96.2% decline in sociopolitical violence in that war-torn country compared to violence in the preceding three years, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in Studies in Asian Social Science.

According to the study, the likelihood that this reversal in the rising 1990-1992 trend of violence occurred randomly was one chance in 10 million, suggesting that meditation can indeed have a coherence-creating effect on society.

Effect recognized by government officials

"Maharishi Vedic University was established by Maharishi in Cambodia on January 1, 1993, for the declared purpose of bringing peace and prosperity to Cambodia," said study author Lee Fergusson. "The positive influence of the MVU meditating groups was recognized by officials of the Cambodian government."

The late King Norodom Sihanouk was quoted as saying, "Maharishi Vedic University is playing an important role in human resource development and in [the] restoration of peace and expansion of prosperity throughout the country."

Up to 1,250 students participated

The reduction in violence began in January 1993, when more than 550 students began practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique together twice daily in a group at Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia. Also, 100-200 students practiced the TM-Sidhi program together twice a day in a group as part of their Consciousness-BasedSM education curriculum starting in 1994.

Across three MVU campuses, up to 1,250 students contributed to increased coherence in collective consciousness through their daily group Transcendental Meditation practice during 1993-2008.

The study is the first to use an explanatory mixed-methods research design to explore the growth of social coherence using time series analysis and qualitative content analysis of news articles. The researchers analyzed monthly data on the level of sociopolitical violence obtained from automated content-analysis of news reports performed by a leading independent research organization.

Other research shows reduced poverty

Other published research by Dr. Fergusson, professor and founding director of Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, Australia, documents the dramatic economic and social transformation of Cambodia after the founding of MVU.

In 1990, Cambodia, devastated by decades of war, was the poorest country in the world. After establishment of MVU, Cambodia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates averaged 8.9%, and poverty was reduced by 63% between 1994 and 2008. By 2010 Cambodia was ranked 63rd out of 152 countries on the international scale of poverty, an unprecedented jump of 89 places in less than one generation.
-end-
Reference: L. C. Fergusson & K. L. Cavanaugh (2019). Socio-political violence in Cambodia between 1990 and 2008: An explanatory mixed methods study of social coherence. Studies in Asian Social Science, 6(2), 1-45. A PDF of the article may be downloaded at http://www.sciedupress.com/journal/index.php/sass/issue/view/789.

The study was sponsored by Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, Australia.

Maharishi University of Management

Related Meditation Articles:

Meditation and yoga can 'reverse' DNA reactions which cause stress, new study suggests
Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don't simply relax us; they can 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.
Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences
Though it has gained popularity in the West as medically and psychologically beneficial, meditation can produce a much wider variety of outcomes, not all of them calm and relaxing, according to a new study that analyzes meditation-related challenges.
Just 10 minutes of meditation helps anxious people have better focus
Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent your mind from wandering and is particularly effective if you tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.
Meditation benefits patients with ALS
An eight-week mindfulness-based meditation program led to improved quality of life and psychological well-being in clinical trial of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Meditation and music may help reverse early memory loss in adults
In a recent study of adults with early memory loss, a West Virginia University research team lead by Dr.
More Meditation News and Meditation Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...