My new friend Sherry told me that her M.D. had recently recommended that she learn either Transcendental Meditation or the Relaxation Response to improve her health. Sherry checked out the local TM center, but felt the ambiance there was too "weird and culty" so she decided not to learn TM.
It started me thinking. What would be an appropriate thing to say to a doctor who suggested that their patients learn TM? I have come up with my own answer. Would you like to develop your own response in the "Comments" section? Or, best of all, would you like to edit and improve my little lecture? Maybe together we can come up with an optimum response. Then you could print it out for your doctor if you want to.
To start the ball rolling, here is my first draft:
1) One can learn the Relaxation Response for free from a library book. Learning TM costs $1,500. (Links to websites needed.)
2) Much of the money you give the TM organization (TMO) goes to making the family of the founder wealthy and powerful. (Links to websites needed.)
3) The research on the benefits of TM is flawed. Experimental design is often biased to make TM look good. Outside research shows that other techniques of meditation are effective, but the TMO does not disseminate that information. Some people receive no benefits from TM and occasionally people are harmed by TM, but the TMO does not disseminate that information either. (Links to websites needed.)
4) The TMO encourages TM students to get more deeply involved in the TM world: to spend lots of money on retreats, advanced techniques, TM ayurvedic medicines, TM rituals, TM astrology, etc. Not only can students end up spending lots of money and time on TM products, they are encouraged to assume a lifestyle which can extend to diet, celibacy, what to wear, where to live, what to believe, etc. (Links to websites needed.)
5) Some people may object to the religious nature of TM: its mantras are names of Hindu gods, the ceremony during personal instruction includes praising and bowing down to Hindu gods, and its belief system is contrary to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Humanism, and probably other religions. There are no religious objections to the Relaxation Response technique. (Links to websites needed.)
Can you help improve upon this first draft?