Pentagon Using Transcendental Meditation For PTSD To Help Our Vets

transcendental meditation for ptsd

David Lynch and The Pentagon have teamed up to help spiritually heal veterans with PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder) using Transcendental Meditation [1].

But Transcendental Meditation is not the only type of meditation that helps PTSD. And not everyone can afford the thousands of dollars it costs to learn Transcendental Meditation.

Here at THE DAILY MEDITATION I wanted to create this guide to help show how meditation can help with PTSD for people who can’t afford TM’s lofty price-tag.

We’ll look at how meditation helps Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What types of meditation to do. And the science that proves meditation can indeed help people suffering from PTSD. 

You might also find these guides helpful:

What it’s like having PTSD

Imagine.

You wake up at 4:30 in the morning. You’re unable to sleep.

Restless.

Your whole body feels like dead-weight because it’s been months since you had a proper night’s sleep.

Your mind’s eye is flooded with nightmarish images.

You’re awake, in your room, but you still hear gunfire that rang out years ago. You can smell smoke though there is none. Your heart is racing as though your life were in danger right now. And you keep seeing your friends’ eyes slowly closing for the last time.

This is the agony that veterans with PTSD experience each and every day.

The reward for their service, for having risked their lives for their country, is to be haunted by visions of war and death. Painful memories are the way o life.

The sickening truth about veterans and PTSD

It’s a bleak picture.

One in eight returning soldiers will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [2]).

Disturbingly, for some insane reason PTSD is most common in U.S soldiers than soldiers in any other country.

Worse: Less than one in five of those soldiers will receive inadequate treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The government has official stated that it does not have adequate resources to offer help to those in need.  Soldiers who seek help face the stigma of being a soldier with an emotional, psychological condition.

Left untreated, PTSD leads to numerous serious complications.

Veterans turn to alcohol and drugs in the hope of stopping the terorising images in their own minds.

Many self-harm because physical pain takes away the mental trauma. Some cannot find escape. They choose to commit suicide because the pain in their minds is unbearable.

Now listen:

You can help.

Take a look at this invaluable guide to helping someone with depression. It will help you help them if you know someone with PTSD. Remember, compassion is the trait of the enlightened, and loving kindness is the most important thing on Earth.

twitter-iconVeterans with PTSD need our help. And good God do they deserve it.

The Facts About PTSD and Veterans

  • One in Eight soldiers will experience PTSD. Less than 20% will receive adequate treatment. [3]
  • Many will not receive treatment because society still places a stigma on mental health problems.
  • Lacking treatment, many vets turn to alcohol and drugs.
  • More than 6500 vets commit suicide every year.
  • Scientific research shows that TM can reduce the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

This “PTSD” Poem tells the sad, painful reality

This poem was written by a veteran with PTSD. It enlightens us to the suffering these brave men and women endure:

 The cell I live in is my mind, where I reside, the place I hide.

For when the past comes here to stay, I fold away, I hide inside.

This cell is dank, it’s walls sweat blood, it’s ceiling crushes from above.

The floor is wet, the stench is sweat, this place is lacking warmth, and love.

I built this place with my own hand, the reason for to lock away,

The light of day.

And darkness reigns in this foul place, the flashbacks come, the nightmares stay.

For when the past comes round to call, my sanga hides me from the truth.

It shelters me from all that hate, it is my only covering roof.

And though to all I’m brash and bold, my outer skin seems hard and cold,

Reality is a different thing, I feel so weak, so used,

So Old.

I’ll tell you how this came about, although I really have no doubt,

That you already know,

Because like me you have this room, the place to go, where you can shout,

It came about as I am weak, a person plagued by simple thoughts,

That are not simple anymore, they squirm and toss, a hate, of sorts.

And when I close my eyes so tight, I see again the shattered forms,

Of burning buildings, burning men, in bloody lightning storms.

Of screaming children, arms and legs, just lying there, the dawn to find,

Of shattered lives, of shattered minds, of shattered hopes, from my own kind.

And so my cell protects me from this scene, but in itself provides a place,

Where torture rules, the stinging whip, the tears of blood run down my face,

For in my mind, I built this place.

The brick’s are moulded from my hate, and kiln-fired in the fire of life.

The morter mixed from fear of death, and watered down with tears, and strife.

So course by course, as years went by, I built this cell,

I learned to cry.

And when at last my time does come, when I lie down, to wilt and die,

Then this fine shelter will collapse, fall over and be turned to dust.

For all my fears will go with me, my legacy of brick and rust.

My spirit then will fly so free, the past not there to trouble me.

I hope.

And so to you I say these things, to fellows who have lived like me,

To you who’s anguish rules your lives, fear not,

For someday we’ll be free.

[5]

 

How Veterans Are Using Transcendental Meditation for PTSD

One of the many ways veterans are handling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is with meditation, specifically, Transcendental Meditation.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a type of mantra meditation that was introduced my Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s.

Ever since the Beatles brought Transendental Meditation to the West, celebrities have been using it, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey, and David Lynch (director of Mullholland Drive).

David Lynch has subsequently become a world leader in popularising Transcendental Meditation. His charity The David Lynch Foundation calls itself a “consciousness based education system for world peace”. The foundation offers Transcendental Meditation lessons to those in need of spiritual healing, among them war veterans.

It’s a seemingly unusual way of helping a veteran. Meditation and war. Historically, they haven’t mixed.

When vets hear about Transcendental Meditation many are understandably wary. Transcendental Meditation has been viewed as a cult by some.

During the sixties, when the world turned hippie, TM found its stride. Thousands of the Maharishi’s followers flocked to Fairfield, Iowa, determined to use Transcendental Meditation to bring about world peace.

But then the word spread that TM could induce “Yogic Flying”. Many raised a dubious eyebrow.

These mystical claims tarnished TM, as did the revelation that the movement was a cash cow. By 1998 the foundation was worth $3billion.

The combination of wealth and bizarre claims of people “flying” turned TM into the Joker of the spiritual health world.

Times have changed.

Can you really trust David Lynch and Transcendental Meditation?

Today, with the popularisation and general acceptance of meditation, TM is coming back into focus. It’s being aided by the work of celebrities like David Lynch.

But David Lynch’s own story doesn’t inspire confidence in TM. The Hollywood director paid $1million to attend a “Millionaire’s Enlightenment Course” in 2003 along with other one-percenters [5]. Not a lot of money for a Hollywood director. But an impossible sum for most veterans.

It’s not been easy bringing TM to the people who actually need it.   When you don’t have a million bucks, some “gurus” won’t listen to you.

It’s cost the taxpayer millions of dollars to bring TM to vets.

The David Lynch foundation “raised” (was given) $30 million from the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health (that’d be taxpayer money, then) to research TM and to bring it to veterans

Clearly, TM is big business. Profitable, no doubt. But we’re dealing with veterans. Money is irrelevant. All that matters is whether or not TM actually helps those brave men and women recover. So let’s cut to the chase. TM: yes or no?

 

What Proof Is There That Transcendental Meditation Helps PTSD?

We’ve shared the top 100 benefits of meditation in this list.

So can Transcendental Meditation help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Many studies have “proven” then TM helps PTSD.

One study has caught particular interest.

The study, “Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Psychotropic Medication Use Among Active Duty Military Service Members With Anxiety and PTSD,” was published in the journal Military Medicine. It stated that Transcendental Meditation helps reduce or eliminate the need for vets with PTSD to use psychotropic meditation and to better control PTSD.   [6]

The study looked at 74 active-duty members with PTSD or anxiety disorder. Half the group practiced TM, the other half did not. Four weeks later, the group who had practiced Transcendental Meditation had reduced or stabilised their symptoms or had stopped using psychotropic drugs. One in ten of the group had increased their drug usage.

Of the group who did not meditate, 59% had reduced or stabilised their symptoms and 40% had increased their medication.

The researchers stated that TM was helpful for calming the mind and healing the brain. They recommend practicing TM twice a day for 20 minutes.

Of course, it’s those men and women who have actually served the country who have the most right to opine about the effectiveness of TM, not those in white coats or sitting in luxurious offers “raising” millions (and taking much of it). So what do the vets themselves say about it?

Actually, a lot of them are very keen on TM.

Many vets who practice the technique say it makes all the difference. One such veteran, Mary-Ann Rich, says she would not miss a meditation session for the world.

Rich suffered recurring dreams of being covered in blood on top of garbage cans stuffed with limbs. The result of seeing many amputations in the war. TM, she says, has helped keep her PTSD in check. “I’ve started to feel happiness, which I hadn’t felt in years.”

TM is giving hope to people with PTSD. And many people are successfully using yoga for trauma too.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a healthcare professional. This article is written purely for education. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using advice and techniques on this site.

 

About Paul Martin Harrison 495 Articles
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.

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