Coherent Times Magazine

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Time for Re-training: Time for Healing

Written by David Shapiro and Dr. Scott Terry

Protesters gather in downtown Minneapolis. Unrest in Minneapolis over the May 25th death of George Floyd.

Life in the United States and around the world these days has many stressors: the Coronavirus pandemic, police brutality, the resulting protests, stress of unemployment and the immense financial burdens accompanying limited income, relationship challenges in lock-down, or challenge of lack of relationships, being more on one’s own, with increased risks of mental health collapse and drug abuse that may accompany home confinement. In the political arena, reflected in the media, a yawning division is seen between parties vying for control of the nation.

With the horrible death of George Floyd on May 25 from the brutal action by four policemen in Minneapolis, groups have protested across the United States, even while CoVid-19 ravages the land. We all see the problem, but do we see the solution?

There are many possible effective approaches to finding a solution. In this article, we will look at one unique stress-reduction tool, Transcendental Meditation, which has over 350 peer reviewed studies ( showing a broad range of support for both prevention and stress reduction.

It is often stress that leads police to over-react to the challenges of their job. As with health care first responders, the stress can build up year after year in police, creating high levels of stress or post-traumatic stress. Some policemen are simply in the wrong profession and should be removed. However, in many cases, a well-intentioned officer can become overwhelmed by daily pressures and stressful events and begin over-reacting.

So, to prevent build-up of stress and to reduce stress when it does build up too high, the most effective, rapid and side-effect free modalities should be made available to police across the nation. Common psychological tools include gold standard Prolonged Exposure and cognitive behavior therapy. Pharmaceuticals, less effective than psychotherapy, may also be used.

There are also a wide range of complementary and alternative protocols that have been shown in scientific studies to be highly effective and have minimal or no negative side effects. In the light of the need for treatments to help the 66% of US Veterans not coming out of PTSD with psychotherapy (Jama, Aug. 4, 2015), many groups are investigating alternatives, including use of horses and dogs to provide companionship, diet and exercise routines, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and different types of meditation. The US Government has gone so far as to spend 25 million dollars to test implantation in the head of a chip that would desensitize an area of the brain that may be associated with PTSD.

One well-documented protocol for reducing stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM). According to a 2018 research study in Lancet Psychiatry, TM is at least as effective as Prolonged Exposure (PE) without risking re-exposure to the traumatic events. The study showed that whereas 40% of veterans showed significant reduction in PTSD with PE, at least 60% of veterans who were TM practitioners showed significant reduction in this chronic and debilitating mental condition.

TM VS prolonged exposture lancet per cent w significant improvement TM PTSD Veterans – Nidich.jpg

In addition, regular TM practice has been shown to structure resilience, thereby helping to maintain lower levels of stress in daily life.

One police officer, a woman who asked to remain anonymous, faced many murders, deaths, many types of violence for years and ended up with trouble sleeping, horrible dreams, anger, drinking problem, hypertension, feeling numb, always worried and fearful. After years of service and stress, she was diagnosed with PTSD by a mental health professional.

She tried many drugs but they made her feel numb or some of them had negative side effects, such as losing her hair

Then, she heard about Transcendental Meditation, read a book about it, and decided to learn it.

With TM she was able to sleep better. “I had fewer dreams about the incident and policing and I felt I was able to talk about it without getting too upset. I just felt more myself.”

“When I was meditating I felt at peace.”

“I felt as if I had fewer flashbacks. That feeling of being on high alert and waking up at 3 in the morning and checking out the entire house, or feeling jumpy any time I heard a loud bang: that went away.”

“I was drinking less alcohol. I felt a lot calmer around my kids and husband.”

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a natural, easily learned practice that provides deep rest to body and mind and thereby begins to reverse the accumulation of stress within the practitioner. Studies show TM can alleviate high blood pressure and insomnia.

A police officer who is calmer, able to think more clearly, and less on edge will be better equipped to spontaneously implement techniques to defuse a potentially explosive situation, rather than to escalate it. The manifold health benefits of TM practice can reduce work hours lost and increase overall effectiveness among law enforcement officers. If veterans of foreign wars with PTSD can find rapid relief from stress through TM practice, how much easier will it be for police to find inner peace and become models of community support?

By choosing to practice TM daily, not only can police take control of their lives and no longer over-react to challenging situations, but anyone who practices TM regularly chooses to grow more settled in mind, less reactive to the many external stressors, and more able to enjoy the progressive possibilities that arise for progress for themselves and their society.

The police officer who implements TM not only reduces the likelihood of getting PTSD or reduces the PTSD if he or she has become highly stressed, but he experiences Post-Traumatic Growth if he has been in traumatic situations. Not only do anger and violence diminish and sleeplessness and disturbing memories of past traumas fall away, but one begins to appreciate the nourishing qualities of oneself and others. One becomes happier and more creative. Over 350 peer reviewed studies show a very wide range of improvements through Transcendental Meditation. All these are measures Post-Traumatic Growth. ( Now the pressures of the job and of life stimulate the police officer or anyone to make even greater progress without accumulating stress.

All of us, whether a policeman facing daily challenges under the stress and needing to stay calm and act appropriately, or the store clerk helping customers every day but fearing that he or she is getting or giving others CoVid-19, or the family staying at home and unable to enjoy the company of so many of their friends, need a tool to become less stressed, more calm to be able to find the best in each day, even as the world vigorously changes in front of our eyes, like turbulent waves in an ocean storm. Here is a tool to help us re-unite ourselves and the nation.

About the authors:

Dr. Scott F. Terry, Ed.D., M.A., IL.-L.M.F.T., IL.-L.C.P.C., IA.-L.M.F.T., IA.-L.M.H.C., Ch.T., and AAMFT approved supervisor. With 25 years of practice as a doctoral level clinician, supervisor, professor, clinical and executive director of five large mental health organization practices, including the Ardent Counseling Center, and a radio show.

David Shapiro, M.A. Philosophy, B.A. cum laude chemistry, the founding President of PTSD ReliefNow and its African PTSD Relief projects and Alliance for PTSD Recovery (both are 501C3 charities)

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Electro Top Star Jon Hopkins: Meditation against Alarmism “…Through transcendental meditation, Hopkins has, according to his own statement, developed into a quieter person. “When you are in the moment and you are in the present, you’ll be happiest. Clinging to your smartphone all the time, watching Facebook and Instagram stories, and checking the e-mails, is actually rubbish – even though I always have done that myself, of course. So I taught myself how to put the cell phone away, how to concentrate mentally on something particular or simply to read a book, to escape this continuous loop of alarmism.”

In his work, the 39-year-old also recognizes great differences from before. Thus a certain form of compositional obsession is no longer so important to him. Patience, calmness and correctly channeled emotions have instead taken over.” …

Read more (in German) at

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EDAPO School – Call for Donations

School inspectors visited EDAPO Primary School today.
They want EDAPO to close the boarding section of the school until the security wall is finished.
Closing the boarding section of the school would mean 322 AIDS orphan children would have to leave.
Where do they go? This is their home.

The security wall must go around the entire school campus.
It is one of the measures the Ministry of Education now requires to combat the threat of kidnapping children, which is currently rampant in Uganda.

EDAPO humbly requests your help to finish the security wall right away.

$5,200 is still needed (last 25% of the total cost)

Whatever amount you can give now will help.

Click to donate today:

One of the sections of the security wall needing to be finished.

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David Lynch Foundation: Woman of Vision Award

The David Lynch Foundation is pleased to honor two extraordinary women,
Amalia Dayan and Deborra-lee Furness, with their 2019 Woman of Vision Awards.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 8th, as we recognize Amalia Dayan and
Deborra-lee Furness, with our 2019 Woman of Vision Awards. We look forward to seeing you there!

Gallerist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Actress, Producer, Humanitarian

11:30AM to 2:15PM
583 Park Avenue
New York City

For more information please contact

The David Lynch Foundation
228 E 45th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY, 10017 US