- Published: November 14, 2012
- Written by Joshua Jackson
Transcendental meditation is a form of meditaiton practice codified by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in the mid-1950s and popularized in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. The practice involves the use of a mantra for 15 to twenty minutes twice daily. As with other forms of meditation, diverse psychological and phsyiologial changes and benefits are attributed to the practice, some of which are supported by research. However, the process and mechanisms are not yet well understood.
In 1987 a retrospective evaluation was conducted on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on recidivism in parolees of the California Department of Corrections. The study faced some difficulties inherent in the nature of performing a retrospective analysis, including the difficulty of retrospectively assembling a suitable control group for comparison. However, it was found that participants compared favorably and significantly both with the control group carefully assembled by the authors and the overall statistics of the California Department of Corrections.
If further studies are conducted, we can hope to see randomized control groups as well as detailed data on the subjects such as results of the California Psychological Inventory over time.
* Bleik & Abrams, "The Transcendental Meditation program and criminal recidivism in California" Journal of Criminal Justice Vol 15 (1985) pp 211-230