Transcendental Meditation Movement

The Transcendental Meditation movement (also referred to as Transcendental Meditation or TM, Maharishi's worldwide movement, and the Transcendental Meditation organization) is a term or phrase that refers to the programs and organizations connected to the Transcendental Meditation technique, which was developed and or introduced by the founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Transcendental Meditation was first taught in the 1950s in India and has continued beyond the Maharishi's death in 2008. The organization was estimated to have 900,000 participants worldwide in 1977, a million by the 1980s, and 5 million in more recent years. In 1976 the movement published a seven-hundred-page compilation of Transcendental Meditation research, generated by 51 institutions from 13 countries.

Programs include the TM-Sidhi program, Maharishi Ayurveda and Maharishi Sthapatya Veda. The TM-Sidhi program is an advanced form of Transcendental Meditation and includes "Yogic flying". Maharishi Ayurveda is an alternative system of health care that aims to restore balance in the physiology, eliminate impurities, and awaken the body's natural healing mechanisms. Maharishi Sthapatya Veda is a system of architectural and planning principles based on "ancient Sanskrit texts" The movement also operates numerous schools and universities, offers monastic programs called Mother Divine and Thousand Headed Purusha, operates health centers such as The Raj and Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center, assorted businesses such as Maharishi Ayurveda Products International and several TM-centered communities. The global organization also consists of close to 1,000 TM centers, and controls property assets of USD 3.5 billion (1998 estimate), including real estate holdings, schools, and clinics. Active organizations include the International Meditation Society, Maharishi Foundation, Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation, Global Country of World Peace and the David Lynch Foundation.

The TM movement has been called a spiritual movement, a new religious movement, a Neo-Hindu sect, a religion, a cult, a charismatic movement, "plastic export Hinduism", a "multinational, capitalist, Vedantic export religion", a millenarian movement, a world affirming movement, a new social movement and a guru-centered movement in books and the mainstream press, with concerns that it was being run to promote the Maharishi's personal interests. Sources also say that TM is not a religion, but a meditation technique; and that the TM movement is a spiritual organization, and not a religion or a cult. Participation in TM programs at any level does not require one to hold or deny any specific religious beliefs; TM is practiced by people of many diverse religious affiliations, as well as by atheists and agnostics.

Read more about Transcendental Meditation Movement:  History, Participants, Organizations, Promotion, In Popular Culture

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