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Life is a series of choices that when repeated, become automatic habits and routines. Some of these behavioral habits are valuable and life supporting; such as going to bed early, eating nourishing foods and other activities that bring prosperity, health and joy to one’s self and others. But there are also other habits, like alarm clocks, junk food and tobacco which may not be life supporting and which we may find difficult to change.
According to radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, “Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old - old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius.”
This is certainly the situation for criminals or any individual who consistently makes deeply wrong choices and develops behaviors that bring suffering and misfortune to both themselves and their victims.
So how do criminals and prison inmates change? Do they want to change? And are they capable of better choices? In this insightful, 3 minute video, Tom O’Connor, Research Manager for the Oregon State Department of Corrections describes what he feels are the mechanics of change and self control for prison inmates.
According to Mr. O’Conner, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program is a valuable tool in “creating an environment of healing” and allowing the inmate’s inner “goodness, to ripple back up” thereby creating new behavior patterns.
In his book the Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique, describes crime as “a shortcut to satisfy a craving—a shortcut which goes beyond normal and legal means” and that “patterns of anti-social behavior arise from a deep discontent of the mind and unbalanced emotions.”
According to published research, the TM technique can remedy this situation by increasing intelligence, creativity and self esteem over time. Additional research also supports the role of the TM program as an effective tool for criminal rehabilitation. These studies show less prison violence and recidivism as well as reduced use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
According to Mr. O’Connor the TM program can help save the public money, create a more humane prison and a better society. In fact, he says, “the sky’s the limit”!
This TM blog article was written by Dr. Keith DeBoer http://AdventuresInTranscendentalMeditation.blogspot.com
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