Man accused of ‘meditation’ murder

A British motivational speaker has been indicted in the US on charges he killed a Las Vegas woman during a meditation session and stuffed her body in a rubbish barrel.

Michael Victor Lane’s court-appointed lawyer, Dan Silverstein, said Lane will plead not guilty on Thursday in a Nevada state court to murder and robbery with a deadly weapon charges filed by a grand jury last Friday. A preliminary hearing was cancelled.

The 37-year-old Lane was held in custody over the killing of 44-year-old Ginger Candela.

Prosecutors allege Lane killed Ms Candela in November and fled to California.

Lane was arrested on December 3 at a motel in Ventura, California. Authorities said he was using Ms Candela’s name and credit card and still had her maroon Toyota sport utility vehicle.

UK Press Association

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Motivational speaker killed meditating woman with frying pan

Michael Lane, a British motivational speaker and “spiritual healer” told police he wanted to help 44-year-old Ginger Candela achieve a deeper state of meditation. Then he hit her with a frying pan and killed her, say Las Vegas police.

Lane told investigators that he and Candela were in her bedroom when he compressed her carotid arteries to help her achieve a deeper state of meditation, an arrest report released Monday says.

Police say Lane told them he then decided to kill her, striking her with a frying pan and using an electrical cord to strangle her.

On November 30, police detectives got a missing person report on Candela and went to her home.

The house was in disarray and evidence led detectives to call homicide Lt. Lew Roberts, according to CBS affiliate KLAS.

“She was found in the garage. She was found in a trashcan – a rather large trash can – deceased. Obviously a homicide,” Roberts said. Bleach was poured into the trashcan to mask the smell.

Lane, a British citizen, was arrested Dec. 3.

He faces charges of murder and robbery with a deadly weapon, as well as another charge for one count of grand larceny auto.

Las Vegas police said Tuesday that they tracked Lane, who also goes by the name “Chae Saville,” to a motel in Ventura, Calif. after he fled Nevada.

Detectives say Lane has been involved with “spiritual healing” for quite some time and may have befriended women to defraud them.

He is being held without bail.

Candela’s friends and neighbors say she survived a bad marriage and “turned her life to helping battered women through her church,” according to KLAS.


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Meditate and cut crime (Trinidad and Tobago Express)

Trinidad and Tobago Express: Will the citizens of the country ever enjoy a crime-free environment? Will this world ever find peace?

These are some of the questions that drove the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre to publicly launch World Peace Hour recently at its Chaguanas branch.

The centre hopes to spread, through prayer and meditation, a peaceful attitude that will help reduce crime.

Attendees included co-ordinator of the Divali Nagar, Deokinanan Sharma, and feature speaker, Assistant Commissioner of Police for South and Central, Dennis Graham.

Most people do not take seriously thoughts on meditation, much less as a way to bring more order to society.

But can meditation have a tangible effect on crime? At the Raja Yoga Centre, people of all races and religion are taught the art of meditation – free of charge.

Such is the commitment of those at the centre to share mental peace.

With centres all around the world and many members who are part of the scientific community, the Raja Yogas have conducted several experiments over the years to test the effects of meditation.

In June 1999, the Social Indicators Research journal reported one of the most dramatic sociological experiments ever undertaken.

Intense group meditation was done over an eight-week period in Washington, DC, during the summer of 1993.

Researchers, before the experiment, had predicted a reduction in crime of at least 20 per cent.

Findings later showed that violent crime-including rapes, murders and assaults-had decreased by 23 per cent during the June 7 to July 30 experimental period.

The odds of this result are two in one billion.

The study was led by John Hagelin, Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The demonstration had involved nearly 4,000 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation from 81 countries.

Hagelin stated: “Previous research had shown that these meditation techniques create a state of deep relaxation and coherence in the individual and simultaneously appear to produce an effect that spreads into the environment, influencing people who are not practising the techniques and who have no knowledge of the experiments themselves”.

Hagelin, an eminent physicist, drew terminology from quantum field theories to refer to the results of meditation as “a field effect of consciousness”.

“It’s analogous to the way that a magnet creates an invisible field that causes iron filings to organise themselves into an orderly pattern,” Hagelin said.

He also said that meditation has been shown to create high levels of coherence and orderliness in individual practitioners.

This “orderliness” appears to spill over into society and can be measured directly through the positive changes that occur.

Dr Ann Hughes, a professor of Sociology and Government at the University of the District of Columbia, later said of the experiment: “What we are looking at here is a new paradigm of viewing crime and violence. Hughes was part of a 27-member project review board composed of independent scientists and civic leaders who approved the research protocol and monitored and the process.

Sr Jasmine, co-ordinator of the centre, said that the most powerful instrument known to man is the power of thought.

“Crime begins as a thought,” Sr Jasmine said.

Changing these thought forms before they begin a definite way, she said, begins curbing crime.

“Our world is crying out for peace and thirsting for love.

“The call of time is here for each of us to make a meaningful contribution,” Sr Jasmine urged.

“Our once-sweet and loving T&T is fast becoming unconscious and filled with fear, hopelessness and sorrow.”

Assistant Commissioner of Police in South, Dennis Graham, said that the institutions of family, religion and education also hold a great responsibility in the prevention of crime in this country.

He referred to the biblical saying: “Train up a child when he is young that he may not depart from it when he is old.”

“There is an increasing dependency on the Government to provide services that should be provided by the family,” Graham said.

“If the family fails, other institutions will fail,” Graham said.

“The police cannot do our jobs successfully without the intervention of these institutions. We must join hands and hearts.”

He said that most officers are trained to simply deal with a crime on hand without taking a deeper look into the criminal mind.

He is a firm believer in prevention, and cited the disparities in the social and economic classes as being one of the root causes of crime.

“The disparity between the upper of the upper class and the lower of the class are wide.

Those of the lower of the lower class sometimes seek to attain the things of the upper of the upper class by illegal means.”

He said that one of the main purposes of education is to socialise children through the use of a country’s culture and values.

Graham also felt that spirituality needs to be taught to younger people.

“We must pray daily,” the policeman said.

“Children need to be taught that people are more important than material things. Some have virtually abdicated these values.”

He said, though, that there has been a noticeable drop in criminal activity from where he sits, since the provision of more patrol vehicles to the police force.

He pointed out that the once pandemic kidnapping trend has abated.

The centre will continue to hold World Peace Hour on every third Sunday of the month and all are invited to attend.

Original article no longer available

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Doing quiet time (Alameda Times-Star, California)

Kristin Bender, Alameda Times-Star, California: Inmates practice yoga and meditation.

MARCEL McRae is not a guy you’d want to meet in a dark alley. He weighs 270 pounds and can nearly bench press his own weight.
He has arms the size of some people’s legs and a linebacker’s torso. He grew up on some of the Bay Area’s meanest streets and is still roiled with pain from a gunshot wound sustained in a drive-by shooting as a teen.

Through the years, the 32-year-old has been arrested for weapons possession, burglary, robbery. He’s currently doing time in San Francisco County Jail. It’s certainly not his first stay. A third striker, he says he’s been in and out of jails and prisons nine times in the past 13 years.

But on Tuesday nights, McRae forgets his past.

He forgets the pain he’s caused his family, himself and his community, he says. He tries to concentrate on the positive. He attempts to look forward, not back. He sets his sights on internal peace.

Once a week, McRae and about a dozen other inmates practice meditation and yoga on the jail’s cold, hard cement floors. The physical and mental results, inmates and teachers say, have been truly amazing.

“I’ve lifted a lot of weights in my life,” says McRae, shaking out his arms after a recent class. “My first time doing yoga, I was more sore than a rigorous workout. I was mad at myself. I thought, ‘I’m not supposed to get sore doing yoga.’”

The classes are part of the “Resolve to Stop the Violence Program,” an effort to reintegrate violent offenders into society and decrease the likelihood that they’ll wind up back behind bars. Inmates say they are calmer and fight less. They take time out before reacting.

“It helps me a lot with clarity and being aware of myself and my mind. Awareness is a big part of it. Sometimes I even forget I’m in jail for two hours,” says Derek Holcomb, a 32-year-old inmate arrested several times on drug charges.

Holcomb says yoga class is the one peaceful place in the joint.

“It’s quiet in here. … It’s exactly the opposite of the regular population where there are 60 guys in one room, and it’s loud and chaotic.”

A similar program in Alameda County Juvenile Hall called the Mind Body Awareness Project teaches the ancient practices of yoga and meditation to give young people ways to handle anger, think clearly and avoid violence.

The San Francisco program, known as RSVP, requires inmates, people serving a sentence, to participate in violence “reeducation,” job training, life skills training, theater and parenting skills classes. But they also have electives such as meditation and yoga.

While there is no hard evidence that doing yoga and meditation is reducing the recidivism rate or making the jail a calmer, nicer place, there are statistics on the RSVP program. In the first year of operation, 1997, there was one in-custody fight among participants, compared to 297 violent incidents among the general jail population.

But participants are the ones who really sing the praises of deep thinking and the downward dog pose.

“The meditation has definitely helped because I am depressed. I am incarcerated, and I haven’t found nothing happy about being incarcerated,” says McRae.

McRae said the meditation allows him to escape, if only temporarily.

“After the first time I tried it, I immediately felt the results mentally and physically,” he says.

San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey was a prison rights attorney who became a sheriff. “So his perspective is on rehabilitation,” says Eileen Hirst, his chief of staff.

“All of these people are coming out to the community. How do you want them to come out to the community? Having learned something to deal with their anger or not having learned something?” she says. ”(The sheriff) sees this as a golden opportunity.”

Inmates say one reason the meditation and yoga have been successful is the quality of the teachers. Donnelle Malnik, a 34- year-old San Francisco hairdresser and part-time yoga instructor, has been coming to the jail for about a year. She is also a survivor of physical and sexual abuse and finds working with the men cathartic.

“It’s pretty intense when you start hearing the (jail) doors close behind you, and you realize you are the only woman in there. It can be a little overwhelming,” she says

“But I’ve really enjoyed working with the men. A lot of them are victims themselves and have never figured out how to deal with victimization and the cycle of violence.”

Malnik and meditation instructor Bill Scheinman arrive in the room where they will hold class a few minutes before the inmates. The room is a unused dormitory, and there are signs of jail life—stainless steel tables, a row of silver sinks and multiple shower heads jutting out of one wall.

The inmates quickly arrange themselves in a circle, which becomes a sea of jail-issue orange. The dark blue, purple and green yoga mats stand out among the orange jumpsuits and socks. The men introduce themselves, and there are no newcomers. Everyone is returning for a third or fourth or even 12th time.

Malnik, covered in tattoos and with red streaked hair, sits at the head of the circle and cautions the class to avoid thinking about what happened before they arrived or what will happen later.

“Just the present moment,” she says. They roll their necks and shoulders and check for injuries. As they stretch, the faint sound of cracking backs and necks breaks the silence.

Malnik demonstrates a balancing pose. “I like to do these when I have something on my mind,” she says. The men stretch just a little deeper, a bit longer.

Once everyone has warmed up, Scheinman, 47, takes them through a meditation practice called “The Loving Kindness Practice.”
It asks each participant to bring to mind first themselves, then a good friend, then a person who is seen in daily life but remains a stranger, then a difficult person. The fifth stage is to bring all four people together and wish them good will and happiness.
Scheinman, who has been teaching meditation inside the jail for more than three years, has noticed immense changes in his students.

“You notice changes in their insight, the way their minds work, the way their emotions work,” he says. The men who come in angry and ready to pick a fight leave a lot calmer. “They are in a volatile environment, and in our class they have two hours of peace.”

After the meditation, they debrief.

“The discussions are usually so interesting. They talk about things you wouldn’t believe because they’ve been silent for two hours,” Malnik says.

But the real payoff comes when the guys mix back in the day-to- day interactions in the jail.

Inmate Peter Flores, 40, says the yoga and meditation helps him deal with the everyday situations that crop up in jail.

Recently, he returned from playing cards with some guys to find an inmate sitting on his bed. “Initially I felt angry. This person didn’t ask me if he could sit on my bed,” he says. “Instead of reacting, I went over and drank some water and then he said, ‘Hey man, can I sit here?’ I took the time to do something else. I have a lot of anxiety … and I don’t want to take it out on anyone else.”

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Education Ministry denies plan for TM in schools (Newsday Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago)

Newsday, Trinidad: The [Trinidad and Tobago] Education Ministry yesterday denied any plan to introduce Transcendental Meditation (TM) into schools, as was being reported in some media claiming TM would soon be introduced into the school’s curriculum. Responding to queries by various persons, the Ministry yesterday issued a release advising of its policy when introducing new elements into the school curriculum. “The process is one of consultation, research and investigation. No one and no organisation has approached the Ministry of Education with respect to the introduction of Transcendental Meditation techniques in schools,” the release stated.

The ministry admitted to responding to an invitation last week from the TT Peace Government to attend a seminar with the theme — “The Brain Campaign — Substance Abuse and the Brain” in which TM was discussed. However, at no time during the seminar did the ministry’s representatives indicate an acceptance of this approach, claimed the ministry. The use of TM has been offered as an alternative to reducing crime, substance abuse, illiteracy and violence which is currently plaguing society. The suggestion was proffered by leader of the TT Peace Government, David Lee Sheng Tin, and leading neuroscientist, educator and researcher into the neurobiology of the human brain development and potential, Dr Alarik Arenander. The TT Peace Government is a non-religious, non-political organisation.

TM, which has been practiced in the Western world for over 50 years, is an ancient Asian form of meditation which has been scientifically proven to increase a person’s mental, emotional and physical health. TM is being used in 108 countries around the world, and at all levels of society, both governmental and non-governmental. Speaking with Newsday, Communications Specialist at the Ministry of Education, Mervyn Crichlow said while the invitation extended by the TT Peace Government had been accepted, at no time did ministry representatives indicate that TM would be introduced into schools.

When contacted for a comment on the issue of TM, President of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), Zena Ramatali said she was unable to comment, as their General Council had not yet met to obtain a consensus from its entire membership. First Vice President of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association, Sally Siriram told Newsday she fully endorsed remarks by TTUTA President Trevor Oliver to support any initiative which helped to curb the violence and indiscipline in schools. She said TTUTA would support any intervention or strategy which can be used to impact on students in a positive manner.

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A Forest Monk’s Lesson in the New York Jungle (New York Times)

The stolen bag did not contain much in the way of material value. But its sudden absence greatly distressed the Buddhist monk who had been victimized, and so the police were summoned to the scene of the crime: a Starbucks at the opulent Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

A police officer in a softball jacket sat down to take the statement of the tall man in a brown robe, whose decaffeinated coffee, no milk, was turning cold. Routine questions elicited complicated answers. For example, the victim’s name was Venerable Kassapa, but Venerable is a term of respect, not a first name.

”I’m a Buddhist monk,” the robed man confided. ”In case you’re wondering.”

”I knew,” the police officer said gently. ”I’ve been around.”

This is a simple tale that is not so simple, about a monk, a theft and New-York style redemption….

Venerable Kassapa, 41, is a forest monk in Sri Lanka. He usually lives alone or with a few other monks in rock-shelter huts, where he depends on the charity of villagers. He eats one proper meal a day, does not carry money, and devotes much of his celibate life to meditation, contemplation and the study of Buddhist texts. People often bow before him.

He sometimes travels to other countries and often speaks to very small groups about Buddhism. For the last few weeks he has been in the New York area, his trip sponsored by the New York Society of United Sri Lankans.

On Monday afternoon he sat on a stone bench in front of the Plaza Hotel and recalled how, as a young boy in London, he became disillusioned with the world. ”I wanted to find a way out of discomfort and uneasiness,” he said. ”A way out of suffering.”

His mother’s struggle with an illness may have prompted his brooding; he is not sure. But he is certain that the factors leading him to a Buddhist temple at the age of 13 included these: his mother’s interest in transcendental meditation, and his own interest in a popular television program of the time, ”Kung Fu.”

When he asked one of the temple’s monks whether they taught martial arts as well as Buddhism, he recalled, the monk laughed. ”Here we don’t tend to the body,” the monk told the boy. ”We tend to the mind.”

At 14, he became a novice monk and moved to Sri Lanka; at 20, he was ordained. ”And I’ve never, ever, regretted making this move,” he said.

With the sun slipping behind the Plaza, Venerable Kassapa agreed to take a stroll for a cup of coffee at the Starbucks in Trump Tower. Walking down Fifth Avenue in his simple cloth robe, a simple cloth bag clutched in his hand, he was a character out of context: a six-foot-four study in self-denial, ambling along the boulevard of acquisition.

”I am a beast out of its habitat,” he said.

He passed under the ”You’re Fired” advertisement that adorns Trump Tower and moved through the marble lobby, seemingly unaware of the effect his presence had on others. As an escalator raised him up to a floor redolent of coffee, he was asked whether he knew the name of Trump. ”I’ve heard of him,” he said. ”He’s a very wealthy man.”

Venerable Kassapa sat at a small table and accepted a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Soon he was sharing what he described as his ”vision” for the United States: that this great country, filled with energy and potential, would one day lead the world into a brave new era of truth and harmony.

Shortly after suggesting that American power ”can be harnessed for harm or for good,” he noticed that his cloth bag was missing from the chair beside him. He felt no anger when he realized that the bag had been stolen, he said later. Only shock, because such things do not happen to contemplative monks.

”This is very bizarre,” he kept saying. ”Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.”

Security officers were summoned, and then two police officers from the Midtown North precinct. They glided up the escalator and walked directly toward the monk. He was easy to pick out.

One officer went off to check garbage cans, while the other interviewed the monk. Finally, the time came to detail what was in the bag. No money, of course (”I don’t use money,” the monk said), but an eclectic list of items duly recorded by the officer.

Among the articles inside the cloth bag: a white plastic bag, a cellphone that someone had lent to him for his New York visit, a bottle of water, some white thread that he gives to people as a blessing and many pieces of paper. On these were written the names and telephone numbers of his supporters around the world.

”I would really appreciate it if you could do as much as you can,” the monk said to the officer. But the officer leveled with the monk. ”A lot of times, with nothing of value, they just throw it in the trash,” he said. ”It could be in Brooklyn, it could be in the Bronx.”

The officers left Venerable Kassapa to contemplate his loss, especially the bits of paper bearing the names and phone numbers of all those friends. ”This is a raw lesson in life,” he said, the kind of thing that ”I first became a monk to overcome.”

He descended the escalator, peered briefly into a garbage can — just in case — and then paused to study Donald Trump, who was standing at the elevator bank, talking on a cell phone. ”I’ve never seen a billionaire before,” he said.

Outside, on Fifth Avenue, the forest monk expressed a keen desire to go to that Manhattan forest called Central Park. ”I need a little bit of a breath of fresh air,” he said, and then he was gone.

That could have been the conclusion to the monk’s New York tale. But destiny would not allow it.

Late Monday afternoon, Riccardo Maggiore found a white plastic bag at the entrance to his hair salon on West 56th Street, just off Fifth Avenue. Yesterday morning, his wife, Eileen, did some sleuthing. And before noon, plans were under way to return the plastic bag — though not the cloth bag — to its owner, a forest monk.

There wasn’t much inside the bag. A cellphone. Some white thread. And what Ms. Maggiore described as ”a million pieces of paper.”

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I sentence you to: tea (The Times, London)

Sharon Krum, The Times: Forget community service, a US judge packs offenders off to a course in Eastern spirituality

Standing in the Santa Fe Municipal Court listening to the judge hand down her sentence, Megan Rodriguez thought that she must be on Candid Camera. After pleading guilty to one charge of domestic abuse (hurling a lamp at her boyfriend), Rodriguez, 19, was sentenced to a Japanese tea ceremony, t’ai chi classes, acupuncture and 12 weeks of meditation.

“When I got the sentence, I kept thinking, what is the judge saying? Medi-what? A meditation sentence? I asked the court clerk if this was for real. I was sure I would get community service and pick up garbage like everyone else.”

But in a move that is causing sniggers in some quarters and applause in others, depending on what side of the New Age fence you stand on, the city of Santa Fe, in the American state of New Mexico, is pioneering an alternative sentencing programme that has offenders taking deep breaths instead of cleaning their local city square. And no, it is not a joke.

“The idea is to show these offenders, most of whom are convicted of domestic abuse, that using certain techniques, you can learn to control the impulse to be violent,” says Mark De Francis, a psychologist at the New Mexico Corrections Department, a doctor of oriental medicine and brains behind the new programme.

“T’ai chi (slow, dance-like martial arts movements), in particular, teaches that what you thought was simply a reflexive, uncontrollable movement is entirely within your control.”

It was late last year when the Santa Fe Municipal Court Judge Frances Gallegos approached De Francis looking for an alternative to the standard “community service” and “anger management training” sentencing options. “She said that they weren’t working well enough, the recidivism rate was still too high.”

De Francis suggested that the judge adopt an Eastern approach to the problem, given that the Western solution was failing. In fact, scientific studies have shown that meditation reduces stress levels, while a 2001 study reported in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that t’ai chi could increase immunity and reduce stress.

With the judge’s imprimatur, De Francis set about designing a programme that would teach offenders how to manage their emotions, all based on the principles of Eastern spirituality. Today the 12-week course, held twice a week, begins with t’ai chi, followed by a tea ceremony, open discussion, then ends with a 20-minute meditation and acupuncture.

“T’ai chi teaches them to slow down their physical bodies,” De Francis says of his multi-faceted approach. “The tea ceremony teaches respect for and interaction with others. Meditation, through visualisation and breathing, shows them that they can calm their minds. This is a new concept for them, but very empowering.” In fact during the meditation, De Francis insists that offenders wear a sleeping mask to block all visual stimuli, then floods the room with aromatherapy. Once they are sufficiently relaxed, he places an acupuncture needle between their eyes to generate emotional balance.

Unsurprisingly, new arrivals to the class often resist their court mandated “touchy feely” classes, not to mention the acupuncture needle, which De Francis says takes some coaxing. “In the beginning some clearly don’t want to be there,” he says. “They have never encountered Eastern practices and don’t understand what’s going to happen. Some joke, disrupt or refuse to participate.” But he adds, with a note of triumph: “Over time they start to respond to the classes. The men really like t’ai chi, particularly the idea that you can still be a warrior without hurting anyone. The females I find are better at meditation. I think once women become mothers, they learn patience faster.”

This was the case with Rodriguez, whose first impression of the class was: “This is too weird. I couldn’t believe my sentence didn’t involve any type of punishment, that all I was supposed to do was learn about being calm.” But Rodriguez, who works in an animal shelter, says she was intrigued enough to participate in all the disciplines and believes that she has benefited. “The t’ai chi and the meditation taught me that you might get angry in a moment but that things pass, and just to breathe and count it down.”

Tetros Ortiz, a 36-year-old manager charged with resisting arrest, told friends that his sentence was to show up at a meditation class, and their jaws dropped. But he is now a giddy convert. After completing the programme, he’s sure he will never set foot in a courthouse again. “I got a lot out of t’ai chi. It taught me to control my strength, and relaxed me.”

He also credits the tea ceremony with teaching him to communicate gently with others, particularly at work. “My co-workers have really noticed a difference.” He says that meditation showed him “that if you think you can’t calm your mind down, you’re wrong. You can. When I get angry now, I think about what I’m going to say; before, I’d just start yelling.”

All of this is music to Mark De Francis’s ears (he concedes that there are some offenders who don’t derive any benefit because of their continued resistance to the programme), but whether this kind of alternative punishment will reduce recidivism remains to be seen.

De Francis says that anecdotal evidence is promising. “When I run into graduates of the programme, they tell me the benefits have been ongoing. I hope that statistics will prove the importance of incorporating mind-body-spirit programmes into alternative sentencing everywhere. I believe the solution in life is finding your inner, rather than outer, opponent to do battle with.”

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Share some alternative thinking with the young (ic Wales)

Aled Blake, Western Mail: Penyrhelo Primary School is not the only organisation to use unusual techniques to stimulate learning.

Young criminals were urged to try meditating in a bid to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Lessons in meditation, aromatherapy, willow weaving and tent building are having a dramatic effect on dozens of young people in a pioneering scheme in Bridgend.

Additionally the art of yoga is being used at a school in Swansea before children go to lessons.

Children at Pentrepoeth Junior School in Swansea are developing stretching and breathing techniques.

The pre-school sessions are helping to prepare the children. Many of the skills that they have learnt are used later on in the day if they feel they need to focus or improve their concentration.

Educational consultant, Sandy Kennedy uses the method of whispering to children with behavioural problems to teach them and calm them down.

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“Twin Peaks” director urges mass meditation

Reuters, UK: As the director of such dark films as Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive, and the television series Twin Peaks, David Lynch seems an unlikely leader for a world peace campaign based on mass meditation.

He has, however, joined a Washington real estate developer, Jeffrey Abramson, and a publisher to raise $1 billion to bankroll a foundation supplying instructors in transcendental meditation to ease the planet’s stress. “There’s a ton of sceptics out there,” Lynch admitted, acknowledging a certain giggle factor attendant to his project.

“On the surface there’s the giggle. I would just encourage people to look more deeply into this, and the giggles go away, unless it’s just a giggle of pure happiness at the beauty of this – because this plan has been tested.

“Every time it’s been tested it’s reduced crime and violence. It’s a real thing and it could be in place this year and bring peace to Earth.”

Lynch, whose creations have featured twisted visions of small-town American life, said he has been meditating for 34 years, and that it has not dulled his artistic edge. “When I started meditating, I had an anger in me and some people might say, well, that would give you an edge, you’d have a cutting edge.

“But really, in truth, anger is a poison . . . Two weeks after I started meditating, that anger disappeared and it doesn’t mean you can’t get angry, it just means you can’t hold on to it, it doesn’t poison you.”

Lynch is promoting the establishment of a University of World Peace in the US. He and his partners have raised $88 million, but more will be needed to endow 8000 scholarships to teach the transcendental meditation techniques of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

[Original article no longer available.]
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