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The Maharishi Effect is a phase transition to a more orderly and harmonious state of life in society as measured by decreased crime, violence, accidents, and illness, and improvements in economic conditions and other sociological indicators. Named in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who predicted it thirty years ago.

Maharishi had predicted that when a critical sub-population of individuals – 1% – experienced and stimulated the field of pure consciousness through the Transcendental Meditation Program, a type of macroscopic field effect of coherence would occur in the society and the quality of life would improve. This would manifest in more orderly and harmonious individual behaviour and a measurable improvement in the various social indices which characterise the quality of life in society.

Scientific Research on the Maharishi Effect

During the past 25 years over 500 scientific studies have been conducted on Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying showing the wide-ranging benefits for all aspects of life. 42 of these studies have shown that when 1% of the population of any town or country practises Transcendental Meditation, or when the square root of 1% practise TM-Sidhi Yogic Flying in a group, there are dramatic positive improvements in the entire society.

One such study was held in June-July 1993 in Washington D.C.

This National Demonstration Project to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Governmental Effectiveness brought approximately 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs to the United States national capital from June 7 to July 30, 1993. A 27-member independent Project Review Board consisting of sociologists and criminologists from leading universities, representatives from the police department and government of the District of Columbia, and civic leaders approved in advance the research protocol for the project and monitored its progress.

The dependent variable in the research was weekly violent crime, as measured by the Uniform Crime Report program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; violent crimes include homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. This data was obtained from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department for 1993 as well as for the preceding five years (1988-1992). Additional data used for control purposes included weather variables (temperature, precipitation, humidity), daylight hours, changes in police and community anti-crime activities, prior crime trends in the District of Columbia, and concurrent crime trends in neighboring cities. Average weekly temperature was significantly correlated with homicides, rapes and assaults (HRA crimes), as has also been found in previous research; therefore temperature was used as a control variable in the main analysis of HRA crimes. Using time series analysis, violent crimes were analyzed separately in terms of HRA crimes (crimes against the person) and robbery (monetary crimes), as well as together.

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Analysis of 1993 data, controlling for temperature, revealed that there was a highly significant decrease in HRA crimes associated with increases in the size of the group during the Demonstration Project. The maximum decrease was 23.3% when the size of the group was largest during the final week of the project. The statistical probability that this result could reflect chance variation in crime levels was less than 2 in 1 billion (p < .000000002). When a longer baseline is used (1988-1993 data), the maximum decrease was 24.6% during this period (p < .00003). When analyzed as a separate variable, robberies did not decrease significantly, but a joint analysis of both HRA crimes and robberies indicated that violent crimes as a whole decreased significantly to a maximum amount of 15.6% during the final week of the project (p = .0008).

Analysis of 1993 data, controlling for temperature, revealed that there was a highly significant decrease in HRA crimes associated with increases in the size of the group during the Demonstration Project.

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Based on the results of the study, the steady state gain (long-term effect) associated with a permanent group of 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs was calculated as a 48% reduction in HRA crimes in the District of Columbia.

Given the strength of these results, their consistency with the positive results of previous research, the grave human and financial costs of violent crime, and the lack of other effective and scientific methods to reduce crime, policy makers are urged to apply this approach on a large scale for the benefit of society.

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Scientific proof of meditations far-reaching beneficial effects are wonderful to read about, I have no doubt we will reach that 1% threshold soon.

thirdmonk certainly wants to help, if you’re interested in joining a weekly meditation with us, please email us or leave a comment below and we’ll send you the details. 

> Maharishi Effect | Dubrovnik Peace Project

> Crime Prevention | ISTPP.org