American Indian culture places the highest value on the role of meditation for promoting a balanced, healthy life in harmony with the laws of nature. Properly understood and practiced, meditation reduces such chronic diseases as diabetes and heart disease, decreases dependence on alcohol and drugs, and dramatically improves the academic performance of students.
The David Lynch Foundation’s American Indian Initiatives offers the Transcendental Meditation program to American Indian health and educational organizations. The Transcendental Meditation program is a simple, natural, effortless, and universally applicable technique that can restore cultural integrity, health, and balance of life on the reservation.
Preliminary data from several reservations show significant decreases in blood glucose levels, a normalization of blood pressure rates, reduced stress, and improvements in general mental and physical well-being. Research also shows decreased absenteeism, increased academic achievement, improved standardized test scores, less violence, and greater self-esteem among students.
Transcendental Meditation is an ideal approach because it does not involve any religion, philosophy, or change in lifestyle, but rather upholds and uplifts the cultural and religious traditions of all peoples.
In collaboration with national and local American Indian health and education organizations, the David Lynch Foundation provides programs to prevent and reduce diabetes and cardiovascular disease, school dropouts, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and suicide while also preserving and restoring cultural integrity.
Funding Target: $75,000 a year for each specially trained teacher to provide an intensive 12-month program of individualized instruction and follow-up in Transcendental Meditation for 200 at-risk men, women and youth on Native American reservations. Total Funding: 50 trainers to serve 10,000 at-risk Native Americans: $3.75 million.