Research Shows Group Meditation Can Reduce Crime Rates

Research Shows Group Meditation Can Reduce Crime RatesAlong with the mounting medical evidence of the various health benefits of meditation, research shows group meditation can actually reduce crime rates in the greater population. With connections which go beyond explanation by other variables, the results show that city-wide crime rates were reduced by small meditating groups of less than one percent of the population — not by holding community-wide meditation sessions or treating criminals with meditation therapy but by meditating on peace and positivity in small groups.

Known as the Maharishi Effect, the idea is that individual brain waves can affect the collective consciousness. Though the exact science to explain how the brain waves of a small meditating group can effect the actions of the greater population is still not known, nearly 50 studies have been done on the subject and have appeared in prestigious publications such as the Journal of Crime and Justice.

Research Shows Group Meditation Can Reduce Crime RatesThe form of meditation used to produce the Maharishi Effect is called the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme. Those who have practiced this deep state of consciousness describe it as uplifting and say they “experience a state of bliss.” Several compare it to a feeling like they are flying, and in the Vedic literature it is even referred to as Yogic Flying. The Yoga Sutra states that “In the vicinity of coherence (yoga) hostile tendencies are eliminated,” and practitioners of this meditation program believe it creates a “unified field” which transforms stressful, negative, and undesirable tendencies in brain physiology.

Whether science is able to prove their beliefs or not, the positivity and well-being spread by followers of the Maharishi’s meditation technique is certainly not a bad thing for society. As many as 7,000 people have gathered at one time to meditate with the Maharishi in the name of world peace.

Some of the most impressive research into group meditation came from Merseyside, England, which shows group meditation was not only able to reduce crime rates, but can save cities millions of dollars. A time series analysis was used to evaluate reduction in crime. During periods when a meditating group slightly larger than the square root of one percent of the population held sessions the monthly data showed a 13.4 percent drop in crime. This was very significant in contrast to the national crime rate which had actually increased by 45 percent.

Even when considering variables such as police practices and economic changes the research still points to a strong correlation between the group meditation and the drop in crime rates. Merseyside went from No. 3 ranking in highest crime rates among the eleven largest Metropolitan Areas in England and Wales in 1987 to the lowest crime rate by 1992. The Merseyside Home Office estimated the reduction in crime saved around £1250 million over the five-year period.

How does the Maharishi Effect reduce crime? Some researchers have proposed that the meditating group is able to increase coherence and decrease stress in the collective consciousness of a society, thus improving something referred to as “informal social control,” which reduces criminal acts. In a review of various research conducted on city, state, national, and international levels, 15 published studies showed strong evidence that group meditation was able to reduce crime rates, and programs like these can easily be replicated elsewhere.

By Mimi Mudd

Sources:
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Psychology, Crime and Law
Maharishi Effect

3 Responses to "Research Shows Group Meditation Can Reduce Crime Rates"

  1. Rainer | LMx Research Letters   February 8, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Can someone please provide some links to the latest FULL and free statistics out there about the issue? If possible, from the Government as well as meditiation sites and possibly other sources. I would like to see them very much.

    I just saw a video about the Unified Field where those meditations effects had been mentioned. But again, no links to any stats were provided.

    Reply
  2. Tom Somers (@widestrides)   August 6, 2014 at 6:50 am

    We actually don’t “meditate on peace and positivity” as is suggested. We just meditate as usual which is not directed or focused on anything. But the process has a soothing and calming influence on the individual Meditator and that “radiates” to the environment and to other individuals because at the deepest level of life we are all connected. That deepest level of life is what physicists call the Unified Field – a field of consciousness that we all share. There is individual consciousness and there is collective or universal consciousness. We all influence each other at that level. The practice of TM enlivens or stirs that Unified Field in an orderly way and that influences everyone else to some degree to become more orderly. Or at least to feel less like striking out at someone. The more powerfully the field is stirred by large groups practicing together, the greater the order-creating effect. It’s real and has been measured beyond a doubt – over 40 strict, scientific studies.

    Reply
  3. Sam Sweed   April 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

    The world is a miraculous place and its high time we got our heads out of our TV sets and begin to think outside the box (pun intended). Physics has long proclaimed the wide ranging effects of even the most subtle of actions. Likewise meditation, particularly TM, when practiced in large groups has a measurable effect. This option, which is dirt cheap compared to the trillions spent on high tech military equipment, should be thoroughly explored.

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