Transcendental meditation is for human beings, and it transforms life for the good, no matter who you are or what your situation is. For instance, everybody knows education is pretty bad shape these days. There’s lots of problems, even in the so-called “good” schools. Stress is hitting kids at a younger and younger age, and there’s bullying, there’s fights, there’s legal and illegal drugs, there’s bad relationships, bad grades, nobody likes to learn, there’s teacher burnout, and it’s kind of a mess. People have tried many things to help, but in my opinion, lots of these good things are surface cures–they don’t address the torment inside the student, or the teacher, or the principal. When they get this transcendental meditation, it’s a mental techique that allows them to dive deep within to the deepest level of life, which underlies all matter and mind. At the border of intellect, you transcend and experience that unbounded level of life: all positive, pure consciousness with qualities of intelligence, creativity, happiness, love, energy, and peace. I like to say gold flows in and garbage goes out.

There’s a school that’s the flagship school: it’s Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco. There was tremendous violence, shootings in the neighborhood, very bad grades, lots and lots of traumatic stress. They tried many many different things. Jim Dierke, the [now-retired] principal, looking into transcendental meditation, said, “Let’s try this.” He had to fight for it. But little by little by little, the whole student body learned, the teachers learned, the staff learned, and the principal learned. And within one year, the school was 180 degrees turned around. The fighting stopped, the relationships improved, students got happy, the teachers started loving to teach again, and the principal was just jumping up and down.