…Offers Hope for Victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Certified Instructor Bob Dillon to Lead Courses at Center for Spiritual Living, Chico: Camp Fire Victims Encouraged to Attend
By Alice Patterson
Camp Fire victims and others affected by post-traumatic stress have access to free and reduced-cost transcendental meditation (TM) training, thanks to the Center for Spiritual Living, Chico and certified TM instructor Bob Dillon, director of the North Valley TM Center. Dillon is offering free introductory sessions, followed by TM courses for those interested in continuing instruction, in Chico at The Center for Spiritual Living, 14 Hillary Lane. Introductory sessions are at 7pm every Thursday in June and by appointment.
According to Dillon, while there is a course fee for TM instruction, it is the center’s wish that anyone who wants to learn can do so. Those in need of financial assistance are encouraged to inquire about grants, scholarships, and other options. Additional special grants are available for those affected by the fires.
What Is TM?
TM is a simple, nonreligious, easily practiced, mental technique offering profound rest to the mind and body, resulting in increased intelligence, creativity, better health, and happiness.
Dillon said, “Stress is the number one threat today to our own personal health, happiness, and longevity. It affects everyone from every walk of life and there is no ‘magic drug’ that eliminates stress. TM has been shown to be an easily learned methodology for reducing stress and creating greater resiliency. Recent research sponsored by the Department of Defense has found it to be a highly successful way to reduce PTSD in veterans. TM is recommended by thousands of physicians as a way to create greater balance and reduce illness. Major companies, schools, professionals in sports, and the performing arts use TM as way to enhance performance.”
“TM is not a religious or ‘faith-based’ philosophy,” said Kathy Fernandes, co-spiritual director of the Center for Spiritual Living, Chico. “Anyone can access the benefits TM has to offer.” Fernandes affirmed that trauma is just starting to set in for many victims of the November 2018 Camp Fire, and she encourages the community to enroll in the introductory TM training and to inquire about available scholarships and grants for Camp Fire victims. “We’re excited to partner with Bob Dillon to bring this training to the area,” she said.
A recent long-term, randomized controlled study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that individuals with heart disease who regularly practiced the transcendental meditation technique were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die from all causes compared with others who attended a health-education class over more than five years. Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger. And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival, said researchers who conducted the study at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
According to www.tm.org, TM is:
- Absolutely effortless—It’s so easy and enjoyable that anyone can do it, even children with ADHD. This makes it very different from other techniques. It takes just 20 minutes, two times a day.
- No concentrating
- No control of the mind
- No monitoring of thoughts (mindfulness)
- No trying to “empty the mind”
- Authentic—The TM technique was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi more than 60 years ago, and it has been learned by more than 10 million people. It can be taught only by certified TM teachers in a course carefully personalized for each individual.
- Unique—Other meditations often claim to be the same or similar to the TM technique. In fact, they are very different—and there is no evidence they provide the same benefits.
- Evidence-Based—Hundreds of published research studies on the TM technique have documented major benefits for:
- Stress and anxiety
- Brain function
- Cardiovascular health
- Established—More than 10 million people have learned the TM technique and experienced its benefits—people of all ages, cultures, religions, and walks of life.
- Nothing to believe in—The TM technique is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. No belief or expectation is needed for it to be effective.
The first step of learning TM is a free introductory session. In this initial meeting the basics of TM are taught: how it differs from other techniques of relaxation and meditation, and how it’s learned. All are welcome to join these free introductory sessions.
Dillon expanded on the profound benefits of TM, particularly its impact on stress reduction. “The amount of rest we get with deep sleep just isn’t enough to fully release the stress,” said Dillon. “Accumulated stress takes a great toll on the mind and body, reducing the body’s immune system,” he said. “TM brings about a deep, profound level of rest, allowing it to release deep-rooted stresses. The results are both immediate and cumulative with regular practice,” he said. The body enters a deep state of rest, yet the mind is alert. This “restful alertness” allows the body to recharge.
“We can’t ignore stress,” he said. “It undermines our immune system and we get sick. It impacts our digestion, memory, sleep, and more,” he said. “Literally, too much stress over time kills us.” TM is an “effortless diving within” to access the calm. It completely transforms the brain and the body, he said. “It wakes up the brain and improves memory, creativity, and hypertension, among other things.”
Researchers have identified three basic approaches to meditation: focused attention (concentrating on a thought or object); open monitoring (observing breath, thoughts, or the environment); and automatic self-transcending (spontaneously experiencing quieter levels of thought—a unique state of restful alertness). The transcendental meditation technique involves no focused attention nor open monitoring. It’s a process of automatic self-transcending, allowing the practitioner to experience a field of calm deep within.
Three Steps to Learning TM:
- Attend a free introductory talk by a certified TM teacher
- What you’ll learn:
- Why TM is so effective for stress and anxiety
- How TM improves brain function and memory
- What happens during TM
- Why anyone can practice TM
- Why TM works from the start
- Meet privately with a certified TM teacher. This free personal discussion normally takes place right after the introductory talk
- Take the TM course for four consecutive days plus follow-up session:
Day 1: Personal instruction (1–2 hours)
One-on-one instruction in the TM technique with a certified TM teacher (Note: TM course fee is required at this step).
Days 2 to 4: Small group sessions (60–90 minutes per day)
Additional guidance and instruction on the TM technique based on your personal experience.
Follow-up session* (1 hour)
A small group session (with Q&A) and a one-on-one “tune-up” to ensure your transcendental meditation practice is easy and enjoyable, and that you’re gaining maximum benefit.
*Group follow-up—about 10 days after personal instruction. One-on-one tune-up—on or after the day of the group follow-up.
To sign up for your free introductory session at the Center for Spiritual Living, Chico, contact Dillon at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 510-517-9626, or visit tm.org. For additional information,
contact the Center for Spiritual Living,
Chico at 530-895-8395