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An Alternative Sentencing Program
utilizing the Transcendental Stress Managementģ  program for Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice Reform

 

Experiences of Graduates of TESP, 2005

Aaron D.

Since I have been in this program I have noticed that I have made better decisions in what I do.  Like the other day I had an old friend asked me if I wanted to go to the bar and get drunk and pick up girls.  I politely told him that I didnít want to go out and get all messed up, and that I didnít want to take any chances of going back to my old ways.

I love being able to be free and do the right things for myself.  I appreciate life more now since I have been in this program.  I havenít been fishing in over five years and thatís something I love to do.  Now I go almost every day Ė and thatís where I practice most of my TSM.

I am starting back up with school again Ė GED classes, and I just found out that I passed my Constitution.  Everybody is really excited for me.

Thank you.  If it werenít for you and this program I donít know where I would be.  Thank you again.

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Alan S.

I would like to start by saying that I believe in the Transcendental Stress Management program. The reason being is I am living proof. Since I started the TSM class I have seen a positive progress in my attitude. For example, before I used to get into fights/arguments whereas now I just tend to let things blow by.

The way I used to handle things also seems to have changed.  Although there are a few days when the stress seems to be getting at me.  When I see that happening I just stop what Iím doing and do my TSM for 20 minutes. Afterwards, it is like I just woke up and I am ready for the rest of the day. My family has even said they see a change in my attitude. For example not long after I started TSM my girlfriend said that I have been being nicer to her and to everyone I am around.

The TSM program has given me a better outlook on life and how you are supposed to handle your everyday stress. I have the want and drive to get a better job, to provide for my family. I have been in trouble for far too long and I am ready to get my life on track because I now realize my son does lives through me. If all I need to do is sit down alone for 20 minutes twice a day and meditate then I am more than willing to do so.   I think the program can work for everyone as long as you give it your undivided attention. Anyone who would like to get some order in their lives should try TSM.

Like I've said about myself-- if youíre looking to reduce stress, get better sleep and have better all around health then give TSM a try. It will give you a positive attitude and a better outlook on life. And I know it will help you stay out of trouble. In closing, I would like to thank the teachers of TSM for bringing this simple program that is so powerful and pure into my life. And a special thanks to Honorable Judge Thomas Russell for sending me to this class and believing in me as a person. 

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Alfred B.

The way I feel about TSM is very good because the first time I tried TSM I said to myself that this not for me. But I did not give the program a chance.  I been loving it, Iím more aware of my surroundings. My health is getting much better than it was before. I broke my knuckle in a fight at the night club but my state of mind is very stable now because I donít let nothing get me mad. I donít have a drug problem but I have a cigarette problem. My attitude with my parents is very good.  My life with my wife is coming along very good. The people at work say that I am a different person than what I was before.

I used to have a drinking problem until I got in this class and it showed me that drinking was not the problem, it was me. I could not stop the way I felt. Nobody could tell me nothing - I got the big head and said I was not stopping.  But when it got me in trouble, this is something that I could say that changed my life around.  Most people donít give things a chance but I gave TSM a chance and look at me now.  Once I meditate for 20 minutes a day, twice a day, before I go to bed, I feel good.  And in the morning before I leave to go to work I do it and I feel good all day long.

Watching the movies on TSM with the master of TSM really inspired me a whole lot. It made me see that it works... When Ms Bender first put me on probation I looked at her and said that this was going to be fun and she said ďno, it is not going to be fun it is going to be a long-lasting living life experienceĒ so I said ďok, letís try it out for a month.  Iím almost done my probation - I will be done Nov 17, 2005. Without me being on probation I feel that I would be so much trouble.

I would recommend  this program to schools all around the US.   Why?  Because if the inmates can do it in jail the citizens out here in the world can do the same way they did it. So my friends told me to let them know how it is when I get done with the program.  

PS: Thank you TSM for turning my life around the other way.  Also thanks to my teacher Farrokh K. Anklesaia, and also my probation officer Jennette Bender who helped me turn around.  I thank you Judge Heagney for not taking sides between me, the case and the person I was with at the time. The only time you are going to see me in the court room again is to come and say ďHiĒ or to come and visit you. Mr Heagney.  Keep up the good work.

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Anthony C.

To the Honorable Judge Heagney:

I would like to begin by thanking you for your patience with me. When I began the Transcendental Stress Management program I was very skeptical. I thought, how could sitting still for an hour and a half twice a week be of any benefit to me. To my surprise, after the first few weeks my friends and family said they noticed I seemed to be more focused and calm.

I didnít notice the benefits until a couple of weeks ago.  I attended a family gathering and normally I would not have remembered most of the evening because I would have been very intoxicated. I realized that I did not need alcohol to enjoy myself.  I found pure joy in sitting with my family and having a civil conversation. I found myself actually listening to what everyone had to say. I learned things about my nieces and nephews that I never knew before, positive things. I found so much joy in them. I attribute this to the TSM program.

I have also found myself not wanting to go and hang out, not doing anything. I am now more focused and, for the first time in years, I find myself sitting at home reading books.

Iíve come to realize that there is nothing in the streets but trouble.  I now utilize my time and concentrate my energy on becoming a better human being. Itís more important to me to sit my nephews down and stress to them that an education is the most important thing and that if anyone tries to lead them astray, then they are not their friends.

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C. T. H.

ďHOW TO FISHĒ

As Judge Phillip Heagney banged his gavel and sentenced me to probation, I could see my life was headed in the wrong direction.  In 27 years, I had only been in court once Ė for a D.U.I., but that was more than five years ago, and I felt I had turned my life around.  Now, within two years I am on probation with two different judges and fighting for my freedom.  How had my life gotten so tragically out of control?  Where did I fall off the path?  Being the oldest of my parents three sons, I grew up hearing about the alarming statistics of African-American males going to prison.  I was always told to be a role model for my brothers and to ďlead by exampleĒ.  I felt like that was my responsibility to my family.  But somewhere I went wrong.  I had fallen into the same traps I had been warned about as a child.  I was becoming what I feared most Ė losing my identity and becoming a statistic. 

As part of my probation I was sentenced to many different classes, one of those was The Enlightened Sentencing Project (TESP).  Since neither I nor my probation officer at the time knew about TESP, we started to do the other classes first.  That turned out to be a huge mistake.  For two years I fought tooth and nail to keep my freedom.  I was determined not to fall through the cracks of life and the criminal justice system.  The stress of it all was starting to weigh me down.  I was not thinking clearly, and continued to get into trouble.  The more stress I had, the more frustrated I became, the more trouble I got.  It was a vicious, self destructive cycle that I could not break.  I absolutely could not deal with the world I was living in.  To compound matters, I was about to have my second child.  So now, I was going to have two ďbaby mamasĒ.  All though I have always supported my son, it was a struggle and I didnít think I could handle two kids.

I began self medicating myself with heavy amounts of alcohol and marijuana as a means of escaping reality.  Family and friends didnít know me anymore.  I stopped hanging out with my ďgoodĒ friends because they didnít understand (so I thought).  I was having violent outbursts with everyone, all the time.  I was literally a walking time bomb.  Everyone saw me changing for the worst.  Finally I broke.  Life had become too much for me to handle.  I was in a deep depression.  I insolated myself and tried to abandon everyone.  I had become suicidal and I needed help and fast.  My family and very close friends actually had to trick me into getting going to the hospital, to get me the help I needed by telling me that I was there to see someone else. 

After three weeks in the hospital and receiving some much needed counseling and a lot of different drugs, I managed to get through a tough time, but not without a price.  I talked to several different doctors, who said I had everything from Severe Depression to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Bi Polar to Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.  I didnít want to believe any of them.  However, something, either the medicine or counseling was working, because I was beginning to feel better.  I knew I still had a lot of work to do if I wanted my life back and wanted off probation.  Over time and with the help of Amy Lowery and several other probation officers I slowly began getting through all of my special conditions, except one TESP.

Not knowing what to expect, I assumed the TESP was like anger management, and drug rehabilitation classes I had already been through.  That turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.  The class was far different.  Instead of talking about accepting responsibilities for my actions, or addictions or drugs or criminal minded thinking, we were going to learn yoga and meditation.  At first I though this was just another way to get more money from me for a class I didnít need, or didnít believe would help.  After all, I put everything I had into to those other classes, and in the end I didnít feel like those classes changed me.  Instead they merely put a band aid on a larger problem. 

It took me about two weeks before I was truly ready to give TSM a chance.  Now it is one of the most serious things I do all day.  It has affected my life in ways I never dreamed of.  TSM was the final piece to the puzzle surrounding my life, or the master key to it.  My entire day goes smoothly because of TSM. 

By teaching me the TSM technique I know I can handle or even eliminate stressful situations more effectively.  I can feel my mind coming out of a haze - thinking more clearly, becoming more self confident and having much more self esteem.  You will no longer find me running from or trying to hide my problems.  My personal growth has caused everyone around me to take notice.  I have a much better relationship with my childrenís mothers.  I have much more patience in dealing with them and my kids.  The ďcrazy baby daddyĒ title will now have to go to someone else.  It feels like Iím truly starting to head my household and really ďbe thereĒ for my kids.  I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and now itís down to a pack every three days.  Now, I am completely drug and alcohol free.  I donít even experience the urges I for them.  My life has purpose again. 

I am connected to life, to my community for the first time in many, many years.  TSM has shown me what kind of impact a person can have on his/her entire community.  Because of TSM, I now have an overwhelming desire to give back to my own community.  There was a time, when all I thought about was myself, and the stresses that were in my life.  I could not care less what anybody else had going on in their life.  That is no longer the case.  Even though my community service requirements for probation are already completed, I will be a volunteer one day a week to TESP program starting May 9th.   This is the first time, in my entire life I will be performing community service without being ordered to by a judge.  Karma is simple, ďwhat goes around come aroundĒ so in a sense I got everything I deserved and more.  Now, it is my turn and maybe I can help change someoneís life by introducing them to TSM.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it all makes much more sense.  It took TESP to make me realize the value in all the other classes Iíve been in.  I now look at those other classes as tools in the toolbox, and TSM as the nails.  I needed all of them to build my house, but I couldnít put any of it together without TSM.  

Before this experience, I couldnít tell you where my life was headed. I had lost focus of my life, family and career goals.  TSM has given me the vision to think bigger, the desire to want it and the determination to go get it.  I have been able to identify and conquer some of my greatest fears Ė the fear of success and the fear of failure.  These two fears have kept me a prisoner in my mind, and kept from accomplishing my dreams.  I have always wanted to be a real estate tycoon like Donald Trump, and thanks to TSM eliminating that stress, I have started real estate school.  I finally feel like my life is turning around and headed back in the right direction.  A wise man said ďFeed a man and he will eat for a day, but teach a man how to fish and he will eat fish for a lifetime.Ē  I feel like Mr. Farrokh Anklesaria and Judge Phillip Heagney have taught me how to fish.   THANK YOU!    

Special Thanks to:  Hon. Judge Phillip Heagney, Hon. Judge Sandra Hemphill, Mr. Farrokh Anklesaria, Amy Lowery, and all the other probation officers on Delman Rd.

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Christopher H.

With the help of the Stress Management program, I have once again become the person I used to be before my addiction to drugs took over my life.  I once again have a stable job, money, my own home and a vehicle.  Besides the physical benefits of this program, I now have self-happiness and self control. 

TESP is a very beneficial program.  I think anyone that has a drug, alcohol or anger problem, could turn their lives around with it, just like I have.  Thanks again!

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Damon F.

Dear Judge Heagney:

When you put me on probation and parole I had to do a number of classes and special conditions.  I had React, community service, house arrest, and I even had to go to a parenting class and keep a steady job.  I did all this to satisfy my probation.

I still had one more class to do and that was The Enlightened Sentencing Project.  I was skeptical about this class.  Whatís Transcendental Stress Management?  What is The Enlightened Sentencing Project?  When I got into this class and I learned to meditate I felt myself changing.  My relationship with my family and friends changed.  I like work now.  At first I didnít.  I am peaceful; at first I wasnít.  I changed dramatically.  My lifestyle is different.  I donít desire doing drugs or selling drugs.  I am stress-free; my mind is calm.  At first it wasnít.  I had to do be something and that could lead to trouble.  Now I am at peace.  I feel happier than before.

Now I understand that the TESP meditation has changed things about me.  I donít get mad when my girlfriend tries to pick a fight.  She canít get me upset anymore. 

When I was not meditating I did crazy stuff like racing down the street.  I have a fast car.  People would ask me:  ďdoes that go fast?Ē  I would say ďyesĒ and give a demonstration going fast Ė burn rubber, race or whatever.  But since Iíve been meditating I donít have the urge to do that.  Going to these classes has changed me and my girlfriend and family can tell that Iíve changed for the better.

I want to thank Judge Heagney for sending me to these classes and Farrokh Anklesaria for teaching me to meditate.

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Daniel B.

Dear Judge Heagney,

A few years ago I stood in your courtroom terrified that I was going to have to spend the better part of my adult life in prison. I didnít.  You found it in your heart to put me on probation and gave me chance to right my life. You gave me many special conditions which I have followed.  There are two conditions that really made an impact on my life: AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and Transcendental Stress Management Meditation (TSM). I was raised in an alcoholic environment so AA has made an impact by giving me the tools to fight alcoholism since I myself am an alcoholic.  But the best condition that I could have ever gotten has to be TSM. AA might give me the tools to fight alcoholism but it doesnít have any way to deal with day-to-day stress.  TSM gives me the technique to deal with everyday stress that AA could never give me.

Since I started meditation Iíve had a better perspective on life, my thinking is much more clearer.  I am now able to sleep through the whole night. Since I get better sleep I am a lot easier to tolerate at work.  Just last Wednesday, one of my co-workers, Aaron, told me I am a lot easier to work with, and on Christmas when I spent time with my son, his mother told me that I showed a lot more patience with my son Justin.  My brother even mentioned that I am a lot more efficient in my work.

I really wish I could have found TSM back when I was in school because I definitely would have concentrated more on my studies.  I have already recommended this program to a few of my family members.  But, like me, at first they look like they are skeptical when they hear the word meditation.  I wonít give up though, because meditation has brought a peace to my life that I thought wasnít possible.

I definitely believe schools would benefit from this program.  It would cut down on violence and bring up grade-point averages. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and I am grateful to be a part of TSM.   

So I really would like to thank you, Judge Heagney, for this opportunity, and thank Matt Long who was my Probation Officer at the time; and last but not least, I would like to thank Farrokh Anklesaria for giving me this wonderful gift.

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David R.

I will start my essay by saying that TSM is wonderful and hereís why I think so.  The very first time I used meditation I really couldnít believe it.  I was simply amazed at how my heartbeat and breathing slowed down.  The meditation practice is so relaxing.  It is addictive like a drug.  It should be made illegal!  It has definitely helped me to stay off drugs.

I must admit that in the beginning I was one of the biggest critics about this course.  I knew for a fact this would never work for me.  This was very typical for me to shoot something down before I had even fully heard about it.  Not any more, thank God!

This program has made me a changed man Ė definitely for the better!!  I have more energy now and I donít get angry like I used to.  My Dad always told me my temper would get me into trouble.  Now I walk away before thereís a chance to provoke me.  Blowing up on innocent people never made friends for no one.  I now appreciate life and family so much more.  Now I can honestly say, thank God Iíve seen the light!!

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James B.

When I first started meditating I noticed right away that I was not as lazy as I used to be.  My energy level had gone up and I was able to work long hours without being tired.  I also noticed that I was slow to anger and quick to understand when it came to my kids and other situations.  Iíve never really looked my age but just yesterday this young lady told me that I looked like I was 18 instead of 28!  That blew me away when she told me that but I knew that the Stress Management program was the cause of that.

Iím now finding out that my life is heading in a different direction and I believe that this program is responsible for that.  I would like to thank my judge, Hon. Lisa VanAmburg, for sending me to this program.

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Jon D.

Back in October my grandpa passed away.  I couldnít deal with the stress so I turned to drinking and drugs.  It didnít help so I took my stress out on my ex-girlfriend and I shoved her down and I was arrested for domestic battery.  I was in the county jail for 18 days.  When I got out of jail I went to work for a friend and just my luck, I got my hand caught in a table saw and got my index finger cut off.  So now Iím really stressed out until I started the Transcendental Stress Management program.

This program is the best thing the court house could have done for me.  Iím more relaxed.  Iím not as worried about how Iím going to pay my bills or whatís up with my workmanís comp. case.  I sleep so much better at night and I donít get too many headaches as I used to.

I think Transcendental Stress Management is something thatís going to be with me for a long time.  Ever since I started the program I donít get mad over little stuff and Iím so much calmer than Iíve ever been.  I would like to thank Farrokh and Judge Russell for giving me a chance to better myself.  You donít know what this program has done for me.  I feel like I owe you two for letting me have a chance to change my life.

Thanks.

 

Keith M.

I am 42 years old and I am on parole. I was in prison for one year for possession of marijuana and selling marijuana. I was shot in the same leg twice. My left leg was seriously hurt. I have an artificial limb below the left knee and Iíve been walking with the help of a cane for 13 years.  I was tired of it. I didnít know how to deal with the pain.

From the very first day I began to feel a difference. The first day we came in here we meditated and on that first meditation when we came out, a light in my head went off, and like the whole thing just brightened up and my body took a change.  I felt a tingling feeling all over my body, and at first I didnít know what it was, I didnít know my body was taking on a whole new phase.  I didnít know my mind was taking on a whole new phase. Itís like a cool breeze came through my body, the light came on and everything looked brighter then.

Every time you meditate you can feel it.  It ainít your body, it ainít your mind itís like your inner soul is moving around.  And itís getting stronger and as IĒve been doing it I have been getting stronger, my hands, my legs, I got more energy now.   I sleep better, I mean I really sleep better now because at first I wasnít sleeping good at all!  I was sweating at nightÖI feel a lot better now.  It was that first meditation.  When we did that first meditation, I said ďmanĒ--- I felt the change in me. 

I went home, and I told my wife, ďfor some reason, I feel relaxed, you know that pain I kept complaining about right here, at the back of my neck, I donít feel it.Ē  She had felt a bump there, but whatever it was, it was gone and it hasnít been back since.  Iíve been feeling so good these last few months.  It canít get none but better.

Meditation taught me how to relax because I had a temper.  Mind you, if you say something out of the way, Iím gonna say something back.  I donít care who you is.  And if you get too smart, one of us is going to end up getting hurt.

When I do my TSM I have more patience with my wife and children. Since Iíve taken this TSM our family now has turned all the way around.  My wife and I donít argue- all that nitpicking Ė we joke now.  Our kids look at us in a different light. They notice ďthereís something different about daddy. Daddyís got his eyes open and his heart openĒ.  My wife said: ďyou know what, you sure wrestle with the kids a lot now.  I know you couldnít do thatĒ.  I said to her, ďI have a lot more energy nowĒ.

Before I took up meditation I used to holler at my two-year old son when he took up a tantrum fit, ďsit down Maurice; shut up! You just whining for no reason at all!Ē  Now he looks at me like ďhow come Daddy ainít hollering at me? Ē  He thinks itís a game.

My wife definitely wants to join because every day since I have started I talk to my wife about TSM. Sheís tired of hearing ďTSM this, TSM thatĒ. She sure wants to do it.  She said ďI want to take it up.Ē  I think sheís a little jealous. Sheís seen the change in me. Iíve got a little more pep now. I want her to do it because we can meditate together

And I went to my doctor and my doctor looked at me and said ďKeith there is something different about youĒ.  I had gone to my doctor for a new prosthesis that would help me walk without a cane.  And he said ďabout timeĒ.  I told my doctor that I had taken this meditation. I told him that I didnít believe it would really work on me but as I started meditating everything in my body felt just stronger. 

I knew TSM helped me because I did not feel pain with this new prosthesis. The nurse that was giving me this therapy, teaching me how to walk, asked me ďyou feel no painĒ?  She said to me that this is the first time anyone had told her that they didnít feel pain.  They were supposed to feel pain for 6 months as they learned how to walk. Thatís when I knew that TSM had to do this because every day of my life Iím in pain with my leg.

When Iím doing my therapy - I walked with my new prosthesis for four hours today and   my therapist said that she ďainít never seen nobody with a leg that was this bad.Ē And she also said that she ďainít never seen nobody moves this fastĒ. She donít understand. I told her about my TSM.  She kind of looked at me funny but I told her to give it a try.

When I went to see my doctor my doctor said: ďMr. Mason your blood pressure is down. Iím glad you finally started taking your medicationĒ. I told him ďexcuse me, here are your pills right here. I take TSM meditation twice a day!Ē Since I started doing this meditation I do not take my pain medicine, the medicine for stress pain, my blood pressure medicine, because I have no use for them.

When I get home from the center I do my yoga exercises. I take off the prosthesis and I do my full yoga - all of it. I still have a leg and my stump ends a little below my knee.  My back is more flexible now. Like I say, when I first came here I was skeptical about it, but you have to give this a try.  If you give it a try youíll see the difference.  Theyíve told me that it will be at least 6 months before I can walk without a cane.  Iím determined to walk without my cane in 2 months! I know I can do it.  This cane is going to be gone. I will walk up the stairs and I will say ďno cane!Ē I know I ainít gonna need it no more.  Itís been so long Iíve been toting this thing around.  Itís been such a burden on me.

The TSM program is like an armor.  Once you get the armor on itís going to repel you from a lot of stuff like drugs. I donít even have desire for marijuanaónone of that. I used to go to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) every other night. I go, but I donít go like I used to.

The TSM program is much stronger than NA.  In NA classes, you sit around, you hear about other peopleís problems but that was stressing too, because you hear about other people on drugs and I donít want to sit there and talk about drugs all day Ė Iím trying to get OFF drugs!  It didnít make no sense. But I really slowed down going to the NA classes because I have no desire for any drugs, for cigarettes, none of that.

Like I said, this TSM here is much stronger because it gives you peace of mind, something I never had because my mind was just off somewhere else. 

At the NA classes you go to a meeting and the counselors, theyíre smoking cigarette after cigarette, and drinking coffee.  Somebody should tell them that cigarettes and coffee are addictive drugs too!  I bet TSM would help some of these counselors too. 

When you sit around talking about drugs all day, you keep talking about you did this and you did that, when you was on drugs, youíre bringing yourself down, you ainít picking yourself up.  And you keep on talking about it and you keep on playing with it in your mind. It ainít gonna be long before you go out and use it again!  We know what the drugs do to us.  Give us something in place of the drugs. 

I want to thank Judge Heagney for giving me a second chance. I really want to thank him for straightening me up and sending me to this class. Iím going to send a letter to Judge Heagney and send him a picture.  He probably seen something in me that I didnít see in myself.  This class helped me to be a better man to my kids, to my wife.  Iím a father now.  I ainít the kind of father that pops in and pops out; Iím a real father now. I just want to thank Judge Heagney because to me he saved my life and now he helped me to walk again because if he hadnít sent me to this class I wouldnít try to walk no more.  I would just be stuck with this cane. 

My probation officer, Ms Kelly McPherson, is the best PO there is.  She keep me on the straight and narrow. Kelly makes me do all the things I supposed to do and I want to thank her for that. Her and Judge Heagney gave me the chance that I need. Ms. McPherson, has seen the change in me. Most of the time I have my son when I go to see her and she see how I can cope with him now.  

Iím heading down a good road and I ainít turning back.  Before I got in meditation I was heading down a one-way street. I was going down hill with no brakes.  I was about to crash. This is my second shot at life. Iím not going to mess it up. If that prison didnít change me around my next stop was going to be the graveyard. From hereon now, I donít see none but prosperity and good fortune for me. As long as I stick to my meditation and my yoga I know I canít fail.

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Keno

I feel about TSM is very good because the first time I tried TSM I said to myself that this not for me. But I did not give the program a chance.  I been loving it, Iím more aware of my surroundings. My health is getting much better than it was before. I broke my knuckle in a fight at the night club but my state of mind is very stable now because I donít let nothing get me mad. I donít have a drug problem but I have a cigarette problem. My attitude with my parents is very good.  My life with my wife is coming along very good. The people at work say that I am a different person than what I was before.

I used to have a drinking problem until I got in this class and it showed me that drinking was not the problem, it was me. I could not stop the way I felt. Nobody could tell me nothing - I got the big head and said I was not stopping.  But when it got me in trouble, this is something that I could say that changed my life around.  Most people donít give things a chance but I gave TSM a chance and look at me now.  Once I meditate for 20 minutes a day, twice a day, before I go to bed, I feel good.  And in the morning before I leave to go to work I do it and I feel good all day long.

...When Ms Bender first put me on probation I looked at her and said that this was going to be fun and she said ďno, it is not going to be fun it is going to be a long-lasting living life experienceĒ so I said ďok, letís try it out for a month.  Iím almost done my probation - I will be done Nov 17, 2005. Without me being on probation I feel that I would be so much trouble.

I would recommend  this program to schools all around the US.   Why?  Because if the inmates can do it in jail the citizens out here in the world can do the same way they did it. So my friends told me to let them know how it is when I get done with the program.

PS: Thank you TSM for turning my life around the other way.  Also thanks to my teacher Farrokh K.Anklesaia, and also my probation officer Jennette Bender who helped me turn around.  I thank you Judge Heagney for not taking sides between me, the case and the person I was with at the time. The only time you are going to see me in the court room again is to come and say ďHiĒ or to come and visit you. Mr Heagney.  Keep up the good work.

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Kevin J.

Let me start by saying it is hard for me to articulate what meditation has done for me because by nature I am not a vocal person. What brought me to this class was the law. I have been an alcoholic for 25 years. And most of us know we donít make wise decisions when we drink.

They say the lord works in mysterious ways, and I think he had something to do with me going in front of Judge Mason, and Judge Mason in turn sent me to the meditation classes which has been a god send. Meditation to me is more mental than physical. Since I have been meditating not only have I noticed a big change in my behavior, both my family and co workers have noticed a change as well.

The first thing I noticed was a change in my sleeping habits. I used to wake up several times at night. Now I sleep through the night and in turn I feel more refreshed when I wake up. And also since I have been meditating I rarely think about drinking.

My family has noticed a change as well. They say I am not as irritable and are able to hold a conversation much more hospitable. I especially get along a lot better with my mother. Me and her used to butt heads a lot but now instead of arguing about the smallest of things I am able to sit back and listen to her, and agree with her.

When I wake up in the mornings I wait about a half an hour before I start to meditate. Then I do it and feel like my day is going to be just fine. Then I head to work. My co workers say I do not get aggravated like I used to. They say I am much easier to get along with. Also I think I perform better. I used to worry about finances and just about everyday life it self. Now I think only the positive things in life.

I would recommend the program to my family and friends I think that everyone could benefit from the program. I think it would make them happier and their problems would be much easier to deal with. I also think it should be used in schools because it would help with todayís childrenís grades and attitude towards their parents and all other elders. I believe the government spends way too much money on prisons and disciplinary institutes, and it would be better spent on preventing the problem before it even starts.

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Lawrence A.

First and foremost I would like to extend a blessed holiday season to one and all Ė to you and your loved ones.  My name is L.A. And Iím a 43 year-old grand father of three, and I have had a problem with illegal drug use and involvement for quite a while. It has led me to hospitals, jails and institutions, as well as physical and mental scars.  It has ruined a number of relationships with family as well as friends.  Iíve abandoned a host of dreams and projects and lost myself in a world of pain and destruction consisting of suicidal thoughts, no love for life, and a Godless path.

In 2003, I was arrested and served six months behind bars. Bitter and  confused, I found myself standing before the honorable Judge David Mason who placed me on probation for the next three years. My view of things at that time was still dim. One bright spot about that sentencing process was when Mr. Mason ordered T.M. as a condition of my probation. I remember the glow that his face warmly reflected as he spoke about the course.  It wasnít until later when I met Mr. Farrokh and started the program that I would understand Mr. Masonís opinion of it. Right away after only a few sessions I felt a change in the very essence of my being and purpose in life itself. Iíve tried many things including drugs (legal and illegal), doctors, religions and exercises with limited improvement.

It wasnít until this meditation became a continuing practice in my life that Iím starting to heal.  With each and every session of meditation I grow closer to myself and others in a very positive way.  I no longer feel the need to use mind altering chemicals to achieve this very natural state of being working for me. I was a prime candidate for failure and if this program can work for me (and it is) it can work for everyone.

In closing, please accept my humble gratitude as thanks to you whoíve helped further this life-changing form of freedom and peace.

May you Ė continue one and all to adhere to Godís direction.

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With hope to whom ever reads, that this note enlightens you as much as it has helped myself and others. 

My life has been plagued with many episodes of violence and illegal drug use causing many problems in various areas leaving physical and emotional scars.  In 1996, a nephew of mine was shot in the back of his head and killed by a St Louis police officer.  In 2002, his sister, my niece, was involved in a physical struggle with some police officers employed by St Louis County.  In both cases I was preoccupied with my addictions and dilemmas.  I was not in any position to properly grieve or process what had occurred, only to plunge deeper into naught.

My childhood was also filled with violence.  I can remember my parents fighting on a regular basis, along with neighborhood killings constantly.  I never had anywhere to run and escape or any clue how to handle things so I began to stuff them into every and any corner of my being.  Soon I began to overflow and leak.  In other words, strike out verbally and physically.  Either I was fighting or getting high or both.

After becoming a father, I decided I wanted something different for my children and myself.  So I started honestly seeking help.  Being that I had served in the armed forces, I started a long series of hospital stays at the local V.A. in the psychiatric ward, dealing with my past and my addictions.  This was my first introduction to various 12-step and self-help groups.  Although informative, I never was able to go deep enough inside myself to really deal with core issues.  Itís like putting a band aid on a gunshot wound.  I learned a few things but never quite enough.

In 2004, I was introduced to TSM, assigned by Hon David Mason, instructed by my mentor, Mr Farrokh, whom I admire very much.  I was eager to start and learn TSM.  Itís interesting, positive and it works.  I started to see improvement in my whole being, almost immediately, and because of this, I plan to practice TSM for how long Iím able.

TSM heals deep-seated wounds and allows me to move forward in my life quest for security in being me.  Like I mentioned earlier, Iíve tried other programs, medicines and routes to improve the quality of my life.  Theyíve scratched the surface that TSM has penetrated successfully.

High honors to:   Hon. Judge David Mason,  Mr Farrokh Anklesaria,  Maharishi.

Forever grateful,
 

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P.W.

The TSM program offered has been very beneficial for me.  It has greatly reduced the stress that accompanies my everyday life.  My co-workers have noticed that I am calmer when normal problems arise, that I donít dwell on problems that are of minor importance, leaving me more time and a better outlook at work.  I have developed into a leader, was promoted to department head and received a raise in pay as well as much more responsibility.  I credit this directly to the TSM program.

In my personal life the effects have been even greater.  For the past 10 years I have been an alcoholic, and this has been the root cause of all the problems in my life.  I have really struggled with drinking in the past. TSM has allowed me look at the big picture. I used alcohol to escape from my problems, my daily life and stress.  Since I have been meditating I have accepted my problem openly, and turned my life and my will over to God. I have remained sober for 10 months.  TSM has helped me focus on my sobriety making it the most important part of my life.

I have been relatively healthy in the past but TSM has helped me here as well.  In a recent trip to the doctor my blood pressure was 120/70, a highly desirable number for someone my age.  Heart disease runs in my family and with TM my prospects of staying away from alcohol, continuing to exercise and general good health is greatly increased.  I believe this to the fullest.

The other benefits are more subtle but extremely beneficial nonetheless.  I no longer watch television before bed; I read now.  I now read as much as I did when I was in school.  I have a positive attitude, something I have not experienced in quite some time. I am better organized, happier and generally enjoying life.  I look forward to the future instead of dreading it.

Transcendental Stress Management and the Enlightened Sentencing Program have brought me peace, allowed me to relax, think more positively and improve my life in all areas. I am grateful to Judge Heagney for the opportunity and to Farrokh for the instruction.  I am getting closer to being the person I want to be.  I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to live a better life.   

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Robert H.

Thanks to Judge Mason, Mr Anklesaria and his good instructors, the Transcendental Stress Management program has made me a better person.  I have reduced my stress.  I try to make everyone around me to be in a happy frame of mind.  My health has improved.  I sleep better and I have more energy.  I am 70 years old.  This is the first trouble (with the law) like this for me.  I plan to stay out of trouble.  I want to enjoy the remainder of my life in peace and freedom.

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Robert M.

When I first started this class I thought, ďHow is this going to help me?Ē  I would have never enrolled myself but since my probation took me there, I was shocked.  With doing this class I have been able to think clearer and control my anger better between the Transcendental Stress Management class and Anger Management.  Everybody has seen the change in me (including myself!).

Before I could be mad at the world at a drop of a hat, but now, with this help, I can step back and think about things and talk about things and then the problems would be over.

The Transcendental Stress Management program has helped me to stop drinking completely.  Now that I stopped drinking, (which added fuel to the fire) life is so much better.  I get along better with my girlfriend and her kids, (the kids even like me better).

If I could, I would tell Judge Heageny, ďThank you for the second chance and thank you for the Transcendental Stress Management program.  It really changed my life!Ē

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Todd M.

I am 24 years old. Iíve been in and out of the justice system since the age of 11, with charges ranging from carrying a concealed weapon to stealing. I was recently a resident for 6 months in the Medium Security Prison awaiting prosecution on two charges-- possession of a controlled substance and second, a charge of tampering.

On November 22nd of 2003, I was scheduled to go before the Honorable Judge Heagney.  My public defender told me the court was going to continue my case till after the New Year of 2004. I told my public defender of my newborn child and asked if he could plead with the judge, so I could be with my child for her first Thanks Giving. The Honorable Judge Heagney heard my plea and agreed to let me go before the court to accept probation. I took it as a real blessing.

One of my stipulations was The Enlightened Sentencing Project. At first, I looked at the stipulation as a waste of time and money. I then asked myself what does this have to do with my charges. Soon after, the answer came to me like a hard slap from reality.

Having previous meditation experience, this meditation came more fluently helping me find a deeper more calming inner peace. The classes were coming easy and smooth, that is, until I came into a serious automobile accident.  At first I thought Farrokh, like teachers in other programs, would kick me out of the class or even make me start over from day one, seeing as I had missed a total of three consecutive months. To my surprise, Farrokh was more understanding than first imagined.
 

Now I am almost a graduate after several months. It has been a long yet satisfying journey.  At first I met a lot of skepticism from my peers and family jokingly discrediting my appreciation of this program. Now those who were cracking jokes are now commenting and complimenting me on how much my attitude and outlook has changed for the better.  My girlfriend has complimented me on how I can deal with everyday stress and anxiety better. Iíve also noticed in most situations in which I would have acted on impulse I now take the time to think and react.

To say the least, I was blessed for Judge Heagney to release me on Thanks Giving eve to my family, but I feel even more blessed to have received training to better myself.

Even after I graduate I do intend to continue my journey to release my inner charm. If I could recommend this program to anyone I would.  If I could say anything to the new probationers it would be to allow this program to take its natural course to help them become a more positive influence in their society and in their home.

I would like to thank the Honorable Judge Heagney and most  importantly Farrokh for being so patient with me and for giving me a tool to deal with the pressure of everyday stress without having to use drugs or alcohol. Well, Department of Justice, here goes one less person for you to worry about seeing again!

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Tornell C.

Iíve done everything from gang-banging, selling drugs, seeing people hurt Ėyou name it.  So for me I figure no one, if any, has seen what Iíve seen. Iíve also seen people die.  Just last month a friend of mine was killed just about two hours after I last seen him.  If it was the old gang-banging me I would have wanted revenge.  But practicing meditation has brought a certain calm to me. I still mourn but not mourn and retaliate.

I was used to having money all the time selling drugs.  Since I havenít been selling drugs things have been a little harder.  But that does not bother me as much as it would if I wasnít at peace with myself.

Went from two packs of cigarettes a day to none. And cigarettes are not a condition of probation. Drinking is.  Though I never was a big drinker. Meditation made that the easiest thing to let go.

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Westley S.

These classes have helped me a great deal on the home front.  The Stress Management program has taught me how to deal with people, especially my wife.  Patience is the key.  I am able to communicate with my wife more calmly.  I used to be ďleave me aloneĒ, after two minutes of conversation.  Now itís like ďwhatís new baby?Ē  I find myself eagerly inviting conversation.

Meditation has made me more open to the one I love. 

My family says I must have made peace with myself because I used to walk around like I was mad at the world.  I appreciate this class for giving me the gift of meditation, a second chance to live right and the tools to defeat the enemy Ė anger, conflict and stress. 

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William M.

In his essay, William Mueller describes the circumstances that brought him to this program.  He describes his numerous personal problems and health problems, and, as he puts it in his own words, ďI was ready to jump off a bridge or have a heart attack from stressĒ.  Mr. Miller writes:

I started Transcendental Stress Management classes on January 29th, 2005, and after just five classes I could see and feel a big change in my attitude.  My stress was dropping dramatically, my anger was going away quickly and my blood pressure was starting to return to normal. 

My family and friends have been seeing a big change in my personality.  My temper has gone away.  I have no hate in me anymore.

I hope one day for the chance to thank Judge Lisa VanAmburg for giving me the chance to regain my honor in society and be able to hold my head high and be proud of myself again.  I will always be grateful to her for this chance and for having shown me the trust she put in me.  I will see to it that she will never regret her decision.  Thank you!

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Excerpts from Essays

The meditation practice is so relaxing.  It is addictive like a drug.  It should be made illegal!  It has definitely helped me to stay off drugs.

Alan S.

_____________

TSM was the final piece to the puzzle surrounding my life, or the master key to it.  My entire day goes smoothly because of TSM. 

CTH

_____________

It wasnít until this meditation became a continuing practice in my life that Iím starting to heal.  With each and every session of meditation I grow closer to myself and others in a very positive way.  I no longer feel the need to use mind altering chemicals to achieve this very natural state of being working for me. I was a prime candidate for failure and if this program can work for me (and it is) it can work for everyone.

Lawrence A.

_____________

I love being able to be free and do the right things for myself.

Aaron D.

_____________

I realized that I did not need alcohol to enjoy myself.  I found pure joy in sitting with my family and having a civil conversation. I found myself actually listening to what everyone had to say. I learned things about my nieces and nephews that I never knew before, positive things. I found so much joy in them. I attribute this to the TSM program.

Anthony C.

_____________

The Transcendental Stress Management program has helped me to stop drinking completely.  Now that I stopped drinking, (which added fuel to the fire) life is so much better.

Robert M.

_____________

This program is the best thing the court house could have done for me.  Iím more relaxed.  Iím not as worried about how Iím going to pay my bills or whatís up with my workmanís comp. case.  I sleep so much better at night and I donít get too many headaches as I used to.

Jon D.

_____________

At the NA classes you go to a meeting and the counselors, theyíre smoking cigarette after cigarette, and drinking coffee.  Somebody should tell them that cigarettes and coffee are addictive drugs too!  I bet TSM would help some of these counselors too.

Keith M.

_____________

This program has made me a changed man Ė definitely for the better!!  I have more energy now and I donít get angry like I used to.  My Dad always told me my temper would get me into trouble.  Now I walk away before thereís a chance to provoke me.  Blowing up on innocent people never made friends for no one.  I now appreciate life and family so much more.  Now I can honestly say, thank God Iíve seen the light!!

David R.

_____________

I also think it should be used in schools because it would help with todayís childrenís grades and attitude towards their parents and all other elders. I believe the government spends way too much money on prisons and disciplinary institutes, and it would be better spent on preventing the problem before it even starts.

Kevin J.

_____________

Went from two packs of cigarettes a day to none. And cigarettes are not a condition of probation. Drinking is.  Though I never was a big drinker. Meditation made that the easiest thing to let go.

Tornell C.

_____________

TSM heals deep-seated wounds and allows me to move forward in my life quest for security in being me.  Like I mentioned earlier, Iíve tried other programs, medicines and routes to improve the quality of my life.  Theyíve scratched the surface that TSM has penetrated successfully.

Lawrence A.

_____________

I would like to thank the Honorable Judge Heagney and most  importantly Farrokh for being so patient with me and for giving me a tool to deal with the pressure of everyday stress without having to use drugs or alcohol. Well, Department of Justice, here goes one less person for you to worry about seeing again!

Todd M.

_____________

With the help of the Stress Management program, I have once again become the person I used to be before my addiction to drugs took over my life.  I once again have a stable job, money, my own home and a vehicle.  Besides the physical benefits of this program, I now have self-happiness and self control. 

Christopher H.

_____________

My family and friends have been seeing a big change in my personality.  My temper has gone away.  I have no hate in me anymore.

I hope one day for the chance to thank Judge Lisa VanAmburg for giving me the chance to regain my honor in society and be able to hold my head high and be proud of myself again.  I will always be grateful to her for this chance and for having shown me the trust she put in me.  I will see to it that she will never regret her decision.  Thank you!

William M.

_____________

My family says I must have made peace with myself because I used to walk around like I was mad at the world.  I appreciate this class for giving me the gift of meditation, a second chance to live right and the tools to defeat the enemy Ė anger, conflict and stress. 

Westley S.

_____________

 

 


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The Enlightened Sentencing Project is a 501 (c) 3 organization and is not affiliated with the national Transcendental Meditation organization. Transcendental Stress Managementģ is the registered trademark of Farrokh and Ruffina F. Anklesaria.  Copyright 2004, The Enlightened Sentencing Project.  Revised 11/07