An Alternative Sentencing Program
Experiences of Graduates of TESP, 2008
I'm sending you this email to tell you about the changes I have received from using the Transcendental Stress Management program. When I first came to your class I was truly a skeptic. I have been seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist and they have helped me some. When TSM was suggested to me, I didn't believe that by meditating I could relieve the everyday stress that I have been dealing with most of my life. I worked in a very stressful occupation, being a Senior Shift Supervisor at a major chemical plant. I was in charge of two departments manufacturing IV injectable pharmacueticals that worked twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. We never shut down except for preventive maintenance and we are back up and running in a few hours. I was working six days a week 14 to 16 hours a day.
thing is that I was able to sleep the entire night. I normally would sleep
off and on throughout the night, getting only about four hours of sleep.
After my first session I was able to sleep the entire night, not waking up
once. This was the first time, in a long while, I was able to get a good
night sleep without taking medication. There was no restlessness, just calm,
Finally, I suffer from high blood pressure because I'm always stressed. I've suffered from high blood pressure for most of my life. My normal pressure readings are about 245/180. When I take my medication the most I can get my blood pressure to drop is from 245/180 down to 190/140. But because of meditation I have noticed that it came down to 130/90! These changes after my first day and a half of TSM are truly amazing and I think with consistent practice I can get my blood pressure down to120/80.
This is only the beginning, but if this is just the start, I can't wait to see what things will be like after the twenty sessions. You have changed my mind about the Transcendental Stress Management program and I can see the benefits it can do. I have heard some wonderful stories from others about how it has changed them. Now you can add me to that list. I think that this is one thing that everyone should try to bring their body and mind back into balance. It really has done wonders for me and I'm looking forward to see what other positive changes this treatment will bring to me.
Upon being enrolled in the TESP my self esteem was very low. Life was looking impossible and very bleak. I was angry at myself and others. I felt like a failure. I was headed back to my old behaviors and drugs looked like my only escape. I was an emotional wreck.
after a couple sessions with TESP something clicked. With the meditation
and stretching exercises (yoga) some self searching came about. I began to
slow down, Pause if you will, act instead of react to all the built up drama
in my life. I guess I wanted to change my behavior for the better. I had a
gleam of hope. I cared about me. I want to improve my life. I felt like
someone. I believe the laws of nature were setting in, as Mr. Anklesaria
would stress must obey these laws!! Big deals were becoming little deals.
I had a lot more energy. My mind started thinking good thoughts.
I have tried many other programs, drug rehab, jail, anger management, and even A/A meetings. A/A is runner-up to TESP. TESP only works if you make it a daily part of your life. Relationships with others have improved dramatically. My mother told me not long ago. ďI feel I can talk to you. Iím not so scared of you as I once was.Ē My daughter seems more cheerful around me. My father and I donít argue as much. Bedrock of rust is being built with my family. Once there was little. The story of the plant where the roots must be firm and well nourished before the flowers and the leaves will prosper is true. We are allowed to grow from our inner selves by practicing TESP daily. We reward others by shining on the outside. People feel I am growing toward a better life and future. Today it looks as if all my problems will work themselves out. All will be okay. I recommend this spiritual program to everyone.
Thank you Mr. Anklesaria, a wonderful mentor and teacher, thank you Lawrence for taking timeout, thank you Dr. John [Sterling], and fellow students, and of course the honorable Judge Mason who made all this possible.
9 25 08
Dear Judge Mason,
You sentenced me to three years probation in December of 2006. One of the
terms of sentence was to attend and graduate TESP. Itís time for me to
graduate now and this essay Iím writing is to let you know my life has
changed since I have been practicing TSM. I am 29 years old, I have 3
younger siblings and 3 kids by 2 different women who can not stand to hear
each others name. Growing up all I seen was crime I was exposed at an early
age. During most of my school years my parents was able to have some
control over my involvement with the streets, but once I graduated and
things didnít go the way I planned I restored back to my roots for so called
success. With all that being said you can imagine my twist and turns of life
that ended me up in, and out of jail.
I always been a ďpeople personĒ knowing how to deal with people good or
bad, but now with TSM in my life I know how to deal with the bad without
getting worked up about it. Itís now easier for me to either avoid bad
situations or not let the situation escalade to something more while
actually being in the heart of it. As you can tell I have more control of my
attitude now. In the past when I got worked up I just went my emotions and
feelings even though I would think about the pros and cons. I just didnít
care because when I got mad about something I would get more mad about being
mad, now Iím able to laugh things off and keep it moving.
I have had high blood pressure for years but now it seems to be under
control. It may still rise from time to time because of the daily stresses I
deal with but my daily doses of TSM always evens it out. I had the
misfortune of being locked up for a couple of weeks during my time in the
TSM program. While I was in the justice center my blood pressure was checked
and the nurse said things are at a normal rate. Since I been released I been
checking it periodically and it is still normal. I use to have chest pains
almost everyday a couple times a day. It would hurt so bad I would have to
massage my chest for the pains to go away. Every since I started TSM program
the pains have decreased to me not having them for days maybe even weeks. I
am able to think clearly now and more organized. I have even come to admit I
may need a little counseling to help me further rehabilitate my mind so I
can feel free, even through I understand we are not living in a free world.
My drug habit was never a habit or maybe it was, just not a bad one. The
only time I really had an urge to use was when I was so stressed I felt like
hurting someone to release the anxiety that was built up. Me using marijuana
(drug of choice) was more so because I would start tripping off my life,
then I would get high hoping to escape my pains, all the time knowing the
troubles was not going to leave, and all Iím doing is helping time pass me
Now I feel I donít have anytime to waste and Iím so for behind in my life
plans that I will be playing catch up forever, but it doesnít matter just as
long as I accomplish them I would be satisfied. I understand that during
this point in my life it would have to be a great blessing from GOD to be
stress free but without TSM I know I wouldnít be able to make it. I would
either be dead or in jail over something that not even worth it.
In conclusion I would live to thank the honorable Judge David Mason for placing me in the TSM program. Next I want to thank Mr. Farrokh for teaching me the proper way to use TSM in my daily life. I would also like to thank Ms. Lynn Hansen my probation officer for being patient with me while I work through the process of transforming back to my normal self without the negativity of the streets in my life.
My first thoughts of
the TSM were that it was a waste of time and money. I went to great lengths
to avoid taking the class. I even spoke to an attorney. After realizing I
had no choice I decided to do the right thing and complete the class. Once I
opened my ears and was willing to give it a try I noticed things in my inner
self and everyday activities were beginning to change. I started meditating
once in the morning and once in the evening. I began to see lots of things
in a different perspective. Examples: My attitude had changed for the
better. I was on edge most of the time but now I am more at peace with
myself. I found myself communicating better with my girlfriend, co-workers
and customers in regards to talking about their tree work or giving them a
bid. My climbing abilities improved in great lengths in regards to being
more confident and accurate while 5 or 6 stories high in a tree. Also, my
sleeping habits improved allowing me to be more relaxed and alert.
I believe meditation is a tool I can use the rest of my life to help me stay focused on doing the right thing and will help me follow my conscience where as before I didn't allow my conscience to matter whether what I was doing was right or wrong.
In closing, I would really like to thank Judge Lisa Van Amburg for giving me this opportunity to be exposed to the meditation classes. For once in my life I believe the judge gave me a stipulation of my probation that will stick with me and help me in many different walks of life, including remaining out of the system for the remainder of my life.
What TSM has done for me
In Nov. of 2005 I was sentenced to three years probation with a life line of stipulations, by the Honorable Judge Heagney. The one that I did not understand was the The Enlightened Sentencing program. After inquired information I could not understand what meditations had to do with me and my life, and or life style. So I delayed the entry process as long as I could because I felt like it would not benefit me at all; but contrary to my beliefs about Transcendental Stress Meditation (TSM). I really under-estimated the power and results of TSM.
Before coming into the program I was very doubtful of my future; very angry and frustrated. I also suppressed a lot of my feelings and thoughts which eventually caused problems with my significant other. We fussed at each other all the time. We were unable to communicate and genuinely appreciate one anotherís worth. On November 3, 2007, I literally snapped and put my hands on her. I was arrested for my actions and had to appear in front of my judge. He gave me a second chance to correct my wrongs. I really regret what I have done, but regret is dead if nothing is corrected. So I told myself that I needed to do something that will help my family and I.
I asked my Probation Officer, Rebecca Surlouch, about the TSM program and she mentioned stress management as the pivotal point of the program. So I contemplated stress managementÖ is this what I needed? I realized most of my problems revolved around stress issues. So I got enrolled in the classes and it has really been a great experience for me. I do not let people or situations grow on me in any negative way. I am more equipped to handle my anger in a suitable fashion. And to support evidence of the program here are a few examples of situations and how I dealt with them:
1. With my children I am constantly on them about being responsible; cleaning up behind themselves and sharing with each other. In the past, I would have usually yelled and get frustrated and not want to deal with the situation. Now I am more patient, more calm and more able to understand their feelings.
2. My significant other and I still have disagreements and we always will, but now, since the TSM program, I know that I donít have to win the argument, I donít have to be the one thatís right, I donít have to force m opinions on her. I can let her be herself and appreciate her thoughts, opinions and feelings.
3. I am currently enrolled in school and the Met Center, studying Construction prep. I am much more focused in class and I do not let other classmatesí foolishness affect me nor do I get angry or frustrated with the assignments or work. I am more determined than ever.
looks and feels promising and I owe a great portion to TESP and to my
meditation. I am truly grateful and proud of the program. I must admit this
was money well spent. Many thanks to Judge Heagney for making TESP a
stipulation of my probation and to my probation Officer Rebecca Surlouch for
encouraging me to complete it.
7 9 08
TESP has been one of the most important and effective tasks in my life. It has helped me abundantly in both my professional and personal life. At first, I was most definitely unsure about TESP and its background. The day I went to court and stood in front of Judge Van Am Burg and she asked me several questions mainly things about myself and there were two things she said that stuck out at me. One of the things she asked me was,Ē do you have a problem with your angerĒ?
Of course you know what my answer was, right? I was in such denial and I am going to be very honest in saying this - I felt that if I had answered her yes, I would be giving her the answer she was looking for. She then went on giving me two options: either to take anger management or the TESP. I did not want the anger management, reason being I did not want to feel labeled. Judge Van Am Burg then says to me, ďI suggest TESP which I have taken previously and it changed my life tremendouslyĒ.
She then explained to me that it is a stress management class. When she told me how it changed her life, I did not know what to think. When she ordered me to take TESP, I became withdrawn and mentally resistant to the decision. I began taking TESP around early winter and I was the only female among four males in the class I then became more resistant but once I settled in and really got into it I was fine. I had been discontinued from the class due to my asthma reacting badly to the cold weather.
I then began to think that I was given up on. But, while I sat out briefly until the new season started, I continued my meditation. Although, I have never been in trouble legally because of the stress and anger I carried, I was in trouble mentally and physically. As I continued to meditate I have not had any episodes with asthma, my study habits are better, personal relationships have been better and I rest peacefully. One of my co-workers told me ďMs. B. you are so wonderfulĒ.
Considering my past relationships like between an ex-boyfriend and me, we would fight constantly about any little thing until the point our arguments became violent. Now he and I talk and we have a great friendship that I really appreciate. Also, with my cousin and I the arguments between her and I would get so heated that we would not talk for months, which brought me a great deal of pain because my cousin and I are like sisters. Now, we talk every other day, go shopping, talk about work, guys and everything else like we use to do when we were teenagers.
I also have a better relationship with God because for a while I was losing faith. I felt I was punished by my anger and it became more or a mental challenge between me and my faith. The meditations allowed me to restore my faith and it was something that belong to me and I promise myself to never let it go.
Even friends who know me extremely well say that I have done a total 360. I have been a problem to myself. I didnít realize this for a long time but now TESP has given me a chance to soul search, stimulate my mind, and has spiritually enlightened me I am a more positive and responsible young woman. TESP has brought out the positive potential I already had. TESP helped me find it. I have made many great accomplishments in my life. TESP is one of the greatest things Iíve done for myself and my life. Not to seem vain but I have always been impressed with myself and things Iíve done but me taking this class has not only made me an overachiever but a softer person that has opened up more.
I am very happy with the results. THANK YOU MR. FARROKH for all your practices and teachings and THANK YOU JUDGE VAN AM BURG for your help!
9 2, 2008
Click to read pdf files:
Shaun S., 30 years
To whom this may concern
before TSM I was once restless and stressed at times. Now since Iíve learned
how to meditate I rest better, I feel better, I even canít stop the feeling.
Lately I have been drinking
more water than beers. Meditating makes you look at the positive side of
life than before. I look at whatís more important now before I have fun.
My family even sees a different side of me which is the person they knew I could become. I recently lost a job, but TSM also gives you confidence so I kept trying and before I knew it I was employed again. I got the job on the spot because at the interview I was told by the superior way that I look like I wouldnít let him down because it was something about me by looking at me. But it was meditation. I no longer feel stressed. I feel free and restful and I plan to keep coming to TSM. at least twice a month because of the outcome and the way it makes me feel about myself and the smiles I get when people approach me.
My P.O: Dave Jennings
Most of all: Farrokh
Last but not least: Lawrence
Dear Judge Van Amburg,
Iím writing this letter concerning my
relationship with TSM. Itís been a course to which my life now has meaning
to it. I say this because as long as I have been going through life negative
things have been what Iíve chosen.
But now that Iím a meditator Iíve been able
to see things more clearly than I have in the past. See you must understand
my past, to know that this works. All Iíve ever done was use drugs,
destroyed my mind, hurt my kids, and mistreated my wife, also Iíve been in
and out of jail most of my life because Iíve been so stressed out. And not
thinking. Drugs became my out, and not thinking about who Iím hurting in the
process and just thinking about my own pain. Drugs were my way out of all
So this last time I went to jail again, but I
was praying that God would give me just one more chance. And he did by
sending me to the right judge. But when I heard about this program I had
doubts, but I agreed. Because I know that my life was at stake. Then my kids
would grow up without me. But still I had doubts. Until when I went to my
first class and the guy that opened the door was someone I knew. Then, he
told me this is what started him down the right track. Also, after more guys
I knew came through, as well. I made my mind up.
Now Iím no longer sad, Iím no longer angry at
myself for not having the things my children might want. I donít get mad
about anything. I smile all day long, because Iím happy that my mind is
clear. Also Iím thinking before I act. My kids think Iím the best daddy
in the world. My mother, my sister, and all think that Iíve lost my
mind. Because I donít just click like I used to in the past. And the guys
that I work around said that they love my new attitude at work.
So I would like to take the time to say thanks to my judge for giving me such a great opportunity to open my mind, so that Iíll be better for my kids. Also Iím a better person out here in society. Because TSM is the best thing happening to someone like myself. Thanks for a new life.
Excerpts from Essays
And if a lot more people attended the classes, there might be less people in jail.
Just after a few meetings with the class I started to feel a change. I was more peaceful and calm with myself. I am able to think before I react to a situation or problem.
Before TSM I was a very nervous person, never happy and always angry. But since TSM, itís like a light has been turned on. Iím always happy.
Before meditation, it was hard balancing all my talents, my job, and my family. It was just too much trouble and stress outside my door waiting for me. This class is helping me structure my life how I know it can be.
But I would recommend this [TSM] program to those who have anger problems, and to all addicted. This should be stipulated in everyone who is incarcerated and those being released.
Copyright 2004, The
Enlightened Sentencing Project