Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thank meditation for drop in crime

I suspect that you were all happy to learn that the crime rate in Blaine County dropped by 18.5 percent in 2011, and that it has been declining for three years in a row. I suspect there are many reasons for this change and I would like to suggest one that was not mentioned in the recent article.

You may recognize me as the founder of an event known as A Winter Feast for the Soul, which began here in our valley in 2008. The Winter Feast is a period of 40 days when people commit to a daily spiritual practice for 40 minutes each day from Jan. 15 to Feb. 23. In 2009, the feast became a worldwide event with thousands of people around the world joining us in making the commitment to a daily spiritual practice of their choice.

There have been numerous studies conducted by the Transcendental Meditation Foundation in which groups of meditators have gone into a city and seen a measurable decline in violence during the time that the meditators were practicing. The foundation claims that a number equal to the square root of 1 percent of the population can create measurable changes. In our valley, that would only have to be about 10 people.

What I have noticed is that people are much happier with their lives since they have taken up a daily spiritual practice. There are many weekly meditation groups that were spawned during the Winter Feasts. People continue to meditate daily because they know the value of these practices in their personal lives. I may be a little biased, but I believe there could be more value in what we are doing than we will ever know.

Valerie Skonie


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