MUM Peace Meditation
David Orme-Johnson, a scientist who has a long history of research using sociological measures of effects from large groups of meditators, suggested a prediction that the GCP might respond to a large gathering of people trained in Trancendental Meditation. I had received similar but less well-formed predictions from other correspondents. David gave this information:
"After Sept 11 over 1000 meditators came to Maharishi University of Management (MUM) to meditate together to create an influence of stability and peace in the country. Together with the people already here, the number of meditatiors reached a peak of over 1,800. The specific days and times of over 1,700, the number we predict will affect North America, were Sept 23-27, with the most people flying at 7:00 to 7:15 PM EDT. Sept 26 was the peak number, over 1,800."
In his first description, David said that although, "we have been meditating most of the day every day, this specific period of Yogic Flying is predicted to have the most powerful effect, which is the subjective experience of waves of bliss. So our theory predicts that there will be a national effect that is different from the background meditation at that time, on the 23-27th of Sept. with 26th the max." I described how we do the GCP predictions and analysis in some detail, then presented four reasonable candidate predictions and asked David to choose one that would, according to his experience and intuitions, nicely represent the proposed effect. He decided that the full day of meditation over the period of five days with more than 1700 meditators would be a good choice.
The formal prediction was thus for a departure from expectation in the data from 11:45 to 23:30 GMT on the five days from 23 to 27 September 2001. In the following display, the days are concatenated in sequence, and the axis markings indicate the number of hours accumulating over the days.
Although not statistically significant, the results for this formal prediction look very interesting, with two rather persistent trends, reversing at the beginning of the 26th, when the peak of 1800 meditators was reached. The statistical result is Chisquare 211950 on 211500 df, with p = 0.244.
The next figure shows the data for Sept 26 alone. This is the day of the maximum number of meditators, and the departure from expectation is steady and unusually strong, leading to a final result that has a chance likelihood of about one in 1000 (Chisquare 43190, df 42300, p = 0.0012) had it been an a priori prediction instead of an exploration.
The other most intriguing candidate prediction is for the time during which a more advanced meditation technique called "yogic flying" is practiced. There are several times, but the most powerful of these is in the evening, from 7:00 to 7:30. The following figure shows the concatenated result for the five days during this time period. The trend is fairly steady, and goes in the opposite direction from the GCP's standard prediction. Although this is a non-formal exploration and is too little data to allow robust interpretation, such an effect corresponds to a reduction of the size of deviations from expectation in the nominally random data. It is worth noting that the Silent Prayer on Sept 14, 2001, showed the same pattern. Perhaps we should predict such an effect from deeply focused meditations.