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Calif. school cancels plans for transcendental meditation.

A California public school has dumped plans for a meditation class for students amid concerns from parents that it would be promoting religion.

Terra Linda High School in San Rafael was preparing to offer students instruction on Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM is an offshoot of Hinduism, though some of its supporters eschew its religious underpinning and argue the practice is actually science-related.

The critically acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch, director of offbeat films such as "Wild at Heart," and "Blue Velvet," had offered the school a $175,000 grant to start the TM program.

A school board meeting in October, however, drew the ire of parents. According to the Associated Press, the meeting turned "chaotic, with one parent rushing the stage to denounce TM as a cult."

Following the controversy, Lynch's foundation withdrew the grant offer.

In 1979, a federal appeals court ruled that a New Jersey public school could not legally sponsor TM. That case was brought in part by Americans United. One judge noted that the names of Hindu deities are chanted in TM ceremonies.

TM practitioners, the court ruled, were attempting to "take a cow and put a sign on it that says 'horse.'"
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Title Annotation:AROUND THE STATES
Publication:Church & State
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:196
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