800K872 / GREEN78/ HEALTH 79 / WORKOUT 80
BEHIND THE SCENES
An overwhelming aura of tranquillity seems to emanate from Glasgow‘s Transcendental Meditation Centre; there is a certain soothing atmosphere which visitors invariably remark upon. Diana Kras is always bemused by their reactions. After over four years of teaching the Maharishi Ayur-Ved treatment programmes a relaxed environment is something which she takes for granted.
‘To me. its just the workspace.‘ she points out. ‘the place where we encounter all the usual office hassles and disorganisation.‘ With the benefit ofa stimulating 10 minute
bout of meditation in the morning (a state of ‘restful awareness’ which is more refreshing than the deepest sleep), Kras and her colleagues seem uniquely prepared for any problems. They handle administration tasks with a steady sense ofequilibrium and a patience quite unlike that found in most places ofwork.
Kras first became intrigued by TM after completing a psychology degree at Stirling University ‘which was far too obsessed with behaviourism. I learnt a lot about why rats push levers and how to get dogs to salviate to the sound of bells but not much about the mind.‘ She began a year long training course in TM which culminated in a three month period of intense study in Switzerland.
‘1 never intended to teach TM; it just sort of happened.’ Kras giggles ‘l
began teaching in Glasgow in 1976. There are now 6000 meditators in the city — as many as are in London. I’ve witnessed an incredible shift in opinions about TM in the last fifteen years.’
Public perceptions have changed radically since 1975 when Kras gave her first lecture on TM at Stirling University. Then the local press debated the length of her skirt ‘and concluded that it wasn’t too short’.
‘People are now aware that TM is not a religious practice; it doesn‘t conflict with anyone’s beliefs, many nuns and monks teach TM. It‘s simply part of the world‘s oldest scientific system of natural health care‘. Her own ruddy cheeks and bouncy vitality seems testimony to its success. ‘I can‘t remember the last time I had as much as a sniffle,‘ she beams.
‘Not many people are lucky enough to combine a profession with something they enjoy doing,’ she says, radiating a sense ofassurance and well-being. ‘The financial remunerations haven‘t been great,‘ she adds ruefully, ‘but I get amazing job satisfaction — and there‘s a lot to be said for that.‘
Kras’s weekends and evenings are filled with teaching the techniques. How does she relax from all that relaxing?
‘I go swimming, read. go out for meals, listen to jazz,’ she laughs ‘and Thursday socials are always great fun. Glasgow’s TM centre has a reputation throughout the world for being particularly lively and
The List 10— 23 November 1989 71