Transcendental Meditation: not Buddhism
Transcendental Meditation research can be very interesting.
BUT, Transcendental Meditation is NOT Buddhism.
Many different "Religions" have their finger prints on Meditation. that does not make them Buddhists.
Buddhism is not a Religion, it has no God, no outside element can save you from Samsara.. the world of cyclical rebirth, old age, suffering and death, rebirth..etc etc etc. caused by ignorance of what causes Samsara. Buddhism is defined by the 4 Noble Truths that is simply a logical statement by a mortal man.. not a Dogma by a god..
there is no all powerful god in Buddhism, there is a god realm in the wheel of Life http://www.buddhanet.net/wheel2.htm
but the gods also suffer in Samsara, so it follows that they cant help us.
no.. you cant be a Buddhist and be a Jew, Christian..etc religion involves salvation provided by an external Deity that created the universe and rules all in their creation. there is no creation myth in Buddhism... that saves a lot of boring debate. there is a lot in Buddhism's practice that would be of benefit to religious people or any people for that matter. but if you are a Buddhist you cant believe a god can help you. there are old tribal groups that have blended the old gods into their practice, but they are few and usually remote and do not represent traditional linage Buddhism at all. end of argument.
Meditation is the primary element of Buddhism. i feel, as supported by my Lama that "no meditation, no Buddhism". "no Dharma no Buddhism"
TM is a Hindu Practice Period, it's Mantras contain the names of Hindu Gods.
research on TM shows it's practitioners spending a lot of their meditation in low level sleep states.
www.buddhanet.net is a goud source of Theravada Buddhism check out their audio pages.
meditation instruction... http://www.buddhanet.net/insight.htm
Mahayna Buddhism .. http://www.fpmt.org/
lots of audio teachings too