If it's good enough for Clint Eastwood, it's probably good enough for the average American soldier. But persuading thousands of troops with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan that the answer is to spend their days following the transcendental meditation mantras of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may prove a hard sell.
Eastwood joined an array of celebrities to launch Operation Warrior Wellness today at the behest of David Lynch.
Some studies say that about one third of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer PTSD. Lynch's own foundation plans to teach 10,000 transcendental meditation (TM) techniques.
In a reflection of the scepticism about the claimed benefits for TM by some academic and medical studies, Eastwood was also keen to dispel any notion that it should not be taken seriously.
"I'm a great supporter of transcendental meditation," he said. "I've been using it for almost 40 years now. It's a great tool for stress ... especially considering the stress our men and women of the armed forces are going through. There's enough studies out there that show that TM is something that could benefit everybody."
You know, if transcendental meditation helps soldiers mitigate the effects of PTSD, God bless 'em is all I can say. Still, it's always disconcerting to see Clint Eastwood go against type. I want to think of him as a mellowing, stoic proto-fascist dirty cop.