No, absolutely not.
Transcendental Meditation is a do-it-yourself technique, and requires absolutely no change in lifestyle, diet, religion, culture, or anything of this nature.
However it often happens—naturally and spontaneously over time—that people who practise TM cut down on smoking and excessive drinking; they sleep better, and they develop better relationships with family and friends. But these changes occur completely naturally, from within. There is no requirement or suggestion, from the teacher or the organization, before learning, during instruction, or after one has started the practice of TM that requires one to change their lifestyle.
As is often the case, celebrity [of organizations or individuals] can bring admirers and detractors. Maharishi, however, focused exclusively on demonstrating the effectiveness of the TM practice and inspired scientists throughout the world to perform research. “The proof of the pudding is in the tasting” was a favourite expression of Maharishi’s and the extensive body of research on the TM technique–over 350 studies published in leading peer-reviewed journals–the “proof” of its effectiveness.
From its first study on reduced oxygen consumption indicating profound rest gained during TM practice to a recent scientific statement by the American Heart Association, the results speak for themselves. Our programmes are made available to interested government agencies, schools, businesses, and local TM Centres open to the public.
More and more governments or governmental organisations support the Transcendental Meditation technique, even in schools with young children, because it has been proven that the Transcendental Meditation technique holds positive effects for those who practice it and that it even has a positive effect on the environment.