Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

World-famous classical guitarist @SharonIsbin says #TranscendentalMeditation “helped make me the person that I am.”

January 7, 2015

Sharon Isbin: Seeking Out Serenity

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin has been a trailblazer for both female musicians, and the guitar’s place in the world of classical music. A winner of two Grammys, she is the director of guitar programs at the Juilliard School and at the Aspen Music Festival. Liz Robbins interviewed Ms. Isbin for The New York Times and wrote this fascinating article on the world’s greatest classical guitarist: Sharon Isbin: Seeking Out Serenity. The Jan 2, 2015 Sunday Routine featured photos, other aspects of her life, and a short video of Sharon playing guitar. The article was well-written and richly put together. This part took me by surprise:

I have done Transcendental Meditation since I was 17 years old. I do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon. I really believe it has helped make me the person that I am. Because it is an extraordinary way to release stress and allow it to dissolve, so that you can focus on what you want to focus on, and have your energy towards very positive things.

Sharon Isbin: Cosmic Performer

An earlier insightful article written by Linda Egenes for Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine (Issue 7) sheds more light on this topic: An Interview with Sharon Isbin: The Monet of Classical Guitar. Knowing that Sharon had been practicing TM since she was 17 years old, Linda asked how it had benefited her life, especially performing in front of live audiences. Her amazing reply reveals an enlightened performer.

As a musician, TM enhances my mental stamina, memory, concentration, and ability to learn. It puts me in touch with my innermost creative core and enables its expression through music. Most importantly, it facilitates instant access to a state of “cosmic immersion,” that feeling of being in the flow, or in “the zone.”

Sharon IsbinWhen I perform onstage, I enter a state of being very similar to the one I enter daily when practicing TM. It’s a sense of communion with the energy of the universe, the audience, the composer, and the music—without ego or interference. It’s a feeling of unity between me and the listeners, a sense of “oneness” in which we are all experiencing the beauty of the music together. That sensation is one of the reasons live performances can be so powerful—everyone is focused and transported, and the experience is unique and in the moment, never to be replicated.

Guitar Passions: Sharon Isbin & Friends

Linda also asked Sharon questions about her musical influences and her work as a performer, teacher and collaborator, in particular about her new CD at the time, (August 30, 2011) Guitar Passions: Sharon Isbin & Friends. This promotional video shares music and interviews with Sharon and Steve Vai; in studio with Nancy Wilson (Heart) and Stanley Jordan; previews with Steve Morse, Paul Winter, Rosa Passos, Romero Lubambo, and Thiago de Mello.

Documentary Film: Sharon Isbin: Troubadour

Sharon Isbin is also featured in a new documentary film that came out towards the end of last year, and is still being aired on public television: Sharon Isbin: Troubadour. The one-hour documentary produced by Susan Dangel (2014), includes guests Martina Navratilova, Michelle Obama, Joan Baez, Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, Garrison Keillor, David Hyde Pierce, Janis Ian, Lesley Gore, Mark O’Connor, Tan Dun, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, Joan Tower, Leonard Slatkin, Thiago de Mello, Paul Winter, and more, with Isbin’s performances showcased from international concert stages to the GRAMMYs and White House.

American Public Television presents the national broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations in the US Nov 2014 – March 2015. Video Artists International will release it on DVD/Blu-ray with added performances. See http://www.sharonisbintroubadour.com for screenings, broadcast, and release information.

Sharon Isbin on The Leonard Lopate Show

Today, Wed, January 7, 2015, WNYC’s Leonard Lopate interviewed Sharon Isbin about the program: A New Documentary On The Acclaimed Classical Guitarist, Sharon Isbin (16:33). Leonard asks Sharon about her Transcendental Meditation practice at the 10:50 mark. She answers at 11:08–12:20. Leonard mentions Julliard School inviting Sharon to head up a guitar department in their Music division and asks if Transcendental Meditation is part of the program. At the request of the David Lynch Foundation, Sharon did invite teachers to introduce the TM technique to Julliard faculty, staff, and students, offering to make it available for free. Listen to the interview here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/sharon-isbin.

Visit Sharon Isbin’s website, www.sharonisbin.com, for more information: biography, press, music, videos, tours, and more.

A poem in a movie inviting you to be who you are

January 2, 2015

I recently enjoyed watching Words and Pictures, a 2013 film about a male English teacher and a female art instructor who form a rivalry that ends up galvanizing students in a competition to decide the most effective way to communicate, using words or pictures. This battle between mind and heart, ideas and feelings, is also about self-discovery, expressing one’s creativity, and the blocks that get in the way. Cleverly written by Gerald Di Pego, a one-time English teacher, and faithfully directed by Fred Schepisi, it stars Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, and Bruce Davison. Visit their website for more info: http://wordsandpicturesthemovie.com.

I especially liked the quotes about writing and art, the word vs. the image. A poem by Mary Oliver was supposed to be featured in the film. They never said which one, but kept waiting for permission to use it. By the time the answer came in, no, it was too late, and they had to come up with a replacement. The pressure was on screenwriter Gerald Di Pego. Being a poet himself, and seeing how this was his screenplay, the muse inspired him and he wrote this very vivid and appropriate poem, just in time. Juliette Binoche liked it, which came as a relief to him and the director. I found it online and wanted to share it with you. The poem plays a central role, but you’ll have to see the film to find out who wrote it and how it’s used.

WHO ARE YOU?

I am a small poem
On a page with room
For another.

Share with me
This white field,
Wide as an acre
Of snow, clear
But for these tiny
Markings like the
Steps of a bird.
Come. Now.

This is the trough
Of the wave, the
Seconds after
Lightning, thin
Slice of silence
As music ends,
The freeze before
The melting. Hurry.

Lie down beside me.
Make angels. Make devils.
Make who you are.

As you can see, the poem invites you to create and become who you are, from that gap, the transitional point of possibility, and to share in the experience with another. Here’s a poem I wrote after a special painting class that seems relevant: ArtWords—poem about a creative awakening.

Interestingly, the Special Features part of the DVD revealed that Juliette Binoche, an artist in her own right, offered to do all of the paintings herself, which thrilled both writer and director. Because her character is dealing with physical challenges due to her medical condition, she had to paint in different styles, from portraiture to more abstract. Binoche enjoyed the added challenge and it possibly influenced her own future work.

Here is the official Words and Pictures – International Trailer (2014) HD.

The featurette also confirmed for me where they had made the film. The story is set in a New England prep school, but was actually shot at St. George’s School, an independent boarding and day university-preparatory school for boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a.k.a., Hollywood North.

I recognized the location, and it reminded me of a story I had heard on a local CBC radio talk show during my stay there. The guest was an English teacher who taught at St. George’s School. One of the topics being discussed was meeting famous people. Listeners called in to share their stories and the teacher related an unusual event that had recently happened to him.

He had gone shopping at a well-known store for comfortable walking shoes. He settled on a particular pair and the sales clerk told him it was a popular item. She said someone famous had been in that morning and purchased a similar pair. She left to find out the name of the celebrity, but got sidetracked, so he left.

He put on his new shoes and, as was his routine everyday after lunch, he went for a walk in the forest next to the school property. While walking along the path, looking downwards, ahead of him he saw a pair of shoes just like his coming toward him. He looked up and saw someone he never would have expected walking in the woods. He pointed at him in surprise trying to say his name, but it came out as gibberish. The person mimicked him sputtering his name. It was Robin Williams! I think he was in town at that time filming Jumanji.

They had a wonderful walk and talk together. Robin had asked him what he did for a living and where he worked, something he could identify with having played an English teacher at an elite boys prep school in Dead Poets Society. When they reached the edge of the forest, there was Robin’s stretch limousine parked on the street waiting for him. He invited him into the car saying they would drop him off at the school.

Now this man was not the most popular teacher at the school. When they pulled up, he got out of the limo, and all heads turned to look at him. Then Robin lowered the darkly tinted window, stuck his head out, and thanked the teacher for a wonderful time. All the kids’ jaws dropped! And from that day on he was the coolest person at school. Thank you, Robin! You knew what you were doing. God Bless you, wherever you are.

Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

December 21, 2014

See the full article with more photos and quotes featured in the 21st issue of Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine: The “Dear Prudence” Story by Rolf Erickson. Reprinted here with permission including the video: Dear Prudence: A Portrait Of Prudence Farrow Bruns.

The “Dear Prudence” Story

BY ROLF ERICKSON

photo_prudence01Prudence Farrow Bruns, PhD, is the daughter of actress Maureen O’Sullivan and award-winning writer/director, John Farrow. She has been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for 48 years, and has been a teacher of the TM program for 46 years.

It all started so simply. It was 1966, and 18-year-old Prudence Farrow was sitting on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean at her brother’s home in Los Angeles. She was reading a book on meditation when she heard a voice say, “If you’re interested in meditation, I know just the meditation for you.”

The voice was that of Peter Wallace, a friend of her brother. Peter had spent six months traveling through India, where he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and began the Transcendental Meditation technique. He told her how simple and effortless the technique was, and yet how profound the experience and benefits could be.

“It was the simplicity of the practice that struck me most,” Prudence said. “I’d been trying different methods of meditation for some time, but they had all been complicated and difficult. When Peter described a simple, natural practice of diving deep within, I knew he was truly onto something.”

So Prudence learned the TM technique at UCLA. After experiencing the positive effects of TM for herself, Prudence wanted more. She wanted to meet Maharishi and to study with him. “At that time Maharishi had courses in India,” says Prudence. “He brought people there, and they studied for three or four months with him. You meditated for long periods under his guidance.”

On January 23, 1968, three days after her 20th birthday, Prudence traveled with Maharishi from New York to Rishikesh, India to attend her TM teacher training course. And that’s when the “Dear Prudence” story really began.

The Beatles Make the Scene

One month after Prudence arrived in Rishikesh, The Beatles showed up to study with Maharishi. While they all spent some time there, John Lennon and George Harrison stayed the longest.

“The Beatles were all very nice, humble, modest, kind, and down-to-earth people,” Prudence remembers. “I was closest to John and George, since they were my ‘course buddies’ during our studies with Maharishi. We were supposed to look out for each other during the course.”

photo_prudence02

Prudence (left) sat next to Ringo in course photo.

Prudence soon became known for her tendency to keep to herself in her room, focused on her meditation practice. “I was deeply immersed in my studies and meditation, locked away in my quarters. John, as my course buddy, was concerned and wanted to bring me out of my room to enjoy the experience more.”

John and George would come over to her room and play their guitars, encouraging her to come out and sing with them. It was this experience that became the inspiration for their song “Dear Prudence” in which John sings, “Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?”

Before he left Rishikesh, George mentioned to Prudence that they had written a song about her, but she had no idea what it was. She didn’t hear the song until it came out on their 1968 album The Beatles, commonly known as the “White Album.”

Prudence’s dedication to her meditation practice did pay off. After four months, she graduated from the course and became one of the first and youngest teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique at that time.

But that was just the beginning of the “Dear Prudence” story.

Prudence Comes out to Play

Once she completed her teacher training course in India, Prudence definitely did come out to play. Over the past 46 years, she’s instructed thousands of people in the TM technique throughout the United States and Canada. She married TM teacher Al Bruns in 1969, and they have three children and four grandchildren.

She’s produced Hollywood feature films and a play in Manhattan. She was an assistant to the curator of the “Theatre Collection” of the Museum of the City of New York. She has been a magazine writer. She’s written two books.

Prudence earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She received her doctoral degree in 2007, with a major in South Asian Studies and Sanskrit. She has made presentations to conferences at numerous universities, including Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Hawaii. She’s taught courses at UC Berkeley and Rutgers University.

TM and Yoga

Prudence continues to teach the TM program in Florida. In fact, she’s the most successful teacher in the U.S. at setting up Affiliate Programs in yoga studios. Maybe that’s not so surprising, considering that she’s a lifelong yoga practitioner, and she opened a yoga institute in Boston back in 1967.

photo_prudence03

Prudence attended India’s Kumbh Mela last year.

Maharishi Foundation created the Affiliate Program to bring TM to yoga studios and fitness centers. When a studio becomes an Affiliate, their members can learn TM at a reduced course fee, and the studio receives a share of the income. Everyone benefits—the new TM student, the yoga studio, and the local TM teachers.

Today most people think of yoga as a series of physical postures. But Maharishi has explained that in the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali identifies eight limbs of yoga, and the eighth limb is Samadhi or transcendental consciousness. Maharishi said that with the practice of TM, Samadhi is actually the easiest limb of yoga to achieve, since no effort is required. We simply tap into the natural tendency of the mind to go within, to transcend, and that transcendence nourishes and supports all the other limbs.

“I do think that Transcendental Meditation is—of the meditations that are available to us—the most direct, and the simplest,” says Prudence. “When you meditate, when you transcend, it allows your heart and mind to balance. And when they’re balanced, that’s when you are really healthy. You are happy. You’re happy mentally, happy emotionally, and happy spiritually. Those three are all components of what make a human being, so that connection to transcendence is absolutely necessary for health.”

Creating a Better World

Fortunately for us all, Prudence did come out to play.

“The years of meditating have enriched my life so much,” Prudence says. “And that’s why at this point in my life, I’m giving back. We need a better world. We need people to be more conscious, to be more evolved. And expanding the mind, like TM does, is absolutely vital to bring about stronger people. If you can strengthen people inside, you’ve changed the world.”

So even today, 48 years later, the “Dear Prudence” story continues.

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Last year, Prudence Farrow Bruns participated in a series of Consciousness Talks at Maharishi University of Management, called Our Conscious Future. Here is a clip from her talk where she discusses a conversation she had with George Harrison about his spiritual awakening. Prudence, George and John Lennon said they felt it was happening to many in their generation, and that it would continue long after they were gone. To listen to Prudence describe The “Dear Prudence” Story, and other fascinating presentations, visit ConsciousnessTalks.org.

Here is a video with lyrics to The Beatles – Dear Prudence.

Another beautiful song that John Lennon wrote about his experience with Transcendental Meditation was, Across the Universe. Here is a video with the lyrics to the song. 

This article was also published in GGN: World Peace News. Here are some related videos and interviews with Prudence Farrow Bruns: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM and Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi and Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela.

Prudence’s memoir is now out: Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song.

Watch the A&E biographical film, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007) and the earlier CBC documentary of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

Two innovative creative videos remind us how social media can destroy not build relationships

October 16, 2014

Love in the Digital Age

Love in the Digital Age

Our current obsession with social media and mobile devices seems to have improved our connectivity with each other, but it is also changing it for the worse. Here are two innovative creative videos that remind us how social media can destroy, not build, relationships.

Lee Ross’s creatively produced vignette brilliantly demonstrates the breakdown in human interaction; while Prince Ea intelligently raps about the problem, ironically pointing out what we’re missing. They both beg the question: Are we really living life, communicating and developing meaningful relationships?

1. From a comedic perspective, 4G Love, by LEE ROSS, is a funny but sadly true depiction of cellphone addiction destroying relationships. The full 5-minute film is available on Vimeo and posted on YouTube. The shorter (3 & 1/2 minute) viral version embedded here is now updated with the original music score. Share customized links to both short: bit.ly/4gLOVE and full: bit.ly/4G-Love versions, as you like.

2. We are so consumed by our phones and social networks, we sometimes forget how to live. Prince Ea says the obvious in this video: Why I Refuse to Let Technology Control Me: You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here. :) If you like his message you can download the digital audio Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Rick Hotton’s Holy Mole´ cartoon amusingly makes the same point. There are other videos out there on this topic. Here are two poems about the problem, Look Up by Gary Turk, and a counter argument, Look Down (‘Look Up’ Parody) by Spencer & Alex. Clever, both of them, with charming British accents.

I cropped and titled the top image by British photographer Adam Gray.

@David_Lynch’s MA in Film program @MaharishiU encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness

October 12, 2014

Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson profiles the David Lynch MA in Film at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City, Iowa.

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, I hosted The Register’s Iowa journalist Kyle Munson and photographer Mary Willie. Kyle had contacted me during the week because of David Lynch’s announcement to produce 9 new episodes of Twin Peaks for Showtime. This seemed to be the tipping point to finally visit our Masters Program in Film in David Lynch’s name. For information on the David Lynch MA in Film at MUM, visit http://filmschool.mum.edu.

Kyle said his report would appear this weekend. I checked online Saturday night to find Kyle’s video and Mary’s photos about MUM’s DLMA, both in an article: Vedic City film school program enters 2nd year. This is how it appears in the Sunday Register.

The title may appear to be a bit confusing since the David Lynch MA in Film is part of Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfield, Iowa. But the graduate film department classrooms and offices are located in Headley Hall in neighboring Maharishi Vedic City.

As a result they’ve now retitled the article to read: Munson: David Lynch and the ‘Twin Peaks’ of Iowa. The article starts out referencing one of the most famous lines from David Lynch’s iconic TV series, Twin Peaks.

It’s easier to find a “damn fine cup of coffee” here than in other Iowa towns two or three times the size.

At least a few top-notch coffee shops surround the town square — not to mention a vast array of vegetarian and organic cuisine far beyond the staple pork tenderloin or rural fixture of “Taco Tuesday.”

It’s all part of the familiar plotline about how Fairfield, pop. 9,447, has evolved in the last 40 years into a surprising cosmopolitan oasis on the prairie thanks to the global influx of followers of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) — at least 20 minutes twice a day — as a means to promote peace and unlock their creativity. They have trekked here since the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) was founded on the former Parsons College campus as a center of “consciousness-based education.”

Kyle interviews Joanna Plafsky, the one who created the program; John Raatz, the new executive director who also brought Jim Carrey to give this year’s commencement address; as well as some of the students who came from far and wide for the graduate film program, including the international scholarship winner, Agnes Baginska, whose film was selected by David Lynch himself. Agnes posted a scan of the full article on her website and her Facebook Timeline Photos. Read the rest of the article here. Click on these titles to see the video and photos.

Kyle Munson’s Iowa: David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

The David Lynch MA in Film at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City began a year ago. The second year of the “Twin Peaks” filmmaker-focused curriculum is underway. Kyle Munson/The Register

16 photos: David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

16 photos - David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

Fairfield Iowa is the home of David Lynch’s MA film program which encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Mary Willie/The Register

I already put some of the photos up on my Pinterest account, which go on Twitter. Also posted the links to the photos and the video on Google+ and Twitter. Even though I officially retired, I could not pass up this PR OP! :-)

Related news: Fairfield Creatives Get Started.

DLMA Students & Faculty Participate in Music Video Production

Months later some of our students participated in a music video for Kid Moxie singing the hauntingly beautiful “Mysteries of Love” written by David Lynch and composed by Angelo Badalamenti. The film premiered at The Music of David Lynch fundraiser. Noisey/VICE broke the news, launching the video with photos. Watch ‘Twin Peaks’ Composer Angelo Badalamenti’s Eerie Video for “Mysteries Of Love” with Kid Moxie. See a press release with the video and more production stills: David Lynch Music Tribute Continues with Online Music Video Premiere.

Love after Love, by Derek Walcott, resonates deeply when you first acknowledge yourself

June 22, 2014

Just received this beautiful poem, Love after Love, written by Derek Walcott. To me it’s about coming back to yourself, discovering and loving your self. It can be a sweet, quiet awakening, when you recognize it, open your heart to it, to who you are.

I remember when it happened to me, living alone in a room I was renting in a house in North Vancouver. I finally let go of all the distracting reasons to search for happiness outside myself, in wanting to love another person or be loved by them, or some thing to do I thought would make me happy. I just stopped and discovered the loving stranger that was there, and accepted myself instead, as if for the first time. Took more than half my life for it to finally happen, but was quietly surprised and pleased when it did. Derek Walcott describes this process of self-recognition and acceptance so well, so powerfully.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

After a little research I discovered Derek Walcott to be an amazing man, an artist, poet, professor and playwright. Acknowledged as the greatest living poet in the English language, he won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1992. He taught at Boston University for 20 years. Turns out he also taught in Canada. In 2009, Walcott began a three-year distinguished scholar-in-residence position at the University of Alberta. In 2010, he became Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex.

Born in Saint Lucia, Derek Walcott was influenced by his mixed racial and cultural heritage. He married a Trinidadian, raised a family there, and built the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. For someone who was in search of his own identity, both as a person and an artist, this poem represents a coming back to one’s essential self. It resonates deeply with the thousands who have read it. It was first published in Sea Grapes, and later in Derek Walcott, Collected Poems, 1948-1984, and The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013.

Here are a few videos worth watching: a BBC documentary, Derek Walcott; an interesting Canadian TV interview, Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott on his life and work; and a poetry reading: Derek Walcott: The Perpetual Ideal is Astonishment | 92Y Readings. Here is a more recent poetry reading at the 92nd Street Y: Derek Walcott with Glyn Maxwell and Caryl Phillips. He reads Love after Love at 26:25.

Listen to this excellent July 13, 2014 BBC Radio 4 interview where Nobel Laureate poet Derek Walcott talks about his life and work at home on St Lucia: Derek Walcott: A Fortunate Traveller (28 mins).

A Blessing of Solitude by John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, profoundly complements this theme by Derek Walcott.

Here is an excerpt of Derek Walcott reciting his poem, Love After Love, in a new documentary film about him, POETRY IS AN ISLAND, by Ida Does. You can also see an interview with Derek Walcott by DBSTV St.Lucia in May 2014 in St.Lucia where he comments on the film.

For more information on the film visit www.walcottfilm.com and check facebook.com/PoetryIsAnIsland for the DVD release date.

Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey

May 31, 2014

Visit the MUM website to see videos of Maharishi University of Management’s May 24, 2014 Graduation ceremonies. See the press release with a video and photos. From there you can also access Jim’s full Commencement Address, his honorary degree award, as well as the 2014 MUM Graduation Valedictorian Speech and 2014 MUM Graduation Salutatorian Speech, and the Full Graduation Ceremony.

Paresh Dave of The LA Times just published Could these be the best commencement speeches of 2014? and Jim’s address is 7th in the top 10! See: Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation, for a review of some of the amazing news coverage, including two JPEGs of articles not available online. That post has the B-roll footage embedded in it. A little longer is this Highlights video, minus the joke Jim pulls on Bevan, in the third video.

Other videos will be added next week: Dr. Craig Pearson’s introduction, as well as Dr. Bevan Morris’s impressive introduction to Jim Carrey. In it he told a story about Judd Apatow, who, early in his career as a young standup comic, was opening for Jim Carrey. After seeing Jim perform and the response from the audience, Judd decided to quit comedy. He said “Jim Carrey is funniest man on earth. This is something we can all agree on. We can debate forever number two but Jim will always be the king.” Until that video is available, I share this story so you’ll more fully appreciate the humor in the Valedictorian’s opening remarks.

About six months later, November 13, 2014, Jim Carrey was on The Ellen Degeneres Show promoting his film Dumb and Dumber To. One of the things Ellen asked him about was the Commencement speech he had given and what it was like for him. Jim spoke glowingly about MUM and the students, and that he had learned TM. They actually showed a clip of it. Here is the 1:40 minute segment, which starts at 6:36 of the 8:20 interview. After the show over a half-million people visited the MUM YouTube Channel. To date over 60 million people worldwide have seen Jim’s inspiring talk.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007)

May 28, 2014

Originally posted on The Uncarved Blog:

For those of you who missed the A&E biopic on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, aired on their History International Channel, November 28, 2007, it has been posted in its entirety on blip.tv by Raja Felix http://rajafelix.blip.tv: GOOD NEWS – Indications of rising global consciousness. This episode’s permalink: Maharishi on History Channel. A French translation in 5 parts is available on YouTube: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Documentaire – 1/5 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 5/5.

ITN Factual, a production company based in London, UK, was commissioned by A&E, Arts and Entertainment channels, to do a film biography on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Producer/Director Fiona Procter came to Fairfield, Iowa in October 2007 and the show was aired on the History International Channel on Nov 28, 2007. Interviews included Drs. Bevan Morris and John Hagelin, David Lynch, Donovan, Mike Love, Teresa Olson, Jerry Jarvis, Alan Waite, Deepak…

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New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement

May 14, 2014

David films in Uttar Kashi

It’s a Beautiful World, is a film made by Richard Beymer as he accompanied David Lynch with Bob Roth and a film crew to India. David went from northern India to the south retracing his master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s footsteps for a documentary film he was going to make. Richard records the early stages of the making of that film on Maharishi.

David first visits Jyotir Math where Maharishi served his teacher Guru Dev for 13 years. After his passing, Maharishi went into silence for 2 years in a small cave-like room in a house in Uttar Kashi, the Valley of the Saints. David takes us right into that cave! A persistent thought brought Maharishi out to travel to a famous temple in Rameshwaram. From there he continued on to the great Temple to Mother Divine in Kanyakumari located at the southern-most tip of India where the 3 oceans meet. Along his return journey northwards a man from the Trivandrum Public Library asked Maharishi to speak. The film takes us to those sites and into that library where Maharishi gave his first series of 7 lectures. People had asked to learn what he was teaching, and that was the start of the TM movement. What had taken Maharishi two years, David covered in 10 inspiring eventful-packed days.

About a year or so before David made his trek to India, he also had the opportunity to visit with Maharishi in Vlodrop, Holland at his International Headquarters. A special interview was arranged and David was able to ask Maharishi some questions. It had been recorded, possibly for David to use in his documentary. I mentioned that interview to Richard and he checked with David for permission to use some of it. David directed Richard to use specific segments of an answer Maharishi gave him to a particular question. The film ends with it, coming full circle, of Maharishi explaining why he came out of the Silence of the Himalayas to bring his message to the world. He told David he thought what he had to offer would be useful to humanity. He said that the nature of life is bliss, and the nature of the individual is cosmic. And all those years of teaching TM had borne that out, later verified by hundreds of scientific research studies on the range of benefits in people’s lives, and the development of higher states of consciousness.

This film is also a rare glimpse into David’s personal life. Throughout the journey David reveals snippets of his film career. It’s an intimate look at David Lynch the man, the director in action, the devoted meditator, and his inspiration to share the gift of Transcendental Meditation with the world through his Foundation. Watch this skillfully edited trailer, then visit the website to order the film to stream or download.

Richard Beymer captures David at his best. You can read an excellent review of the film and place your order at Richard Beymer’s website: http://www.twinpeaksarchive.blogspot.com as well as Vimeo On Demand: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/12900.

Of interest may be: Timeless JourneyPilgrimage, and To Jyotir Math, by Sally Peden.

See other films on Maharishi: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007) and Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

Hafiz said to leave something in the marketplace, and Jesse Winchester sure did before he left us.

April 23, 2014

Hafiz’s poem, translated by Daniel Ladinsky, of leaving something behind in the world to inspire others, is exemplified in the singer/songwriting musical skills of the late Jesse Winchester. Read Hafiz’s poem, Leave something in the marketplace, then listen and be moved when Jesse sings this love song, Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding.

Leave something in the marketplace

Sometimes it can happen to these cheeks
when a poem visits my mind for the first time
and begins to look around.

They can wonder why rain is falling on them,
and causing my nose to run too.

O boy, what a mess love makes of me. But
there is nothing else right now I would rather

be doing . . . than reaping something from a
field in another dimension

and leaving it in the marketplace for any who
might happen by.

Leave something in the marketplace for us
before you leave this world.

A Year With Hafiz: Daily Contemplations
Daniel Ladinsky, March 20, page 88.
See more profound poems by Hafiz posted on this blog.

Singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester (May 17, 1944 – April 11, 2014) left many beautiful songs for us in the marketplace. Here’s one that will also make your cheeks wet and lift your mouth into a wistful smile as he sings about the sweet shyness of young love on Week 2 of Elvis Costello’s TV show, Spectacle. Listen to the poetic melodic musings of Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding.

I met Jesse in Montreal during the summer of 1967, shortly after he left the US to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War, which he didn’t support. He stayed and made a name for himself as a fine singer/songwriter. Robbie Robertson of The Band produced Jesse’s first album. He couldn’t return to the states to tour until after all draft dodgers were pardoned by President Carter. But many top recording artists would go on to perform Jesse’s songs, and he became known as a first-rate songwriter. Even Bob Dylan was famously quoted as saying of Mr. Winchester: “You can’t talk about the best songwriters and not include him.” In 2007, Mr. Winchester was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from performing rights organization ASCAP for his body of work.

I met Jesse decades later when he was touring through Iowa. It was sweet to see him again, finally being recognized for the talent he was, and for him to freely return home. Here is some news coverage of Jesse’s recent passing, reviewing his life and career, in The Commercial Appeal, USA Today, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and C-Ville Weekly. From all his fans, and friends who knew him, I’m sure they would agree with Hafiz that Jesse Winchester did leave a lot of good music in the marketplace, and love in their hearts. You did well, Jesse. Thank you!

Jesse Winchester Radio Special: Listen to a special 2007 radio interview and music special with Jesse Winchester recorded by Donna Green-Townsend for WUFT-FM before Jesse’s scheduled performance at the Butterfly Festival in Gainesville, FL. In this program Jesse talked about his early years in Mississippi and Memphis, the inspiration for many of his songs and what he thinks about the music industry today. He also talks about the number of artists who have recorded many of his songs including Wynonna Judd, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Elvis Costello and many more. RIP Jesse.

Roots Music Canada uploaded a Jesse Winchester interview on April 13, 2010 with RMC’s editor-in-chief David Newland, from Hugh’s Room, Toronto, a venue Jesse launched about a decade ago, and one for which he has the highest regard.

Roots Music Canada produced a show on April 16, 2014: Remembering Jesse Winchester, of him and other artists singing his songs. To see the song list click on Playlist: Folk Roots/Folk Branches – Remembering Jesse Winchester. Jesse Winchester sings a slower version of Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding on his album Love Filling Station (Appleseed) with a backup group. I prefer the solo performance.


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