The media icon paid a stealthy six-hour visit to the Maharishi University of Management last October and will tell the country about her newfound devotion to Transcendental Meditation at 8 p.m. on Sunday as part of her new weekly series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who took the media mogul on a tour of one of the university’s golden domes before she meditated there with about 400 other women, said Winfrey already had a working knowledge of Transcendental Meditation based on her experience with inner-city school systems.
The practice has been introduced there to children suffering from academic and behavioral problems with the help of Maharishi board of trustees member David Lynch, the television and film director whose private foundation promotes “Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.”
“It’s had phenomenal results (in schools) and I think she became intrigued by that,” said Malloy, who has practiced Transcendental Meditation for 38 years. “Oprah’s bright and energetic and gregarious and thoughtful and provocative and we are honored and tickled to be featured by her in this way.”
Watch a sneak preview of the show
Sneak Preview: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town
Oprah spends the day in Fairfield, Iowa—one of the safest, greenest and most unusual communities in America. It’s the last place you’d expect to find two huge golden domes built for the thousands of residents who rush there to meditate twice a day. Watch a sneak preview; then tune in for the full episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter on Sunday, March 25, at 9/8c.
Transcendental Meditation first came to Fairfield by way of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who gained international fame as the guru to the Beatles before transforming the bankrupt Parsons College property into his namesake university in 1974.
In 2001, the Maharishi’s followers incorporated their own town, called Maharishi Vedic City, about two miles north of Fairfield. Sales of non-organic food are banned and buildings are designed to follow principles the Maharishi established, such as facing east and featuring a golden roof ornament. About 1,300 people live there, and an estimated one-quarter of Fairfield’s 10,000 residents also practice Transcendental Meditation.
Winfrey has tried to make a similar impact on her employees by encouraging them to meditate twice during each work day.
Paul Chesnutt-Winer, who hosted Winfrey in his home and will be featured with his family on Oprah’s television show, said the practice of Transcendental Meditation could not have made a better friend.
“She’s an amazing combination of being a strong, executive woman and really a lot of fun,” he said.
See this earlier post by Todd Erzen on Mar 22, 2012 with links to a preview of the show and interview with Dr. Oz on Oprah’s visit to Fairfield and company-wide practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Fairfield sees itself through Oprah’s eyes on Sunday.
Related articles: Chicago Sun-Times: Oprah will talk about transcendental meditation on OWN | The Fairfield Ledger:Fairfield readies for Sunday debut on Oprah network | OWN: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town, Sunday, March 25, 8 p.m. CT, 9-10 p.m. ET/PT | KTVO: Fairfield to be featured on Oprah Winfrey Network | Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome | Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter | Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome | Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa | Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview. Also see The Iowan: Sizing Up Small Towns: Rethinking Success in Rural Iowa: Fairfield Thinks Inclusively.