In her poem, Mockingbirds, Mary Oliver teaches us how to listen, and be transformed by wonder

October 22, 2019

Our attention is the greatest gift we can give to someone, or something. It can transform our world. Mary Oliver’s poem, Mockingbirds, teaches us how to listen, and experience the wonders around us.

Mockingbirds

by Mary Oliver

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this
seriously.

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,

but gods.
It is my favorite story–
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive–
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them–
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down–
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning–
whatever it was I said

I would be doing–
I was standing
at the edge of the field–
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors–
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

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Mary Oliver left us at the beginning of this year. To learn more about this amazed poet and her amazing poetry, see: RIP: Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing your poetic gifts with us. They are a national treasure!

New study shows a Maharishi Vastu designed office building increased the creativity of an architecture and engineering firm’s employees

October 22, 2019
2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Developed and Managed by The Tower Companies, Rockville, MD. Credit: Ron Blunt

This is the first-of-its-kind study on the effects of a Maharishi Vastu designed office building on an architecture and engineering firm’s employee creativity. The company, NIKA, is a tenant in The Tower Companies, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, MVA designed and LEED Platinum building in Rockville, Maryland, close to Washington, DC.

The study, published in Creativity Research Journal, was publicized by EurekAlert!, a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, (AAAS). PhysOrg, ScienceCodex, and Bioengineer, were some of the websites that posted the news.

Lead author, Maharishi University of Management Professor Anil Maheshwari, and co-author Margaret Rose Werd, collected more data on other variables, which will be presented in future papers for publication. It was all part of Mrs. Werd’s PhD thesis she is still working on. We thought it impressive that such an important journal would publish the first article on this topic before she even completed her doctorate! Here are the EurekAlert! Summary and press release.

A study published in Creativity Research Journal found creativity increased in an architecture and engineering firm’s employees after moving into a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. They scored higher on Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking compared to scores four months earlier in their previous location. Verbal originality rose by 84%; figural originality, 48%; elaboration, 61%; and resistance to closure, 40%. There was less than a 1% possibility the result was due to chance.

Can the design of a building improve the creative output of its occupants?

New study published in Creativity Research Journal shows Maharishi Vastu architecture increased workplace creativity.

This graph maps the average number of unique, original ideas produced per respondent on y-axis, for two types of tasks against the two building architecture (Conventional vs Maharishi Vastu) on the x-axis. The first pair of bars show that the average number of unique, original ideas produced for a product enhancement task increased from 1.9 to 3.5 or about 84% upon move to Maharishi Vastu. The second set of bars similarly show that the average number of unique, original ideas for a graphical figure completion task increased from 3.56 to 5.27, or about 48% upon move to Maharishi Vastu.

A ground-breaking study published in the September issue of the scholarly Creativity Research Journal found increased creativity in employees who worked in a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. In this first study of its kind, employees of an architecture and engineering firm, based in a major metropolitan city in the Eastern United States, moved into a Maharishi Vastu office building and scored higher on the standardized Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) compared to their score four months earlier in their previous location. In particular, they generated 50-80% more original ideas. The study found that there was less than a 1% possibility that the result was due to chance.

“This research experimentally demonstrated that moving from a conventional architecture building into a Vastu building led to large measurable improvements in employee creativity, in particular in the originality of the ideas generated and their open-ended and detailed elaboration,” said Professor Anil Maheshwari of Maharishi University of Management, the first author of this study. “I think every organization, big and small, could benefit from this.”

The study was conducted by Maharishi University of Management with participation from The Tower Companies and NIKA in Rockville, Maryland, a city located just outside of Washington, D.C. 2000 Tower Oaks is a Maharishi Vastu building developed by The Tower Companies in 2008 and was recognized as the largest application of Vedic design in the world. NIKA moved into the building as a new office tenant in 2017.

Architecture in harmony with nature

Maharishi Vastu is a traditional system of architecture that originated in India, and is known there also as vastu or sthapatya veda. Features of Maharishi Vastu include alignment with the cardinal directions; a silent central area called a brahmasthan; specific placement and proportions of rooms; appropriate slope and shape of the land; an unobstructed view of sunrise; a location that’s distant enough from major sources of electromagnetic radiation; and use of natural materials and solar energy. The researchers hypothesized that this architecture would have a wide range of benefits because it is said to be more in harmony with nature.

“It may seem unfamiliar to a Western, scientific perspective, but the fact is that our physiology is intimately tied to the material and rhythms and forces of the earth and sun,” Dr. Maheshwari said. “Traditional systems of architecture, which have arisen in many places around the world over a long span of time, take these things into account. And now we’re intent on seeing whether the supposed benefits can be scientifically verified.” Earlier exploratory studies have documented that specific elements of the Maharishi Vastu system can influence such markers as mental health and heart health.

Greater originality and depth of creativity

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) includes three assessments of verbal creativity and five of figural creativity. The researchers hypothesized that Maharishi Vastu architecture would show improvement on all eight assessments. Since before-and-after tests can result in higher scores on the second test simply due to being familiar with the testing instrument, TTCT has two different but comparable versions to control for familiarity and learning. One version is used in the initial condition and the other different version is used after the variable/s has been applied. 32 employees took one version of the test in the conventional architecture location, and 22 employees took the second version of the test in Vastu location. Of these, 21 employees were common and took the tests at both locations.

The results of the verbal tests found a statistically significant (p<0.05) increase (84%) in originality (i.e. unique unconventional ideas generated) but not in fluency and flexibility. On the figural tests, which requires subjects to expand on a series of incomplete figures, the results showed a large statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in tests of originality (48%), elaboration (61%), and resistance to closure (40%) (that is, a focus on pursuing new directions to complete a task). Tests of figural fluency and abstract title (ability to name an abstract original concept) did not show an effect.

A boon for the world

NIKA, the architecture and engineering firm that participated in the study, was delighted with the results. “Creativity, especially the sort of figurative creativity measured by TTCT, is an important trait for an architect. The company was pleased to have this objective support for the feeling of greater creativity experienced by their employees,” said Mrs. Margaret Rose Werd, the co-author of this study. She further added that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his vision for world vastu for all mankind are the source of the inspiration for this research.

“Not many real estate developers deliver that kind of return on rent!” added Jeffrey Abramson, partner at The Tower Companies. Jon Lipman, AIA, director of Maharishi Vastu services for North America, said, “It appears that Maharishi Vastu architecture can help to solve major challenges that face our cities. I recommend it to developers who aspire to create buildings that promote creativity and the flourishing of life and business.”

This research was the first longitudinal empirical study using standardized measures of creativity to look at the effect of buildings on employee performance in an organization. Data from more organizations would help to validate the results across multiple industries and locations. This research study can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2019.1667943

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The Tower Companies also listed the press release and case study on their website, and shared the news via their social media platforms.

Great conversation with Nathanael Chawkin on TV Santa Barbara show Rejoice with Pastor Chuk!

October 3, 2019
Nathanael Chawkin on TVSB show Rejoice with Pastor Chuk

My son Nathanael Chawkin sent me a link to the first in a series of conversations between him and Rev. Charles A. Reed Sr., Pastor, Santa Barbara Worship Center. Pastor Chuk, as he is known, and Nathanael both share a community center space in an old Santa Barbara church built in 1957. Nathanael offers Integral Martial Arts training and group meditation throughout the week, and Pastor Chuk conducts his faith-based services on Sunday mornings. Here is their first delightful discussion on his live TV Santa Barbara show, Rejoice with Pastor Chuk. It’s posted on his Facebook page: “Mystical Experience.” Nathanael posted it on his YouTube channel, with extensive notes: Walk the Talk: The Role of Religion as a Structure of Reflection.

Award-winning film on leadership features MUM professors F. Travis, R. Schneider and H. Harung

September 28, 2019

I had the pleasure of hosting Silvia Damiano when she visited Maharishi University to interview some of our faculty for her documentary film, Make Me a Leader, a brain-based approach to leadership.

Silvia Damiano is a scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist and filmmaker. Silvia’s scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade-long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. She founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratizing leadership and neuroscience.

Silvia’s recent About My Brain Institute newsletter contained exciting news: My Creative Journey to Hollywood. Our film wins Best Documentary & Best Director! We wanted to share the good news. Here is Jim Karpen’s article published in the Oct 2, 2019 issue, page 4, of The Review. I added links from our faculty’s names to trailers containing some of their input.

Award-Winning Film Presents Faculty Research

Filmmaker Silvia Damiano has her EEG assessed by Professor Fred Travis in the documentary Make Me a Leader.

A documentary on brain-based leadership that includes interviews with Professors Fred Travis and Robert Schneider, and former adjunct professor Harald Harung, recently won Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards.

The filmmaker, Silvia Damiano, came to campus to conduct interviews.

In his segment, Dr. Travis emphasizes the importance of a leader having a clear mind. Dr. Harung talks about the importance of mind-brain development in becoming a good leader. And Dr. Schneider explains that an optimally functioning brain depends on an optimally functioning physiology. The film, titled Make Me a Leader, also shows Dr. Travis taking Ms. Damanio’s EEG.

A practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique, Ms. Damiano is the founder and CEO of About My Brain Institute.

The documentary can be viewed at aboutmybrain.com/makemealeader for $10. A trailer that includes Dr. Harung and Dr. Travis can be viewed on YouTube.

The film describes how to develop the leaders of the future and suggests a new mindset based on science that integrates the entire biological system from the brain down.

Ms. Damiano offers leadership training and wrote in an email, “I am happy I was able to showcase the amazing work of Fred and Harald. I speak about them all the time.”

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Related post: MUM @maharishiuni professors explore secrets of world-class performers in World-Class Brain book, includes links to relevant studies and presentations.

Why Michael Braunstein meditates using TM, what it is and isn’t, and the benefits, for him.

September 13, 2019

I enjoy Michael Braunstein’s writing style, the way he talks to his readers. It’s simple, direct, and gets to the point, mixed in with a little humor. In his first article, Meditate. Your Mind Wants To., published January 13, 2019, Michael Braunstein shared his fascinating story of how he was inspired to learn Transcendental Meditation. During recording sessions, first with Paul McCartney, later with George Harrison, he became aware of TM’s effect on them. But it was Ron Altbach who inspired Michael to want to learn to meditate. Ron shines in this second TM article as well. Enjoy reading Why I Meditate, published August 24, 2019 in The Reader (Omaha, NB), posted August 27, 2019 in Heartland Healing, and now on The Uncarved Blog, with permission from the author.

Why I Meditate

by Michael Braunstein

My first brush with meditation turned out to be something other than meditation. As a sophomore in high school, our Jesuit theology teacher wanted to teach us and he gave it a go. (I love the Jesuits. They taught me freedom of thought and respect for intuitive knowledge.) After a brief description of some of the benefits, he told us to close our eyes then asked us to imagine a snow-covered frozen lake. At one corner of the lake was a man with a snow shovel and we were to imagine the man slowly walking in a straight line from shore to shore pushing the shovel in front of him. And that was it. My sophomoric high school mind wasn’t impressed. Only years later did I come to realize that he was teaching us more of a visualization than a meditation.

Years later, in April 1983, was the next time I thought about meditation. Living in Hollywood, whenever I stayed at Mimi’s cottage townhouse in Westwood I would find her rising before me early in the morning and sitting in a chair downstairs with her eyes closed. She had told me to expect that she would be meditating in the morning. One day I asked her what kind of meditation she did. She told me she learned Transcendental Meditation and followed with, “If you ever want to learn meditation, learn TM. When you learn TM, you know that you are truly meditating. TM is sort of like the ‘Cadillac of meditation.’” Those words stayed with me.

One year later. Ron Altbach was executive producer of a major live concert album and television broadcast I engineered. It starred the Beach Boys, America, Ringo, Hank Williams, Jr., Julio Iglesias, Three Dog Night and a host of others. It was a complex project and required tremendous technical expertise both on the day of recording and in post-production. Problem-solving techniques often saw me huddling with my techie assistants mulling solutions. As we geniuses bantered about which way to proceed, on more than one occasion, from the back of the room came a quiet and unassuming comment, usually along the lines of, “What if you…? Would that work?” The speaker was Ron. And each time, his solution was a good one.

After two or three of his successful suggestions, I asked him, “Ron, you’re not an engineer or tech. How are you coming up with these solutions? Where’s that coming from?” His answer was simple: “I think because I meditate, I’m able to assess situations more clearly.”

We talked about the meditation he learned, Transcendental Meditation, and it stuck with me. Three months later I learned TM at the Beverly Hills TM Center on 3rd Street. It took four sessions over 5 days and was easy. It wasn’t free or even cheap to learn. But it may go down as the best money I ever spent. Extrapolated over the years since, it’s worked out to about two cents daily. And it’s becoming a better deal everyday.

What it is and isn’t. I often have occasion to talk to people about their meditation. Some say they listen to a recording. Others say they sit and listen for answers. Some stare at candles. Some even say things like, “Mowing the lawn is my meditation;” or “I’m meditating when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.” Well, my comment about that is that listening to a recording is just that: listening to a recording. It’s not meditation. Mowing the lawn, staring at a candle or working out are fine. They are exactly what you say they are but they’re not meditation. Meditation is a specific skill best passed from teacher to student. It’s not a byproduct of another activity. In a simple description, it is intentionally sending the mind toward a state of thoughtlessness; not thinking. It is clearing the mind, releasing it from the random thoughts of the conscious, babbling intellectual mind and seeking to quiet the mind. It is not actively using the mind to request things, hear guidance or watch candles burn. That’s as simple as I can state it. It is experienced, not described.

Benefits of meditation. There is an extensive list of benefits to actual meditation. And, admittedly, there are some minor ones that become available to simple relaxation and focused attention like just resting for a period of time. Descriptions of the many benefits of meditation are easily found in books or online. Transcendental Meditation has been studied more than any other technique and research statistics are plentiful. It’s surprising that it’s not covered under health insurance or Medicare.

For me. I’ve been doing TM daily since 1984, missing maybe a half-dozen days at most. Do I do it for the benefits listed? Maybe. I don’t think about it. Have I experienced TM leading to amazing health benefits for me? I have experienced some examples so I guess you could say so. But there is one overriding reason why I do TM every single day: It feels good. If it didn’t, I’m sure I would stop. To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, (who, by the way, does TM everyday,) “Do you want to feel good? Well, do ya?”

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.

Tony Walsh @LongfellaPoet’s poem, Take This Pen, inspires Brits to contribute to @PoetryDayUK

September 7, 2019

National Poetry Day, the UK-wide celebration of poetry, celebrates its 25th anniversary on 3 Oct: the theme is truth. Enjoy, discover & share!

I came across this tweet by Tony Walsh @LongfellaPoet about this event: Delighted to share this. Please watch/tag/share. It’s my poem Take This Pen, beautifully illustrated by the wonderful @chrisriddell50. It’s an inspiration piece to launch #tellyourtruthpoem for @PoetryDayUK.

Enjoy this powerful poem and video that is sure to inspire young and old alike to creatively express their own truth in a poem. Read more on this international superstar poet, teacher, and performer Tony Walsh Poet.

Very relevant is this poem, WHO ARE YOU? in the 2013 film, Words and Pictures, inviting students to create and become who they are.

Here’s one of my earliest poems about this magical creative process: Sometimes Poetry Happens: a poem about the mystery of creativity.

My son wrote this wise and amazing poem when he was 11 years old: INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin.

This post—The perils of praise or blame for young writers. New ways to help students find their own voice—is a treasure trove of knowledge and teaching strategies by poets, writers, and innovative educators.

Parents performing “I want to hold your hand” to their baby gives new meaning to this Beatles song

September 7, 2019

I saw this 30-second loop video on AMOK’s Twitter feed and fell in love. Look at the sweet, innocent, loving expression on this baby’s face as she listens attentively to her mother sing that famous Beatles song! I tracked down their 43-second YouTube video and discovered Us The Duo. Found their music and bio on Spotify, then their website, both posted below.

Published on Feb 13, 2019, Us The Duo‘s Michael and Carissa Alvarado sing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles to their new baby girl, Xyla Rose. Mom is holding baby girl and the camera, while dad plays the piano and holds Xyla’s hand. They say, “This video makes us so happy! We can’t wait to show it to her someday” 🙂 For more daily content of Us The Duo and their baby girl Xyla, check out their instagram @UsTheDuo!

When Michael & Carissa Alvarado met in 2012, they had no idea their romantic relationship would eventually turn into the pop-duo musical sensation known as Us The Duo. These two multi-instrumentalists and singers went from sharing half-faced singing videos on the internet to performing around the world, supporting speakers and artists such as Oprah Winfrey, Pentatonix, and Tori Kelly. Their love of songwriting has led to 5 original album releases, over 100 million Spotify streams and a major feature in the Golden Globe Nominated film, “The Book of Life.” When the band isn’t putting together innovative ad campaigns for brands such as Amazon, AT&T, Target, and MGM Resorts, they are continually creating music videos (over 200+ million views) for their loyal social media fanbase of over 7 million followers. Now, they’ve begun their biggest adventure yet with the arrival of their new baby girl, Xyla. For continual snapshots of their daily family life and musical creations, be sure to visit @UsTheDuo on social media. Visit their website: Us The Duo.

Followup: I’ve discovered more about this couple. Watch this video, Our Story – Us The Duo, how they met, fell in love, and started making music together. They also performed on America’s Got Talent. See their audition and performances: Best Of Us The Duo On Season 13 Of AGT – America’s Got Talent 2018. They had discussed wanting to have a family, and even announced their pregnancy: Us The Duo: Singing Couple ❤ Announces PREGNANCY On Judge Cuts | America’s Got Talent 2018, and would later perform during her pregnancy, prompting the judges to call them, Us The Trio! Earlier on, YouTube Music sent them a box and challenged them to write a new song with the stuff inside. See Band in a Box Challenge! – Us The Duo.

Related: Can you imagine a world without the Beatles? Watch the new film “Yesterday” to find out. And this: Lady Lullaby Sings Welcome Home to Love and Dance Like The Wind.

The David Lynch Foundation Is Helping Transform Veteran PTSD With Transcendental Meditation

September 5, 2019

Thanks to Cliff Sloan of Phil and Company for this amazing interview: The David Lynch Foundation Tackles Veteran PTSD with Meditation. This is one of the best discussions I’ve heard on the topic! Humane! Inspiring!

Cliff interviews David Lynch Foundation (DLF) CEO and New York Times best-selling author Bob Roth, and retired US Army Ranger and Boulder Crest Retreat (BCR) Executive Director Dusty Baxley on the power of Transcendental Meditation (TM) to transform the lives of veterans suffering with PTSD, suicide, and depression.

Bob explains the uniqueness of TM, how it differs from other categories of meditation, and the research behind it. The Foundation creates star-studded events to raise the funds necessary to teach this effective stress-reduction technique. DLF has made TM available to over 1 million at-risk students around the world, veterans with PTSD and their families, battered women, and other traumatized groups.

Dusty gives a dramatic firsthand account of how TM saved his life. After learning to meditate he could finally sleep and stopped self-medicating. He cleaned up his act, went to a veterans reunion, and learned of fellow veteran suicides and lost lives. (Suicides are now up 30%!) They saw a huge change in him and asked him what he was doing. He told them about TM and they asked him to teach them. He became a certified TM teacher and has been teaching veterans to meditate and reclaim their lives. TM is at the core of BCR’s veteran and first-responders program to develop Posttraumatic Growth.

Listen to this powerful, and sometimes humorous, enlightening podcast.

Related: Celebrities Russell Brand @rustyrockets, @CameronDiaz, @katyperry, and War Veterans Praise #TranscendentalMeditation | #TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD | Veterans who learn TM find relief from PTSD. New study shows symptoms had reduced by 80% to below the clinical level in one month | Norwich University, oldest private U.S. military college, benefits from Transcendental Meditation.

Maharishi on the nature of a settled, silent mind in the November 1993 Science of Mind interview

August 31, 2019

I remember reading this interview in Science of Mind magazine when it first came out over 25 years ago in the November 1993 issue, pages 32-38. Kathy Juline asked good questions, and Maharishi gave erudite answers. A UK TM website posted it, and this website. The blogger also listed the questions, which link to each answer, a convenient option. I added links and updated relevant information in parenthesis.

Settled Mind, Silent Mind

You developed Transcendental Meditation. What is it, exactly?
What are some of its practical benefits?
Can other kinds of meditation produce similar results?
What gives TM such great potential for positive change?
How is TM different from the various other forms of meditation?
Can you offer us more understanding of the “settled state”?
Being in the “settled state,” is equivalent to transcendence?
TM takes the mind from an active, “unsettled” state to the settled state?
What is the nature of transcendental consciousness?
Is the state of unbounded awareness maintained during the day?
How does a person learn to practice Transcendental Meditation?
When people begin to practice TM, does it involve a painful period?
If TM is a program for the mind, what is its relationship to the intellect?
What new applications are you currently exploring for TM?
What recent successes have you had in applying TM to achieve this goal?


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation Movement, after graduating from Allahabad University with a degree in physics, studied for thirteen years with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the world’s foremost exponent of the ancient Vedic Science of consciousness.

Then in 1955, after spending two years in silence in the Himalayas, Maharishi began teaching his Transcendental Meditation technique. In 1957 Maharishi founded the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and began the first of his many world tours to bring his technique to people on all continents. He has authored a number of books, including on the Bhagavad-Gita A New Translation and Commentary with Sanskrit Text, The Science of Being and Art of Living, and Love and God.

Science of Mind: Transcendental Meditation, which you developed, has enjoyed phenomenal international success. What is it, exactly?

Maharishi: Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural program for the mind, a spontaneous, effortless march of the mind to its own unbounded essence. Through Transcendental Meditation the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness. Unity Consciousness – a lively field of all potential, where every possibility is naturally available to the conscious mind. The conscious mind becomes aware of its own unbounded essence, its infinite potential. Transcendental Meditation provides a way for the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence – active and silent, point and infinity. It is not a set of beliefs, a philosophy, a lifestyle, or a religion. It’s an experience, a mental technique one practices every day for 15-20 minutes.

What are some of its practical benefits?

Scientific experiments with people who practice Transcendental Meditation indicate that it tends to produce normalization in all areas of life. It reduces stress, improves health, enriches mental functioning, enhances personal relationships, and increases job productivity and job satisfaction.

Can other kinds of meditation produce similar results?

They can, of course. However, one advantage of Transcendental Meditation is its extreme simplicity. It is very simple for anyone to learn. In addition, it has been the object of scientific research for over 30 years, and its beneficial effects are well-documented.

What gives Transcendental Meditation such great potential for positive change?

To answer that, we must look at the nature of creation itself. Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That’s why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree – leaves, branches, flowers, fruit – through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence – like the leaves and flowers of a tree – appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind – or performing mind – to quiet mind – or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence. The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all.

Can you offer us more understanding of the “settled state”? Why is it so important?

The settled state, as we know from physics, is the state of being from which nature’s intelligence functions and administers the whole universe. The settled state is where we find the principle of least action, through which natural law operates. It is important because it is the fundamental level of life.

And being in the “settled state,” or the state of least action, is equivalent to transcendence?

Yes. Transcendence is the state where the mind has moved beyond everything other than itself. That means it has transcended all kinds of activity, small and big, and it has settled down in its own authority, in its own sovereignty, into the unbounded dignity of its own intelligence. And in this state, Transcendental Consciousness turns out to be a lively field of all possibilities.

So, while the mind usually operates in an active, or “unsettled” state, Transcendental Meditation takes it to the settled state?

Exactly! To understand this process, we must ask: how does the mind work? What does it do? We know the mind is always subject to its own nature, which is to evolve. Evolution is the essential nature of existence. The mind is always searching for more and more and more – more knowledge, more happiness. The mind moves on, always toward more and more.

But the mind has two sides. One side is in the direction of diversity, in the direction of many, many. The other is in the direction of unity, the unified state. Gaining unity means rising to Transcendental Consciousness, the settled state, while gaining diversity means moving toward more and more activity. Unity is on one side, diversity is on the other side. Both sides belong to the nature of the mind.

The mind moves to diversity in search of more and more, and it moves in the direction of unity – a quiet state of unbounded awareness, unbounded consciousness, unbounded intelligence – in search of less and less. The move of the mind from its active state to its quiet state is part of nature. Its potential is unbounded, infinite; it enters the field of all possibilities. When the mind gains its unified state, that is Transcendental Meditation.

What is the nature of transcendental consciousness?

It is unity consciousness, an encounter with the field of unified consciousness. In Transcendental Consciousness, the mind experiences itself, intelligence experiences itself. The mind is the observer of its own reality. In that state, the mind is Transcendental Consciousness.

Just as the quiet surface of the ocean is the source from which all waves arise, so the self-fulfilled state of mind, which we call Transcendental Consciousness, is the unified field of natural law, from which all the different laws of nature emerge and conduct their specific activities in the relative world.

Is the state of unbounded awareness maintained during the day, even after the formal meditation period ends?

As a result of regular practice, it is maintained more and more, The situation is as though we were to take a white cloth and dip it in yellow dye. We bring the cloth out and put in the sun and the yellow fades away. Then we put it back again and again into the color and back again and again into the sun. It keeps on becoming yellow and yellow and yellow, then fading, fading, fading. But over time the color becomes permanent. That happens to the mind through regular practice. That unbounded awareness, that pure consciousness, the field of all the laws of nature, becomes ingrained in all activities of the mind. Then the mind begins to live in Unity Consciousness. That’s how Unity Consciousness becomes a living reality.

How does a person learn to practice Transcendental Meditation?

Through instruction. What happens is that the mind, in its active state, learns to experience its own less active states, experience its progressively minimized active states, until eventually it cognizes the transcendental state of consciousness.

But in learning to do this, we must remember that the mind has usually been allowed to wander around so long in the realm of knowledge or power or the pursuit of happiness that it must be taught how to know itself again. That’s why teaching becomes necessary. After learning Transcendental Meditation one knows what the natural state is. But to realize this, one has to be liberated from unnatural programs, performances and experiences.

Most people have no experience with Transcendental Consciousness, pure consciousness, the pure nature of the mind. They are aware of active mind, which is the waking state of consciousness. They are also aware of the complete forgetfulness of the mind, the sleep state, And they are aware of the middle stage, the dreaming mind. But they are not aware of pure or Transcendental Consciousness. So the experience of that consciousness is taught in Transcendental Meditation, though it’s nothing other that the very nature of the mind.

When people begin to practice Transcendental Meditation, do they experience purging or cleansing effects, when negative things come up? Does moving into the unified state of consciousness involve a painful period?

We think about the cloth again. When the cloth is very, very dirty, you begin to rinse it in soap. You rinse it once and then twice. But as it gets cleaner, soiled patches which didn’t seem to be there before begin to appear. However, if you keep on washing and washing, those patches start to fade away and fade away completely. Similarly, when old habits of stress and straining begin to be neutralized through Transcendental Meditation, a person may feel discomfort as other, more subtle habits of stress come up, but only because the natural state is returning and the stress is leaving, This is part of gaining normality and natural status.

For example, some people may say, “I don’t worry about things like I used to. Does this mean I am losing myself, my identity?” To them, this normalization of the mind feels strange, They have been behaving with boundaries, in space and time, and now they wake up to unbounded awareness. So there is often a feeling of difference and strangeness at first.

You say that Transcendental Meditation is a program for the mind. What is its relationship to the intellect?

Transcendental Meditation does not involve intellect. Transcendental Meditation is an experience of the mind, from the active levels to the unified level. It’s just an innocent experience of active mind and an innocent experience of settled mind, silent mind.

Through certain other meditation practices, however, particularly those in which the intellect seeks God through recalling the qualities or names or virtues of God, the intellect is stimulated and begins to thrive, It does so increasingly in the presence of God in the glory of God, in the dignity of God, in the grace of God, in the merciful nature of God. There may then come a point where intellect is in its natural state and comprehends the unbounded awareness of God, the merciful nature of God, the presence of God. The intellect, through pursuing God intellectually, can recognize its natural status as the mind wakes up to its unboundedness.

The intellect thus leads one to the settled state, a non-intellectual experience of pure being. The intellect can finally be enveloped by all the exalted qualities of God as it arrives at its natural state, the level of fundamental intelligence. That will be the same as Transcendental Consciousness, the union which recognizes the unbounded dignity of the light of God, the feeling of God, the experience of unboundedness, pure intelligence. But such is not the approach of Transcendental Meditation, which does not operate through the intellect.

What new applications are you currently exploring for Transcendental Meditation?

We are working in many directions – dealing with education, community planning, prison rehabilitation, and so on – but our primary focus is on promoting what we call “irreversible world peace.” We are seeking to establish several permanent groups of 7000 advanced Transcendental Meditators in various places around the planet. Their meditations will create a powerful coherent influence in the collective consciousness and neutralize built-up stress and tension in the world, creating an environment of progress and peace.

Our goal is to create Heaven on Earth, and we are taking practical steps to accomplish it.

What recent successes have you had in applying Transcendental Meditation to achieve this goal?

There have been many scientific studies validating the effectiveness of this program. Just now I could mention two recent demonstrations – one from the poorest country in the world and one from the richest.

For the last year, the president of Mozambique, His Excellency Joachim Alberto Chissano, has been organizing instruction in Transcendental Meditation for large numbers of his people. Recently, he credited their practice of this discipline with keeping the peace in Mozambique after many years of civil war. (See Psychology Today‘s article, Can Meditation Change the World? and my response to it.)

During June and July of 1993, in Washington DC, about 4,000 experts in Transcendental Meditation demonstrated the power of this technology to eliminate stress and create more coherence and harmony throughout a society. Scientists now report preliminary statistics from the Washington police showing 13% drop in total violent crime during the demonstration compared to the same period in 1992. New reports show that President Clinton and Congress enjoyed much greater success and appreciation during the demonstration than either before or after it. (It actually turned out to be a drop of 24%. See Noetic Science’s Shift article, The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin, and the Global Union of Scientists for Peace for the latest developments.)

We feel very fulfilled by these results, and wish to invite every government to establish a coherence-creating group in its capital city. This step will ensure that every government has a neat, clean, pure atmosphere in which to make decisions.

This interview with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is from Science of Mind Journal, Vol. 66 No. 11, Nov. 1993, pages 32-38. Science of Mind Journal is published by the Church of Religious Science, 3251 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

Note: I like this self-referral nature of the mind when it transcends during TM: “The mind is the observer of its own reality. In that state, the mind is Transcendental Consciousness.” It contrasts with a quote from the November 1990 Life Magazine article, when the mind is object-referral: “The sight occupies the seer, transforms seer into sight.” I combined both notions in my poem, Seeing Is Being. Maharishi also gave a clear explanation of this difference in perception, of bondage and liberation, in the June 1968 CBC documentary, Maharishi at Lake Louise. You can see more posts about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on this blog.

Update: On August 30, 2019, India PM Narendra Modi unveiled a commemorative stamp of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Click here to see 3 photos on Twitter, and here to see the photo and description on Instagram. Below is a scan of it.

A powerful message in a Shadow and Light poem

August 31, 2019

Here is another beautiful blog post by westcoastwoman. I had liked and posted an earlier one, Afterglow. She said this photo became the muse for the poem. It was a happy accident. In our discussion she “tried to photograph this totem at daybreak and twilight and finally in frustration a full on ‘throw away’ sun-in-the-lens shot. This is the one that stuck for me. Shadow and Light ….. loved it.” Yes, it is stunning, and the short, succinct poem it inspired delivers a powerful message!

Shadow and Light

August 30, 2019

©westcoastwoman “hollyhock”

Don’t look…..
into the Light
Don’t shoot…..
into the Light

Rules…

Light exposes shadow,
Shadow, Light.

Rules…

Meant to be broken
Light without Shadow
Half Life
Half Love
Half Question

Unlived, Unloved, Unspoken.

©westcoastwoman 2019


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