Archive for March, 2010

Results of growing vegetables in low heat or unheated greenhouses in Iowa during the winter

March 31, 2010

Iowa State University Extension and Maharishi University of Management Presentations

April 10th High Tunnel/Low Heat Greenhouse Workshop planned for Fairfield

On Saturday, April 10, from 1 to 3 pm, there will be a free high tunnel/low heat greenhouse workshop at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) Organic Farms greenhouse, 2075 140th St. in Jefferson County, Iowa, about 6 miles north of Fairfield. The main presenters will be Linda Naeve, Iowa State University (ISU) and Steve McLaskey, Maharishi University of Management. The workshop is sponsored by MUM, ISU, and the Leopold Center.

Linda will talk about her experience with high tunnel site selection, types, and construction.

Steve will talk about his research project funded by a Leopold Center grant to test the feasibility of growing vegetables in a large unheated greenhouse in the winter in Iowa. He is comparing growth and yield of several vegetables in the unheated one acre greenhouse with an unheated 30 foot by 96 foot unheated hoop house greenhouse, and a 30 by 96 foot greenhouse heated just enough to keep it from freezing. In each of the unheated greenhouses he is comparing the following row cover treatments:

1. Beds continuously covered with poly.
2. Beds covered with poly at night and uncovered during the day.
3. Beds continuously covered with row cover fabric.
4. Beds covered with row cover at night and uncovered during the day.
5 Uncovered beds.
6. In the one acre greenhouse he also has beds covered with a heavier fabric at night and uncovered during the day.

At the field day Steve will present the results from this winter. This will include minimum and maximum air and soil temperatures in all treatments, yield of 3 crops in each treatment, and observations on crop growth, crop damage from cold, and performance of different varieties of vegetables in an unheated greenhouse. He will also share what he has learned about labor requirements and techniques for removing and replacing row covers in a one acre greenhouse.

To get to the workshop from Fairfield, drive north on Highway 1 about 6 miles, turn left on 140th St. It is the first driveway on the right. From the north, drive south on Highway 1 five miles south of the intersection with Highway 78. Turn right on 140th St, and right at the first driveway.

Any questions can be directed to Steve McLaskey, Director, M.U.M. Organic Farm Greenhouse: 641-472-3233 or Office: 641-472-7000 x3307.

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The friendliness of Canadians, Canadian Patriotism, Vancouver as a destination, and the quality of the Olympic Games

March 28, 2010

THE FRIENDLINESS OF CANADIANS

“Thank you, Canada. For being such good hosts. For your unfailing courtesy. For reminding some of us we used to be a more civilized society. Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.” – Brian Williams, NBC News

“Along the way, there was plenty to like in Vancouver, if not always the weather. The people were generous and spirited, the volunteers cheery. Once, I saw a guy fail to smile; I think he was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor.” – Boston.com

“Before the closing ceremony begins, let me just take the time to thank the people of Vancouver for a wonderful 19 days. The people here couldn’t be nicer, from the volunteers who make sure the buses run on time, to the citizens walking the streets, to the athletes and people from around the world who were here.” – The LA Times

“The Olympics went into overtime Sunday. It was perfect. No one wanted the Warmest Games to end. Warmest weather. Warmest hosts.” – The Miami Herald

“Make no mistake, Canada’s people were the stars of these Games. They jammed the streets of Vancouver, cheered the most obscure sports as long as a Canadian was competing and all but drowned themselves in a sea of red. These are not folks normally given to outbursts of patriotism, but they found their voice here.” – Chicago Sun Times

“Why can’t we be more like Canada? They host the Olympics like they mean it. They smile . and they have the Canadian Mounties. But most of all what they have is a kick-ass national anthem, a tune that says everything about who they are – and about what we, as Americans, are not.” – The Huffington Post

“Graciousness is their default mode here. For the last two weeks, beaming has been a way of life. In a nod to the local vernacular, let me just say this is the nicest city I’ve ever been in.” – The Los Angeles Times

“No question the biggest winners of the 2010 Winter Olympics were the Canadian people, who were unfailingly polite, passionately patriotic, and self-deprecating enough to poke fun at themselves in the Closing Ceremonies.” – The Miami Herald.com

CANADIAN PATRIOTISM

“For Canada, I’d call it a ‘coming of age’ moment. The country, all 35 million of us, were able to bare our patriotic souls in an outburst of unbridled patriotism not seen before.” – The Toronto Star

“…the Games are a remarkable success. Millions of us are watching, and Vancouver is a giant block party. We know Canada is a small country in a big world, and most of us seem thrilled with what our athletes have achieved. Per capita, our medal count is second only to Norway’s.” – The Globe & Mail

“Canadians used to think of themselves as being quiet, modest and unassertive. No longer. After their athletes topped the medals table with 14 golds at the winter Olympic games, some 100,000 flag-waving locals took to the streets of Vancouver and the nearby ski resort of Whistler, deliriously singing the national anthem.” – The Economist

“This quiet city with such beautiful scenery made all of Canada proud. In a nightly transformation, as many as 150,000 people flooded the closed-off downtown streets to savor the Olympic experience. Mostly mild instead of wild, the crowds whooped, hollered, danced and shouted ‘Go Canada Go!’ well into the morning.” – The Houston Chronicle

“The bright-eyed exuberance can be a little overwhelming to someone who has spent many years absorbing cynicism in the Middle East, but the sheer earnestness helps temper what could elsewhere be an aggressive nationalism. Instead, it seems a pure expression of civic boosterism, no more, no less.” – The Jerusalem Post

VANCOUVER AS A DESTINATION

“You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well.Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.” – The New York Times

“You may have heard that Vancouver is a great city, but it’s better than that. On a good weather day – and we had a spectacular five-day run in the middle of the Games – it is stunningly beautiful, and it is an excellent eating, drinking and shopping city.” – The Boston Globe

“Vancouver looked gorgeous on TV . NBC’s shots of Vancouver’s downtown and waterfront, and aerial views of Whistler ski areas, provided a media boost no marketing campaign could have delivered.” – The Seattle Times

“Vancouver is a city unlike any other. Wherever I look, I see water or mountains — or both. And everyone looks so healthy.” – The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“A remarkable environment. The license plates read ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ for a reason. The Sea-to-Sky Highway carries travelers on a jaw-dropping journey from the serenity of Vancouver’s waterfront to the majesty of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.” – The Buffalo News

“In winter, the heart of downtown [Vancouver] is 30 minutes from the ski slopes. In summer, sun seekers crowd its beaches and seaside promenades. And despite a rain-prone climate, it displays a perpetually sunny disposition. Consider it the supermodel of North American cities.” – USA Today

“Vancouver is one of North America’s most under-rated tourist destinations. It is a modern, travel-friendly city with a unique mix of cultures. The relatively mild Pacific Northwest climate and an energetic restaurant and nightlife scene are other features that make this such an attractive city.” – LowFares.com

“[Visitors] will find the streets of Vancouver, a city of 2 million, so spotless they’ll think Mr. Clean is the mayor.” – The Miami Herald

“By the end of the 17 days that featured unseasonably warm temperatures and more than a week of brilliant sunshine, the cherry blossoms were blooming and a few fans had been spotted wearing shorts in the street while raucously celebrating Team Canada’s dramatic overtime victory over the Americans in the hockey final.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

“Olympics visitors have become a travel marketer’s dream as they bask in the Vancouver sun, flock to competitions and pour into downtown venues. The throngs of Games guests are magnets that should pull even more tourists to B.C. in the coming months and years.” – The Montreal Gazette

“The city of Vancouver and the ski village of Whistler are terrific hosts for these Olympic Games. The air is clean, the public transit is scarily efficient, and the harbors, with snowcapped mountains for a backdrop, are picturesque. Whistler, two hours to the north and home to the skiing, sliding and Nordic events, is a winter wonderland.” – Time

QUALITY OF THE GAMES EXPERIENCE

“These were the best Winter Games ever.” – Salon.com

“The venues here and the streets of Vancouver and Whistler are joyful places to be.” – The Times London (UK)

“So there was no shortage of Olympic spirit in BC and Vancouver became an amazing party town day and night.” – Inside the Games

“.you can’t stage a better Olympics. The city is beautiful. The venues are modern. The transportation is efficient. But this wasn’t about logistics. In the end, it’s the people that power the movement. The Canadian people pushed these games back from the brink of disaster and right off into history.” – Yahoo.com

“The stadiums are full, the seats are full of passionate fans, the streets are busy and there’s a lot going on . Whether it is ice hockey, curling or speedskating, I haven’t seen an empty seat in the house.” – The Guardian

“The sporting venues were built on time and on budget. A new subway line links the airport to the city centre. The athlete’s village, with a view over one of Vancouver’s many picturesque waterways, sets high standards in energy-efficient construction.” – The Financial Times

“Top that if you can. Amid the tragedy, the medals race and the hockey frenzy, the Vancouver Olympics will be remembered above all for the fervor and ebullience of its Canadian hosts.” – The Associated Press

“What Vancouver did show London was how to stage a Games to be enjoyed by everyone, from athletes to spectators to the general public, who embraced the Olympics with hands uniformly clad in red Olympic mittens.” – Reuters

“There comes a time to tip your toque, and our good friends in Canada deserve our respect for hosting, and excelling in, a memorable Winter Olympics.” – Philly.com

“Known better for their hospitality than their military, Canada mustered a small army of volunteers to pull off these Olympic Games with unfailing patience and cheerfulness.” – The Christian Science Monitor

“In the end, these games became a testament to the resilience of both the Canadian and the Olympic spirit.” – The Australian

“The people of Vancouver embraced their Games as no other citizenry has in recent memory, not even Sydney. They packed the stadiums, thronged in the streets, made the cauldron their mecca.” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“But the Games recovered in a spirited, determined and optimistic fashion, and most of the operation visible to me has been difficult to fault. London faces a big challenge to generate the same level of enthusiasm for the Games.” – BBC

“Seoul’s citizens were wonderfully fanatical in 1988 and Sydneysiders were pretty hyped up in 2000 but the Vancouverites who teemed downtown in their maple leafed garb have surely now set the standard for Londoners for 2012.” – The Daily London Telegraph

“And overall, for athletes, fans, the media and the host nation especially, the Games were a triumph.” – The Independent

“Bottle that Vancouver enthusiasm and London 2012 will really hit the spot. The London Olympics can take their cue from Vancouver, its organizers and its volunteers.” – The Guardian

“I think it’s always obvious at the end of any of these global spectacles whether a particular event was a success, or fell short of the mark. I have no doubt that history will recall these Olympic Winter Games falling into the former category.” – The Daily Mail

VIEW FROM THE TOP

“The Games, suggested Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday, have elevated Canada on the world stage. ‘Mark my words, some day historians will look back at Canada’s growing strength in the 21st century and they will say that it all began right here, on the West Coast, with the best Winter Olympic Games the world has ever seen.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, CBC.ca

“Most importantly, the Olympics have provided a chance for international investors to get to know us and explore business opportunities.” – BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Forbes

“We hosted the biggest event in our country’s history and it was a huge success.’ The mayor also took time to praise everyone involved in the Games, from the athletes to visitors, the police and finally, residents, for their consideration, co-operation and kindness. ‘The people of Vancouver made the whole country proud.” – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, The Province

“Furlong, in Sunday’s touching farewell speech, may have said it best: ‘I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. If the Canada that came together on opening night was a little mysterious to some, it no longer is. Now you know us, eh.” – VANOC Chief John Furlong, The Vancouver Sun

“Expo 67 was a moment of coming of age for Canada,” said Michele McKenzie, president of the [Canadian Tourism] commission. “One of the things it did in young people was inspire interest in our country. What this Olympics has done is expose younger generations to what Canada is as a country. . . . I think the world has a much deeper understanding of the country after this. It’s magic.” – CTC President Michele McKenzie, The Vancouver Sun

“US Vice-President Joe Biden complimented Canadians Saturday on what he called an ‘incredible’ Olympic opening ceremony. ‘You guys put on one heck of a show,’ Biden said Saturday afternoon, speaking briefly with reporters. ‘Last night was incredible, absolutely incredible,’ he added.” – US Vice-President Joe Biden, Canada.com

Give TM a chance to prevent more wars

March 28, 2010

News from southeastern Connecticut | Click here for photos of Maharishi, and with The Beatles, in Bangor, Wales, August 24+26, 1967.


Article published Mar 28, 2010

All these ex-military dudes are saying is give TM a chance

By RAYMOND E. SEEBALD and DAVID R. LEFFLER

Wars start in the minds of men, and cycles of conflict ensue. So, too, can wars be prevented in the minds of men, but not always in the conventional way one might think. A new technology of defense has now emerged from a most unexpected quarter and has scientifically shown itself to have intriguing potential to prevent war and create peace.

Here’s the background: The underlying cause of war is accumulated social stress. Stress builds up. Differences arise. Groups take sides. Mediation fails to resolve the differences. Enemies form and arm.

Military organizations theoretically provide a deterrent to conflict, but when social division and enemies directly challenge the execution of national policy, military force can be activated and deployed to protect the nation. Armed conflict follows, with unpredictable outcomes. Even if conflict temporarily solves the problem for the winner, the underlying social stress is increased, fueling more violence and more terrorists.

No stress, no tension

In contrast, the absence of collective stress translates into the absence of tension between competing sides, thereby reducing the probability of hostilities.

Today, an opportunity exists to overcome this cycle of conflict by deploying a scientifically verified technology of defense that neutralizes social stress.

This technology operates on the most fundamental and powerful level of human consciousness, and is accessed and harnessed through a surprising and most unconventional channel-meditation.

In more than 50 studies published in scientific journals, Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been documented to powerfully reduce violence and criminal activity and even to calm open warfare.

Here’s how we believe it works: Just as radio or TV transmitters beam signals through an unseen electromagnetic field, groups of meditating people can generate a strong wave of coherence and positivity through an underlying field of collective consciousness. Stress and tension diminish. The larger the group, the greater the effect.

Specifically, the studies demonstrate that when the required threshold of meditators is crossed – approximately the square root of 1 percent of a given population – crime goes down, quality of life indices go up, and war and terrorism abate. Scientists have named this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect, after the founder of Transcendental Meditation, the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who envisioned this possibility for creating global harmony.

In 1993, a two-month Maharishi Effect experiment was implemented in Washington, D.C. The findings published in Social Indicators Research showed that crime fell 24 percent when the peace-creating group reached its maximum size.

A decade before, during fighting in the Middle East, large assemblies of meditators repeatedly caused battlefield casualties to drop dramatically. A global-scale study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation documented a 72 percent drop in international terrorism.

Our armed forces are responsible for defending the country. We suggest they consider adding an unconventional force – a consciousness corps, so to speak – to enhance their mission. Create a coherence-creating group of meditating soldiers exceeding the square root of 1 percent of the population of the United States. It would only take approximately 1,750 personnel.

Really not far-fetched

Admittedly, the idea of fighting terrorism with meditation sounds far-fetched. But the idea of an Internet would have seemed crazy, too, just a generation ago. Now, we communicate across oceans and access a universe of information simply by typing into some invisible field.

At one time, meditation was considered “mystical.” Now, doctors prescribe it and even the government funds research on the health effects of meditation. That’s because hundreds of studies show it effectively reduces individual stress and improves health. Why not put it to the test to improve global health?

As part of its responsibility to protect the nation, the U.S. military is obligated to thoroughly examine scientifically proven methods for preventing war and terrorism. All that is necessary is to provide the proper training for a group of military personnel or indeed, any large group within the country.

With all the conventional methods we utilize to protect life, liberty, and freedom, we should also be open to trying new, creative ideas, no matter how unconventional they seem.

Retired Coast Guard Capt. Raymond E. Seebald was a military aide to presidents Ronald W. Reagan and George H.W. Bush from 1986-1990. As captain of the Port in Chicago he developed post 9/11 security standards for U.S. ports. He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1977. David R. Leffler is an Air Force veteran and executive director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). He served eight years in the U.S. Air Force.

The authors served as associates of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College.

“Heyam Dukham Anagatam” — Avert the danger that has not yet come

March 20, 2010
Click here for India News from Daily India

How transcendental meditation can prevent war and terrorism

From ANI

Washington, March 20: A new research paper has pointed how militaries worldwide could use the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, founded by Indian spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as a non-religious and scientifically verified way to prevent war and terrorism.

When used in a military context, these meditation practices are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT).

The research paper describes the concept of a “Prevention Wing of the Military,” a group of military personnel that practices the advanced TM-Sidhi program twice daily as a group.

A group that reaches a critical threshold in size has been scientifically shown to reduce collective societal stress.

The paper hypothesizes that war, terrorism, and crime are caused by collective societal stress.

The absence of collective stress translates into the absence of tension between countries, between religious groups, or even within individual terrorists.

The paper proposes that, by applying this non-lethal and non-destructive technology, any military can reduce societal stress and prevent enemies from arising.

If IDT prevents the emergence of enemies, the military has no one to fight, so the nation becomes invincible.

Over 50 scientific studies have found that when 1percent of a given population practices Transcendental Meditation, or when sufficiently large groups practice the TM-Sidhi program together twice daily, measurable positive changes take place throughout society as a whole.

The studies show decreased violence, crime, car accidents, and suicides, and improved quality of life in society.

The paper reviews IDT research, such as a study published in the Yale University-edited Journal of Conflict Resolution showing that an intervention by a civilian group in Israel resulted in a 76 percent reduction in war deaths in neighboring Lebanon.

Seven subsequent, consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war found that war-related fatalities decreased by 71 percent, war-related injuries fell by 68 percent, the level of conflict dropped by 48 percent, and cooperation among antagonists increased by 66 percent.

A follow-up study published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality found that the likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one in a quintillion.

A global-scale study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation documented a 72 percent drop in international terrorism when IDT groups were large enough to affect the global population.

According to David R. Leffler, the research paper’s author, “This new approach, derived from the ancient Vedic tradition of India, is supported by over 50 scientific studies. IDT can create victory before war, and can assist in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.”

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com

I used the photo of Maharishi from a similar article on IndiaTalkies website posted by Nitesh on Mar 20th, 2010 and filed under Science / Technology.

TM brings relief to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

March 19, 2010

Medill on the Hill reporters are undergraduate students in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. They serve as mobile journalists, filing quick updates on news events around Washington, especially from Capitol Hill; as enterprise reporters finding original stories; and as Web producers and reporters. They are covering Washington and posting stories to Medill on the Hill aimed at a young audience to report on how and why what happens in Washington matters to 18- to 24-year-olds. The students’ work is supervised by Medill Associate Professors Mary Coffman and Matt Mansfield, who are based in the school’s Washington program.

The war within: Overcoming trauma, veterans find strength in meditation and yoga

by Samantha Michaels

Mar 05, 2010

WASHINGTON — When David George finished his military tour in Iraq a few years ago, he departed a war zone and returned home to Brookeville, Md.

Physically removed from the battlegrounds, however, his body hadn’t yet shaken the battle.

“One day I was standing in line at a [store] and I smelled burning rubber,” he said. “All of a sudden my brain turned on a switch: I started sweating, my heart started pounding, hyper vigilance kicked in. Everything went into war mode, just standing in line trying to buy chips and soda.”

Like a growing number of veterans, this 26-year-old infantryman was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a severe anxiety condition which results from trauma. Estimated to afflict more than 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, PTSD is often treated with counseling and medication.

But in George’s case, salvation came with meditation, not medication.

“With meditation, I had a break from the anxiety attack that had become my life,” he said.

In January, the Department of Defense announced it would allocate $1 billion of its 2011 budget to research and care for traumatic brain injuries like PTSD. As the number of PTSD cases skyrockets and the military devotes more funds to treating them, George’s story provides a glimpse into the promise of alternative therapies like meditation and yoga.

“Even if we’re army strong, we’re still human,” said Sue Lynch, executive director of There and Back Again, a non-profit organization that uses yoga, meditation and a number of other therapies to promote wellness among servicemen. “We have emotions which are going to come out somehow, so why not learn tools to shift recovery into a positive experience of self-care?”

Invisible Wounds: Military Veterans and Mental Health

Since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, mental health has been a growing concern for the military. Between 2001 and 2007, one in seven combat veterans sought help for mental illness, and according to VA records, about half of these cases involved PTSD. One in five patients seen last year in VA’s health care facilities had a mental health diagnosis.

Experts believe the prevalence of PTSD may be even greater, because VA records exclude a number of patients, including veterans treated at storefront VA Centers, active-duty soldiers, and veterans who have not sought treatment.

PTSD can manifest as nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, anger, depression or hyper vigilance. Attempting to deal with these symptoms, many veterans withdraw from friends and family.

“In order to do the things we did over there, and to live with the things we saw, you’ve got to be angry,” said George, one of 47 soldiers injured during a car bombing in Iraq. “It’s a disgusting feeling that’s part of war culture, and only war culture. When you come home you’re told to forget about it, because you can’t act or feel that way. You try to detach that anger from yourself, though it’s a part of you and your brain.”

Soldiers undergo physical training before deployment, but they often lack emotional tools to cope with trauma.

“When things break down it’s along other axis as well—emotional and spiritual dimensions,” said Colonel Brian M. Rees, a medical corps command surgeon who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yoga: Reintegrating mind with body

To overcome the breakdown, some veterans use yoga.

“In combat there’s trauma and you feel helpless, and then you go to the VA and you’re on medication and you feel helpless,” said Lynch, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “Yoga gives control to the vets, allowing them to take charge.”

During war, a soldier’s mind may go blank to avoid stress—a survival mechanism which often lingers with negative consequences after conflict.

“Victims of trauma carry a brokenness, a division of mind and body that needs to be reintegrated,” said David Alan Harris, an award-winning therapist who worked with former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.

The term “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means “to unite” or “to integrate.” Often incorporating exercise, breathing and meditation, it promotes balance.

“Body-based techniques help PTSD patients self-sooth,” said Rebecca Milliken, a licensed counselor and dance movement therapist who has worked with prison inmates. “They identify parts of their bodies that feel safe and relaxed, so when a flashback comes, they can go to a safe place in their minds.”

For Eric Fretz, a Navy veteran who served three deployments off the Persian Gulf, yoga helped relieve severe stress and depression.

“I’d be out running and thinking about stuff, and I’d start crying, and I couldn’t stop,” he said. “That’s off-putting for somebody who’s never had an issue of emotional control…Yoga became a life vest, and I was clinging to it.”

At some VA medical centers, veterans take classes in Yoga Nidra, an ancient practice that resembles guided meditation. The technique uses relaxation and breathing exercises to deconstruct the thoughts and emotions which trigger PTSD.

Yoga classes provide group support for veterans who have withdrawn from family and friends.

“The kind of camaraderie that exists in a VA hospital among veterans would be a great resource to draw on in building the trust that’s necessary for exploration through movement,” said Harris.

Still, yoga instructors face a challenge: some soldiers are skeptical of the practice.

“There’s a soldier culture of manliness that isn’t a perfect fit for yoga,” said Fretz, who added that the poses can ultimately leave “even the toughest guys whimpering.”

Transcendental Meditation: Targeting the Mind

A number of military physicians also believe meditation can help veterans recover from PTSD. Some experts say Transcendental Meditation (TM) is particularly beneficial.

Practiced twice daily for 15 minutes, TM is a self-awareness technique of Indian origin. Sitting with eyes closed, participants enter a state of restful awareness. The physical effects are helpful for PTSD patients who operate under heightened stress levels.

“Severe stress can shut down the prefrontal cortex, which is like the commander-in-chief of the brain,” said Dr. Sarina Grosswald, the executive director of PTSD and stress-related disorders for the David Lynch Foundation. “TM rebalances the brain chemistry.”

During TM, the body reaches a level of rest equivalent to deep sleep—undergoing a reduction in heart rate, breath rate and blood flow to the limbs. At the same time, blood flow to the brain increases, reactivating the prefrontal cortex and improving communication with other areas of the brain.

“TM creates the brain waves associated with settled-ness,” said Grosswald. “As you experience it over and over, these brain connections get stronger, and the connections related to trauma begin to fade away.”

Dissatisfied with his medication, George relieved pain with drugs and alcohol before discovering TM. With meditation, he reconnected with himself.

“Practicing TM was like being in the zone—like when you’re ready to kiss somebody, you both know it’s right and a spark flies in your chest,” he said. “Except it was something I triggered within myself, something I did to myself. Within the first month I realized I was an individual that I’d been ignoring.”

Despite success stories, experts face obstacles as they promote TM on a greater scale. Rees has led scientific studies to gain support, but he said people don’t always recognize TM’s distinctive benefits.

“There is a lack of differentiation between TM and other meditative techniques,” he said.

Still, he continues to recommend TM to military patients.

“We should be exploring TM,” he said. “It’s a stone that has remained unturned.”

Investing in mental armor

Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Eric Shinseki called PTSD treatment “central to the VA’s mission” when the White House announced a proposed $125 billion budget for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in February. Spending requests allocate $5.2 billion for mental health, an 8.5 percent increase in current spending.

The military is examining alternative PTSD therapies, but meditation and yoga advocates say they should do more.

“It’d be great if yoga could be part of our out-briefing,” said Fretz. “In general, the resources for returning veterans could be allocated better.”

A combination of medicines, psychotherapy and mind-body approaches may be most effective.

“We have suffered from an either-or approach that’s very western,” said Rosa E. Garcia-Peltoniemi, a clinical psychologist at The Center for Victims of Torture. “We say it’s either the body or the mind, but in actuality, it’s both.”

Therapists suggest that yoga and meditation can be preventative measures, not simply therapies.

According to Grosswald, the military takes an academic approach to stress reduction, requiring soldiers to complete stress management courses before deployment. If soldiers were equipped with meditation and yoga, they might be less likely to develop PTSD during combat.

“You can teach somebody something from a book, but a lot of that goes out the window when trauma happens,” she said. “With TM, you’re training the brain so the threshold for stress is different… Soldiers could come back to a baseline quicker, responding in a clearer way.”

However, meditation and yoga classes require trained instructors, which may be in short supply. Fretz said he had access to two yoga instructors in Iraq, but most soldiers are not so lucky.

“If the instructors leave, then the yoga stops,” he said.

Although the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has hired 6,000 new mental health professionals since 2005, raising the number to 19,000, experts say more therapists are needed. A person learns TM through one-on-one instruction with a trained practitioner, which can be expensive.

Still, advocates say it is ultimately cost-effective.

“Health care costs and professional resources can be saved because people wouldn’t spend years going through health counseling in VA medical centers,” said Grosswald.

For George, the investment in meditation has been worth it. TM relieved his PTSD symptoms, but it also led to less expected improvements. After learning the technique, he became a faster typist and a better drummer. Dyslexic since childhood, he noticed that reading was more pleasurable. He stopped drinking and began to prioritize himself.

“I really do treat myself like my best friend now,” he said. “Medications took away the symptoms, but they didn’t leave me the same. TM has left me better.

Great Donovan interview on The Huffington Post

March 19, 2010

Mike Ragogna: From Atlantis to Los Angeles’ El Rey: A Conversation with Donovan

Military Application of Transcendental Meditation Gaining Acceptance

March 18, 2010

Paper on Invincible Defense Technology published in peer-reviewed Pakistani journal

The Journal of Management & Social Science published a paper titled “A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising – Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace,” indicating that the military application of the Transcendental Meditation technique has merit. The paper discusses how militaries worldwide could use the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® program, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as a non-religious and scientifically verified way to prevent war and terrorism.

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Paul McCartney and Nancy show up to see James play, and surprise the small Brighton club audience

March 18, 2010

BRIGHTON NEWS Proud Sir Paul cheers on Macca Jnr

3:34pm Thursday 11th March 2010

By Jackie Stevens

Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Nancy dropped into a dingy basement venue in Brighton to watch his son James play to a crowd of 70 punters this week.

For a performer used to playing 50,000-seater stadiums, Brighton’s Audio must have taken Paul McCartney back some 50 years to the earliest beginnings of his career.

But if he found the venue for one of his 32-year-old son’s first public gigs humble, he wasn’t giving it away, as he was every inch the proud father, dancing, cheering and capturing every moment on a small hand-held video camera as James played a storming rock concert.

Sir Paul and Nancy Shevell, who’d arrived straight from a Paris fashion show looking like a rock chick, knew every word of every song as James alternated blistering rock tunes, like New York Times, with delicate acoustic numbers and some stunning piano performances, including the haunting Spirit Guide.

Paul and Nancy sang along – even as James shrieked his way through the expletive-ridden Glisten – dancing about in the corner by the cigarette machine, whistling and whooping, even heckling after some songs.

While James, backed by a three-piece band, gave an impressive vocal performance, at times sweet and beautiful, at others reaching high notes that might defy his tenor father; between songs he merely muttered their titles and barely smiled throughout the tight 50 minute set.

Paul, however, gave him a lesson in showmanship just making the trip across the empty dance floor to the bar.

Passing by the stage, balancing three pint-glasses of soda water in his hands, Macca Senior called to his son, “Hello James, how are you?” James, preparing for his next song, ignored him in a‘yeah, dad,’ embarrassed-teenager kind of way.

But while playing, James often looked across to his father and dedicated two songs to him. The second, “I Love You Dad,” which James played on a mandolin, was the only one Paul didn’t sing along to – though Nancy did, enthusiastically.

After he’d sung the final, “I love you Dad, more than you can know.” Paul called out, “I love you too.”

James finished with Angel – not a Robbie Williams cover but a catchy melodic song which seems to refer to his mum, Linda, who died in 1999 when he was only 20.

It’s become a favourite with his ever-growing Facebook fanclub – and will probably be his first hit once he has taken his pick of the major record labels, including Warner, EMI and Universal, who are keen to sign him up and release the album that has been 10 years in the making.

As soon as the last chord faded, James scurried off, leaving the crowd cheering and demanding an encore.

“Just one more!” someone said. “Two more!” shouted Paul McCartney, but James did not reappear.

After the concert James and Paul mingled with the audience, posing for photos.

James, who seemed fazed by the surge of the crowd wanting autographs, commented that it was the first time his father had seen him play in public. “It’s been great – very special.”

Asked why there was no encore, he said, “We didn’t have any more to play; we need more tunes.”

James has another seven gigs to play on his 14 day UK tour, which is his first worldwide.

Asked why he’s kept it so low-key, with barely any promotion, he said, “We just need to perfect it first.”

Coming from someone who had just proved himself an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and impressive vocalist, one wonders what standards he is setting himself.

Paul and Nancy, unaccompanied by any security, exited by the front door and, before jumping into his car, Paul happily waved to surprised passers-by on Brighton seafront, before heading back to Peasmarsh.

© Copyright 2001-2010 Newsquest Media Group

PS: There is another fine article on James published in the Daily Record: James McCartney: I was in the womb when dad sang Mull of Kintyre.. now I want musical career of my own

The close-up photo of Paul and James McCartney was taken from The Sun.

Also see Audience Goes Wild for James McCartney | Paul McCartney’s son says he’s ready to follow in dad’s footsteps | McCartney wins over Fairfield audience in U.S. debut concert | James McCartney Performs on GDLA | James McCartney sings Angel on David Letterman.

I discovered some surprising connections between Nancy Shevell, Paul McCartney’s new wife, and his first wife, Linda McCartney, and Barbara Walters. See Who Is Nancy Shevell, Paul McCartney’s New Wife?

Donovan GDLA and Off-Ramp Interviews

March 15, 2010

Donovan and Astrella on GDLA

Monday, 15 Mar 2010, 11:40 AM PDT

Los Angeles – Legendary singer Donovan was one of the few artists to collaborate on songs with Beatles and he has played with folk greats Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and has even played with rock legends the Rolling Stones.

Donovan and daughter Astrella visit by “Good Day LA” to talk about a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation.

Donovan will be joined by his daughter Astrella Celeste to headline a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation on Friday, March 19 at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.

For more info on the concert log onto:  www.donovan.ie/en/


Off-Ramp Special Podcast – Donovan in Concert

Monday, March 8, 2010.

They gave us the keys to the podcast, so now we can send out special editions when we’ve got great stuff to share … like 60s icon Donovan and his guitar in studio. This is the full version of the piece we’ll run this weekend on the broadcast edition of Off-Ramp.              Download

Donovan Live at the Mohn Broadcast Center

Donovan is headlining a concert at the El Rey Theatre March 19th to benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which works to teach at-risk schoolkids to meditate. Donovan learned how to meditate with the Beatles and the Maharishi back in the 1960s. In our Off-Ramp interview, Donovan talks about the old days, reducing students’ stress and reliance on ADHD drugs, and the benefits and drawbacks of fame. He also sings three of his favorites. (COME INSIDE for info on the concert, a link to Lynch’s foundation, and to see who is taller — Donovan or Off-Ramp host John Rabe.)

1 comment

Gary Kaplan
5 days, 19 hours ago

Sublime! Donovan is our hero. What a great service he is doing for mankind.

Donovan & Friends Perform Benefit Concert for David Lynch Foundation

March 15, 2010

Donovan headlines benefit concert on March 19

Proceeds to benefit Transcendental Meditation program

Legendary folk-rock-pop troubadour Donovan, known for hits such as “Mellow Yellow,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and more, will headline a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation on Friday, March 19 at the El Rey Theater.

Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $110 for VIP seating and a meet and greet with Donovan after the show, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

“The Beatles and I brought back from India the lost art of meditation,” Donovan said. “Now, with David Lynch, we pass it on to thousands of students worldwide. Join us to help save the world.”

He will be joined by his daughter Astrella Celeste and backing band Jerry Vivino, Scott Healy and Mike Merritt from the Conan O’Brien late night band, Danny Saber on guitar with special guests Jack Maness from Sublime, The Global Sound Lodge featuring Lanny Cordola and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and The Cult, Amrita Sen and more.

Matthew St. Patrick, from Six Feet Under, will host the evening performances.

The El Rey Theater is located at 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036.

About Donovan
Donovan was one of the few artists to collaborate on songs with Beatles Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. Donovan has played with folk greats Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, as well as rock musicians Jimmy Page, Jon Bonham and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones.

Recently Donovan completed the successful album “Beat Cafe” as well as a new box set, “Try For The Sun: The Journey of Donovan,” and a book, “The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man” (Arrow Books).

Donovan is now heading up the musical wing of the David Lynch Foundation, fulfilling his 40-year interest in Transcendental Meditation. Donovan, his wife Linda, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are currently promoting Transcendental Meditation in schools.

About The David Lynch Foundation
The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace was founded in July 2005 by award-winning filmmaker David Lynch with the immediate goal of teaching one million at-risk youth to meditate. The foundation has already provided more than 100,000 scholarships for students to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, as well as inmates and guards in prisons, formerly homeless men in re-entry programs, soldiers with PTSD returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and American Indians suffering from diabetes.

Sources: The David Lynch Foundation & David Lynch Foundation Television


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