Archive for May, 2010

The Bat Segundo Show #100: David Lynch

May 31, 2010

The Bat Segundo Show #100 with special guest David Lynch discussing TM
BSS #100: David Lynch

Author: David Lynch

Condition of Mr. Segundo: In absentia, terrified of meditation.

Subjects Discussed: Transcendental Meditation, true happiness, contending with stress, fear and anxiety, anger, the relationship between filmmaking and TM, inner happiness, walking vs. TM, Knut Hamsun, Einstein’s Theory of Everything, Dostoevsky’s 1866 publishing deal, on coming up with ideas, the art life vs. the business life, Frank Silva’s unexpected casting as Bob in Twin Peaks, and whether Lynch understands his own films.


Lynch: Let’s talk about suffering. Like in movies, people die. Well, you say, you don’t have to die to show a death. And there’s all kind of suffering and torment and all these things in a story. And, for me, those things come from ideas. Now when you catch an idea, you see the thing. You hear the thing. You feel and see and hear the mood of it. And you see the character. You almost see what the character wears. And you see what the character says and how they say it. That it’s an idea that comes all at once. And you know that idea.

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Willow Tree – a tanka – from a tree’s perspective

May 27, 2010

I admired this large willow tree on a friend’s lawn. But a much smaller one by my front porch inspired this tanka, and the one that followed.

An Overflowing Fountain of Green

Willow Tree Whispers
People say … Weeping Willow
But I’m not crying

Just bowing down … to the Earth
Kissing the ground … with my leaves


Ken Chawkin
Fairfield, Iowa
May 2010

Also see: Friendship – another tree tanka, Willow Tree Tanka II,
What Do Trees Do?, and trees—a poem about the nature of trees

The poem was later published with a tree photo and audio of me reciting it in the July 2017 issue of Willow Tree—by Ken Chawkin.

A year or two later I read a haiku, Be Spring, followed by Willow Tree, on Sheila Moschen’s Let Your Heart Sing, Variety Show #61.

Samadhi is the beginning, not the end of Yoga

May 24, 2010

JUNE 2010 Issue

Samadhi is the beginning, not the end of Yoga

By Neil Dickie

Yoga or union of the mind with divine intelligence, begins when the mind gains Transcendental Consciousness. The process of diving within is the way to become established in yoga. —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

This article is for the many people who suspect they could take their yoga practice to a higher level by practicing meditation, but who delay starting, thinking meditation to be either too difficult or too advanced for them.

One reason many assume meditation to be difficult is a common misunderstanding of the eight-limbed or Ashtanga system of yoga laid out in the revered Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In the text of the Yoga Sutras, the eight limbs of yoga are laid out in the following order: the five yamas or personal virtues, such as ahimsa or non-violence, and satya, truthfulness. Then the five niyamas or rules of life, including shaucha, purification, and swadhyaya, study. Then pranayama, the breathing practices; then asanas, the poses of yoga; then three stages of mental practice. And finally, comes the eighth limb, samadhi, the union of the busy thinking mind with its deepest most silent level, the unified field of consciousness. Think of an individual wave settling down and experiencing the unbounded ocean.

However, despite the fact that Ashtanga translates as eight LIMBS, and not eight STEPS or stages, many have thought Patanjali meant that his eight-fold approach should be practiced only in step-by-step, sequential order, starting with the personal virtues and observances, and that only advanced practitioners should attempt samadhi.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created a stir in the world yoga community some 40 years ago when he travelled the world teaching Transcendental Meditation, a simple, easily-learned technique to bring the direct experience of samadhi. Maharishi was teaching anyone interested, irrespective of their knowledge of the other limbs of yoga. As the popularity of TM spread, so did concern in the yoga community. In Germany, an upset delegation of yogis came to him and demanded an explanation. They knew that Maharishi had been for many years the closest disciple of the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, a highly respected spiritual leader and the elected custodian of the Vedic tradition in Northern India. But in spite of this traditional background, Maharishi was now teaching meditation to the masses. What could be the reason, they asked?

Maharishi welcomed the delegation and began by establishing common ground with them—his respect for the authority of Patanjali. He then, however, explained his view that Patanjali had, due to the long lapse of time, become badly misinterpreted. The order of Patanjali’s famous eightfold yoga had, he said, become the reverse of what Patanjali intended. “The practice of Yoga was understood to start with yama, niyama (the secular virtues), and so on,” Maharishi said, “whereas in reality it should begin with samadhi. Samadhi cannot be gained by the practice of yama, niyama, and so on. Proficiency in the virtues can only be gained by repeated experience of samadhi.”

For example, Maharishi said, one can only truly progress in ahimsa or non-violence as one grows in the realization that there is a common unity of all things. This unified reality of life is directly experienced in samadhi. Similarly, he said, asteya or non-covetousness can only be realized when one feels fully contented, and the only way to be truly happy inside is to realize the field of bliss-consciousness—again only possible through repeated experience of samadhi.

But there’s a second, perhaps even more common reason for the widespread belief that meditation is difficult—as it is generally taught, it is. Patanjali defines yoga as “the complete settling of the mind” (Yoga Sutras, 1:2). Our experience of teaching meditation during the past 20 years is that most other types of meditation today involve concentration, effort, and control. As such, they effectively prevent the mind from completely settling down. Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation, in contrast, involves no concentration, effort or trying of any kind, and allows the mind to quickly and easily dive within to its silent core.

But can an easy, effortless meditation be “real” meditation, leading to enlightenment? Yes. Some have misunderstood that the simplicity of Maharishi’s TM means that it is watered down, or “westernized.” But TM is actually the revival of meditation in its pure and original form. It is simple and easy not because it is watered down, but because it is natural, in full accord with the nature of mind and body. That is also why it is so efficient. Nature has tremendous efficiency. Activity in nature always follows the path of least action. In the same way, the TM practitioner effortlessly dives within the mind, gains samadhi, and enjoys, even outside of meditation, steadily increasing access to that field of pure intelligence and infinite joy.

See or for information on the many published scientific studies on the benefits for mind, body and behaviour resulting from this practice.

Neil Dickie is a certified Transcendental Meditation instructor who treasures his daily yoga asana practice ( For more information, or to find out the dates of upcoming free introductory talks, call 613-565-2030. Email:

US Government National Health Center Highlights TM Study on Stressed College Students

May 14, 2010

Transcendental Meditation Helps Young Adults Cope With Stress

A recent study found that Transcendental Meditation (TM) helped college students decrease psychological distress and increase coping ability. For a group of students at high risk for developing hypertension, these changes also were associated with decreases in blood pressure. This could be good news for the many students experiencing academic, financial, and social pressures that can lead to psychological distress—especially in light of evidence that college-age people with even slightly elevated blood pressure are three times more likely to develop hypertension within 30 years.

Funded in part by NCCAM, researchers from Maharishi University of Management and American University studied 298 students from American University and other schools in the Washington, D.C., area. The researchers randomly assigned students to a TM group or a control (wait-list) group. They also created a high-risk subgroup, based on blood pressure readings, family history, and weight. The TM group received a seven-step course in TM techniques, with invitations to attend refresher meetings, and kept track of how often they practiced TM. At the beginning of the study and after 3 months, researchers tested all participants for blood pressure and psychological measures. The researchers noted that 30 percent of the participants dropped out before the end of the study.

Blood pressure decreased in the TM group and increased in the control group, but the differences were not significant overall (TM-control blood pressure differences were significant within the high-risk subgroup). However, compared with controls, the TM group had significant improvement in total psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping ability. Changes in psychological distress and coping paralleled changes in blood pressure.

According to the researchers, these findings suggest that young adults at risk of developing hypertension may be able to reduce that risk by practicing TM. The researchers recommend that future studies of TM in college students evaluate long-term effects on blood pressure and psychological distress.



This page last modified May 13, 2010.

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Maharishi describes the nature of inner life: bondage and liberation, and gaining bliss consciousness through Transcendental Meditation

May 9, 2010

Maharishi at Lake Louise

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced this beautiful documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique, during his visit to Canada’s premier hotel Chateau Lake Louise,  June 10-14, 1968, the course location for Canadian meditators. I was very lucky to have been on that course and met Maharishi for the first time. All of the course participants lined up to present Maharishi with flowers for the CBC to film. It was used to open and close that documentary profile, which was made for the CBC program series called Telescope.

This CBC documentary remains one of the best films ever made on Maharishi. Filmed inside the hotel’s main lecture hall and outside with the backdrop of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains, it respectfully portrays Maharishi as a great spiritual teacher. They filmed him walking in front of the glacier lake, the image of which he used to describe the nature of inner life, bondage and liberation, and contacting and integrating bliss consciousness into daily life through the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Posted here is an edited version of that documentary, minus the opening introduction, segues, and commercials, which was aired on Canadian national television during the Fall of 1968. Here is a partial transcription of that segment of the video. To view the whole video click on the title, Maharishi at Lake Louise. It can also be viewed on the Maharishi Channel on You Tube: Transcendental Meditation – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Lake Louise, Canada, 1968. Also, the Transcendental Meditation blog has a well-written comprehensive, historical, contextual description about this video by Bob Roth: Maharishi: A rare glimpse into the message of meditation from 40 years ago. It’s also embed here for you to enjoy.

The depth of the lake, and the ripples, and the beautiful reflection of the glacier, reminds me of the story of inner life. The mind is deep like a lake. The ripples on the surface represent the conscious mind, the activity of the mind on the surface. And the whole depth of the lake is silent. And that is the subconscious mind, which is not used by the wave. But if, the wave could deepen, and incorporate more silent levels of the water, the waves could become the waves of the ocean, the mighty waves.

This is what happens in Transcendental Meditation. The surface activity of the conscious mind deepens and incorporates within its fold the depth of the subconscious. And with practice, nothing remains subconscious. The whole subconscious becomes conscious, and a man starts using full potential of the mind.

And the reflection of the glacier on the water is like the impression of the objects that the mind perceives. And as long as the mind is not capable of maintaining its essential nature, which is bliss consciousness, so long the mind gets imprinted by the perceptions of the objects. And this is called the bondage of the mind. The mind loses bliss consciousness and gains the joy of the reflections of the world, the joy of the relative order, losing the bliss of the absolute eternal Being.

When the mind is not capable of maintaining its essential nature, bliss consciousness, and is overshadowed by the reflections of the object of perception, then only the object remains, and the subject, as if, becomes annihilated. This annihilation of the subjective nature within is a great loss. It’s a loss of eternal bliss at the cost of temporary joys. Such a life where the value of the matter dominates is called material life, and the spirit gets annihilated.

But, when through the practice of Transcendental Meditation, the mind goes deep within to the source of thought, transcends the thought, and gains bliss consciousness, and is capable of maintaining that even when it comes out into the worldly experience of objective nature, then it is called spiritual life—that the spirit is not capable of being overshadowed anymore by the objective experience. And this is spiritual life. This is life in eternal liberation. And without this, life is in bondage. A great loss. As if loss of a billion pounds, and gain of a million. Loss of eternal bliss consciousness and gain of a worldly fleeting joy.

The vision, the vision of the lake, brings about a great teaching of spiritual life. …

New Post: Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

On September 30, 2014 I had posted how I learned #TMmeditation 47 years ago today. In there I share more information about the making of the CBC Telescope film, The Guru, of Maharishi at Lake Louise. Richard Day shared a story he had heard many years later about the director of the film who told Maharishi that he wanted to film him saying something that would encapsulate all his teachings. Maharishi said, “I’ll walk by the lake, you walk with me, and I’ll tell you everything about spiritual development.” He did it in one take!

EEG Demonstration of the Enlightened Brain

May 8, 2010

Michael Beresford, Sara Hea and Rich Van Shaik present the TM Program

Transcendental Meditation Brainwave Coherence Demo

Michael Beresford, brain researcher, businessman, and teacher of the Transcendental Meditation Program, demonstrates how TM increases EEG brainwave coherence and improves mental performance.

The Men Who Stare in Peace: An Interview with Dr. David Leffler | plausible futures newsletter

May 6, 2010

plausible futures newsletter

news and analysis for future studies since 1999

The Men Who Stare in Peace: An Interview with Dr. David Leffler

In the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats, military interest in psychic research is portrayed as an utter failure. The movie is not meant to be science journalism but pure entertainment. However, buried beneath the satirical and banal surface of this movie lie many interesting scientific theories. A proposed theory of a collective consciousness is one of them.

The origins of our understanding of collective consciousness can be traced to the Vedic texts of ancient India. This multidimensional science of the mind had its revival with such luminaries as Gustav Fechner, William James, Emile Durkheim, and C.G. Jung. Recent advances in quantum physics, especially Unified Field Theory, are now providing some fascinating parallels with these schools of thought.

The late Vedic scholar Maharishi Mahesh Yogi majored in physics at the University of Allahabad and later revived the concept of collective consciousness from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. He proposed that through the practice of his Transcendental Meditation (TM) program and its advanced techniques the unified field could be directly contacted and experienced. Through this process he predicted that both stress in the individual and stress in the collective consciousness of society could be reduced for the betterment of mankind. Scientific research later bore out his prediction, and scientists named the social dimension of this phenomenon “The Maharishi Effect” in his honor.

Harvard-trained physicist Dr. John Hagelin, whose research in quantum field theory includes some of the most cited references in the physical sciences, was one of those pioneering scientists who tested Maharishi’s theory and wondered how such an action-at-distance effect might work. In his article “The Power of the Collective” published by Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, Hagelin says:

But how we do have such an influence on one another at a distance? There are no clear answers yet, but I believe that the clue lies in the notion that beneath the physical levels of human existence – our bodies and the quantum realm of molecules, atoms, quarks, and leptons – is a unified field of pure, abstract, universal consciousness. It’s at this level of reality, this level of nonlocal mind, where you discover that the qualities of space are, at least in theory, capable of accommodating extraordinary experiences…. If we assume that at our core level of being we are all intimately connected in a unified field where we are all one, it becomes very easy to understand how we influence one another. And when we contact this unified field of being, we enliven that unity, that harmony, and that coherence in the collective consciousness of society.

The Maharishi Effect is this positive transformation of social trends created by the enlivenment of the unified field through the TM and TM-Sidhi program. If more than one percent of a population is meditating regularly or if large groups practice the advanced TM-Sidhi program twice a day, extensive peer-reviewed research indicates that stress decreases in the entire population. This effect is now being harnessed for crime reduction, peace-keeping and conflict prevention. Even in war zones, meditation is becoming accepted as an effective stress management tool for citizens, soldiers, and society at large. An online video (1:13:00) specifically explaining the defense applications of the Unified Field by Dr. John Hagelin is available at the International Center for Invincible Defense website. A transcription and full-sized images are available here.

Skeptics point out that if the Maharishi Effect really works, then why didn’t it prevent the social stress responsible for the 1950-1951 annexation of Tibet? At the time more than 5,000 monks were said to be meditating in various monasteries throughout the country. Proponents of the TM program point out that scientific research shows that meditation techniques differ in procedure, EEG patterns, neural imaging patterns and benefits. They also attest that the TM program and its advanced practices are the only meditation methods verified by peer-reviewed research to reduce social problems like crime, terrorism and war.

Do these outcomes sound unbelievable or too good to be true? Many find these ideas rather exotic, and others wave them off as another New Age scam. Documentary films like What the Bleep Do We Know and The Secret and books like The Holographic Universe may be great entertainment to some, but do they have any basis in good science?

I had the opportunity to interview Dr. David R. Leffler, a US Air Force Veteran with a Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defense, about this new approach to peace:


Radish: MLG seeks healing through light and gems

May 6, 2010

Apr 28, 2010 10:18AM

MLG seeks healing through light and gems

By Linda Egenes

When Jim Fairchild, a 68-year-old college professor, signed up for a session of Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems (MLG), little did he know that this holistic new therapy would provide relief from a serious injury.

“Ever since a car ran over me when I was 3 years old, I’ve lived with constant pain and pressure in the back of my neck,” he says. “As a result, I’ve been on a lifelong quest for relief — consulting legions of chiropractors, massage therapists, and others. But nothing worked.”

At first, Fairchild found that light and gem therapy treatments simply made him feel more relaxed.

Then, to his surprise, he felt a profound shift in his level of pain. “I came out of a session feeling almost no discomfort in the back of my neck,” he says. “I quietly waited for the inevitable. But the pain didn’t return. My neck isn’t perfect, but the difference is profound. The amazing thing is that during the session I didn’t feel anything extraordinary in my physiology. Yet somehow relief came to me, without my even asking.”

The oldest and most refined members of the mineral kingdom, gems have long been known for their healing qualities. For thousands of years, the Ayurvedic tradition of India has employed gems for prolonging life span and promoting health, wealth, happiness, charisma and the fulfillment of desires. In fact, Ayurvedic texts describe mantras, gems and herbs as the three fundamental means to support the development of higher states of consciousness and perfect health.

Today the healing power of gems is available in an affordable new treatment called Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems (MLG), offered at The Raj Maharishi Ayurveda Health Spa in Fairfield, Iowa. In this treatment, the profound orderliness of 13 gemstones, each with their own unique crystalline structures, is made available to the mind and body. This occurs by using special “light beamers” which project soft light through the gems.

Dr. Keith Wegman, an MLG practioner at The Raj, explains, “The light frequencies act as a carrier for the orderly structure of the gems. They resonate with subtle frequencies of our physiology and trigger profound self-healing and self-repair.”

During the past year, over 2,000 treatments given at The Raj have provided strong evidence of the long-term benefits of this approach.

“Individuals have reported relief from chronic disorders, such as decreased anxiety and decreased joint, muscle, and bone problems, as well as improved emotional stability, better sleep and expanded self-development,” says Dr. Wegman. “Now a six-month research study is being conducted to quantify the long-term effects of the treatment.”

The results of MLG are different for each person. A woman from Montreal found relief from asthma, while Adile Esen from Turkey noticed her emotions were more stable.

“The feeling of nourishment and balance coupled with calmness and clarity have continued,” she says. “In addition to becoming more aware, open, and clear, I realize that even in very difficult situations that could have made me doubt and tremble, I have remained calm like the pearl at the bottom of the ocean.”

The equipment used in MLG treatments was developed over a period of 30 years by Dr. Yoachim Roller, a German gemologist, under the direct guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who founded the Transcendental Meditation technique and Maharishi Ayurveda. Trained practitioners offer MLG exclusively at The Raj in Fairfield and in facilities around the world.

The Raj is the only place in North America to offer treatments using larger, more powerful instruments, affectionately called “Big Beamers.” The 13 Big Beamers contain 12 gems each, with a total of 145 gems to magnify the effect.

“The Big Beamers have a unique ability to transform any rigidity or obstruction to the flow of energy in the physiology,” Dr. Wegman says. “The transformation is more significant than with the regular beamers because the body is being submerged in profound coherence. The more powerful orderliness of the large beamers takes over any disorder, restoring balance in previously weak or compromised areas of functioning.”

Adds Dr. Wegman, “Gems are crystalline structures that are as old as our planet. Their inherent orderliness resonate with the inherent orderliness in the physiology, and that produces the profound results for mind and body that thousands of people have already experienced.”

For more information or to schedule Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems, contact The Raj Maharishi Ayurvedic Health Spa in Fairfield, Iowa, (800) 864-8714, extension 5300, or visit

MHN Interview with Jeffrey S. Abramson: Vedic Architecture Changes Way People Feel, Work

May 6, 2010

MHN Interview with Jeffrey S. Abramson: Vedic Architecture Changes Way People Feel, Work

Headline News, National, News, Today’s Headlines May 5, 2010

By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor

The Harvard Business School/Harvard University Graduate School of Design recently presented a case study: “Design Creates Fortune: 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard,” on the 200,000 square foot LEED Platinum and Fortune Creating Architectural/Vedic-designed office building co-developed by The Tower Companies and Lerner Enterprises of Rockville, Md.

The presenters challenged students to consider the fact that human capital costs were higher than energy costs, and, perhaps it made more business sense to focus on improving the efficiency and productivity of the employees by employing ideas like Vedic Architecture.

Jeffrey S. Abramson, Partner, The Tower Companies’ talks to MHN about why he believes Vedic Architecture is the wave of the future and how it can also change people’s lives by being implemented in multifamily buildings.

MHN: What is Vedic Architecture?

Abramson: Vedic architecture is architecture in accord with natural law. Natural laws are those governing intelligence found in nature, which uphold life in perfect order. It is electrons and magnetic fields and all those impulses of nature that uphold everything in nature. Everything that happens in nature happens by the functioning of natural law. This architecture connects individual life with cosmic life using the same intelligence that governs nature. These expressions like you see in Vedic architecture are expressions you find in almost all cultures, in all systems of architecture, since the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.

MHN: What are the principles of Vedic architecture?

Abramson: There are about 100 principles that make up Vedic architecture. Orientation—states that the front entrance should face east; how the building is sited on the land—which is called Vastu; determining the center point or nucleus of building; water placement etc. Taken in isolation these principles don’t have much of an impact, but taken together, they create the ideal building.

We incorporated all the 100 principles in the office building. We didn’t try to fool Mother Nature.

MHN: Why is this form of architecture important?

Abramson: Buildings affect people. And if buildings can affect people, they can affect their behavior, their outcomes and their success. Buildings can elevate life and if you can figure out those architectural principles that can uphold the life of the occupant, make them more successful, brighter and smarter, it can be very useful. The built environment can enhance productivity of the company and collectively this is going to have huge ramifications on the health and economic development of the U.S. Reduce pollution; create new jobs and new technologies. It’s not an intellectual concept, its not like there’s a sign that says you are about to experience something. But people come in and say they feel peaceful and energized. It has nothing to do with style, it can be any style the architect chooses.

MHN: Where does Vedic architecture come from?

Abramson: It is about 5000 years old and is associated with India but in its absolute essence, where we are not talking about interpretation etc, these are really just principles found in nature. It could be like saying physics is Austrian or German because we associate Einstein with it. So in that sense, it transcends culture. It was however, enlivened, and somewhat maintained in India.

MHN: How many building that incorporate Vedic architecture exist today?

Abramson: There is 500 million dollars worth of Vedic construction around the world. There are some very small multifamily buildings that incorporate it as well but it so happens that the office one is the largest right now. The next goal for us is to incorporate it in multi-housing. In fact, we now have the opportunity to build about 2,500 apartments at Metro station. This is the direction in which real estate is moving.

MHN: Are there any additional costs involved?

Abramson: There is a small cost—about 2-3 percent more, which is about 10 cents or so per sq ft. It is a minimal cost to make a massive contribution.

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