Archive for June, 2010

COMMITTED (a two-haiku poem)

June 30, 2010

a two-haiku poem

when the tide rolls in
bows of boats bump each other
tethered to the dock

with our ups and downs
we remain tied together
solid as a rock

Ken Chawkin
March 13, 2006
Fairfield, Iowa

(6 weeks after UNDECIDED)

Years later I recorded this and two other love poems for Sali (This Quiet Love and In Our Loving Eyes) for a 2019 Valentine’s Day program on KHOE, MIU’s campus radio station. Click here to read and listen to them.

An Unwanted Guest

June 30, 2010

An Unwanted Guest

When you came to live with me
You brought an unwanted guest
He took over both our lives
To the point you had to leave

Now I visit you … and he’s
Still there ruling over you
No longer a tenant but
A landlord demanding rent

And we pay him with our lives
His name is Dementia

Ken Chawkin
June 19, 2010
Fairfield, Iowa

Related: a new tanka: Dementia Blues

The Curse of Dementia: On watching a loved one diminish before your eyes, poem by Ken Chawkin

Sitting with Sally: 5-haiku poem

Rage Against the Disease

The Connexion, France’s English-Language Newspaper, interviews David Lynch

June 27, 2010

David Lynch’s French connections

Connexion edition: May 2010

FRANCE has been kind to David Lynch; he’s an officier of the Légion d’honneur (a rare thing for a foreigner); French production companies have supported his last three films and he has twice won best foreign director from the French-based César cinema awards. The feeling is mutual he tells Connexion.

You’re quite a frequent visitor to France

This is one of my favourite places in the world. I’ve had a lot of support in France for my films and I love Paris. I’m doing a lot of work here now. I’m here on average maybe twice a year.

Do you see much of the rest of the country at all?

Well, when I go to the Cannes Film festival I see the south of France but mainly I’m coming to Paris. I stay in a hotel here.

Would you like to live here?

For sure, if I have the money I’d like to get a place here. It would be in Paris. I’m doing a lot of lithographs here. I’m working in a place called Idem Print Studio. It’s incredible – a 150 year old printing shop. It’s the real thing. It’s got a mood you can’t believe.

You’ve had exhibitions here as well

Yes I had a big exhibition at the Fondation Cartier and a big exhibition of lithographs in the north of France.

When did you first visit France?

My first trip was 1965. I came here with my friend Jack Fisk. I was kind of lost and just travelling around.

What were your first impressions?

Paris is I think the most beautiful city in the world. It’s inspiring to me. It’s a place that’s just packed with all the arts. It’s a great, great celebration of all the arts. It’s just got the feel.

Has it ever inspired any scenes in your films?

(pauses) Let’s see. I don’t know. I don’t think so…but it’s still inspiring.

You made The Cowboy and the Frenchman in 1988 for a project with Le Figaro (The French as seen by…) Have your opinions changed much since then?

We live in a world of change. Everything is always changing but that film was kind of a cliché – both an American and French cliché film and there’s probably still truth to that.

What would you say about the French away from the clichés then?

Well as I said, they’re lovers of art. They champion the arts more than any other country in the world, they support the arts more than any other country I think, and this is very important to me. Plus they’ve got great food, great wine, incredible knowledge of materials and design. It’s a really high-end life.

Do you have any particular things that you like to do when you’re in France?

I like to work.

Is it always work or do you get to relax here?

I usually come to work and that’s the most enjoyable thing. I don’t really like vacations. I like to work here a lot.

Who are your influential French figures?

I like so many of the artists that work in France. When you come here and connect the place to the work, you see that it must have been so inspiring for them to be here. It sort of feeds the work this place. It’s a great country to live the artlife.

Would you ever make a film here?

For sure, if the ideas came. You don’t just arbitrarily say ‘I’m going to make a film in Paris.’ The ideas have to come and then if the ideas came and Paris was the setting, then absolutely, it would be a joy.

There’s some bits of French that makes their way into your films. Do you have any affinity for the French language?

No I don’t speak French. I just murder the language.

Why choose to use French?

Things appear from ideas. You don’t just say I want some French here. Ideas come along and who knows exactly how that happens but they come along and then there it is.

So it’s like there’s a little bit of France swimming around out there?

There’s everything swimming around and sometimes that will conjure an idea, that’s how it all goes. Ideas, ideas, ideas.

Do you have any particular favourite foods in France?

Oh yes, I like the foie gras. I like vin rouge Bordeaux. I like all the French pastries and I like the galettes. It’s hard to get a bad meal in France.

What’s brought you and your meditation project to France?

The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace has helped start well over 100,000 students to meditate. It’s in several schools in US, both private and public. Some of these were the worst schools in their state and in one year the schools had been completely changed. It’s not just France it’s in so many countries now. There’s a project in the West Bank in Palestine, in Africa, many countries in Europe, Iceland, Canada.

What’s the connection that’s brought you to Lille?

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came over to Lille, 50 years ago this month. It’s a celebration of him coming to France.

How do you feel Transcendental Meditation (TM) is received in France as opposed to the US?

France and Germany will probably be among the last countries where the penny drops and they say ‘wait a minute this is a great thing’. I base that on many, many misunderstandings. The misunderstanding of this world ‘cult’ or ‘sect’ which is very unfortunate. This is absolutely not true. It’s not a religion or against any religion. It’s a technique, an ancient form of meditation for the human being that opens the door to the treasury within; unbounded, infinite eternal consciousness. Life improves almost over night when people experience ‘the big self’ – the unified field within. The lack of knowledge and misunderstandings are ridiculously huge here.

But little by little they’re saying there’s got to be something to this. In other places the misunderstandings have almost disappeared and it’s a normal thing for people to meditate in schools, in homes, wherever. It’s as normal as breathing and life improves rapidly. The world is full of stress and this is a stress buster beyond the beyond. All these stress related illnesses that people suffer, so much of the behaviour is dictated by stress – you practise this thing and it frees you from stress.

Grades go up, relationships improve, health improves. Everything gets better.

The main sticking point for France is not the meditation aspect but the money aspect – how would you respond to critics?

That’s another crazy thing. People will spend money on almost anything but when it comes to meditation they say it’s a scam. It’s because they haven’t yet had the experience or they don’t see the change in one of their friends who’s had this experience. Once they start seeing this transformation in other people they realise that this is nothing to spend for this life transforming thing. The money they save from the doctors is going to be huge. You want a legitimate teacher of Transcendental Meditation and it’s about 90 mins a day over four days to learn the technique. The teachers, they need to live and have a place to stay and a car to drive. It’s so well worth the money there’s nothing to talk about.

You’ve met President Sarkozy – how do you find him?

I love him. I think he’s filled with energy. He’s got a great energy and a great caring for France.

You’ve spoken with him about TM as well. Has he helped you with this project up in Lille?

No, because I think people are not quite ready to go out on a limb and say let’s do this thing because of these strange misunderstandings or lack of knowledge but the times are changing. To experience this is life transforming.

You put it in a school that’s in trouble, you put it into a school that’s in great shape it will just get better. It’s a human being thing.

Awards, art and films

Won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for Wild at Heart in 1990. In 2002 he presided over the festival jury.

Won two Cesar Awards (the French equivalent of Baftas) for Elephant Man in 1982 and for Mulholland Drive in 2002.

He was made a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 2002 and then made an officier by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

Sarkozy says he is a fan, declaring that Lynch’s Elephant Man convinced him that “cinema was a highly important matter”

An exhibition of 25 years of Lynch’s work as a painter, sculpture, photographer and musician entitled The Air Is On Fire went on show in Paris in 2007 at the Fondation Cartier.

From his 2006 book Catching the Big Fish:
“I love the French. They’re the biggest film bugs and protectors of cinema in the world. They really look out for the filmmaker and the rights of the filmmaker, and they believe in final cut. I’ve been very luck that I’ve been in with some French companies that have backed me.”

When American TV channel ABC dropped Mulholland Drive (originally conceived as a series) after seeing the pilot episode it was French production company StudioCanal that provided the funding to turn it into the award-winning film.

StudioCanal also provided funding for Lynch’s Inland Empire and The Straight Story.

Lynch is by no means guaranteed hits among audiences in France. At the Cannes festival in 1992 his film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was booed following its screening.

Transcendental Meditation – a way for peace that rarely passes quietly

Transcendental Meditation is never far from criticism, principally for its direct approach of charging money for courses instructing people how to carry out the technique. It was founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s and spread around the world as famous faces such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda and Mia Farrow took it up.

In 2005 David Lynch announced that he had been practising the technique for 32 years.

That year he founded the David Lynch foundation to promote meditation in schools. The foundation’s latest project aims to reduce stress and violence at 10 schools in Lille by funding meditation courses for students and teachers.

Milvudes (Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires) which monitors religions and possible cults in France says their main concern with TM is a “lack of transparency” within the group. Milvudes spokeswoman Claire Barbereau said: “It is presented as a technique for meditation but there is a strong spiritual movement in the background.” She said people could find themselves pushed to adhere to the movements beliefs which were not necessarily linked to meditation.

Ms Barbereau said they had received no complaints about the group for many years. Milvudes does not keep a list of ‘cults’ “because we are concerned with what they do, not what they are.” It was up to the Ministry of Education to see whether the David Lynch Foundation’s plan was an effective way of helping children improve performance at school, she added.

Stephen Collins to give Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management

June 23, 2010

“7th Heaven” star, Iowa native, returns from L.A. to give commencement address

by Matt Kelley on June 23, 2010
in Education, Human Interest

An Iowa native and Hollywood actor, best known for his role on the long-running TV show “7th Heaven,” will be back in his home state this weekend to give a commencement address. Stephen Collins says he wants to speak to the graduates in southeast Iowa about what he calls counter-culturalism, specifically, how it’s considered not normal to eat healthy.

“It’s difficult, if you’re watching television, to find an advertisement for a food product that’s really good for you,” Collins says. “It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult. Various companies would take me to task on that but to me it’s counter-cultural to be really careful about what you eat.”

The 62-year-old Collins will speak at the graduation ceremony on Saturday in Fairfield at Maharishi University of Management. Collins practices transcendental meditation and says many people consider it counter-cultural to take care of their bodies and not to over-medicate themselves.

Collins starred as Reverend Eric Camden in all 241 episodes of “7th Heaven,” the longest-running TV series on the WB network. It ran from 1996 to 2007. “I loved doing 7th Heaven and I’m proud of it and I’m proud of our wonderful long run,” Collins says. “Whenever I kick off, it’ll probably be in the first sentence, if not the first paragraph of any obituary anybody writes about me, but that’s okay. I have done a lot of other things, but when you do something that runs 11 years, it changes people’s idea about who you are.”

Over three-and-a-half decades, Collins has appeared in more than 60 movies and TV shows, and is now starring in the new ABC series, “No Ordinary Family.” Collins was born in Des Moines, grew up in New York and now lives in Los Angeles — but still considers himself an Iowan.

“I love saying that I’m from Iowa because my mother’s family goes back in Iowa for many, many generations and is kind of a venerable Iowan family,” Collins says. “My great-great-grandfather was a fellow named James B. Weaver who was a Civil War general and a member of Congress and ran for president twice as a third-party candidate.”

Collins considers himself an actor first, but has also written two novels and is a musician. This will be his first college commencement address. Saturday’s graduation at Maharishi University will feature 235 students earning degrees, representing 41 countries.

Hear the full interview: 7th Heaven 6:20 MP3

Ending Tensions with North Korea: What South Korea Could Learn from Latin America

June 22, 2010

Social tensions between South and North Korea have escalated once again due to the sinking of the Cheonan. The two Koreas have remained technically at war with each other ever since the 1953 ceasefire ended the Korean War. If one considers the premise that their long-term struggle is a cold civil war with periodic hot flashes, then it could be argued that the protracted civil wars in Latin American countries like Colombia, Bolivia, etc. have followed similar patterns. However, the latter situation is now changing, and perhaps both Koreas could learn something from new developments regarding the implementation of Invincible Defense Technology IDT in Latin America.

The Latin American Military Prevention Wing

Read the whole article here, or click on any of the publications below.

Published in China Today, The Seoul Times, Pattaya Dailynews (Thailand), Kashmir Watch, ReviewNepal, The Seoul Times, Cyprus News, Business Ghana, OpEd News, and

A Tribute to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

June 16, 2010

A Tribute To The TM Guru

By: newagephilosopher

Mahesh Yogi was a genius, who formulated the Seven States of Consciousness. He founded the rationale and methodology for generating higher states of Consciousness.

Dr Keith Wallace, ex President of MIU, defined Enlightenment as the full development of Consciousness, depending on the harmonious functions of every part of the human body. He said that India is the home of the most profound knowledge and procedures for the development of Physiology.

What the ancients meant by Supreme Knowledge, Jnana, was that state of perfect order, zero entropy, he says in his article The Neurophysiology of Enlightenment. In his PhD Thesis The Physiological Effects of Transcendental Meditation, he conclusively proved the existence of a Fourth Major State of Consciousness.

Here is an abstract of a study posted in the sessions at the Lucidity Associations Conference on Higher States of Consciousness in Chicago in 1990.

Vedic psychology, as presented by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, delineates seven major states of consciousness (Maharishi, 1972). The daily cycle of waking, dreaming, and sleeping constitute the three ordinary changing states of consciousness. In addition, Maharishi’s Vedic psychology describes an invariant sequence of higher stages of consciousness. The fourth state of consciousness, termed transcendental consciousness (TC), is characterized as a content-free state of restful alertness, the ultimate ground state of the mind, pure consciousness (Maharishi, 1969). In this state, awareness becomes completely self-referral consciousness, has nothing other than itself in its structure (Maharishi, 1986, p. 27). Maharishi describes TC as follows:

This is a state of inner wakefulness with no object of thought or perception, just pure consciousness [TC], aware of its own unbounded nature. It is wholeness, aware of itself, [Self-awareness] devoid of differences, beyond the division of subject and object, transcendental consciousness (Maharishi, 1977, p. 123).

TC is held to be as distinct from the ordinary waking state as waking is from dreaming or sleeping. Recent research reviews have identified over twenty physiological correlates distinguishing TC from simple relaxation, sleeping, dreaming and waking (See Alexander and Boyer, 1989; Alexander, Cranson, Boyer and Orme-Johnson, 1986; Wallace, 1986; for a complete review).

He had given millions the experience of Transcendental Consciousness and his contribution to humanity was immense.

He took Indian Philosophy far and wide and made Geetha one of the most popular books ever! May his soul rest in Peace!

He defined the Geetha as the Lamp lit by the Lord at the altar of humanity, redeeming Man from Ignorance! He travelled far and wide with the message of Vedic Wisdom and was adored by Nobel Laureates and intellectuals. He was one of the greatest sons of India!

Article Source:

Radical Peace: People Refusing War, by William T. Hathaway

June 10, 2010

Radical Peace: People Refusing War

World peace depends on our collective consciousness. – William T. Hathaway

William T. Hathaway’s latest literary work, is a return to journalism. Radical Peace: People Refusing War, presents the first-person experiences of war resisters, deserters, and peace activists in the USA, Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Just released by Trine Day, it’s a journey along diverse paths of nonviolence, the true stories of people working for peace in unconventional ways. The first, Chapter 1: The Real War Heroes, and last, Chapter 15: Conscious Peace, are both posted on

William T. Hathaway is a political journalist and a former Special Forces soldier turned peace activist whose articles have appeared in more than 40 publications, including Humanist, the Los Angeles Times, Midstream Magazine, and Synthesis/Regeneration. He won a Fullbright grant to teach at universities in Germany, where he continues to reside. He is an adjunct professor of American studies at the University of Oldenburg. William and his wife also run a small TM center there.

Hathaway is the author of A World of Hurt (Rinehart Foundation Award), CD-Ring, and Summer Snow. He is currently working on WELLSPRINGS: A Fable of Consciousness, which focuses on applying Vedic knowledge to ecology. A selection of his writing is available at

William also spent 7 years, from 1987-1993, as an assistant professor in the Master’s in Professional Writing at MIU, now MUM. The last chapter of Radical Peace, Conscious Peace, discusses his TM practice, and the vision of possibilities it holds for world peace. You can click on the Chapter 15 link above or read it here:

I was sitting in full lotus, body wrapped in a blanket, mind rapt in deep stillness, breathing lightly, wisps of air curling into the infinite space behind my closed eyes. My mantra had gone beyond sound to become a pulse of light in an emptiness that contained everything.

An electric shock flashed down my spine and through my body. My head snapped back, limbs jerked, a cry burst from my throat. Every muscle in my body contracted — neck rigid, jaws clenched, forehead tight. Bolts of pain shot through me in all directions, then drew together in my chest. Heart attack! I thought. I managed to lie down, then noticed I wasn’t breathing — maybe I was already dead. I groaned and gulped a huge breath, which stirred a whirl of thoughts and images.

Vietnam again: Rotor wind from a hovering helicopter flails the water of a rice paddy while farmers run frantically for cover. Points of fire spark out from a bamboo grove to become dopplered whines past my ears. A plane dives on the grove to release a bomb which tumbles end over end and bursts into an orange globe of napalm. A man in my arms shakes in spasms as his chest gushes blood.

I held my head and tried to force the images out, but the montage of scenes flowed on, needing release. I could only lie there under a torrent of grief, regret, terror, and guilt. My chest felt like it was caving in under the pressure. I clung to my mantra like a lifeline to sanity. I was breathing in short, shallow gasps, but gradually my breath slowed and deepened, the feelings became less gripping, and I reoriented back into the here and now: my small room in Spain on a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course.

I lay on my narrow bed stunned by this flashback from four years ago when I’d been a Green Beret in Vietnam. I had thought I’d left all that behind, but here it was again.

I sat up and was able to do some yoga exercises but couldn’t meditate. Instead I took a walk on the beach. For the rest of that day and the next I was confused and irritable and could hardly meditate or sleep. But the following day I felt lightened and relieved, purged of a load of trauma, and my meditations were clear. My anxiety about the war was much less; the violence was in the past, not raging right now in my head.

Gradually I became aware of a delicate joy permeating not just me but also my surroundings. I knew somehow it had always been there, inhering deep in everything, but my stress had been blocking my perception of it. I felt closer to the other people on the course, connected by a shared consciousness. Then I started feeling closer to everything around me; birds and grass, even rocks and water were basically the same as me. Our surface separations were an illusion; essentially we were all one consciousness expressing itself in different forms. Rather than being just an isolated individual, I knew I was united with the universe, joined in a field of felicity. This perception faded after a few days, but it gave me a glimpse of what enlightenment must be like.

The whole experience was a dramatic example of what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called “unstressing,” the nervous system’s purging itself of blockages caused by our past actions. Since my past actions had been extreme, the healing process was also extreme.

I had begun meditating in 1968, several months after returning from the war. I’d come back laden with fear and anger, but I had denied those emotions, burying them under an “I’m all right, Jack,” attitude. I was tough, I could take it, I was a survivor. Within certain parameters I could function well, but when my superficial control broke down, I would fall into self-destructive depressions. I finally had to admit I was carrying a huge burden of stress, and I knew I had to get rid of that before I could live at peace with myself or anyone else.


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007)

June 2, 2010

For those of you who missed the A&E biopic on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, aired on their History International Channel, November 28, 2007. See this updated post with the complete documentary film. A translated voice-over in French is available in 5 parts on YouTube: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Documentaire – 1/5 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 5/5.

ITN Factual, a production company based in London, UK, was commissioned by A&E, Arts and Entertainment channels, to do a film biography on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Producer/Director Fiona Procter came to Fairfield, Iowa in October 2007 and the show was aired on the History International Channel on Nov 28, 2007. Interviews included Drs. Bevan Morris and John Hagelin, David Lynch, Donovan, Mike Love, Teresa Olson, Jerry Jarvis, Alan Waite, Deepak Chopra, and others, with footage of students meditating at Maharishi School, Yogic Flying at Maharishi University, and visuals of the Tower of Invincibility, the Golden Dome, MUM Campus, and Maharishi Vedic City. There was historical footage of the Beatles. Segments from Alan Waite’s documentary on Maharishi, Sage for a new Generation, were amply used, and precious early personal footage from Eileen Learoyd’s private collection in Canada were found and portions sent to the producer, which appeared throughout the film. Enjoy!

Also Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise. See New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement.

For more information on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Program here is a list of some country websites: United States: | Canada: | Latin America: | Brazil: | England: | France: | Germany: | Australia: | New Zealand: | Africa: | South Africa: | India: | Japan: | China: Find out where you can learn Transcendental Meditation in other parts of the world:

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