Archive for April, 2013

Fairfield learns about mission to Mars from Dane Elsa Jensen, MSSS mission operations manager

April 25, 2013

Fairfield learns about mission to Mars

By ANDY HALLMAN | Apr 24, 2013

Elsa Jensen holds a photograph of “Curiosity,” NASA’s rover that is studying and photographing Mars. Jensen helped develop Curiosity’s cameras, which she spoke about April 13 at the Argiro Student Center on the campus of Maharishi University of Management.

Elsa Jensen holds a photograph of “Curiosity,” NASA’s rover that is studying and photographing Mars. Jensen helped develop Curiosity’s cameras, which she spoke about April 13 at the Argiro Student Center on the campus of Maharishi University of Management.

A woman who helped design the cameras that have taken photographs on Mars spoke to a few hundred people April 13 at the Argiro Student Center at Maharishi University of Management.

Elsa Jensen is the mission operations manager for Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. She helped develop the science cameras on NASA’s Mars rover, “Curiosity.”

Jensen was born and raised in Denmark. She has had an interest in space exploration as long as she can remember. She spoke about how entering the space program seemed like an unrealistic goal in her youth, and she assumed she would have to find another outlet for her passion.

A schoolteacher once asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She told him she wanted to go to space, but she added she knew little girls from Denmark don’t go to space.

“Why not?” the teacher responded, and with that Jensen embarked on a quest to fulfill her dream.

NASA launched the Curiosity rover from Earth in November 2011 and landed it on Mars in August 2012. The rover is a robot that is controlled from Earth. It can move on wheels, take photographs and collect data about Mars’s climate and geology by analyzing the chemical composition of rocks on the planet.

Jensen said people in the audience were probably curious why NASA sent a rover to Mars.

“We wanted to explore,” she said. “We wanted to reach farther than mankind has ever reached before.”

The rover’s intended destination was a crater in the middle of a mountain. This site was chosen because it would be the most interesting scientifically since the rover could study multiple layers of sediment in a small area. It is tasked with finding out if Mars could have supported life at one time.

Jensen said the camera her company designed for Mars takes photographs in red, green and blue pixels, just as many cameras do on Earth. She said the photographs on Mars appear comparable to those taken with a 2-megapixel camera.

Curiosity has a camera on an arm which it can extend 6 feet. The rover took a series of pictures of itself with its arm extended. Jensen and her crew pieced those photos together to get a self-portrait of Curiosity without its arm in the picture, making it appear someone or something else took the photo.

Jensen’s work with the rover has produced a few stressful situations, none more stressful than what has been dubbed the “seven minutes of terror.” That is the length of time between Curiosity’s entry into the Martian atmosphere and when it touched down. That was when Curiosity was most likely to crash.

The first problem Curiosity encountered was the heat. Curiosity descended to the Martian surface in a protective heat shell because the friction of traveling through the atmosphere produced a temperature of 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other problem Curiosity faced was speed. The spacecraft was traveling 13,000 miles per hour upon entering the atmosphere. A parachute slowed the craft down to 200 miles per hour. Once Curiosity was two kilometers above the surface, it released its parachute and turned on a jetpack on its bottom side that allowed it to gradually descend. As it approached 20 meters above the surface, the rover itself was lowered on a tether from its jetpack so it did not land in the middle of the dust storm the jetpack had created.

Jensen not only told the audience about Curiosity’s descent but actually showed a video of it from the Mars Orbiter, an orbiting satellite 400 miles above the surface.

Jensen and her team members work according to Martian time instead of Earth time so they can be at their posts when the rover and orbiter are sending information back to Earth. A Martian day is slightly longer than an Earth day at 24 hours and 40 minutes.

NASA has made exciting discoveries about Mars because of Curiosity. Jensen said the rover has found key chemical ingredients such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur.

“The mineralogy indicates a long interaction with liquid water,” she said.

Jensen said she was able to manage the stress of her job through Transcendental Meditation, which she learned a week before Curiosity landed on Mars.

Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

Two years later a former Computer Science MUM faculty member would make the top 100 cut for a trip to Mars! Read the Des Moines Register cover story: Former Iowan among finalists for Mars trip.

House Beautiful: living in a remarkable Maharishi Vastu retirement home on Saltspring Island, BC

April 25, 2013

House Beautiful: The gift of constraint
Grania Litwin / Times Colonist
April 18, 2013

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It’s the home of Vincent and Maggie Argiro, natives of the States who had heard about the friendly island and decided to build a remarkable retirement home there.

Based on an ancient form of Indian architecture — called Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, or Vastu — the home is designed to increase occupants’ health and happiness.

It certainly feels calming and harmonious the moment you enter through the lotus flower gate, cross a lavender-edged terrace and step into the two-storey glass foyer.

The L-shaped building is reflected in an L-shaped pool, and the entire house is oriented to the cardinal directions. Light floods into every room from east and west, through interior and exterior windows, as well as skylights — perhaps one reason the house is supposed to boost clarity and creative thinking.

“A vastu house is said to be a fortune-creating house too,” said Vincent, who seems pretty creative already.

He is a world leader in three-dimensional, advanced visualization software design. His Vital Images Inc. — now a division of Toshiba Medical — produces medical-imaging software, a diagnostic tool used in hospitals worldwide by radiologists, cardiologists, oncologists and other specialists needing to explore inside the body.

In the couple’s home, everything from orientation and proportion to property slope and relationship to nearby bodies of water is governed by vastu design. By great good fortune, soon after arriving on the island, they found an ideal 3.8-hectare site with panoramic views stretching from Mount Baker to Black Tusk in the Garibaldi Range 132 kilometres away.

Designer Everest Lapp said it was a very demanding project. “Siting the building was difficult, as it had to be within a certain envelope with very particular dimensions. Everything was very detailed and exacting.

“In some cases, we had to move a wall a quarter of an inch. Even the rockwork was redone at one point. I’d never done a fireplace like this before, with a high window in the back. I didn’t even know it was possible.”

There were compensations, though.

“The Argiros* are amazing people with so much depth, and although their expectations were very high and it was super-challenging, creating this house has enriched my career,” Lapp said.

“I sometimes wondered if it would come together, but there is no doubt in my mind that Vincent can do anything he wants. He is very, very bright.”

The 3,800-square-foot home has a feeling unlike anything she has experienced, Lapp said. “There is an energy — something ethereal about it.”

Vincent knew a designer called Everest would be up for the challenge.

“She is a former national mountain-biker and snowboarder and I heard there was no slope she couldn’t go down,” he joked, adding he likes challenges, too.

“I read a book years ago with a quote I’ve always remembered: ‘Constraints are gifts to creative people.’ It’s been my maxim and guiding principle all my life,” said the innovator, who is still an active consultant and mentor to other entrepreneurs — and an electric-vehicle buff who has a Tesla Roadster and a Model S, both of which were the first of their kind in B.C.

“In this architecture, we had to follow the rules exactly, the tolerances were very small, up to 1/16th of an inch,” he explained. “But we could be very creative within them.”

Maggie said their island builder, originally from Switzerland, was very precise, too, and really got on board.

“This house was absolutely the toughest I’ve ever built, and I was up there more than two years,” said Robert Huser.

“A lot of the stuff you just don’t see … all the floor joists, for instance, had to be ripped down. A 2×10 is actually 2×9.5, and we had to make them 2×8-and-three-eighths. But the Argiros are great people and it was cost-plus [pricing].”

The owners used as many local craftspeople and materials as possible, said Maggie, who designed the glass catwalk with Lapp. It’s made of kiln-cast, textured glass fabricated in the Vancouver Glass Studio of Joe Berman on Granville Island. A totem beside the stairs was commissioned from First Nations carver Doug LaFortune, depicting eagles and sea otters.

“There is a great spirit in this house,” said Maggie, noting that during construction, there were many coincidences. Time and again, just when they needed something, it would appear: A container of wood, originally headed for Japan, suddenly became available; a barn full of rare wood was discovered at the 11th hour.

The house has hydronic in-floor heat, a forced-air system used mainly for ventilation, a high-efficiency heat pump for hot water and a backup propane generator.

“We need the generator when the power goes out; it can be out for three or four days up here,” said Vincent, and 80 per cent of the lights are LED, which use 80 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

The eco-friendly home is filled with small details, such as a small deck with outdoor shower off the master bath, and a ladder to a rooftop perch. “It’s my cubbyhole,” Vincent said. “You know the old song Up On The Roof? Well I have that bug. I love sitting up there.”

Hanging on the stairway wall is a massive marble slab from an area of southern France famous for Paleolithic cave paintings. “There are amazing iron deposits near Lascaux and when I saw this piece, I immediately thought: That is nature’s painting and it should not be cut up for countertops.

“It weights 800 pounds and hanging it was the most dangerous, demanding part of this whole building.”

Vincent devised stainless-steel rails for it to sit in and a framework of aircraft aluminum bolted onto a reinforced wall.

Maggie’s favourite haunt is the kitchen she designed.

“For years I worked in a postage-stamp-sized kitchen,” said the former home economist, who worked for Continental Mills, testing and developing recipes. “So this is wonderful.

“My main thing is workflow and efficiency. You come in with groceries, put them in the refrigerator, wash and prep them here, chop here, cook here, choose the dishes here, serve here. It works beautifully,” she said, moving clockwise around the area. Her island includes a baking centre with tin-lined drawers.

The commercial fan above her Wolf range was tricky to install at the large window, but she wanted to enjoy the view and check on her outdoor Italian pizza oven.

Vincent is most proud of the “smart home” technology he programmed himself.

“The house has a whole set of rhythms that adjust the lights and thermostats every day, every season. This nervous system shuts down all non-essential power at night, or when we’re on holiday.

“Almost all the wires go dead. The whole house is de-energized, so radiation of all kinds drops dramatically when we sleep, and the house idles at less than 500 watts.”

Vincent explained they took their time finding a place to retire in their mid-50s and toyed with the idea of building a home in Minneapolis, “but it never felt right. Then we heard about Saltspring, this magical community of talented and special people.”

They love the island and their peaceful new house.

“It’s as if there are no walls, no ceilings,” said Maggie. “You feel that nothing stands between you and nature.”

This demanding Saltspring Island home brings out the best in creative design and artisans. The Argiro home is 5th in a video series called, House Beautiful, published by Debra Brash, April 20, 2013 for timescolonist.com.

© Copyright 2013

*Vincent Argiro is a trustee of Maharishi University of Management. Vincent and Maggie Argiro were major donors of M.U.M.’s Argiro Student Center.

Article reports meditation studies done on stressed students with beneficial outcomes

April 24, 2013

Here is an informative article. I applaud the authors’ efforts for putting together this collection of beneficial meditation studies related to stressed students dealing with the pressures of school and college, inspiring them to not only consider the idea of meditation, but also the practice of it. I didn’t change a word, except capitalize Transcendental Meditation to honor its unique trademarked practice. Comments and additional information are added at the end of the article.

10 Telling Studies Done on Student Meditation

Posted on Monday March 26, 2012 by Staff Writers of Best Colleges Online

As the semester draws to a close, many college students are starting to feel the pressure of completing projects, writing final papers, giving presentations, and of course, studying for finals. Add to that holding down a job and you’ve got a perfect storm of stress. How to calm your mind? Meditation may be the answer.

Scientific studies are increasingly revealing some pretty amazing benefits of regular meditation practice, both for the general public and students in particular. Meditation can help you better deal with stress and may make your life as a student healthier and happier overall, a great tradeoff for just a few minutes of mindful thinking a day. Read on to learn about some of the latest and most telling studies on student meditation to learn the amazing benefits it can offer you this finals season and beyond.

Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

A 2009 study of 189 students in California who were performing below proficiency levels in English and math found that meditation actually helped to improve their test scores on the California Standards Tests. Students were asked to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day over a three-month period. At the end of that period, 41% of students participating in the study showed improvement in both math and English scores, sometimes moving up an entire performance level, compared with just 15% who didn’t participate in the program showing improvement.

Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

Those who have ADHD may find meditation an effective method for improving concentration and brain function, at least according to one study published in The Journal of Psychology. A paper called “ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice” appeared in the journal just last year, showcasing the results of a study that followed a group of middle school students with ADHD as they participated in a program that asked them to meditate twice a day for three months. At the end of the three-month period, students reported 50% reductions in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms. Researchers also found improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, and improved language-based skills among ADHD students who practiced Transcendental Meditation.

Meditation can reduce academic stress

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of meditative practices on reducing academic stress, all with a similar finding: it works. In 2007 researchers at SIU in Carbondale, Ill. released a multi-year study on 64 post-baccalaureate medical students who participated in a deep breathing meditation program. Students in the study were found to have reduced perceptions of test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss. Another study of students at American University had similar results, finding that students who participated in three months of Transcendental Meditation practice reported lower levels of stress (as well as increased concentration, more alertness, and greater resistance to the physical effects of stress, as well as brain function changes) during finals, often the most stressful part of the academic year.

Meditating may improve the integrity and efficiency of certain connections in the brain

It should come as no surprise that meditation practice can cause physical changes in the structure of the brain; monks have been saying this for years. Yet a surprisingly small amount of meditation can have an impact, even with as little as 11 hours of meditating. A 2010 study looked at 45 University of Oregon students, having 22 of them participate in an integrative body-mind meditation training program while the control group simply completed a relaxation program. The IBMT students were found to have changes in the fibers in the brain area related to regulating emotions and behavior, changes which became clear via brain imaging equipment with just 11 hours of practice. The same changes were not seen in the control group. Researchers believe that meditation may help students to better control their actions, resolve conflict, and manage stress by actually physically changing the brain connections that regulate these functions.

Meditation reduces drug and alcohol abuse

It’s no secret that many college students go overboard with drugs and alcohol, many binging on potentially dangerous substances multiple nights a week. Yet meditation practice may help limit the desire to engage in these activities, a study in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly reveals. Looking at both students and adults, the study found that daily Transcendental Meditation practice greatly reduced both substance abuse problems and antisocial behaviors. The results held true for all classes of drugs including illegal substances, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription medications, with meditation being in many cases two or three times more effective than traditional drug prevention and education programs.

Meditation reduces behavior incidents and absenteeism in high school students

In 2003, researchers Vernon Barnes, Lynnette Bauza, and Frank Treiber set out to study the effects of meditation on adolescents, specifically looking at the way it could potentially reduce stress and affect school infractions. Their results were pretty striking. Forty-five high school-aged African-American students were studied, some in a control group and others practicing Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis for four months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the meditation group had lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of behavior incidents at school, and lower levels of suspension. On the flip side, these behaviors actually increased in the group that didn’t meditate, suggesting that the meditation helped reduce the psychological stress, emotional instability, or hostility that was leading to negative and often self-destructive behaviors in these teens.

Meditation may make students happier and boost self-esteem

Meditation might not just help your studies, it might also help you be happier and more satisfied as well. Researchers at the University of Michigan found 60 sixth-graders to participate in a study, asking a group of them to take part in daily practice of Transcendental Meditation over a four-month period. At the end of the study, researchers reported that students had undergone some positive changes in emotional development, with students getting higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence than when they started the program and when compared to their peers who did not meditate.

Meditation has heart health benefits

Meditation is as good for your body as it is for your mind, a study at American University reports. A study published by the university in conjunction with the Maharishi University of Management found that regular Transcendental Meditation helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among college students. The study chose 298 students at random to either be part of the meditation group or a control group, with a subset of students at risk for hypertension also analyzed. After three months, students were measured on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability. Students who were formerly at-risk of hypertension showed a major change in blood pressure, associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension in later years.

Meditation reduces depression and anxiety

Feeling a little overwhelmed with college life? You’re not alone. Studies are demonstrating that meditation may offer one solution to better coping with the stress, anxiety, and even depression that many college students experience. Research at Charles Drew University in LA and the University of Hawaii in Kohala found that adults who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms (an average of 48% lower than the control group), even those who had indications of clinically significant depression. Similar results have been found in students, with decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms at significant levels after participating in a meditation program.

Meditation may increase intelligence

A study done by the Maharishi University of Management suggests that meditation is a great way to work out your brain and that it might even have positive effects on intelligence when practiced regularly. Looking at three different studies, the university found that high school students who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program had significant increases in creativity and intelligence levels, compared to those who took part in a napping or contemplative meditation program. Students in the Transcendental Meditation group saw increases in brain function across the board, but most dramatically in measurements of creative thinking, practical intelligence, and IQ.

Comments and further information

There were 8 comments posted at the end of this article making the same point. The reason being, I think, is that the authors gave simple instructions taken from various websites on how to meditate, then listed 10 studies on meditation, 9 of which are all done on one specific meditation technique, Transcendental Meditation® (http://www.tm.org).

Assigning all improvements to a generic notion of meditation can be misleading and could generate false expectations in those willing to experiment on their own. That’s why the comments contributed to a better understanding of the subject. Still, the authors’ efforts were sincere, and those readers who are interested in learning meditation can always seek out more information and actual classes.

Since most of the studies listed were on the Transcendental Meditation technique, I would naturally recommend those interested to find a certified TM teacher in their area. Call 888-LEARN-TM (888-532-7686) or go to http://www.tm.org/contact-us.

A recent paper published in Consciousness and Cognition gives a scientific explanation of different categories of meditation from major traditions, their practices, brainwave signatures and outcomes. See Are all meditation techniques the same?

Maharishi University featured in ALT magazine

April 24, 2013

Journalism students from Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa came to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa to find out what we were all about. The result of that visit is this article, MAHARISHI, which can be found in Volume 7 of ALT Magazine. You can see it online, pages 25-26/33, http://altmagonline.com/Maharishi, and can download a PDF to see the layout as it appears in print on pages 46-49, http://altmagonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ALTVol7.pdf.

IMG_1157

Google describes Transcendental Meditation as “A technique for detaching oneself from anxiety and promoting harmony and self-realization by meditation and repetition of a mantra.”

In a Southeastern Iowa town, TM, or Transcendental Meditation®, is the method the Maharishi community eats, sleeps and breathes.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed the TM technique that the students of the Maharishi University of Management, a liberal arts school (M.U.M.), use everyday to decompress and get away from the stresses of college and everyday life.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES

Hannelore Clemenson, a 32-year-old student from Des Moines and single mother, has been a student for two years at MUM and practices TM daily.

Clemenson found Fairfield and TM by word of mouth. Her dance teacher suggested going to MUM and when she thought her son was missing out on “small town life” she made the trip to Fairfield and hasn’t left.

Clemenson said, “I came across this school ten years ago and it was always a possibility and something definitely different from all the other schools I had been to before. If I was going to go back to school with my son it was going to have to be a special place.”

The soft-spoken Clemenson said MUM provides students with a Consciousness-Based℠ education that helps get rid of fatigue and stress and keeps students awake in class. M.U.M. uses block scheduling, which means they have only one class a month and attend six days a week.

IMG_1110-300x200Clemenson said the classes are very hands on, which allows her to pursue music depending on which class she has that particular month. With the block scheduling, students take one class for an entire month, allowing them to do more in-depth projects.

Class is only part of the MUM college experience. Clemenson, along with the rest of the M.U.M. students, are required to take a six-week course that introduces the students to Maharishi’s knowledge. In the second week, students are taught how to meditate and learn the proper technique of meditation. Students are required to meditate for 20 minutes before coming to their morning class, and after their morning class is completed they do a ten-minute meditation, which Clemenson said is very helpful.

“That’s really benefited me, even though it’s not a full meditation. I have a lot of stomach problems, so when I started meditating before I went to eat it helped soothe me,” Clemenson said.

When the afternoon classes end around 2:45 p.m., students take a break and attend their second full meditation together.

Clemenson said, “It’s a really nice way to unwind and shake your eyes from the computer screen. It’s just 20 minutes, twice a day, it’s the most incredible thing. I’ve noticed it’s changed me little by little. All these things have improved; the way I operate, the way I think and react to things, it’s just happened and I’m grateful everyday that I do this.”

Clemenson said, “Learning TM was the best thing that’s happened to me; it’s sweet to have that be a part of everybody’s life.”

AHEAD OF ITS TIME

IMG_1143Have you ever been in a building that creates more energy then it uses? Or in a building that is held up by tree logs and made entirely of Earth blocks? It’s unlikely because many of us haven’t been to Fairfield, Iowa to visit Lawrence Gamble and his Sustainable Living Center.

The Sustainable Living Center on the Maharishi campus is a classroom, a workshop and an office building, all while not leaving behind a carbon footprint.

On a sunny day, the center will generate ten or twenty times more power than what is actually used and on an annual basis, the building produces 30% more than what they use, for not only electricity, but for heating and cooling as well. The building has produced 3,000 more kilowatts than what it’s used.

The building is one of a kind, made entirely of earth blocks that were formed by former M.U.M. students and large tree logs that support the building. Everything in the building is all-natural.

The paint that goes on these earth blocks is made of sand, chopped straw and cow manure which helps everything stick together. The building is heated by a flow of water running throughout the entire center and is lit only by strategically placed windows. In classrooms, the desks that students sit in are hand-made from wood.

MISTER GREEN

Gamble, the Curriculum Director for the Department of Sustainable Living, said, “A large percentage of energy in a building like this is for lighting, and there are environmental consequences for building solar panels and wind generators, so we want to use that energy really wisely.”

Gamble continued by saying the classrooms stay lit by, “Putting the windows in the right places.” The building has taller windows that allow more light to enter and the main corridor is designed to let light in.

Gamble said, “In our program, what we are designed to do is give students the skills to be successful in a world that doesn’t exist yet. We are giving them a way of looking at the world with a new set of eyes, and we are trying to give them a broad perspective.”

Sustainable Living Programs are comparable to environmental science classes, and the area that M.U.M. and Gamble decided to focus on was environmental problem solving.

“We rolled our sleeves up and got right to work asking ourselves what are the practical things we can start doing now,” Gamble said. “The development of consciousness, which is kind of the central unique feature of M.U.M., is essential to this whole process.”

Another feature to the Sustainable Living Center is the Greenhouse or student lounge. The windows in the Greenhouse face south and this is one of the main ways the building is heated. Solar panels sit on top of the Greenhouse and provide shade in the summertime. With the sun’s position in the summer, the panels shade the windows so that the building does not get unnecessary heat, keeping the building cool.

Gamble said, “We like to do a lot of project based learning. I’ve taken kids to an island off the coast of Alaska.”

He said that him as well as a group of students over a period of years, helped setup solar powered energy in an Alaskan Village.

The students that worked on that project learned how to install solar panels and when they returned they started their own company. Last year, they sold a million dollars worth of solar panels.

Gamble, as well as every other professor at M.U.M. believes TM is essential for a student to fully maximize their potential in the classroom.

Gamble said, “Transcendental Meditation has such a simple way of allowing your mind to settle down, get deep rest and have that experience of being inside you that everything in nature is connected. Then when you come out of that meditation and you study sustainable living, you are intellectually exploring how everything is connected.”

MEDITATION BENEFITS

Transcendental Meditation, TM, benefits more than studying habits. According to tm.org, the techniques help develop the brain and increase creativity and intelligence while improving decision making and problem solving skills.

THE BRAIN OF TM

Dr. Fred Travis, Director for the Center of Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at M.U.M. studies the brain to understand consciousness.

Travis said, “The brain is the interface between us and the world. The brain is a way that allows us to actually see the world and interact with the world.”

Travis, who taught at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, said M.U.M. is different from other places he’s taught at.

“It’s quite unlike any other place,” Travis said. “The students don’t have their heads on the table, they keep you on your toes with very challenging questions.”

Travis said that when the brain is stressed and tired, it doesn’t allow you to take in as much information as it would if you were rested and aware. By adding TM it opens the student’s mind and brain to an entirely new way of thinking.

Travis observed that stress takes frontal executive circuits off line and so keeps students from being able to see larger implications of what they are learning.  He noticed that the students he taught at Iowa Wesleyan were are able to follow the lecture, but he couldn’t tell them everything that he knew.

“What you would be giving them is very much superficial, facts and how the facts relate,” Travis said. “The more fundamental ideas of underlying principles and how this relates to the meaning of life and how it relates to the environment, you can’t go into that because they don’t have the framework to take it in.”

Travis believes that the scheduling at M.U.M. plays a major role in how the students succeed in the classroom.

“At M.U.M., students take one class at a time. Instead of juggling two or three courses at once, you can focus on one subject,” Travis said. “The part of your brain used when you focus is the memory center. The part of the brain during multitasking is that part of your brain that has to do with sequencing.”

Travis said, “TM practice adds another engine to learning. Learning requires localized areas of the brain to function. In contrast, TM practice is a process of transcending and the brain is restful and alert as suggested by global alpha brain coherence.”

With regular TM practice, these brain changes are seen during a person’s daily activity after meditation practice. This gives a new platform to see the world. You are more awake, and more alert.

Writers Joey Aguirre & Stephanie Ivankovich Designer Allie McFayden Photographer Stephanie Ivankovich

I asked Fred Travis to revise his quotes to appear closer to what he said. – Ken Chawkin

1. Dining Hall 2. Argiro Lobby Flags 3. SLC Tree Posts 4. SLC Earth Blocks 5. Veda Bhavan:CBCC

See this article from Drake University journalism honor students: Students find their centers at Maharishi.

Celebs who meditate featured in The Daily Beast

April 24, 2013

This article on Transcendental Meditation was one of the rotating stories on The Daily Beast today, April 23, 2013. It was the 9th top story of rotating images in the big box on the upper left corner of the home page. The article appeared as a result of Rupert Murdoch learning to meditate last weekend. It was supposed to be private, but he tweeted about it and drew media attention. Click on the links below to see photos and descriptions of the 14 featured meditating celebs.

Celebs who meditate -The Daily Beast

Celebs Who Meditate – The Daily Beast – Invision/AP; WireImage

Oprah & More Stars Who Do Transcendental Meditation

The Daily BeastTranscendental Meditation has made its rounds with celebrities as far back as when the Beatles were a unit, but is once again creeping up as the latest trend among celebrities. Rupert Murdoch recently tweeted on his indoctrination into the mantra meditation movement, Oprah Winfrey devoted an entire show to it, and David Lynch even launched a nonprofit foundation for the practice.

The technique was established in India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s and has spread worldwide since, used as a means to relieve stress and build personal development. The practice involves twice-a-day, 15- to 20-minute meditations, and courses are taught by certified instructors for a fee. See which other stars are endorsing the practice and taking time for some inner peace!

Read celebrity descriptions and view all (15) photos in fullscreen. Most of these celebrities, in order of appearance, practice and/or are connected with TM in some way: Rupert Murdoch, David Lynch, Russell Brand, Shirley MacLaine, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Moby, Katy Perry, Howard Stern, Hugh Jackman, George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, and Candy Crowley.

Read a related article: 14 Executives Who Swear By Meditation–10 do TM.

Also see Why CEOs, actors, and pop stars love Transcendental Meditation | Well+Good NYC and What do Stephen Collins, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and Oprah have in common? and The New York Times: Look Who’s Meditating Now.

Maharishi University conference focuses on health: Pam Peeke speaks on food addictions

April 19, 2013

Maharishi University conference focuses on health (audio)

April 19, 2013 By
Pam Peeke

Dr. Pamela Peeke

A conference in southeast Iowa on Saturday promises to address recent discoveries and solutions “to help enhance individual life and change the world.

Physician, scientist and best-selling author, Dr. Pamela Peeke  will address America’s addiction to food, which she says is a rampant national epidemic.

Dr. Peeke, the chief medical correspondent for nutrition and fitness for Discovery Health TV, says a new study from the National Institutes of Health proclaims food addiction a reality.

“This is groundbreaking,” Peeke says. “This is a milestone. This affects everything from public health to what goes on in your pantry. This changes up the whole discussion about what we eat and what it does to us. It even changes our genes. It causes organic changes in our brain.”

In some ways, food addiction may be harder to beat than drugs, she says, since drug addicts don’t emerge from rehab to see billboards urging them to take more drugs. We’re surrounded by temptations to eat in all forms of media, she says, which makes it difficult to kick a food addiction.

“The mass majority of people who are overweight or obese are food addicted to one degree or the other,” Peeke says. “The people who are in the worst shape are the ones who have cross-addictions, more than one addiction. They’re a smoker, they may have some alcohol issues, drugs, whatever else. It’s almost un-American not to be food addicted.”

Dr. Peeke says being food-addicted is as severe as any other addiction. “Once you find out you’re either teetering on the brink of or you really have an all-out situation with a food addiction, then you need to do what you do for any addiction, detox and recovery.”

Her talk is called, “Your Brain’s Reward Center: Hacked by a Cupcake,” and she’ll talk about the neurological basis of food addictions. Peeke is among eight speakers headlining the day-long conference called “Our Conscious Future” at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield.

Download and listen to Matt Kelley’s interview with Pamela Peeke  4:55.

Please check the website and register online for Free Online Streaming Option. Now available: Our Conscious Future Schedule of Presentations.

Related news: Our Conscious Future: Leading Visionaries Offer TED-Style Talks at Maharishi University April 20 and Dr. Pamela Peeke to speak at Maharishi University visionary conference event

Related articles by Linda Egenes for Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine:

How the TM Technique Can Help Stop Food Addiction: An Interview with Dr. Pam Peeke

Saving the Disposable Ones: TM Practice Offers a New Life to the Street Children of Colombia

Dr. Pamela Peeke to speak at Maharishi University visionary conference event

April 19, 2013

Pamela Peeke speaking at visionary conference event

Apr 17, 2013

The Institute of Science, Technology & Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management will present “Our Conscious Future Visionary Conference Event” Saturday on the campus.

The event will be 1-4:30 p.m. and 7:45-9:30 p.m. in the Argiro Student Center’s Dalby Hall.

Eight thought leaders and innovators will converge on campus to present TED-style talks on what it means to be fully human in the 21st century. Each presenter will explore different facets of mind, body, society and consciousness that are emerging to create new paradigms for  humankind that can potentially enrich individual life and change the world.

One of the featured speakers will be Pamela Peeke, an internationally renowned physician, scientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, stress and fitness who explores the neurological basis of food addiction. Her presentation will be “Your Brain’s Reward Center: Hacked By a Cupcake.”

As the lifestyle expert for WebMD’s 90 million members, host of “Could You Survive?,” chief medical correspondent for nutrition and fitness for Discovery Health TV, and the founder of the Peeke Performance Center for Healthy Living, the “doc who walks the talk” lives the message she teaches.

If Peeke’s “edutaining” wit and wisdom as one of the most requested physician speakers in America isn’t enough, she has taken active inspiration through other mediums. Triathlete, marathoner and mountain climber, Peeke also is a New York Times bestselling author; regular  in-studio medical commentator for CNN, the “Today” show, “Good Morning America,” Fox and “Nightline;” and columnist/contributing editor for numerous national magazines and online communities.

Michael Sternfeld is the visionary conference event producer.

The Chamber Singers of Southeast Iowa and M.U.M.’s International Ensemble will perform.

For information and registration, go to www.mum.edu/our-conscious-future.

Also listed in the Fairfield Calendar of events.

Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

Please check the website and register online for Free Online Streaming Option. Now available: Our Conscious Future Schedule of Presentations.

See related news:

Our Conscious Future: Leading Visionaries Offer TED-Style Talks at Maharishi University April 20

Maharishi University conference focuses on health: Pam Peeke speaks on food addictions

Related articles by Linda Egenes for Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine:

How the TM Technique Can Help Stop Food Addiction: An Interview with Dr. Pam Peeke

Saving the Disposable Ones: TM Practice Offers a New Life to the Street Children of Colombia

Our Conscious Future: Leading Visionaries Offer TED-Style Talks at Maharishi University April 20

April 19, 2013

Fairfield, Iowa (PRWEB) April 18, 2013

The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management presents a visionary conference event titled, Our Conscious Future.

On Saturday, April 20th, eight remarkable thought leaders and innovators will converge on the MUM campus to present TED-style talks that will go right to the heart of what it means to be fully human in the 21st century.

Each speaker will explore different facets of mind, body, society and consciousness and present the most recent discoveries and solutions to help enhance individual life and change the world. These ideas are emerging to create new paradigms for humankind—paradigms that can potentially enrich individual life and change the world.

The short presentations, featuring world-class speakers and local luminaries, will be in the style of the intellectually stimulating TED Talks that are popular on the Internet.

Featured speakers and their topics include:

Dr. Pamela Peeke, internationally-renowned physician, scientist, “medutainer” and expert in the fields of nutrition, stress, and fitness explores the neurological basis of food addiction: Your Brain’s Reward Center: Hacked By a Cupcake.

Father Gabriel Mejia, a renowned humanitarian who has rescued over 100,000 children off the streets of Columbia, restoring their rights and dignity, offering them a brighter future: Love and Transcendence: The Secrets of Lasting Rehabilitation.

Thomas McCabe, mathematician, entrepreneur, author and software pioneer, who has shifted his focus from an exploration of how algorithms think to the math of how we think: Inner Genius, Empathy & the Math of Your Mind.

John Hagelin, world-renowned quantum physicist and peace proponent has forged a connection between quantum mechanics, our inner experience, and lasting peace: Higher States: Harnessing the Power of Consciousness to Fulfill Your Desires and Change the World.

Robert Keith Wallace: from his breakthrough discovery of a fourth major state of consciousness to recent developments in the brain signatures of high-performance individuals, this ground-breaking scientist continues to expand our vision of human potential. Dr. Wallace will present The Neurophysiology of Peak Performance, with neuroscientist Fred Travis who has published papers on this topic.

Lonnie Gamble: with the mind of an engineer, the dedication of an educator and the heart of a community activist, this sustainability bioneer has blazed a visionary trail in the sustainability movement: The Sustainability Revolution & the Transformation of Humankind.

Prudence Farrow Bruns, Sanskrit scholar and film producer, the meditative muse for the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” offers her personal insights on the evolution of yoga in the West, beginning with her seminal time in India with Maharishi and the Beatles: The “Dear Prudence” Story.

Special Music Performances by the Chamber Singers of Southeast Iowa, MUM’s International Ensemble, and more. Additional Speakers to be Announced.

Saturday, April 20 • 1:00-4:30 & 7:45-9:30 pm • Dalby Hall • Argiro Student Center • MUM campus • Register Now • Space is Limited

For information and to register, see http://www.mum.edu/our-conscious-future

Admission is $25 general, $15 for staff, faculty, and IAA, and $10 for MUM students.

Please check the website and register online for Free Online Streaming Option. Now available: Our Conscious Future Schedule of Presentations.

Founded in 1971, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) offers Consciousness-Based℠ Education, a traditional academic curriculum enhanced with self-development programs like the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Students are encouraged to follow a more sustainable routine of study, socializing and rest without the typical college burnout. All aspects of campus life nourish the body and mind, including organic vegetarian meals served fresh daily. Located in Fairfield, Iowa, MUM is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business. Visitors Weekends are held throughout the year. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 800-369-6480 or visit http://www.mum.edu.

Related news in The Fairfield Ledger and Radio Iowa:

Dr. Pamela Peeke to speak at Maharishi University visionary conference event

Maharishi University conference focuses on health: Pam Peeke speaks on food addictions

Related articles by Linda Egenes for Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine:

How the TM Technique Can Help Stop Food Addiction: An Interview with Dr. Pam Peeke

Saving the Disposable Ones: TM Practice Offers a New Life to the Street Children of Colombia

Replays available on Livestream:

Part one starts @10:00: http://new.livestream.com/mum/events/2039710/videos/16900526
Part two starts @28:00: http://new.livestream.com/mum/events/2039710/videos/16941492

MUM Achievements reported on the event: MUM Hosts Conference on Consciousness 

kintsugi: japanese pottery inspires poetry

April 11, 2013

This poem was inspired by a tweet from @RobertYellin The art of making broken pottery more beautiful, kintsugi. pic.twitter.com/Q1ZLWzWQs

I replied @kenchawkin Wow! What a metaphor for turning obstacles into opportunities. Life’s lessons build character.

I thought about it and made it into a haiku, then a tanka, and sent it as another reply to his tweet.

I also thought it was appropriate for a piece of Japanese pottery to have inspired a poem in one of the forms of Japanese poetry. I don’t speak Japanese but am reading kintsukuroi as having five syllables.

Here is a link to Wikipedia explaining kintsugi or kintsukuroi. Read the explanation under the picture of the piece of pottery, then the poem.

kintsugi

kintsugi tanka

kintsukuroi
turning obstacles into
opportunities

life’s lessons build character
what was broken is now whole

Robert Yellin was featured on this blog before. See Takumi is not ‘lost in translation’ in this beautiful film about Japan’s diverse artisan tradition.

New study shows Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTS in African refugees

April 11, 2013

African war refugees practicing Transcendental Meditation®, a simple and effective stress-reducing meditation technique, experienced immediate and dramatic reductions in severe posttraumatic stress symptoms to a non-symptomatic level in just 30 days, according to a new study published this week in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 26, Issue 2, pp. 295-298.)

A significant percentage of veterans are returning home from wars exhibiting symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS). It is now recognized as a serious health problem that can trigger suicidal tendencies. But what about the victims of such violence? Homeless refugees live with the constant reminder of what war has done to their lives and those of their families.

While studies have shown the Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique to effectively lower posttraumatic stress in veterans of Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars, this is the first (randomized/matched) study to look at PTS in African war refugees. It measured the severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms before and after learning the TM technique, and the reductions were immediate and dramatic.

PTS Scores Graph

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores in the TM group went from high PTS symptoms at baseline to a non-symptomatic level after 30-days TM practice, and remained low at 135-days, while scores in the control group trended upward from baseline to the two posttests.

For more study details and comments by the surprised researchers, click the EurekAlert! press release, graph and video with descriptions, and a PDF of the published JTS TM-PTS Study.

The study was funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

In the past 20 years, 18 African nations have been ravaged by war. Tens of millions of Africans have been victims of violence or witnessed horrific acts of terror—and now suffer from post-traumatic stress. The DLF Africa PTSD Relief Project was set up to raise funds to teach the TM program to many more African refugees. Here is a short documentary with actor, director Bill Duke, Ambassador for African PTSD Relief. Please visit http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/africa to learn more.

The news was reported on MedicalXpress.com: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees, and linked to it from many other websites. Also by News-Medical.net: Study: Transcendental meditation reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees. And Medical News Today: Posttraumatic Stress Significantly Reduced By Transcendental Meditation. Psychiatric Annals/Helio: Meditation reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms in African refugees.

Here is an excellent comprehensive report with quotes from Russell Simmons, and David Lynch about the study posted on People of Shambala: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces post-traumatic stress for Congolese refugees: study. Google posted this excellent article by AFP: Filmmaker David Lynch touts meditation for PTSD.

More on Global Good News: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees, and  Johannesburg Transcendental Meditation Center: Post Traumatic Stress help for African Refugees.

See the Second study to show Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in African Refugees—in just 10 days.


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