The Fairfield Ledger
By ANDY HALLMAN | May 28, 2013
Reprinted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger
The Fairfield Ledger
By ANDY HALLMAN | May 28, 2013
Reprinted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger
An Iowa Senator delivers MUM’s commencement address
by Laura Simon for KTVO News | Saturday, May 25, 2013
FAIRFIELD, IOWA — The Morales-Rivera family moved from Chile to Iowa in 1984 in pursuit of the American Dream.
“We wanted a consciousness-based education for our daughters,” Tina Morales-Rivera said.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” Tina said. “It’s a great privilege. It’s really an honor to be with my daughters today.”
The Class of 2013 is made up of 334 students who represent 54 countries. This includes 251 graduates and 83 undergraduate degrees.
“They graduated their largest class in history which really underscores the trend the university’s going through right now,” Mayor of Fairfield Ed Malloy said. “They really are on a growth path.”
“I’ve been to a lot of commencements and I don’t think I’ve ever been on a platform where I’ve had as many different nations represented as there are here,” Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said.
Senator Harkin delivered a humorous, yet moving commencement speech. He says the most important thing to remember in life is to be apart of something bigger than yourself.
“Get involved in something,” Harkin said. “Think about the pebble you throw in the pond that makes waves that get bigger and bigger and bigger. Even if you’re a pebble, even if you’re not a senator or a governor, that doesn’t make any difference, you can start something in a community.”
The Morales-Rivera twins plan on taking Senator Harkin’s words to heart, furthering their media and communications education in the fall to obtain their master’s degrees.
“We’ve always loved movies and simply the world of media,” Coral Morales-Rivera said. “We want to change it and bring it to be more self-conscious of the beauty of life.”
For more information see the MUM press release announcing the MUM 2013 Awards Ceremony the night before and today’s graduation. An archive of it can be seen on Livestream. An archive of the graduation will be posted at a later time on the MaharishiUniversity YouTube Channel.
Filmmaker David Lynch, comedian Russell Brand, and David Lynch Foundation Executive Director Bob Roth answer questions about Transcendental Meditation following a screening of the documentary Meditation, Creativity, Peace. (Run Time: 41 minutes, April 2, 2103.)
Published on May 2, 2013 by hammermuseum
See related videos: Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary and Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”
Enlightenment, The TM Magazine, also reported on the event: Meditation Creativity Peace: How the David Lynch Foundation Brings Change from Within.
Dr. Mehmet Oz and his employees discuss the personal and corporate benefits derived from regularly practicing Transcendental Meditation: reduced stress, increased job performance, enhanced creativity, better teamwork, and improved health. Bottom line—his staff are more relaxed, productive, and happier. This more enlightened approach of developing healthier personnel from the inside out on their own time at work also makes good business sense. See the video he made to inspire other companies to do the same for their employees.
Published May 21, 2013 by tmwomenprofessionals
See these related videos: Dr. Oz on Transcendental Meditation | Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter | Dr. Mehmet Oz explains how we can overcome risk factors for heart disease with meditation | Dr Oz discusses ancient Ayurvedic approaches to weight loss with The Raj expert Candace Badgett and these articles: 14 Executives Who Swear By Meditation–10 do TM and Celebs who meditate featured in The Daily Beast.
Article and Photos by ANDY HALLMAN | May 16, 2013
A class at Maharishi University of Management is building a “tiny house,” just 12-feet-by-20-feet, for one of its teaching assistants to live in.
The class is appropriately called “Tiny Houses” and is taught out of the Sustainable Living Department. The teaching assistant and M.U.M. student who will live in the house is Heather Caldwell, who will share the tiny home with her daughter, Ellie, and son, Henry.
Ellie said the house “looks awesome.”
“There’s not excess space, so it’s going to encourage us to go outside more,” she said.
Henry said he thought the house would be bigger than it seemed Wednesday.
“I’m thinking of having a hatch in my room so I can go out onto the roof,” he said. “I think I’ll get used to the size of it.”
Caldwell and her family plan to move into the house in June.
The eight-member class is a little more than two weeks old. Caldwell designed a floor plan for the home. The entire class built walls and a floor according to Caldwell’s specifications. Wednesday afternoon, the class wanted to see the fruits of its labor so it assembled the floor and walls outside the library on the M.U.M. campus.
No heavy machinery was used to install the walls. About 12 people, including the class members and a few stray volunteers, hoisted the walls into place by hand.
Wednesday’s construction project was simply a demonstration to show Caldwell and the class what the tiny house would look like once it’s done. The class will disassemble the house and move it to its more permanent location near Abundance EcoVillage.
Mark Stimson, head of the building track in the M.U.M. Sustainable Living Program, is the professor for the class. He said his class’s project is part of a growing movement of people building small homes. One of the reasons people are turning to such tiny houses is financial.
“You can build your own home for just a few thousand dollars,” he said. “You can live without a mortgage. It’s a lifestyle and priority choice. If your priority is not to be a slave to your house but to live in a nice, tight, comfortable little house, and spend your money on other things, then you might consider building a tiny house.”
Stimson said Caldwell spent about $4,000 on building materials for the home.
Another major reason people choose to build small dwellings is to conserve energy. The small homes are easy to heat and cool. Stimson said many rely on renewable sources of energy such as solar power to heat them in the winter.
“A lot of them have no utility bills,” he said. “They produce all of their own energy.”
Caldwell’s home will feature large glass windows on the south side to take advantage of the sun’s rays in the winter.
Stimson said most of his students had no experience in construction prior to his class.
“We’re only two weeks into the class and they are already working at a clean, professional level,” he said. “It’s gratifying to me to see the change from three Mondays ago when we started the course till today. They’ve really come a long way. I tell my students that when they’re done with this course, they should be able to go anywhere in the country and be under a roof in two weeks.”
The class spends several hours per day in hands-on construction projects and also studies architecture in a traditional classroom setting. All the students in the class create a floor plan for a home they would like to build.
In order for the class to build a tiny house, someone has to pay for the materials. Stimson said that does not present a problem because people in Fairfield are lining up for tiny homes, especially now that students are donating their labor to build them.
Fairfield’s city ordinances do not allow a house of such small size to be built within the city limits, which is part of the reason Caldwell will build hers outside the city limits near Eco Village. Another reason she is building it there is because she wants to start a community of tiny homes.
Caldwell said she got the idea to move into a tiny house in December. She liked the idea of building an inexpensive home, and she was looking for a senior project to complete in order to graduate.
“In the Sustainable Living Program, we’re all about reduce, reuse and recycle,” she said. “We’re all very close here at the university. It’s cool to have classmates, who are people I care about, help build your house.”
Stimson said the course teaches students how to use space efficiently and creatively, which is especially necessary in a tiny house where there is so little of it.
“One thing in the house serves two or more functions,” he said. “[Caldwell’s] reading nook is going to turn into a guest bed. Some people put their dish drainers right above the sink, which is also where they store their dishes, so you don’t have to dry your dishes and put them in a cupboard. You just let them drain down into the sink.”
Caldwell said solar panels will supply electricity to her home. Her septic system will employ a composting toilet. Heat will be supplied by the solar panels and a wood stove. The house will be 12 feet high on one side and 11 feet high on the other. Rain will be collected from the roof for use in the house.
The course on tiny houses premiered earlier this year. Stimson said the class is so popular he has agreed to teach it next year and most likely will for many years.
Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger, this article covered almost the entire front page, including three large photos down the right side, and another one on the back inside page with the rest of the article.
FAIRFIELD, IOWA — We often say that bigger is better, but a tiny house movement sweeping the country is proving otherwise.
Fairfield has several tiny houses, most of them about the size of a typical college dorm room. Wednesday, students in the Sustainable Living program at Maharishi University started construction on the newest one — a 12-foot-by-20-foot home designed by student Heather Caldwell.
“A lot of people believe that – in the tiny house movement – that we just consume too much, we’re living in spaces that are way too big, we don’t need that much space,” Caldwell said. “And so these people are building tiny houses to live in them. The thing that I’m interested in once I graduate is not only building tiny houses, but building a community, tiny house communities. So there’s a tiny house movement right now where a lot of people individually are building tiny houses and pretty soon we’ll see more tiny communities popping up and that’s what I’m majoring in.”
The building course is new at Maharishi University, but they plan to teach it for a long time.
“It’s a global movement, people are doing it everywhere and the idea is to downsize and simplify and to lower your energy demands and to be able to live off of renewable energy,” said Professor Mark Stimson, of Maharishi’s Sustainable Living Program. “One of the greatest things is — well, two things — to become self-reliant. It used to be in the old days in this country everybody knew how to build their own house, but since then we’ve gotten kind of specialized in all that. So this is sort of going back to that era of self reliance. And then the greatest part also is just the idea of living mortgage-free. If you can save a few thousand dollars or just salvage materials from places, you can build a very comfortable, snug home for very little money and not have to pay a mortgage for 20 or 30 years.”
Heather designed every element of her tiny house and will be moving on with two kids, four cats and a dog.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” said Heather’s daughter, Ellie. “It’s one of those projects our parents say they’re going to do and then they don’t do. But it’s happening, so it’s fun.”
Caldwell said one of the most challenging aspects is utilizing the small space available to make a fully functioning home.
“One of the big keys to tiny houses is finding multiple uses for the same spot,” she said. “Like the reading nook in the tiny house is also a guest bed and it also houses the dining room table which slips out from underneath and that’s our dining room table.”
Heather’s family hopes to move in in late June and will live in the tiny house for a year. On top of being smaller and more energy-efficient, Heather’s house is also being designed to be entirely off the grid, with solar-powered windows, composting and mud plaster.
To learn more on Heather’s house and to see progress over the next few weeks, visit her blog by clicking here.
To learn more about the Sustainable Living program at MUM, click here.
Let’s remake the world with words.
Not frivolously, nor
To hide from what we fear,
But with a purpose.
As Wordsworth said, remove
“The dust of custom” so things
Shine again, each object arrayed
In its robe of original light.
And then we’ll see the world
As if for the first time.
As once we gazed at the beloved
Who was gazing at us.
~ Gregory Orr ~
Other poems by Gregory Orr
Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved
Resurrection of the body of the beloved,
Which is the world
Which is the poem
Of the world, the poem of the body.
Mortal ourselves and filled with awe,
we gather the scattered limbs
That he should live again.
That death not be oblivion.
When I open the book
I hear the poets whisper and weep,
Laugh and lament.
In a thousand languages
They say the same thing:
“We lived. The secret of life
is love, that casts its wing
over all suffering, that takes
in its arms the hurt child,
that rises green from the fallen seed.”
Sadness is there, too.
All the sadness in the world.
Because the tide ebbs,
Because wild waves
Punish the shore
And the small lives lived there.
Because the body is scattered.
Because death is real
And sometimes death is not
Even the worst of it.
If sadness did not run
Like a river through the Book,
Why would we go there?
What would we drink?
Oh, there’s blood enough, and sap
From the stalks. Tears, too.
A raindrop and the dark water
Of bogs. It’s a rich ink.
(hold up the page to the light,
hold the page near a flame).
The world comes into the poem.
The poem comes into the world.
Reciprocity – it all comes down
As with lovers:
When it’s right you can’t say
Who is kissing whom.
Lighten up, lighten up.
Let go of the heaviness.
Was it a poem from the Book
That so weighed you down?
Impossible. Less than a feather.
Less than the seed a milkweed
Pod releases in the breeze.
Lifted, it drifts out to settle
In a field, with all that’s inside it
Waiting to become
Root and tendril, to come alive.
Now the snow is falling
Even more than an hour ago.
The pine in the backyard
Bows with the weight of it.
Two years ago, my father
Died. What love we had
Hidden under misery,
Weighed down with years
Maybe the poem can free
Us, maybe the poem can express
The love and let the rest
Slide to the earth as the snow
Does now, freeing the tree
Of its burden.
To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That’s crudely put, but . . .
If we’re not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?
Time to shut up.
Voltaire said the secret
Of being boring
Is to say everything.
And yet I held
Back about love
All those years:
Talking about death
As I was alive;
Talking about loss
As if all was loss,
As if the world
Did not return
As if the beloved
Didn’t long for us.
No wonder I go on
So. I go on so
Because of the wonder.
~ Gregory Orr ~
(Meridian, Issue 14, Fall/Winter 2004)
Other poems by Gregory Orr:
FAIRFIELD, IOWA — Students involved in Wise Women Lead at Maharishi University of Management say women empowering other women is a universal custom.
“We wanted to give women the opportunity to come together,” Tabitha Sedgwick said. “I think it’s very important and it’s sometimes missing in our society, especially in America.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, the MUM Wise Women Lead selected four accomplished women from all walks of life to share their experience, offering valuable words of wisdom.
“Mothers are what give life to creation on earth,” Sedgwick said. “They are the ones that bring all lives here, so we just want to be able to honor them and all women in the world.”
“The particular women we’ve chosen to speak today, their legacy is that they want to create other leaders,” Jessica Keen, Director of the MUM Women’s Institute and Faculty Sponsor for Wise Women Lead said, “and that is they want to pass along their knowledge and they want to empower young women to really step into their own.”
Among that group of speakers included Leslee Goldstein who shared stories of two women she met in Uganda who are helping other Ugandan women living in poverty develop skills like sewing, planting and money management as ways to make support their families, helping many get out of prostitution.
“Whatever wisdom or feminine wisdom is in the world, it’s not like we only want the American perspective,” Momone Maley said. “I think that reaching out to women who are from different cultures and understanding what wisdom they’ve been passed.”
Other speakers talked about health, attending law school in the 1960s and what it’s like owning a non-profit organization.
“This is how leadership develops, and it’s not something you can necessarily learn in a classroom,” Keen said.
See MUMTV presents a LIVE WEBCAST of a Women’s Wisdom Weekend at Maharishi University of Management and link to the archived livestream webcast: http://new.livestream.com/mum/events/2087902,
Programmers always find more puzzles to solve
Fairfield Ledger article and photo by News Editor ANDY HALLMAN
This article appeared on the bottom half of the front page May 01, 2013.
Khongor Enkhbold and Khasan Bold are masters at solving riddles.
The kind of riddles Enkhbold and Bold like to solve are those that require an intimate knowledge of mathematics and computer programming. Enkhbold and Bold are students at Maharishi University of Management, where they both are seeking a master’s degree in computer science. The two regularly compete in online contests with people around the world where they have to write an algorithm to solve a vexing problem.
Bold said the reason he competes is not to win prizes but to learn more about computer science. Oftentimes, the only prize for winning these competitions is pride. Not all are like that, though.
Enkhbold and Bold performed so well in an online contest earlier this year they won an all-expenses-paid trip to Silicon Valley in California. They met with professionals from 14 technology companies, including social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Enkhbold said the problems in these competitions tend to be related to mathematics and formulas. Some are abstract while others deal with everyday topics. In fact, Twitter came up in one of the students’ recent competitions.
The contestants were given tweets from Twitter users such as president Barack Obama, singer Justin Bieber, basketball player LeBron James and the corporation Google, among others. Based on the tweets the contestants receive from each Twitter user, they write an algorithm that can predict who wrote a tweet when the author’s identity is unknown.
The algorithm the contestants write must parse the sentence in search of clues that give away the author. For instance, Google is an institution and not an individual person. Enkhbold said he noticed Google would not include the word “I” in its tweets, so he knew that any tweet that included that word could not have come from Google.
Bold said the contestants learn Twitter users often write about the same subject in tweet after tweet. This allows the contestants to write their code in a way that if that subject appears in a tweet, they have a good idea which Twitter user it came from.
“If the person is talking about Selena Gomez, the user should be Justin Bieber,” Bold said, referring to Bieber and Gomez’s courtship.
In the Twitter-user contest, there is no single correct algorithm that is sure to yield a perfect result every time. The object of the contest is to write a code that works better than any other contestant’s code. However, some of the competitions have a single, optimal solution the contestants must find.
Enkhbold and Bold are both from Mongolia, where they fostered a thirst for online competitive puzzles. They were both interested in computers at a young age. The two met at the National University of Mongolia six years ago and have been friends ever since. They spend a considerable portion of their time away from school competing against other programmers around the world.
“If I have free time and there’s a competition going on, I participate,” Enkhbold said. “I compete three to four times a month. Some competitions last two hours while others last one or two days.”
Enkhbold and Bold won several computer-programming competitions even before enrolling at M.U.M. In 2010, they were on a three-person team that won the championship cup for all of Mongolia. In 2009, they won bronze medals in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition in Shanghai, China.
Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.