Archive for September, 2019

Award-winning film on leadership features MUM professors F. Travis, R. Schneider and H. Harung

September 28, 2019

I had the pleasure of hosting Silvia Damiano when she visited Maharishi University to interview some of our faculty for her documentary film, Make Me a Leader, a brain-based approach to leadership.

Silvia Damiano is a scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist and filmmaker. Silvia’s scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade-long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. She founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratizing leadership and neuroscience.

Silvia’s recent About My Brain Institute newsletter contained exciting news: My Creative Journey to Hollywood. Our film wins Best Documentary & Best Director! We wanted to share the good news. Here is Jim Karpen’s article published in the Oct 2, 2019 issue, page 4, of The Review. I added links from our faculty’s names to trailers containing some of their input.

Award-Winning Film Presents Faculty Research

Filmmaker Silvia Damiano has her EEG assessed by Professor Fred Travis in the documentary Make Me a Leader.

A documentary on brain-based leadership that includes interviews with Professors Fred Travis and Robert Schneider, and former adjunct professor Harald Harung, recently won Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards.

The filmmaker, Silvia Damiano, came to campus to conduct interviews.

In his segment, Dr. Travis emphasizes the importance of a leader having a clear mind. Dr. Harung talks about the importance of mind-brain development in becoming a good leader. And Dr. Schneider explains that an optimally functioning brain depends on an optimally functioning physiology. The film, titled Make Me a Leader, also shows Dr. Travis taking Ms. Damanio’s EEG.

A practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique, Ms. Damiano is the founder and CEO of About My Brain Institute.

The documentary can be viewed at aboutmybrain.com/makemealeader for $10. A trailer that includes Dr. Harung and Dr. Travis can be viewed on YouTube.

The film describes how to develop the leaders of the future and suggests a new mindset based on science that integrates the entire biological system from the brain down.

Ms. Damiano offers leadership training and wrote in an email, “I am happy I was able to showcase the amazing work of Fred and Harald. I speak about them all the time.”

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Related post: MUM @maharishiuni professors explore secrets of world-class performers in World-Class Brain book, includes links to relevant studies and presentations.

New: Dr. Harald Harung speaks on Higher Brain Integration for Effective Leadership today during a Session on Day 3 at the International Leadership Summit, Nov 5-7, 2019. Around halfway through Harald’s interview with summit organizer Archanna Shetty he describes ways to increase brain integration, which includes the regular practice of TM.

For more posts on Dr Harung, visit The Uncarved Blog.

Why Michael Braunstein meditates using TM, what it is and isn’t, and the benefits, for him.

September 13, 2019

I enjoy Michael Braunstein’s writing style, the way he talks to his readers. It’s simple, direct, and gets to the point, mixed in with a little humor. In his first article, Meditate. Your Mind Wants To., published January 13, 2019, Michael Braunstein shared his fascinating story of how he was inspired to learn Transcendental Meditation. During recording sessions, first with Paul McCartney, later with George Harrison, he became aware of TM’s effect on them. But it was Ron Altbach who inspired Michael to want to learn to meditate. Ron shines in this second TM article as well. Enjoy reading Why I Meditate, published August 24, 2019 in The Reader (Omaha, NB), posted August 27, 2019 in Heartland Healing, and now on The Uncarved Blog, with permission from the author.

Why I Meditate

by Michael Braunstein

My first brush with meditation turned out to be something other than meditation. As a sophomore in high school, our Jesuit theology teacher wanted to teach us and he gave it a go. (I love the Jesuits. They taught me freedom of thought and respect for intuitive knowledge.) After a brief description of some of the benefits, he told us to close our eyes then asked us to imagine a snow-covered frozen lake. At one corner of the lake was a man with a snow shovel and we were to imagine the man slowly walking in a straight line from shore to shore pushing the shovel in front of him. And that was it. My sophomoric high school mind wasn’t impressed. Only years later did I come to realize that he was teaching us more of a visualization than a meditation.

Years later, in April 1983, was the next time I thought about meditation. Living in Hollywood, whenever I stayed at Mimi’s cottage townhouse in Westwood I would find her rising before me early in the morning and sitting in a chair downstairs with her eyes closed. She had told me to expect that she would be meditating in the morning. One day I asked her what kind of meditation she did. She told me she learned Transcendental Meditation and followed with, “If you ever want to learn meditation, learn TM. When you learn TM, you know that you are truly meditating. TM is sort of like the ‘Cadillac of meditation.’” Those words stayed with me.

One year later. Ron Altbach was executive producer of a major live concert album and television broadcast I engineered. It starred the Beach Boys, America, Ringo, Hank Williams, Jr., Julio Iglesias, Three Dog Night and a host of others. It was a complex project and required tremendous technical expertise both on the day of recording and in post-production. Problem-solving techniques often saw me huddling with my techie assistants mulling solutions. As we geniuses bantered about which way to proceed, on more than one occasion, from the back of the room came a quiet and unassuming comment, usually along the lines of, “What if you…? Would that work?” The speaker was Ron. And each time, his solution was a good one.

After two or three of his successful suggestions, I asked him, “Ron, you’re not an engineer or tech. How are you coming up with these solutions? Where’s that coming from?” His answer was simple: “I think because I meditate, I’m able to assess situations more clearly.”

We talked about the meditation he learned, Transcendental Meditation, and it stuck with me. Three months later I learned TM at the Beverly Hills TM Center on 3rd Street. It took four sessions over 5 days and was easy. It wasn’t free or even cheap to learn. But it may go down as the best money I ever spent. Extrapolated over the years since, it’s worked out to about two cents daily. And it’s becoming a better deal everyday.

What it is and isn’t. I often have occasion to talk to people about their meditation. Some say they listen to a recording. Others say they sit and listen for answers. Some stare at candles. Some even say things like, “Mowing the lawn is my meditation;” or “I’m meditating when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.” Well, my comment about that is that listening to a recording is just that: listening to a recording. It’s not meditation. Mowing the lawn, staring at a candle or working out are fine. They are exactly what you say they are but they’re not meditation. Meditation is a specific skill best passed from teacher to student. It’s not a byproduct of another activity. In a simple description, it is intentionally sending the mind toward a state of thoughtlessness; not thinking. It is clearing the mind, releasing it from the random thoughts of the conscious, babbling intellectual mind and seeking to quiet the mind. It is not actively using the mind to request things, hear guidance or watch candles burn. That’s as simple as I can state it. It is experienced, not described.

Benefits of meditation. There is an extensive list of benefits to actual meditation. And, admittedly, there are some minor ones that become available to simple relaxation and focused attention like just resting for a period of time. Descriptions of the many benefits of meditation are easily found in books or online. Transcendental Meditation has been studied more than any other technique and research statistics are plentiful. It’s surprising that it’s not covered under health insurance or Medicare.

For me. I’ve been doing TM daily since 1984, missing maybe a half-dozen days at most. Do I do it for the benefits listed? Maybe. I don’t think about it. Have I experienced TM leading to amazing health benefits for me? I have experienced some examples so I guess you could say so. But there is one overriding reason why I do TM every single day: It feels good. If it didn’t, I’m sure I would stop. To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, (who, by the way, does TM everyday,) “Do you want to feel good? Well, do ya?”

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.

Tony Walsh @LongfellaPoet’s poem, Take This Pen, inspires Brits to contribute to @PoetryDayUK

September 7, 2019

National Poetry Day, the UK-wide celebration of poetry, celebrates its 25th anniversary on 3 Oct: the theme is truth. Enjoy, discover & share!

I came across this tweet by Tony Walsh @LongfellaPoet about this event: Delighted to share this. Please watch/tag/share. It’s my poem Take This Pen, beautifully illustrated by the wonderful @chrisriddell50. It’s an inspiration piece to launch #tellyourtruthpoem for @PoetryDayUK.

Enjoy this powerful poem and video that is sure to inspire young and old alike to creatively express their own truth in a poem. Read more on this international superstar poet, teacher, and performer Tony Walsh Poet.

Very relevant is this poem, WHO ARE YOU? in the 2013 film, Words and Pictures, inviting students to create and become who they are.

Here’s one of my earliest poems about this magical creative process: Sometimes Poetry Happens: a poem about the mystery of creativity.

My son wrote this wise and amazing poem when he was 11 years old: INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin.

This post—The perils of praise or blame for young writers. New ways to help students find their own voice—is a treasure trove of knowledge and teaching strategies by poets, writers, and innovative educators.

Parents performing “I want to hold your hand” to their baby gives new meaning to this Beatles song

September 7, 2019

I saw this 30-second loop video on AMOK’s Twitter feed and fell in love. Look at the sweet, innocent, loving expression on this baby’s face as she listens attentively to her mother sing that famous Beatles song! I tracked down their 43-second YouTube video and discovered Us The Duo. Found their music and bio on Spotify, then their website, both posted below.

Published on Feb 13, 2019, Us The Duo‘s Michael and Carissa Alvarado sing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles to their new baby girl, Xyla Rose. Mom is holding baby girl and the camera, while dad plays the piano and holds Xyla’s hand. They say, “This video makes us so happy! We can’t wait to show it to her someday” 🙂 For more daily content of Us The Duo and their baby girl Xyla, check out their instagram @UsTheDuo!

When Michael & Carissa Alvarado met in 2012, they had no idea their romantic relationship would eventually turn into the pop-duo musical sensation known as Us The Duo. These two multi-instrumentalists and singers went from sharing half-faced singing videos on the internet to performing around the world, supporting speakers and artists such as Oprah Winfrey, Pentatonix, and Tori Kelly. Their love of songwriting has led to 5 original album releases, over 100 million Spotify streams and a major feature in the Golden Globe Nominated film, “The Book of Life.” When the band isn’t putting together innovative ad campaigns for brands such as Amazon, AT&T, Target, and MGM Resorts, they are continually creating music videos (over 200+ million views) for their loyal social media fanbase of over 7 million followers. Now, they’ve begun their biggest adventure yet with the arrival of their new baby girl, Xyla. For continual snapshots of their daily family life and musical creations, be sure to visit @UsTheDuo on social media. Visit their website: Us The Duo.

Followup: I’ve discovered more about this couple. Watch this video, Our Story – Us The Duo, how they met, fell in love, and started making music together. They also performed on America’s Got Talent. See their audition and performances: Best Of Us The Duo On Season 13 Of AGT – America’s Got Talent 2018. They had discussed wanting to have a family, and even announced their pregnancy: Us The Duo: Singing Couple ❤ Announces PREGNANCY On Judge Cuts | America’s Got Talent 2018, and would later perform during her pregnancy, prompting the judges to call them, Us The Trio! Earlier on, YouTube Music sent them a box and challenged them to write a new song with the stuff inside. See Band in a Box Challenge! – Us The Duo.

Related: Can you imagine a world without the Beatles? Watch the new film “Yesterday” to find out. And this: Lady Lullaby Sings Welcome Home to Love and Dance Like The Wind.

The David Lynch Foundation Is Helping Transform Veteran PTSD With Transcendental Meditation

September 5, 2019

Thanks to Cliff Sloan of Phil and Company for this amazing interview: The David Lynch Foundation Tackles Veteran PTSD with Meditation. This is one of the best discussions I’ve heard on the topic! Humane! Inspiring!

Cliff interviews David Lynch Foundation (DLF) CEO and New York Times best-selling author Bob Roth, and retired US Army Ranger and Boulder Crest Retreat (BCR) Executive Director Dusty Baxley on the power of Transcendental Meditation (TM) to transform the lives of veterans suffering with PTSD, suicide, and depression.

Bob explains the uniqueness of TM, how it differs from other categories of meditation, and the research behind it. The Foundation creates star-studded events to raise the funds necessary to teach this effective stress-reduction technique. DLF has made TM available to over 1 million at-risk students around the world, veterans with PTSD and their families, battered women, and other traumatized groups.

Dusty gives a dramatic firsthand account of how TM saved his life. After learning to meditate he could finally sleep and stopped self-medicating. He cleaned up his act, went to a veterans reunion, and learned of fellow veteran suicides and lost lives. (Suicides are now up 30%!) They saw a huge change in him and asked him what he was doing. He told them about TM and they asked him to teach them. He became a certified TM teacher and has been teaching veterans to meditate and reclaim their lives. TM is at the core of BCR’s veteran and first-responders program to develop Posttraumatic Growth.

Listen to this powerful, and sometimes humorous, enlightening podcast.

Related: Celebrities Russell Brand @rustyrockets, @CameronDiaz, @katyperry, and War Veterans Praise #TranscendentalMeditation | #TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD | Veterans who learn TM find relief from PTSD. New study shows symptoms had reduced by 80% to below the clinical level in one month | Norwich University, oldest private U.S. military college, benefits from Transcendental Meditation.


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