Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

#TranscendentalMeditation eases the busy mind improving both emotional and physical well-being

January 24, 2020

Transcendental Meditation – Helping to ease the busy mind

As the UK slowly sheds its prehistoric attitudes to mental health, meditation is coming to the fore as an accessible and achievable way of improving both emotional and physical well-being.

By Steve Holloway, Monday, 20th January 2020.

Published in Brighton & Hove Independent and Bagnor Regis Observer.

Nick Cave (Photo by Fred Duval/Getty Images)

The growing weight of evidence of its effectiveness in tackling all manner of mental and physical maladies make it an attractive prospect for all of the people whose internal monologue isn’t as measured or as supportive as they’d like it to be.

While business leaders have praised the way meditation helps them to deal with extreme levels of stress, the more artistic types have long waxed lyrical about it as a pathway to creativity.

I had attempted meditation in the past, in the less than stressful environs of Brighton Buddhist Centre, but enjoyable and pleasant as it was, I was unable to immediately tame my ‘monkey mind’, and blundered on with the chaotic maelstrom of life.

Mark Heath, a certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation

But then in June last year I was lucky enough to see Nick Cave perform a memorable show at the Brighton Dome, in which the engaging singer-songwriter espoused the benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM), and cited it as a contributory factor in his continued recovery following the sudden loss of his 15-year-old son Arthur.

Cave has always been a hugely charismatic figure, but his openness and generosity of spirit in the face of such a harrowing experience, was remarkable, and he provided an incredibly positive and persuasive advert for TM.

Inspired by the words and positive actions of the former Godfather of Goth, I got in touch with the Brighton and Hove branch of Transcendental Meditation.

The worldwide organisation, developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and famously popularised in the UK by The Beatles, has taught its techniques to more than ten million people of all ages, cultures and religions, who learn to meditate in the hope of attaining inner peace and wellness.

David Lynch. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Those techniques are simplicity itself, based on the silent recital of a mantra, whilst seated, for 20 minutes, twice a day.

Film director David Lynch, a passionate advocate of TM, has not missed a single twice-daily meditation in more than 45 years, and has said it has given him ‘effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within’.

For Sussex residents the pursuit of that happiness begins in the suitably serene surroundings where Mark Heath teaches the principles of Transcendental Meditation in the cosiest and most welcoming of venues at the Brighton and Hove TM Centre on the northern outskirts of Brighton.

An enjoyable one-to-one session included a simple ceremony where I was given my very own personal mantra and immediately encouraged to embark upon the aforementioned twice-daily meditations.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

It was easy as it sounds. And within days, something resembling a meditative state, was, at least intermittently, accessible.

The following week I attended small group sessions with other people who had also just begun their Transcendental Meditation journey, where we discussed our early experiences and Mark, with great enthusiasm and patience, answered our questions.

He also explained the theoretical principles, which he said would subconsciously stop the brain questioning the process and help TM to do its thing.

The mantra is key, obviously, and TM accepts that you won’t immediately be able to banish all other thoughts, but in the moments between the mantra and random thought, will, hopefully, be the moments when you transcend thought.

The Brighton and Hove Transcendental Meditation Centre

There were also plenty of great group meditations (which are available on an open-ended basis after the course concluded) and Mark proved to be the perfect guide, full of warmth and the second great advert for TM I’ve encountered.

A month on from completing the course, and looking forward to more group meditations, I’m largely sticking to the twice-daily programme (sometimes life gets in the way) and noticing some benefits and hopeful for more in the future.

I’m miles away from the beatific glow which seems to come across Mark’s face the moment he begins to meditate, and I haven’t quite reached the joyful depths that David Lynch luxuriates in on a twice-daily basis, but I’m happy in the spiritual beginners pool and poised to go deeper…

To find out more about TM visit: uk.tm.org/brighton

###

Here are two enjoyable articles by other UK writers. Both had tried different types of meditation and were in a position to assess what makes TM different and effective. Tara Gardner working in the US for Glam wrote: How Transcendental Meditation Gives Me Mental Clarity Like Nothing Else. Louise O’Neill in Ireland wrote this Good Opinion piece on Transcendental Meditation.

And speaking of the Beatles, here’s a great cover story on Ringo in Parade. It came out last summer on his 79th birthday. I excerpted his profound comments on life and TM in this post: What Transcendental Meditation does for Ringo.

@ladygaga & @Oprah discover they both learned #TranscendentalMeditation from @meditationbob

January 18, 2020

Two weeks ago I was watching this interview between Oprah and Lady Gaga during the launch of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Your Live in Focus Tour in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Lady Gaga Talks Mental Health at Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour. Lady Gaga shares a lot of her personal history and mental health situation with Oprah. She’s been living with a great deal of pain from fibromyalgia, explains where it came from, and how she is medically and psychologically dealing with it.

Oprah then asks her about the other things she does to keep herself spiritually sound and centered. Lady Gaga answers, “I meditate. I do Transcendental Meditation. It’s great. Bob Roth taught me.” Oprah says, “Bob Roth taught me.” Lady Gaga whispers to Oprah, “Isn’t he great?” Oprah agrees, “He’s great.” Gaga explains when she misses a meditation, “when I slip up on it, you know it’s not the best, because it’s better when I do, and sometimes when I get in a ton of pain and meditate, it goes away. Amazing!”

Some of us had known that Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, had learned Transcendental Meditation, but it was private. This seems to be the first time she’s come out about it publicly, to Oprah and her audience, and how TM’s been helping her.

After the interview, Oprah went backstage to personally thank Lady Gaga for her bravery, honesty and vulnerability, and how great their talk was. It’s on Oprah’s Instagram page.

I was so surprised by this public revelation that I sent it out to my newsletter subscribers and told Bob Roth @meditationbob, DLF CEO, about it. He hadn’t heard about it yet and was also pleasantly surprised.

Within a short time the David Lynch Foundation tweeted it and posted it on their and Bob‘s Instagram accounts. The video clip was also recently posted on Twitter by Maharishi International University @maharishiuni. By now, this video clip has gone viral globally, so I figured I might as well post it on my blog. Enjoy!

CBS This Morning’s David Begnaud reported on the Behind the Scenes with Oprah: Oprah kicks off wellness tour in Florida with Lady Gaga.

On January 7, 2020, CNBC published: Oprah, Ray Dalio and Lady Gaga swear by this simple meditation technique.

See Ray Dalio’s Principle of the Day: Meditate.

New study shows Transcendental Meditation prevents abnormal enlargement of the heart, reduces chronic heart failure risk

December 26, 2019

A randomized controlled study recently published in the Hypertension issue of Ethnicity & Disease found the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique helps prevent abnormal enlargement of the heart compared to health education (HE) controls. Also known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), it can lead to chronic heart failure and death. It is twice as prevalent among African Americans. LVH and CVD death rates are double in African Americans compared to whites, possibly due to psychosocial stress. EurekAlert! Press Release

Changes in Left Ventricle Mass Index (LVMI) between the TM and HE Groups after 6 Months

After six months, the control group showed nearly 10% progression of abnormal heart enlargement (LVMI) while the TM group maintained their baseline level of heart size.

Transcendental Meditation prevents abnormal enlargement of the heart, reduces chronic heart failure risk

A randomized controlled study recently published in Ethnicity & Disease in their Autumn 2019 Hypertension issue found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique helps to prevent abnormal enlargement of the heart compared to health education (HE) controls. Also known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), it can lead to chronic heart failure and death, and is especially prevalent among African Americans.

Risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Despite advances in medical care, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the USA. Abnormal enlargement of heart, medically known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), is an important risk factor for CVD. It doubles the risk of heart attacks, arrhythmias, stroke, heart failure, and death from CVD.

Heart disease death rates are significantly higher in African Americans than in whites, in part because the rate of LVH is double in African Americans compared to whites.

The disproportionately high rates are suggested to be associated with the burden of psychosocial stress.

A recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association emphasized the potential for stress-reduction methods to prevent heart disease and premature mortality in African Americans.

Prevented further heart enlargement

The trial included 85 African Americans with high blood pressure who were randomly assigned to Transcendental Meditation or to a health education (HE) control group, in addition to usual medical care.

This trial tested the effects of stress-reducing meditation to prevent LVH in this high-risk population. It found that stress reduction with TM practice prevented heart enlargement in hypertensive African American patients.

After six months, the control group showed nearly 10% progression of abnormal heart enlargement while the TM group maintained their baseline level of heart size.

The findings of this study suggest that TM practice is an effective nondrug method for preventing heart enlargement in African American hypertensives who are especially at high risk of developing associated CVD.

“This is a form of heart disease where nondrug treatments are relatively understudied,” said Professor Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, first author. “Since the physiology of stress contributes to cardiac enlargement, we hypothesized that managing one’s mind-body connection with Transcendental Meditation might prevent the disease process.”

Use of echocardiography to detect hypertrophy

Echocardiography is a noninvasive diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart muscle. Ultrasound waves that rebound or echo off the heart can show the size, shape, and movement of the heart’s valves and chambers as well as the flow of blood through the heart. It can therefore be used to detect heart chamber or wall enlargement known as hypertrophy.

Echocardiography was issued at the start of the study to both TM and HE groups. After six months of practice, repeat testing with echocardiography found that the HE control group progressed on cardiac enlargement while the TM group prevented further enlargement. There was a significant change in left ventricle mass index (LVMI) between the groups after the six-month intervention.

11% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality

Komal Marwaha, M.D., Ph.D., coauthor of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Health at MIU, Maharishi International University (formerly Maharishi University of Management) worked on this research as part of her doctoral thesis.

“By preventing left ventricle mass index progression in the present study, TM may reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with LVH,” she said. “Patients randomized to practicing the TM technique in the current study had an estimated 11 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality and an 8 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared with the control group.”

Dr. Schneider, dean of MIU’s College of Integrative Medicine, said these reductions are significant. “These results suggest that an effective technique for stress reduction may prevent the progression of left ventricular hypertrophy and thereby help to prevent premature heart disease and cardiac mortality.”

Keith Norris, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at UCLA, and one of the study’s co-authors, added: “We hope these findings will lead to more investigations into nondrug interventions for the prevention and early intervention of heart disease that are sorely needed given the high cost of health care in our nation and the impact of health care cost on low income and disproportionately minority communities.”

The research was conducted in conjunction with Martin Luther King Hospital and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, and was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Possible study limitations

Of the 85 original subjects, roughly 50% in each group were available for the final echocardiograph tests after the 6-month study period. The high attrition might have reduced power for some of the findings.

However, the attrition was not significantly different between the TM and the HE groups, thus reducing potential subject bias in the final sample. Moreover, the attritors and completers were not significantly different in demographic or physiological characteristics at baseline that prevented the occurrence of systematically biased treatment outcomes. No record of compliance for home TM practice was collected. However, the record of meeting attendance was significantly higher in the TM (80.6%) as compared with HE (50.2%) group (P=.001).

###

Ethnicity & Disease: Original Reports: Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Factors Vol 29, No 4 (2019): Stress Reduction in the Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education in Hypertensive African Americans, Robert H. Schneider, Hector F. Myers, Komal Marwaha, Maxwell A. Rainforth, John W. Salerno, Sanford I. Nidich, Carolyn Gaylord-King, Charles N. Alexander, Keith C. Norris Ethn Dis. 2019;29(4):577-586; doi:10.18865/ed.29.4.577. Also listed on PubMed.

Related: PET scans show Transcendental Meditation with cardiac rehabilitation increases blood flow to the heart | Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA

News coverage has been positive. The press release has been posted on medical news sites around the world. Johny Fernandez at CBS News in New York puts out a MedDay report on the top health stories in the news and included ours. It was picked up by KOLR 10 CBS News in Springfield, MO, on MedDay – December 27, 2019, and included in their Health and Medical segment. I cued up the video from their YouTube site. It’s also on their OzarksFirst site. It starts at 40 seconds in.

The January 4, 2020 issue of Enjoy TM News published: New Study: TM Technique Effective in Preventing Abnormal Heart Enlargement and Reducing Heart Failure. Risk factor for cardiovascular disease reduced.

Jan 7, 2020, Medical Research published a Q&A with Dr. Schneider: Transcendental Meditation To Reduce LVH in African Americans.

PET scans show Transcendental Meditation with cardiac rehabilitation increases blood flow to the heart

December 5, 2019

EurekAlert! Summary: Study finds coronary heart disease (CHD) patients who include Transcendental Meditation (TM) with cardiac rehabilitation (CR) increased blood flow to the heart by 20.7%. This was the first study to show TM significantly enhanced lifestyle modification in patients, and the first to use positron emission tomography (PET) to measure their effect on cardiac function and rehabilitation. The NIH-funded study was conducted at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in collaboration with the Institute of Prevention Research. See EurekAlert! Press Release.

###

Can more be done besides diet and exercise to better recover from a heart attack, a stroke, or to prevent one? Scientists from Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Institute for Prevention Research conducted a study, with and without meditation, to find out.

The study, published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, found that patients with coronary heart disease who included Transcendental Meditation (TM) with their cardiac rehabilitation regime increased blood flow to the heart by more than 20%.

Titled “Effects of cardiac rehabilitation with and without meditation on myocardial blood flow using quantitative positron emission tomography”, the pilot study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in collaboration with the Institute for Prevention Research. The research involved 56 patients who had coronary heart disease, including recent heart attack, coronary artery bypass, or angina.

First study of its kind

The project was a groundbreaking proof-of-concept study, in that it was the first to combine Transcendental Meditation with other lifestyle treatment modalities, and the first to use positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the effect of lifestyle mind-body modification on cardiac function.

“This was the first study to show that the cardiovascular benefits of lifestyle modification such as structured exercise and dietary counseling may be enhanced by adding Transcendental Meditation in patients with heart disease,” said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, co-director of the study and medical director of the Institute for Prevention Research. “It also found that the Transcendental Meditation technique alone was able to reverse the effects of coronary heart disease assessed by PET imaging.”

Considered a gold standard for measuring myocardial flow reserve non-invasively, cardiac PET has diagnostic and prognostic significance in coronary heart disease.

Randomized, controlled pilot study

The researchers randomly divided the subjects into four groups: cardiac rehabilitation, Transcendental Meditation, Transcendental Meditation plus cardiac rehabilitation, or usual care.

The results showed that of the 37 patients who completed posttesting, myocardial blood flow increased by 20.7% in the group that did both Transcendental Meditation and cardiac rehabilitation. Blood flow in the group that practiced Transcendental Meditation alone increased 12.8%. Cardiac rehabilitation by itself showed an improvement of 5.8%. And patients who received the usual treatment showed a decrease in blood flow of -10.3%. Also see graph of Changes in myocardial flow reserves for the combined TM and non-TM groups.

Stress reduction therapies in cardiac rehabilitation

“Although this is a preliminary study, it suggests that managing one’s mind-body connection with Transcendental Meditation can improve the function of the heart in cardiovascular patients,” said Dr. Schneider, who is also dean of Maharishi University of Management’s College of Integrative Medicine.

He said that psychosocial stress is known to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease but that stress reduction therapies aren’t usually included in cardiac rehabilitation.

“More research needs to be done, but this study and previous research strongly suggest that medical professionals should consider utilizing this simple yet effective mind-body intervention in their heart health treatment and prevention programs,” Dr. Schneider said.

Possible mechanism

While it’s not known precisely how Transcendental Meditation would increase blood flow, the researchers speculate that it’s a result of improved endothelial-mediated coronary and arteriolar vasomotor function. That is, reduced levels of stress hormones and possibly inflammation may result in improved function of the endothelial cells that line the coronary arteries. They cite research, which has found that modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease improves blood flow in the heart.

Limitations of the study

While the study suggests that the Transcendental Meditation technique can increase blood flow in cardiovascular patients, carefully conducted clinical trials with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the benefit.

“This was a first pilot study designed to determine the size of the effect and feasibility,” Dr. Schneider said. “Of the 56 original subjects, only 37 were available for the final posttesting of blood flow after the 12-week study period. In addition, compliance with cardiac rehabilitation was average, with attendance at exercise sessions about 60%. Also, the subjects practicing Transcendental Meditation may have received more attention than the rehabilitation group. This initial study paves the way for full scale clinical trials that will more rigorously evaluate these effects.”

Transcendental Meditation also reduces risk factors for heart disease

Earlier studies have shown that the Transcendental Meditation technique reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance. A 2012 study found a 48% reduction in heart attack, stroke, and death.

###

Effects of cardiac rehabilitation with and without meditation on myocardial blood flow using quantitative positron emission tomography: A pilot study https://doi.org/10.1007/s12350-019-01884-9.

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31529385.

Some News Coverage

Within 4 days of posting the press release there were well over 12,000 page views on EurekAlert! Some significant science news websites that reported on the study were HealthImaging: Meditation increases blood flow in the heart, PET scans show; and PsychCentral: Transcendental Meditation with Cardiac Rehab Can Increase Blood Flow to Heart.

Gary Null discussed the need for prevention on his show’s podcast and shared news of newly published natural approaches for improving heart health. He included MUM’s study at CUIMC from 26:28 to 27:10.

Related: New study shows Transcendental Meditation prevents abnormal enlargement of the heart, reduces chronic heart failure risk

The playful joy of effortless creation displayed by Donna Warwick inspired this haiku turned tanka

November 29, 2019

Author, visual artist, and TM teacher Donna Warwick posts digital paintings on her Instagram as @artsfusionist. She created this painting that expresses the effortless mysterious process of creation. The Absolute becoming Relative. BEing BEcoming. To me it looks like the moment of conception, and also the sprouting of a seed idea. Either way, it’s creation. It inspired me to write this haiku, then extend it to a tanka. Read Donna’s description below.

Effortless Creation

Inspired by a painting by Donna Warwick

I AM THAT I AM
I AM ONE — Become Many
BEING Becoming

I AM therefore I Create
An Idea of My Self

®Ken Chawkin
Nov. 29, 2019

Donna added this description for Thanksgiving Day: Thought and Action:
It is the frictionless flow between thought and action that produces effortless achievement in life. One feels the profound connection between the source of thought and the fulfillment of the action. The sweetest thing is that the result of this is the bliss of experiencing something greater than our small selves. For the true source of all success is not the ego. Nor is it the wide assortment of details about one’s personality/individuality. That is why the experience of unity with unbounded pure consciousness is so fulfilling. Consciousness is that which is shared by all. For me, that experience is one of the natural results of my practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. On this Thanksgiving I feel waves of gratitude to my TM teacher.

A photograph by Julia Preminger of the Catskill Mountains covered in snow inspired this haiku

November 27, 2019

I saw this photograph of an early winter forest scene that Julia Preminger had posted on her Instagram. It inspired me to write this haiku.

Snowy forest winter wonderland in the Catskill Mountains, NY. Photo by Julia Preminger

another winter haiku
based on a photograph by Julia Preminger

white wisps of winter
nature powders her features
we watch in wonder

®Ken Chawkin
Nov. 27, 2019

Here’s an earlier one: this snow buddha photo inspired a winter haiku.

Nathanael Chawkin featured in @PlusPlusHQ IDEAS and @LinkedIn: How to Grow Your People with Peer Coaching and Real-Time Feedback

November 13, 2019

My son is featured in PlusPlus IDEAS. Eaming Wu interviewed Nathanael for the article, How to Grow Your People. It’s also posted on LinkedIn and Medium by PlusPlus Founder and CEO Marko Gargenta.

For a more enlightened approach to corporate development, read how Nathanael Chawkin offers a vision of leadership that extends beyond single leaders implementing their will upon an organization—one in which mutual self-awareness between individuals contributes to a more functional and higher-achieving whole.

Click the title to read whole article. Here are the opening paragraphs, with a few excerpted quotes.

How to Grow Your People: Creating Cultures of Fulfillment with Peer Coaching and Real-Time Feedback with Nathanael Chawkin

Studies show that 7 of 10 workers would trade their current jobs for a position that offered them more fulfillment and meaning—a third would even take a pay cut for that offer. Businesses have been taking notice of these findings from the science of motivation. According to a study by PwC, 79% of leaders know that employee fulfillment is paramount to business success. However, only 38% of these leaders are actually making business decisions according to this metric. 

In other words, businesses know that to attract the best talent and maximize the potential of their employees, they have to create cultures of fulfillment in the workplace. But they are struggling with implementation. 

Nathanael Chawkin, after over six years as an executive coach for an intensive, 52-week integral leadership program, came to see this gap as the difference between what leaders were willing to put into practice themselves and the change they were capable of implementing within their own companies. That’s why he founded Palaestra Leadership in 2016, where he has been on the frontlines of creating cultural change within organizations.

Here are a few quotes from this informative article:

“My whole business is based on the mojo of being ‘on the mat’—building teams who know how to challenge each other through handling conflict and using that to create a whole new level of trust.”

“When you feel psychologically safe enough to take the risk of telling someone the truth about how you see them, of extending yourself for the sake of their personal growth, it is actually the constructive feedback that can make them feel like you really care about them.”

“When employees directly engage in coaching each other, they can learn by doing. You don’t get better by watching me do push-ups. You have to do them yourself to improve.”

“90% of people are willing to coach and be coached,” Chawkin says, citing a study by Imperative. “And that’s how they get a sense of fulfillment.”

I was impressed by this comment posted by Ian Gardner, CEO at Royale EV, one of Nathanael’s clients:

Having worked closely with Nathanael over the last 4 years in both a personal and professional setting I can attest to the power of his process and the pervasive positive impact it has on both company culture and team members personally. I won’t start another company without this commitment being embedded in the culture.

And this one from former associate LeeAnn Mallory, Leadership Coach + Consultant; Organization Alignment Leader; Podcast Host; Board Chair, Conscious Capitalism Dallas:

Nice work, Nathanael! Distributed leadership AND democratized leadership development through peer coaching!

And one by Doug Ortega:

Great insights, by a great coach!  Nathanael, it is great to see your work being manifested in this way.  

###

See earlier posts: Nathanael Chawkin talks with @brekkiwithnikki @TOMS Conscious Capitalism Event in LA on how to be authentic through changing perspectives and Great conversation with Nathanael Chawkin on TV Santa Barbara show Rejoice with Pastor Chuk!.

Because of Transcendental Meditation Nick Cave stopped fearing the end of the world and evolved

November 13, 2019

A friend sent me a special post by a famous rocker writing to a fan about his TM practice on his website. I checked online and found last year’s piece by Russell Cunningham, a production editor on sport for the Guardian. This revealing article serves as an appropriate introduction: Nick Cave is showing us a new, gentler way to use the internet.

During these confrontational times, “the quiet reflections of Cave spread peace and compassion and love through a medium renowned for its ability to spread division. In this growing treasure trove of letters to the world, he is showing how to use the web beyond the hubbub of social media, to engage in more reflective and rewarding conversations. That’s no bad thing.”

In issue #69/November 2019 of Nick Cave’s letters, known as The Red Hand Files, the entry is titled: How do I stop fearing the end of the world? He answers a fan’s question: Do you practice meditation? I’ve never read such a profoundly transparent and lyrical testimonial—how TM has evolved him personally and creatively!

He posts a picture of DEMOCRITUS MEDITATING AT THE END OF THE WORLD 1662, and then this answer.

Do you practice meditation?

MATTHAIS, FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Dear Maia and Matthais,

The filmmaker, David Lynch, described the practice of Transcendental Meditation as catching the big fish. I read that he has been practising it since he had a breakdown around the time of making Eraserhead, over forty years ago. He claims he has never missed a meditation. If that is true, I am greatly impressed. The basics of TM are taught during a three session course, at the end of which your teacher gives you a personal mantra. Anyone can do it. It is effortless and there is nothing to get right or wrong. I have been practicing for around six years and found it to be instantly and radically beneficial. So, to answer your question, Maia, from the first time I meditated, I stopped fearing the end of the world.

I found that it also helps with low-level anger, uncommunicativeness, resentments, impatience, passive-aggression, depression, self-obsession, hatred of the world, blaming others, wanting to murder and maim people and a host of other maladies that I had been dragging around and allowing to define me. Meditation modulated my calamitous internal thinking, and the freaked-out tyrant residing in my head that represented the worst possible version of myself was largely deposed.

I also found those big fish down there in the depths, the deep creative ideas which David Lynch talks about, wild, bright and thrilling; but more importantly, I found a fundamental understanding of the next right thing to do, of making the choice of the least destructive course of action.

Unlike some meditation techniques that focus on a life lived entirely within the present moment, Transcendental Meditation seems to radiate backwards and forwards in time, evoking our common humanity and our deep connection to the earth’s inheritance, as it layers us in meaning. It may not hold back the end of the world, but it reduces the element of fear, allowing us to administer to the world more effectively. TM also implements a kind of mysterious reinstating of the soul, a honeying of life, a merciful acceptance of suffering, and reminds us of the incredible privilege it is to be alive.

Love, Nick

###

Visit his website for news, tour dates, music, books, films, videos, lyrics, and more: https://www.nickcave.com.

Lost Civilization Re-Emerges: article by William Hathaway on Maharishi’s restoring the technique of meditation, the basis of Vedic civilization

November 5, 2019

Lost Civilization Re-Emerges

Ancient India created a civilization based on Vedic knowledge, which had a global influence, elevating the other cultures it came in contact with. In “Lost Civilization Re-Emerges,” William T. Hathaway traces its rise and fall, and its current regeneration by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who has re-enlivened it by restoring the technique of meditation upon which it was based. Read Hathaway’s full article published on Trans4mind. https://trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-new-age/hathaway13.html

Some background on “Lost Civilization Re-Emerges”

When William sent me a short description and link to his article I asked him to explain where this idea had come from and why he decided to write about it. He replied:

On my Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in Majorca 1971 Maharishi was asked, “Why are we the ones who are supposed to revive the Vedic knowledge?”

Maharishi looked at the questioner, a young woman standing at a microphone, and smiled. Then he looked out over the 2000 people behind her in the large hall and said with a gentle shrug, “Because we are the ones who lost it.” He gave the word “we” a slight emphasis to indicate it included him.

Maharishi explained that thousands of years ago Vedic civilization began in India then spread over the globe, generating a high quality of life both materially and spiritually. But eventually the knowledge of effortless transcending, which created and maintained this advanced culture, was lost. The consciousness of the people and the quality of their lives declined until humanity veered to its current brink of self-destruction.

We were part of that whole process — the developing and the losing — in many lives. Now it’s our job to restore it through the authentic technique of meditation and create a global age of enlightenment.

“That’s a pretty big job,” the woman said.

“But it’s the only one worth doing,” he replied.

Maharishi didn’t go into details about the ancient civilization because our purpose there was to learn to be TM teachers, and that would take the full two months of the course. I was fascinated by the idea of it, though, so I later delved into it in my spare time from teaching TM and writing books and articles. I found amazing evidence, ignored by conventional academic scholars, that established the existence of that global civilization. I wrote this article to do what I could to bring that evidence to more people and to show them Maharishi and Guru Dev’s crucial role in restoring the authentic Vedic way of life in India and the world.

###

About the Author

A former professor in MIU’s MA in Professional Writing program, William T. Hathaway is the author of eight books and was a Fulbright professor of creative writing at universities in Germany. He and his wife, Daniela, direct the TM center in Oldenburg, Germany. His novel of the climate change, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, tells of an old woman and a young man healing nature through techniques of higher consciousness. Chapters are posted at https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/cosmicegg-books/our-books/wellsprings. His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim (and TM teacher) and learning from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence. Chapters are posted at http://shattercolors.com/fiction/hathaway_summersnow01.htm.

###

Conscious Life News chose the top photo to go with their publication of William Hathaway’s erudite article. I added photos of Maharishi and William for this post. See previous articles by William Hathaway here.

New study shows a Maharishi Vastu designed office building increased the creativity of an architecture and engineering firm’s employees

October 22, 2019
2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Developed and Managed by The Tower Companies, Rockville, MD. Credit: Ron Blunt

This is the first-of-its-kind study on the effects of a Maharishi Vastu designed office building on an architecture and engineering firm’s employee creativity. The company, NIKA, is a tenant in The Tower Companies, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, MVA designed and LEED Platinum building in Rockville, Maryland, close to Washington, DC.

The study, published in Creativity Research Journal, was publicized by EurekAlert!, a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, (AAAS). PhysOrg, ScienceCodex, and Bioengineer, were some of the websites that posted the news.

Lead author, Maharishi University of Management Professor Anil Maheshwari, and co-author Margaret Rose Werd, collected more data on other variables, which will be presented in future papers for publication. It was all part of Mrs. Werd’s PhD thesis she is still working on. We thought it impressive that such an important journal would publish the first article on this topic before she even completed her doctorate! Here are the EurekAlert! Summary and press release.

A study published in Creativity Research Journal found creativity increased in an architecture and engineering firm’s employees after moving into a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. They scored higher on Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking compared to scores four months earlier in their previous location. Verbal originality rose by 84%; figural originality, 48%; elaboration, 61%; and resistance to closure, 40%. There was less than a 1% possibility the result was due to chance.

Can the design of a building improve the creative output of its occupants?

New study published in Creativity Research Journal shows Maharishi Vastu architecture increased workplace creativity.

This graph maps the average number of unique, original ideas produced per respondent on y-axis, for two types of tasks against the two building architecture (Conventional vs Maharishi Vastu) on the x-axis. The first pair of bars show that the average number of unique, original ideas produced for a product enhancement task increased from 1.9 to 3.5 or about 84% upon move to Maharishi Vastu. The second set of bars similarly show that the average number of unique, original ideas for a graphical figure completion task increased from 3.56 to 5.27, or about 48% upon move to Maharishi Vastu.

A ground-breaking study published in the September issue of the scholarly Creativity Research Journal found increased creativity in employees who worked in a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. In this first study of its kind, employees of an architecture and engineering firm, based in a major metropolitan city in the Eastern United States, moved into a Maharishi Vastu office building and scored higher on the standardized Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) compared to their score four months earlier in their previous location. In particular, they generated 50-80% more original ideas. The study found that there was less than a 1% possibility that the result was due to chance.

“This research experimentally demonstrated that moving from a conventional architecture building into a Vastu building led to large measurable improvements in employee creativity, in particular in the originality of the ideas generated and their open-ended and detailed elaboration,” said Professor Anil Maheshwari of Maharishi University of Management, the first author of this study. “I think every organization, big and small, could benefit from this.”

The study was conducted by Maharishi University of Management with participation from The Tower Companies and NIKA in Rockville, Maryland, a city located just outside of Washington, D.C. 2000 Tower Oaks is a Maharishi Vastu building developed by The Tower Companies in 2008 and was recognized as the largest application of Vedic design in the world. NIKA moved into the building as a new office tenant in 2017.

Architecture in harmony with nature

Maharishi Vastu is a traditional system of architecture that originated in India, and is known there also as vastu or sthapatya veda. Features of Maharishi Vastu include alignment with the cardinal directions; a silent central area called a brahmasthan; specific placement and proportions of rooms; appropriate slope and shape of the land; an unobstructed view of sunrise; a location that’s distant enough from major sources of electromagnetic radiation; and use of natural materials and solar energy. The researchers hypothesized that this architecture would have a wide range of benefits because it is said to be more in harmony with nature.

“It may seem unfamiliar to a Western, scientific perspective, but the fact is that our physiology is intimately tied to the material and rhythms and forces of the earth and sun,” Dr. Maheshwari said. “Traditional systems of architecture, which have arisen in many places around the world over a long span of time, take these things into account. And now we’re intent on seeing whether the supposed benefits can be scientifically verified.” Earlier exploratory studies have documented that specific elements of the Maharishi Vastu system can influence such markers as mental health and heart health.

Greater originality and depth of creativity

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) includes three assessments of verbal creativity and five of figural creativity. The researchers hypothesized that Maharishi Vastu architecture would show improvement on all eight assessments. Since before-and-after tests can result in higher scores on the second test simply due to being familiar with the testing instrument, TTCT has two different but comparable versions to control for familiarity and learning. One version is used in the initial condition and the other different version is used after the variable/s has been applied. 32 employees took one version of the test in the conventional architecture location, and 22 employees took the second version of the test in Vastu location. Of these, 21 employees were common and took the tests at both locations.

The results of the verbal tests found a statistically significant (p<0.05) increase (84%) in originality (i.e. unique unconventional ideas generated) but not in fluency and flexibility. On the figural tests, which requires subjects to expand on a series of incomplete figures, the results showed a large statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in tests of originality (48%), elaboration (61%), and resistance to closure (40%) (that is, a focus on pursuing new directions to complete a task). Tests of figural fluency and abstract title (ability to name an abstract original concept) did not show an effect.

A boon for the world

NIKA, the architecture and engineering firm that participated in the study, was delighted with the results. “Creativity, especially the sort of figurative creativity measured by TTCT, is an important trait for an architect. The company was pleased to have this objective support for the feeling of greater creativity experienced by their employees,” said Mrs. Margaret Rose Werd, the co-author of this study. She further added that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his vision for world vastu for all mankind are the source of the inspiration for this research.

“Not many real estate developers deliver that kind of return on rent!” added Jeffrey Abramson, partner at The Tower Companies. Jon Lipman, AIA, director of Maharishi Vastu services for North America, said, “It appears that Maharishi Vastu architecture can help to solve major challenges that face our cities. I recommend it to developers who aspire to create buildings that promote creativity and the flourishing of life and business.”

This research was the first longitudinal empirical study using standardized measures of creativity to look at the effect of buildings on employee performance in an organization. Data from more organizations would help to validate the results across multiple industries and locations. This research study can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2019.1667943

###

The Tower Companies also listed the press release and case study on their website, and shared the news via their social media platforms.

Enjoy TM News, THE TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION® MAGAZINE, featured the study in their ISSUE 40 • NOVEMBER 2, 2019: Can the Right Architecture Make Us More Creative? New research on Maharishi Vastu architecture shows greater creativity and originality.


%d bloggers like this: