Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Ottumwa Courier photojournalist Rachel Leathe @courierrachel takes a tour of MUM @MaharishiU

March 19, 2016

Rachel Leathe, photojournalist for the Ottumwa Courier called to take a tour of Maharishi University. She had recently transferred to the Courier from Montana and was curious to visit the campus. Click here to see what she put together as it appeared online with 6 photographs from various campus locations. Click here to see 61 more photos at their online photo gallery. And here is a PDF of the article, which took up the back page of the Thursday, March 10, 2016 issue: A tour of MUM.

A tour of MUM

AmineKouider:RachelLeathe:The Courier

Amine Kouider, Science and Technology of Consciousness Instructor, meditates with his class before lunch on Feb. 23, 2016. This is the first class that these David Lynch Master Film students are taking and is also the first class that all students at MUM are required to take. RACHEL LEATHE/ THE COURIER

Walking around the Maharishi University of Management campus in Fairfield, you may imagine you’ve somehow been transplanted to a Buddhist temple or an Indian yoga retreat. You certainly wouldn’t expect to find yourself on a college campus in rural Iowa.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi set up his first university on a small campus in Santa Barbara, CA in 1973. He dreamed of creating a new kind of university, one that not only offered a traditional education but also focused on what he called a “Consciousness-Based education.” One of the main features of this kind of education was Transcendental Meditation.

In 1973 Parsons College went bankrupt due to a myriad of issues including overspending, a sharp drop in enrollment, and a deep deficit. At the same time, Maharishi University was rapidly outgrowing its Santa Barbara campus and looking for a new home. In the summer of 1974, with the help of private benefactors, MUM was able to purchase the former Parsons College campus and move in.

Every new student at MUM is required to first take a class on TM. The class guides students through a seven-step learning process which explains the theory behind TM, the benefits of TM, and teaches students different techniques to help them meditate. Ken Chawkin, Publicist for MUM and TM practitioner for the last 49 years, says that “after meditation, one comes out recharged and more wide awake.” He says this is particularly beneficial to students because it makes them more receptive to what their teacher is saying.

International students make up a little over 75% percent of the MUM student body and on average represent about 85 different countries. MUM offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees, similar to most other US colleges. However unlike most universities, nearly 70% of MUM’s students are pursuing their Master’s degrees.

Another unique aspect of MUM is that it operates on a block system. Instead of taking four or five classes at once, “which is very stressful,” Chawkin says, students “go much more deeply into that particular subject.” They attend this one class Monday through Friday, usually from 10 am to around 3 pm with a break for lunch and two daily meditations. Students are also usually expected to attend an additional Saturday morning class.

MUM campus dining services also sets MUM apart by only serving completely organic, vegetarian food. The kitchen receives a small portion of their food from the campus organic farm ran by Director of MUM Farms, Steve McLaskey, PhD. The rest of the produce they receive is from local organic farmers and from a couple outside providers. Executive Chef, Suresh Miller says that the biggest difficulty with an all organic, vegetarian menu is finding a wide variety of vegetables, “Like you can’t get asparagus in the winter time. Whereas meat you can buy all winter long, no problem.”

One Comment was posted so far by TLGreen:
Great article and gleaning of SE Iowa history. I moved to Fairfield in 2004 to attend MUM from Oregon. I was in a grad program at the [ ] and had no intention of changing schools…and then I came to visit Fairfield. I was so impressed by the level of regard to education, for students well being and for the commitment to organic food and lifestyle that my life was forever changed. I loved my experiences and studies at MUM – I was able to be that curious, motivated and engaged student that I longed to be, but struggled with the intense pressures of a traditional & unhealthy grad program.

See Rachel’s photo essay on the March Fairfield 1st Friday’s Art Walk.

Related: ABC News reports on Maharishi University in Iowa.

Article on the multi-talented Lanny Shuler: artist, consultant, surfboard designer, and TM instructor

June 9, 2013

What’s going on in that purple building?

You might have noticed Shuler Surfboards before – it’s located in a purple building south of Seaside at milepost 24 on U.S. Highway 101.

Lanny Shuler, owner of Shuler Surfboards, rides the waves of creativity in business and in life

Thursday, June 6, 2013 8:00 am

Article and photos by DWIGHT CASWELL for COAST WEEKEND: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: COASTAL LIFE. URL for article: http://bit.ly/1278dWi.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by that purple building just south of Seaside. The sign by the side of U.S. Highway 101 says “Shuler,” and the windows are lined with surfboards. I always wonder, “A surfboard factory in Seaside?”

My curiosity finally got the best of me, and I stopped by. What I found surprised me. Yes, there are surfboards being made here – custom-made, state-of-the-art boards – but there’s a lot more going on. There’s an artist, a materials consultant to Corning and Dow, a creativity consultant to Nike, a Transcendental Meditation (TM) instructor.

From the outside, the building doesn’t seem large enough to house all those people, and it couldn’t if not for the fact that all those people are one: Lanny Shuler, who has been doing all those things on the North Coast since relocating here in 1983.

Shuler grew up in West Long Beach and Huntington Beach, Calif., where he learned to surf at the age of 7 and built his first surfboard 10 years later. “We were water kids,” he says of his childhood friends, “so surfing was a natural thing to pursue, and I was never attracted to organized sports. It was easier to just go surfing, to have fun even if I wasn’t with friends.” Surfing was, at the time, an outsider sport. “This was before the Beach Boys,” he says, “and before ‘Gidget,’” the first surfing movie, made in 1959. “That was the beginning of cultural awareness of surfing,” he continues, “but I was never interested in surfing culture.”

As a young man in 1972, Shuler moved to Astoria to help his father, Don, build a commercial fishing boat, eventually moving back to southern California to make and lose a fortune in real estate. He studied art and architecture in school and began to practice TM, a mantra-based meditation technique that is practiced twice daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Through TM, Shuler found an inner peace and wakefulness, and he left formal education to study under TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, eventually becoming a certified TM teacher.

In 1983, having discovered that “a simpler life was more to my liking,” he returned to Oregon, just in time to catch the wave of windsurfing tourism in the Columbia Gorge. In addition to his surfboard business in Seaside, Shuler opened Shuler Sailboards in the Gorge and discovered that building both sailboards and surfboards gave him a more diverse outlet for innovation and creativity, as he constantly modified and reinvented his cutting edge board designs.

Shuler’s innovations with resins, fiberglass and foam led to consultancy work with Dow Chemical and Owens Corning. Word of Shuler’s creativity also got around to Nike’s product development team, called the “Innovation Kitchen,” prompting their visit to the purple building for inspiration on long-term maintenance of creativity. Shuler credits TM for his daily charge of inspiration and enthusiasm in new ideas, and his capacity to incorporate them into his career. Since that first meeting he has been invited to the Nike Campus to bolster employee creativity through lectures and TM lessons.

Shuler stresses that “It is a challenge for everyone to have many dimensions and diversities to integrate into one’s life, many demands into one combined fulfilling experience.”

The latest aspect of Shuler’s diversity is his return to art. “My art interests have often fallen aside to other priorities,” says Shuler. “Regardless, whenever I applied artwork on my surfboards, people would take notice.”

Lanny Shuler with a sample of his surfboard art.As an art student Shuler was uninspired painting on flat surfaces, but his enthusiasm returned when he began painting the sculptural form of his surfboards. “I found inseparability between my color interests and the three dimensionality of the surfboards I was painting on. Without my intending it, my art had become more challenging and engaging.”

Shuler’s “relationship with the aesthetic of the three dimensional form” also resulted in his art becoming more abstract. “It’s much less calculated and more intuitive, and there is a more intimate relationship with the creative silence of my daily meditation, with inner restful alertness and more abstract consciousness.”

Shuler is now working on a gallery show of paintings on what he calls “nonfunctional painted sculptures that can’t be surfed on.” He explains, “My surfboards have always been painted sculptures, but because they were functional, their value was mostly perceived in the terms of sporting equipment rather than higher valued art. That’s changing now.”

Which is not to say that he is abandoning functional surfboards. In fact, he is introducing an entirely new type of board designed to allow novices and experienced surfers alike to more easily develop their surfing skills and have more fun surfing in a variety of conditions.

The new boards and Shuler’s art will soon make an appearance on a redesigned website, www.shulersurfboards.com, and stay tuned for the next dimension of Lanny Shuler’s multifaceted life.

© 2013 Coast Weekend.

Dave Stewart and Jihae sang “Man to Man, Woman to Woman” for Transcendental Music, now official theme song for Walk A Mile campaign

July 15, 2012

DAVE STEWART & JIHAE “MAN TO MAN, WOMAN TO WOMAN”

Published on Jul 14, 2012 by

The legendary Dave Stewart and the lovely, Jihae (pronounced “Jee-heh”) teamed up to create this beautiful song called Man To Man (Woman To Woman) for Transcendental Music (formerly the David Lynch Foundation Music, a charity record label).

The song is the official theme song for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2012 Hours Against Hate—Walk A Mile campaign (www.2012WalkAMile.com), a worldwide initiative to promote tolerance and health. The project is run on smartphones, using the SoFit, a free social gaming application that allows you to earn rewards while staying fit and making the world a better place. Look for WAM at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The song is also available on Dave Stewart’s website. If you love this song, as I do, you can play it on repeat with this URL: http://www.listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=rKonIn_1Ny0.

Here is an earlier version of this song Dave Stewart donated to David Lynch Foundation Music. It’s a great song! Thought it was a hit when I first heard it. I actually prefer this version, but they’re both great. Here are the liner notes.

This track from the prolific performer, producer and songwriter Dave Stewart evokes an awe-inspired contemplation of the human condition. “Man to Man” is a heart-strung symphony about passing the torch of consciousness, the soaring transactions of the heart. This is Muhammad Ali, this is Mother Teresa, this is a canoe trip, a love letter, a photograph with your lover by a geyser. “Man to Man” just might be the courage you need to finally get down on one knee and propose to your Higher Self.

Download both songs. Proceeds from this charity record label go to support at-risk populations learning the Transcendental Meditation technique (http://www.tm.org). Visit the David Lynch Foundation for details (http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org)

Dave Stewart & Jihae “Man To Man, Woman To Woman” (Higher Ground, remix) by Transcendental Music via #soundcloud : http://snd.sc/MvAaQP.

Links to earlier related articles: David Lynch Foundation Music Compilation Features Songs by Well-Known Recording Artists and David Lynch offers music for meditation.

TRANSCENDENTAL MUSIC™ TO RELAUNCH “MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD” ACROSS HUNDREDS OF ONLINE RETAIL OUTLETS WITH NEW SINGLE FROM DAVE STEWART “MAN TO MAN”

Transcendental Music is committed to releasing unique, high-quality music digital downloads, LPs and meditation branded lifestyle products, to help raise vital funds and awareness to support The David Lynch Foundation.

We are committed to creating a new, trailblazing, charity based music label. Involved in this model will be the creation of strong brands and fresh marketing concepts for our artists, releases and cause. In turn, our image will be reflected by the genres and artists involved with the various releases on the label.

We’ll capture the imagination of the music buying public by leveraging the influence of long established artists, and high profile world leaders and activists. We’ll create market demand by offering exclusive products featuring one-of-a-kind packaging and forward-thinking distribution.

Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances

June 18, 2012

Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances

World-class performers in management, sports and music often have uniquely high mind-brain development

Scientists trying to understand why some people excel—whether as world-class athletes, virtuoso musicians, or top CEOs—have discovered that these outstanding performers have unique brain characteristics that make them different from other people.

A study published in May in the journal Cognitive Processing found that 20 top-level managers scored higher on three measures—the Brain Integration Scale, Gibbs’s Socio-moral Reasoning questionnaire, and an inventory of peak experiences—compared to 20 low-level managers that served as matched controls. This is the fourth study in which researchers have been able to correlate the brain’s activity with top performance and peak experiences, having previously studied world-class athletes and professional classical musicians.

“What we have found,” says Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, “is an astonishing integration of brain functioning in high performers compared to average-performing controls. We are the first in the world to show that there is a brain measure of effective leadership.”

“Everyone wants excellence,” says Harald Harung of the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Norway. “Yet, current understanding of high performance is fragmented. What we have done in our research, is to use quantitative and neurophysiological research methods on topics that so far have been dominated by psychology.”

Dr. Travis, Dr. Harung, and colleagues have carried out a total of four empirical studies comparing world-class performers to average performers. This recent study and two others have examined top performers in management, sports, and classical music. In addition, a number of years ago Dr. Harung and colleagues published a fourth study on a variety of professions, such as public administration, management, sports, arts and education.

Measured Brain Activity

The studies carried out by the researchers include measurements of the performers’ brains by using electroencephalography, EEG. Hospitals use this equipment and method to determine possible brain injuries after traffic accidents. EEG, however, can also be used to look at the extent of integration and development of several brain processes.

The researchers looked at three different measurements that all reflect how well the brain works as a whole: 1) Coherence, which shows how well the various parts of the brain cooperate, 2) Amount of alpha waves, which reflect restful alertness, and 3) How economically or effectively the brain works.

The three measurements are then put together in an expression of brain refinement, the Brain Integration Scale.

World-class performance has so far been mostly regarded from a psychological point of view, especially speaking of management. Researchers often explain management skills as a result of special personal or psychological characteristics that some have, and others don’t.

“Our research in brain activity and brain integration is done from more of a natural science angle. By such means, we hope we are closer to an effective and comprehensive understanding of why some succeed better than others,” says Harung.

In all the groups of top performers, measurements were checked by using control groups. The controls were average performers, such as low-level managers or amateur musicians. The data gave one surprising result: Among the musicians, both the professionals and the amateurs turned out to have a high level of brain integration. In the two other studies, this measurement showed major differences between the persons with top-level performance and the control groups.

“We believe that for musicians, the explanation might be that classical music in itself contributes to such integration, regardless of your performance level,” says Dr. Harung.

Peak Experience

The researchers found it’s not just that their brains function differently; the world-class performers also had particular subjective experiences that were associated with their top performances.

Called peak experiences, these experiences are characterized by happiness, inner calm, maximum wakefulness, effortlessness and ease of functioning, absence of fear, transcendence of ordinary time and space, and a sense of perfection and even invincibility.

The first study was done on world-class athletes selected by the National Olympic Training Center in Norway and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. Besides screening athletes’ brains using EEG, each athlete was interviewed about their experiences while performing at their very best. The result was a wide range of peak experiences.

Former cross-country skier Thomas Alsgaard, who won 11 gold medals in Olympic Games and World Championships, said:

“The senses are so open that you have the ability to receive signals that are almost scary: In a way it is a ‘high.’ I receive an unbelievable amount of information. Much, much more—10-20 times more information—than what I manage to take in if I sit down and concentrate and try to perceive things. But I am so relaxed. And the more relaxed I am, the more information I register.”

Another athlete who participated in the research is the Norwegian handball keeper, Heidi Tjugum, who was part of the Norwegian national team that won one World Championship, one European Championship, two European Cups and a number of silver and bronze medals. She says:

“Sometimes I have felt that I am an observer—I just watch what happens. This is a good feeling. It is a very beautiful feeling; it is not that I feel I don’t have control. But it goes by itself—in reality I do not have to initiate anything at all. Extremely here and now—nothing else matters.”

These statements are similar to those the researchers gathered from other top-class performers, both among the musicians and the business leaders. As seen, they found a significant difference amongst the top performers and controls on several quantitative measures.

“Therefore, there must be some common inner attributes and processes that make top performers able to deliver at top level, regardless of profession or activity,” says Travis. “We found this common inner dimension to be what we called higher mind-brain development.”

Higher mind-brain development includes that various aspects and parts of the brain work together in an integrated way. Among world-class performers this integration is especially well developed.

Presenting a New Theory

The researchers have developed a new theory, a Unified Theory of Performance, which suggests that higher levels of mind-brain development form a platform for higher performance, regardless of profession or activity.

“It seems like these mind-brain variables represent a fundamental potential for being good, really good, in the particular activity one has decided to carry out,” says Harung.

For all three recent studies the researchers also found that top-level performers outscored the control groups in a test of moral development. Higher moral development implies an expanded awareness where one is able to satisfy the interests of other people and not just their own needs. Harung finds it remarkable that high levels of performance, in a wide spectrum of activities, are connected to high moral standards.

“This should give an extra push to act morally, in addition to a better self-image, fewer sleepless nights and a good reputation,” Dr. Harung says. “The key to top-level performance, therefore, seems to be that we make more use of our inherent capabilities.”

Implications of the Research

The discovery that the brains of world-class performers have similar characteristics raises some important questions, such as: 1) Is there a way one can develop one’s brain to have more of these characteristics and thereby perform at a higher level? And 2) Can measuring a person’s brain predict the potential for someone to be a world-class performer?

These and other researchers have actively explored whether meditation techniques, for example, can help to actively cultivate one’s brain. Research by Dr. Travis and others has found that Transcendental Meditation practitioners do have greater EEG coherence, greater presence of alpha waves, and, in some advanced practitioners, a very efficiently functioning brain. A coherent brain is a high-performing brain.

In addition, researchers have been exploring possible applications to predict performance ability in general and leadership ability in particular. For example, if a corporation has preliminarily selected five candidates for its CEO position, the above measures could be administered to aid in the final decision. Or these measures can be used to assess the effectiveness of training or education in increasing an individual’s performance capacity.

###

Scientific Literature

1. Harung, H. S., Travis, F., (2012) Higher mind-brain development in successful leaders: testing a unified theory of performance. Cognitive Processing Vol 13, Number 2, 171-181, DOI: 10.1007/s10339-011-0432-x

2. Harung, H. S. (2012). Illustrations of Peak Experiences during Optimal Performance in World-class Performers: Integration Eastern and Western Insights. Journal of Human Values, 18(1), 33-52, doi:10.1177/097168581101800104

3. Travis, F., Harung, H. S., & Lagrosen, Y. (2011). Moral Development, Executive Functioning, Peak Experiences and Brain Patterns in Professional and Amateur Classical Musicians: Interpreted in Light of a Unified Theory of Performance. Consciousness and Cognition, 20(4), 1256-1264

4. Harung, H.S., Travis, F., Pensgaard, A. M., Boes, R., Cook-Greuter, S., Daley, K. (2011). Higher psycho-physiological refinement in world-class Norwegian athletes: brain measures of performance capacity. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Vol 21, Issue 1, pages 32, February 2011, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01007.x

5. Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., Graff, W. W., & Alexander, C. N. (1996). Peak performance and higher states of consciousness: A study of world-class performers. Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 3-23

Related Articles

New study sheds light on “peak experiences” in world-class performers | New research looks at brain integration in top athletes and in long-time meditators | ‘Brilliant minds’—New Research on the Brain State of Virtuoso Musicians and How it Relates to TM | ScienceDaily: Musicians’ Brains Highly Developed | Freakonomics: Do Musicians Have Better Brains?

Source: EurekAlert!

See the latest study: Does Practice Make Perfect Or Are Some People More Creative Than Others? Study finds brain integration correlates with greater creativity in product-development engineers. The study was discussed on TMHome: Brain integration, the key to creativity, citing Medical News Today’s report on the study.

Meditation key to finding balance for Paralympian Daniel Westley — special to The Vancouver Sun

April 5, 2012
By TOM HILL, Special to The Sun April 4, 2012

Daniel Westley has been on so many podiums you’d think he’d been playing sports all his life. In fact, he had barely shown any interest in athletics until after a tragic accident forced doctors to amputate both of his legs.

While in the hospital, Westley happened to meet a young Rick Hansen who, years before raising millions for spinal cord injury research, introduced Westley to wheelchair athletics.

Westley was hooked. After being released from the hospital he started playing sports as much as possible, earning his spot in the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

“I happened to get involved in 1988 and at that time they embraced disabled sports.” recalls Westley, who lives in New Westminster.

But as the Paralympic Games grew in size and popularity, so too did the pressure of training and competing on the world stage. Westley was now participating in both the summer and winter games in a wide range of sports that included everything from wheelchair racing to skiing.

“Any given day I was racing two and three times a day,” he explains. “It was a pretty high intensity to be competing at.”

To perform at the highest level, Westley relied on Transcendental Meditation, a technique that involves two 15- to 20-minute sessions each day and promises a clear and quiet calmness for its practitioners.

”It gave me a chance to settle down and recover from my training,” he says. “I thought that if I wanted to do really well, I’d have to rest really well.”

With his meditation keeping him centred, Westley certainly did do well, going on to win 12 Paralympic medals – four of which were gold medals – in five Paralympic Games.

And yet, for Westley, who now works in sales for a home medical equipment company, the positive influence of meditation extended far beyond sports and has helped him sustain a positive attitude in all facets of his life.

“If you really step into the moment and are really relaxed then the outcomes take care of themselves.”

See the excellent accompanying Sun video report: story.html?tab=VID.

Empowered Health airs Thursdays on CJDC at 11 a.m.; CHEK-TV Vancouver and Victoria, CFJC and CKPG at 7 p.m. and CHAT at 7:30 p.m. The show is broadcast Tuesdays on CFTK at 11:30 a.m. You can also view episodes online at vancouversun.com/empoweredhealth.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Related: Watch this inspiring Chek TV program: North of 49: A guide to the rest of your life: Former paralympian Daniel Westley talks about achieving balance in your life as you head North of 49 from Season 2, Episode 1.

Later reported in the TM Blog: Paralympic Medalist Daniel Westley Relies on TM to Ease Training Pressures

KTVO: Maharishi runners prepare for Turkey Trot

October 23, 2010

Maharishi runners prepare for Turkey Trot
by Kisha Henry
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Click here to see video.

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — The Maharishi School Running Club has their eye on some turkeys.

The runners are preparing to participate in their next race.

“The next run is the Fairfield Turkey Trot and it’s a fundraiser for the Roosevelt Recreation Center here in Fairfield and they have it every year and it’s going be November 13 at the Water Works Park,” said Coach Peter Mannisi. “We’ve run the last two years and they give turkeys to the age group winner, and the first year we won two turkeys, last year we won three turkeys, so hopefully we’ll win more turkeys this year.”

The runners have been preparing in many different ways, including meditation.

“When you meditate, you go to this really profound and deep state of relaxation and when you tap into this, there’s this limitless source of energy, this inner reservoir of energy that you can tap into and it’s really powerful,” said Oliver Huntley, runner. “I find that when I can achieve that meditative state when I’m running, I can actually tap into that inner reservoir of energy while I’m running and it has effects, I can run harder, I can run faster, I can run for longer.”

Huntley will not be competing in the Turkey Trot due to an injury, but he says the meditation is helping his recovery time.

Some runners will even participate barefoot.

“I live barefooted and that’s why I run barefooted,” said Beau Blakely, who finished first in his last race. “It wasn’t too hard. The road was pretty clean, so if there’s gravel in the road, that hurts, but generally it was pretty clean.”

Blakely works out for an hour each day and walks everywhere, rather than driving, in order to do well in his races.

Buddy Biancalana Brings Zone Training To D.C. – The Washington Post – D.C. Sports Bog

October 13, 2010

Buddy Biancalana brings zone training to D.C.


Comedian/talk show host David Letterman, right, presents Kansas City Royals shortstop Buddy Biancalana with a gadget comparing his baseball hits total to that of Pete Rose’s noting in jest that Biancalana is only 4,000 or so behind, during the show in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1985. Biancalana gained fame when he helped the Royals win the World Series against the Cardinals, after hitting only .188 during the season. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
 
KC Royals runner Buddy Biancalana and Royals on-deck hitter Willie Wilson (6) look to umpire Billy Williams, right, for the decision as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter (15) rolls away in the seventh inning of the World Series, Sunday, Oct. 21, 1985, Kansas City, Mo. Williams ruled Biancalana was out while trying to score from second base. (AP Photo)

D.C. Sports Bog by Dan Steinberg
Wednesday, October 13, 2010; D2

Twenty-five years ago this week, Buddy Biancalana became famous. The starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals, Biancalana — a career .194 hitter at the time, who had more errors than RBI in the 1985 season — hit .278 in the ’85 World Series. He didn’t make an error, drove in the winning run in Game 5, had the second-best OBP on his team (behind only George Brett), was regularly heralded by David Letterman (who’d been running a weeks-long Biancalana gag) and was lauded in headlines like this one, from the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Biancalana outdoes himself in bid for Series MVP.”

“‘Pitching and Buddy Biancalana!” Brett said in the victorious clubhouse, when asked why the Royals had won.

So that was kind of weird.

“I felt I couldn’t do anything wrong,” Biancalana told me this week, a quarter-century after he helped the Royals win that World Series. “It was the best baseball I had ever played. And then, 18 months later, I was out of the Major Leagues. I had no idea how to repeat it.”

Biancalana said he tried to emerge from his post-Series baseball struggles in the typical way: by working on his mechanics again and again, trying to find the correct and repeatable motions. It didn’t work. He said he didn’t worry about his brain, because “there was just not much knowledge about the mind-body connection.” He struggled with back injuries, and soon retired without ever recapturing the feeling he had in the ’85 Series.

“It was very frustrating,” he said. “There are a lot of athletes that have these experiences. They feel incredible freedom, and then the next day it’s gone.”

Which is why Biancalana’s latest act involves helping other athletes — amateur and professional — capture that feeling. Based out of Reston, Biancalana and his business partner — former collegiate tennis star Steven Yellin — coach athletes on how to “quiet their minds” and let their bodies take over. They just released a book — The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes — and are teaching their system to members at local clubs including Congressional and Washington Golf and Country Club.

He recently gave a tutorial to John Lyberger, the director of golf at Congressional, and “a light bulb went on right away,” Lyberger told me.

“He doesn’t teach mechanics; he teaches that mind-body connection, which is what I feel is that missing link in golf,” Lyberger said. “When people get bogged down in mistakes, the conscious thoughts get in the way. He teaches you how to play in the subconscious, where you perform at your highest effective level.”

Never having been a World Series hero myself, I have limited experience with playing anything in the subconscious. The nearest thing I could come up with was my days of playing late-night billiards, where it seemed that my mind-body connection won a lot more games after my mouth-bottle connection had completed a few fermented gulps.

Now, Biancalana stressed that he is not recommending drunk athletic training, but he said it’s sort of a similar idea:

“After you’ve practiced something numerous times, the pre-frontal cortex is no longer needed,” he said. “The problems occur when it wants to get involved, wants to act as a security blanket.”

Biancalana said he and Yellen have worked with neuroscientists and monitored EEG tests, have tried their methods with musicians and athletes of varying levels. But the one thing I still wondered was why Biancalana — whose “batting average resembles the value of an Italian lira,” according to a Post story published 25 years ago — had that one month in the zone.

The former shortstop said he still doesn’t know. He remembered sitting at his stall before Game 1 of the World Series, waiting to be called out to the dugout.

“All of the sudden, this wave of fear almost bowled me over,” he told me, “like ‘Oh my, this is a big deal.’ It was the first time in my life I really identified fear and just sat with it. It became a great ally of mine in the World Series. I got on the other side of it, and it really freed me up to play as well as I can play. That’s really the only explanation I can come up with for why it happened to me.”

By Dan Steinberg  | October 12, 2010; 2:55 PM ET Categories:  Golf, MLB

—————

Biancalana’s latest hit helps athletes capture that feeling
Washington Post – ‎”Pitching and Buddy Biancalana!” Brett said in the victorious clubhouse, when asked why the Royals had won. “I felt I couldn’t do anything wrong,” …

——————

“These guys have discovered something in sports that is going to have a huge impact wherever it is taught” George Brett, Baseball Hall of Fame

Contact: Steven Yellin, President, PMPM Sports: www.zonetraining.net

See this new interview with Buddy Biancalana on MLB Network, May 16, 2011, discussing his new book, The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes he co-authored with Steven Yellin.

To become more competitive, Trinity College Women’s Squash Team tries out a new technique — the Transcendental Meditation Program

July 14, 2010

This video reports on the use of the TM Program by the 2009–2010 Women’s Squash team at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

The whole team including the coaches learned the TM technique. They finished the season as the #3 Women’s Squash team in the country.

Trinity College Psychology major Emily Lindon did her thesis on the Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Perceived Self-Efficacy of College Students. One of the groups she researched was the Women’s Squash Team. Emily found significant increases in self-efficacy among the pre- and post-tests.

The Trinity Women’s Squash Team was trained in the Transcendental Meditation technique through a grant from the David Lynch Foundation. TM is a technique for focus and stress reduction. It is not connected to any religion or belief system but rather it is a simple, effortless, natural meditative technique with scientifically proven effectiveness. The team placed third nationally for the 2009/2010 college squash season. For more information, contact Dr. Randy Lee at randolph.lee@trincoll.edu

Dr. Lee posted this 8 minute video of the winning Trinity College Women’s Squash team on You Tube. The  video was produced and directed by Lynn Kaplan. Peter Trivelas was the cameraman and editor. Executive producer was the David Lynch Foundation. It’s also posted on David Lynch Foundation Television http://dlf.tv/2010/trinity-squash.

Global Good News‘s Excellence In Action posted an article on this story: Peak Performance: Exploring a transcendental technique for success.

See a new article on this subject written by Linda Egenes: Transcendental Meditation and The Mind of an Athlete (December 17, 2014).

The friendliness of Canadians, Canadian Patriotism, Vancouver as a destination, and the quality of the Olympic Games

March 28, 2010

THE FRIENDLINESS OF CANADIANS

“Thank you, Canada. For being such good hosts. For your unfailing courtesy. For reminding some of us we used to be a more civilized society. Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.” – Brian Williams, NBC News

“Along the way, there was plenty to like in Vancouver, if not always the weather. The people were generous and spirited, the volunteers cheery. Once, I saw a guy fail to smile; I think he was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor.” – Boston.com

“Before the closing ceremony begins, let me just take the time to thank the people of Vancouver for a wonderful 19 days. The people here couldn’t be nicer, from the volunteers who make sure the buses run on time, to the citizens walking the streets, to the athletes and people from around the world who were here.” – The LA Times

“The Olympics went into overtime Sunday. It was perfect. No one wanted the Warmest Games to end. Warmest weather. Warmest hosts.” – The Miami Herald

“Make no mistake, Canada’s people were the stars of these Games. They jammed the streets of Vancouver, cheered the most obscure sports as long as a Canadian was competing and all but drowned themselves in a sea of red. These are not folks normally given to outbursts of patriotism, but they found their voice here.” – Chicago Sun Times

“Why can’t we be more like Canada? They host the Olympics like they mean it. They smile . and they have the Canadian Mounties. But most of all what they have is a kick-ass national anthem, a tune that says everything about who they are – and about what we, as Americans, are not.” – The Huffington Post

“Graciousness is their default mode here. For the last two weeks, beaming has been a way of life. In a nod to the local vernacular, let me just say this is the nicest city I’ve ever been in.” – The Los Angeles Times

“No question the biggest winners of the 2010 Winter Olympics were the Canadian people, who were unfailingly polite, passionately patriotic, and self-deprecating enough to poke fun at themselves in the Closing Ceremonies.” – The Miami Herald.com

CANADIAN PATRIOTISM

“For Canada, I’d call it a ‘coming of age’ moment. The country, all 35 million of us, were able to bare our patriotic souls in an outburst of unbridled patriotism not seen before.” – The Toronto Star

“…the Games are a remarkable success. Millions of us are watching, and Vancouver is a giant block party. We know Canada is a small country in a big world, and most of us seem thrilled with what our athletes have achieved. Per capita, our medal count is second only to Norway’s.” – The Globe & Mail

“Canadians used to think of themselves as being quiet, modest and unassertive. No longer. After their athletes topped the medals table with 14 golds at the winter Olympic games, some 100,000 flag-waving locals took to the streets of Vancouver and the nearby ski resort of Whistler, deliriously singing the national anthem.” – The Economist

“This quiet city with such beautiful scenery made all of Canada proud. In a nightly transformation, as many as 150,000 people flooded the closed-off downtown streets to savor the Olympic experience. Mostly mild instead of wild, the crowds whooped, hollered, danced and shouted ‘Go Canada Go!’ well into the morning.” – The Houston Chronicle

“The bright-eyed exuberance can be a little overwhelming to someone who has spent many years absorbing cynicism in the Middle East, but the sheer earnestness helps temper what could elsewhere be an aggressive nationalism. Instead, it seems a pure expression of civic boosterism, no more, no less.” – The Jerusalem Post

VANCOUVER AS A DESTINATION

“You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well.Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.” – The New York Times

“You may have heard that Vancouver is a great city, but it’s better than that. On a good weather day – and we had a spectacular five-day run in the middle of the Games – it is stunningly beautiful, and it is an excellent eating, drinking and shopping city.” – The Boston Globe

“Vancouver looked gorgeous on TV . NBC’s shots of Vancouver’s downtown and waterfront, and aerial views of Whistler ski areas, provided a media boost no marketing campaign could have delivered.” – The Seattle Times

“Vancouver is a city unlike any other. Wherever I look, I see water or mountains — or both. And everyone looks so healthy.” – The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“A remarkable environment. The license plates read ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ for a reason. The Sea-to-Sky Highway carries travelers on a jaw-dropping journey from the serenity of Vancouver’s waterfront to the majesty of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.” – The Buffalo News

“In winter, the heart of downtown [Vancouver] is 30 minutes from the ski slopes. In summer, sun seekers crowd its beaches and seaside promenades. And despite a rain-prone climate, it displays a perpetually sunny disposition. Consider it the supermodel of North American cities.” – USA Today

“Vancouver is one of North America’s most under-rated tourist destinations. It is a modern, travel-friendly city with a unique mix of cultures. The relatively mild Pacific Northwest climate and an energetic restaurant and nightlife scene are other features that make this such an attractive city.” – LowFares.com

“[Visitors] will find the streets of Vancouver, a city of 2 million, so spotless they’ll think Mr. Clean is the mayor.” – The Miami Herald

“By the end of the 17 days that featured unseasonably warm temperatures and more than a week of brilliant sunshine, the cherry blossoms were blooming and a few fans had been spotted wearing shorts in the street while raucously celebrating Team Canada’s dramatic overtime victory over the Americans in the hockey final.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

“Olympics visitors have become a travel marketer’s dream as they bask in the Vancouver sun, flock to competitions and pour into downtown venues. The throngs of Games guests are magnets that should pull even more tourists to B.C. in the coming months and years.” – The Montreal Gazette

“The city of Vancouver and the ski village of Whistler are terrific hosts for these Olympic Games. The air is clean, the public transit is scarily efficient, and the harbors, with snowcapped mountains for a backdrop, are picturesque. Whistler, two hours to the north and home to the skiing, sliding and Nordic events, is a winter wonderland.” – Time

QUALITY OF THE GAMES EXPERIENCE

“These were the best Winter Games ever.” – Salon.com

“The venues here and the streets of Vancouver and Whistler are joyful places to be.” – The Times London (UK)

“So there was no shortage of Olympic spirit in BC and Vancouver became an amazing party town day and night.” – Inside the Games

“.you can’t stage a better Olympics. The city is beautiful. The venues are modern. The transportation is efficient. But this wasn’t about logistics. In the end, it’s the people that power the movement. The Canadian people pushed these games back from the brink of disaster and right off into history.” – Yahoo.com

“The stadiums are full, the seats are full of passionate fans, the streets are busy and there’s a lot going on . Whether it is ice hockey, curling or speedskating, I haven’t seen an empty seat in the house.” – The Guardian

“The sporting venues were built on time and on budget. A new subway line links the airport to the city centre. The athlete’s village, with a view over one of Vancouver’s many picturesque waterways, sets high standards in energy-efficient construction.” – The Financial Times

“Top that if you can. Amid the tragedy, the medals race and the hockey frenzy, the Vancouver Olympics will be remembered above all for the fervor and ebullience of its Canadian hosts.” – The Associated Press

“What Vancouver did show London was how to stage a Games to be enjoyed by everyone, from athletes to spectators to the general public, who embraced the Olympics with hands uniformly clad in red Olympic mittens.” – Reuters

“There comes a time to tip your toque, and our good friends in Canada deserve our respect for hosting, and excelling in, a memorable Winter Olympics.” – Philly.com

“Known better for their hospitality than their military, Canada mustered a small army of volunteers to pull off these Olympic Games with unfailing patience and cheerfulness.” – The Christian Science Monitor

“In the end, these games became a testament to the resilience of both the Canadian and the Olympic spirit.” – The Australian

“The people of Vancouver embraced their Games as no other citizenry has in recent memory, not even Sydney. They packed the stadiums, thronged in the streets, made the cauldron their mecca.” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“But the Games recovered in a spirited, determined and optimistic fashion, and most of the operation visible to me has been difficult to fault. London faces a big challenge to generate the same level of enthusiasm for the Games.” – BBC

“Seoul’s citizens were wonderfully fanatical in 1988 and Sydneysiders were pretty hyped up in 2000 but the Vancouverites who teemed downtown in their maple leafed garb have surely now set the standard for Londoners for 2012.” – The Daily London Telegraph

“And overall, for athletes, fans, the media and the host nation especially, the Games were a triumph.” – The Independent

“Bottle that Vancouver enthusiasm and London 2012 will really hit the spot. The London Olympics can take their cue from Vancouver, its organizers and its volunteers.” – The Guardian

“I think it’s always obvious at the end of any of these global spectacles whether a particular event was a success, or fell short of the mark. I have no doubt that history will recall these Olympic Winter Games falling into the former category.” – The Daily Mail

VIEW FROM THE TOP

“The Games, suggested Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday, have elevated Canada on the world stage. ‘Mark my words, some day historians will look back at Canada’s growing strength in the 21st century and they will say that it all began right here, on the West Coast, with the best Winter Olympic Games the world has ever seen.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, CBC.ca

“Most importantly, the Olympics have provided a chance for international investors to get to know us and explore business opportunities.” – BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Forbes

“We hosted the biggest event in our country’s history and it was a huge success.’ The mayor also took time to praise everyone involved in the Games, from the athletes to visitors, the police and finally, residents, for their consideration, co-operation and kindness. ‘The people of Vancouver made the whole country proud.” – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, The Province

“Furlong, in Sunday’s touching farewell speech, may have said it best: ‘I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. If the Canada that came together on opening night was a little mysterious to some, it no longer is. Now you know us, eh.” – VANOC Chief John Furlong, The Vancouver Sun

“Expo 67 was a moment of coming of age for Canada,” said Michele McKenzie, president of the [Canadian Tourism] commission. “One of the things it did in young people was inspire interest in our country. What this Olympics has done is expose younger generations to what Canada is as a country. . . . I think the world has a much deeper understanding of the country after this. It’s magic.” – CTC President Michele McKenzie, The Vancouver Sun

“US Vice-President Joe Biden complimented Canadians Saturday on what he called an ‘incredible’ Olympic opening ceremony. ‘You guys put on one heck of a show,’ Biden said Saturday afternoon, speaking briefly with reporters. ‘Last night was incredible, absolutely incredible,’ he added.” – US Vice-President Joe Biden, Canada.com

Quad-Cities Online: Dispatch•Argus

October 2, 2009
Quad-Cities Online Mast

Posted Online: Oct 01, 2009 09:56PM

Moline grad nabs National High School Coach of the Year

By Ryan Sergeant, rsergeant@qconline.com

Coach_EyrePrestigious awards have been stacking up on Lawrence Eyre’s trophy case since he began playing the game of tennis back in the 1960s.

Now comes a big one — the 1966 Moline High School graduate has been named 2009’s National High School Coach of the Year at the World Conference of the United States Professional Tennis Association, the world’s largest association of tennis-teaching professionals.

Eyre now is coaching at Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, which he has been doing since 1988 when he started the tennis program. However, playing and coaching all began for Eyre in Moline over 40 years ago.

He even joked about how long ago it has been since he walked the halls of Moline High School, noting that it was even before legendary Moline coach Tom Derouin took over the helm at MHS in 1968.

“So, it was really definite ancient history,” Eyre joked, also noting that he and Derouin are friends and work together as umpires in various Big Ten tennis events.

He can remember his first influence in the game of tennis being his high school coach, Joe Ruberg, who recently just passed away. Ruberg was the swimming coach at MHS and even though he didn’t teach the technical side of tennis, he kept the boys fit.

“He was the first one to admit that tennis was not his primary sport, but he got us fit,” he said. “He told me he wanted me to watch (pro) Rod Laver and I did every chance I had. (Ruberg) gave me tennis magazines; he was as encouraging as could be.

“It broke my heart I could not thank him,” Eyre said of his coach, learning of his passing after he received the honor. “I wanted to pay tribute to him; I thank him very much for all of his encouragement.”

Shortly after graduation from Moline High, mothers of younger tennis players came to Eyre and some of his high school teammates and asked if he was interested in teaching tennis lessons. At the time, there were no outlets in the Quad-Cities for tennis lessons and Eyre was thrilled to jump at the opportunity.

But what he didn’t know is what it would turn out to be today. That represented the start of the Moline Park Board program, which has advanced past just tennis, with football and basketball opportunities for young kids.

“Ten teachers went to all these different parks and taught over 500 kids for an eight-week summer session,” he said. “A whole pile of those kids went on to play college tennis or teaching professionals. It’s real gratifying, and it really was a lot of fun.”

Eyre was just a normal kid growing up, enjoying all different kinds of sports like all of his peers. Tennis was not one of them, and it wasn’t until 1961 when the influence of his grandmother really turned him on to the sport.

“She gave me a picture of the king of England playing tennis,” he said. “You see, my dad was an all-state football player at Moline, but he had become disabled after his time in the Marines because of a football injury. My grandma took it upon herself; she was lobbying to get me to play a sport where I was less likely to get injured.”

It was a decision that he still thanks his grandmother to this day. And it’s one that now has national award implications.


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