Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

MUM @maharishiuni professors explore secrets of world-class performers in World-Class Brain book

March 26, 2019

What Do the Brains of World-Class Performers have in Common?

The brains of world-class performers are different from the brains of average performers. No surprise there. But what is surprising is that regardless of whether these top performers are athletes, musicians, or CEOs, their brains share one feature that makes them stand out: More integrated functioning. A world-class brain works in a more coherent, relaxed, wakeful, and efficient way.

A new book tells the story of these top performers and offers an easy-to-read introduction to the research showing that their brain function is different. This short book also describes other features that these top performers have in common, such as intensely happy and fulfilling peak experiences and a greater moral sense. Readers also learn how they, too, can effortlessly develop greater brain integration.

New Book Explores Secret of World-Class Performers

World-Class BrainA new book coauthored by former MUM professor Harald Harung of Oslo Metropolitan University and professor Fred Travis offers an easy-to-read account of the defining characteristic of world-class performers – an integrated brain – and how one can develop it.

Titled, World-Class Brain, the 130-page book begins by outlining the results of three studies: on Olympic athletes, top managers, and symphony orchestra musicians. These top performers were found to have high levels of brain integration according to EEG measurements.

The book then explains in simple terms what brain integration means and presents various ways to increase it, such as playing a musical instrument, exercising, and meditation.

The authors then discuss the research on the Transcendental Meditation technique showing that it is the most effective way to develop high levels of brain integration.

The book goes into detail about peak experiences associated with brain integration in the several groups of subjects. It then discusses research on long-term practitioners of Transcendental Meditation who are experiencing higher states of consciousness and describes the defining characteristics of these higher states.

The final two chapters explain the research showing that brain integration can affect organizations and all of society.

World-Class Brain: A Textbook Teaching Tool

Co-author Harald S. Harung described editor Jim Karpen‘s great contribution to the book, “which mainly had two components: The smooth progression of chapters and ideas, and making the language very easy, enjoyable, and readable.”

Co-author Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, and dean of the Graduate School at Maharishi University of Management, said they used the structure of the book’s chapters to structure how the knowledge was taught to MBA students in China.

Dennis Heaton, professor and dean of the College of Business Administration at Maharishi University of Management, said, “I’m using World-Class Brain with my MBA and PhD students, and they really appreciate how readable it is. The authors have written about the key to top performance in a way that’s interesting and easy to understand. In addition, in the later chapters the book does an excellent job of distilling decades of research and theory, including higher states of consciousness.”

The book is available on Amazon.

Visit Dr. Harung’s website for a list of English articles and YouTube videos of their research on top performers: www.harvest.no.

Visit Dr. Travis’ website for the mission of the Brain Center, presentations, books and videos, and more: drfredtravis.com.

Related articles: Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances | What do world-class athletes, top-level managers, musicians, and TM meditators have in common? | New study highlights unique state of “restful alertness” during Transcendental Meditation | Dr. Fred Travis at GIBS: Mind-Brain Development for Excellence and TM Develops Brain Coherence

Dr. Fred Travis at GIBS: Mind-Brain Development for Excellence and TM Develops Brain Coherence

October 3, 2018

Dr Fred Travis presenting at GIBS

On May 7, 2018, Dr. Travis gave a presentation at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at Pretoria University in Johannesburg, South Africa: Achieving Career Excellence through Mind/Brain Development. This forum explores the essential role that mind/brain development plays in enhanced performance.

Research indicates that the level of mind-brain development underlies excellence in all fields of life. Higher brain integration is associated with higher emotional stability, more openness to experience, greater creativity, and greater problem-solving ability. Research shows that world-class professional athletes, top-level managers, and professional musicians have higher levels of brain integration.* This forum explores the different factors that influence brain integration and performance.​

Dr. Fred Travis earned his Ph.D. in 1988 from Maharishi University of Management and after a 2-year postdoctoral position returned to Maharishi University of Management to direct research in the Center from Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition. He has authored over 80 papers that investigate the relation between natural human development and lifestyle choices on brain functioning and personal and professional success. He has lectured extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

The GIBS Business School published two videos of his talk on their YouTube channel May 14, 2018: Dr Fred Travis – Mind-Brain Development for Excellence (4:15). Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at the Maharishi University of Management, says studies have found that that a certain level of mind-brain development underlies excellence in all fields of life.

Seated up front is a subject with EEG leads taped to his head and EEG signatures projected onto the screen behind him. A meditation demonstration must have been done, but that footage is not included in these videos, just a screensaver of it for the second video.

Towards the end of the first video Dr. Travis mentions the Transcendental Meditation technique as a practical tool to help you develop excellence in whatever field you’re in. That theme is more developed in this second video: Dr Fred Travis – Meditation Develops Brain Coherence (5:35). MUM/CBCC Director Dr. Travis believes that meditation develops greater coherence across the brain and aligns the flow of information.

*Here are some of those cited references, from 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. On June 4, 2014, another study finds brain integration correlates with greater creativity in product-development engineers. See Does practice make perfect? Or are some people more creative than others? If so, why?

For an explanation of how and why the TM technique is effortless, and can be easily learned and practiced by anyone, with immediate results, read this report: Research validates the defining hallmark of Transcendental Meditation—effortlessness.

Also see this recently published paper using fMRI:  New study highlights unique state of “restful alertness” during Transcendental Meditation.

Check out this infographic comparing different meditation techniques.

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.

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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!

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. Science writer Fiona Macrae had some questions for researchers Fred Travis and Yvonne Lagrosen before she completed her article for The Daily Mail: Forget ‘practice makes perfect’ – meditation is the key to success, study claims.

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

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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).


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