Archive for the ‘Maharishi University’ Category

#TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD

November 19, 2018

Associated Press reported on a DoD-funded TM study published November 15, 2018 in The Lancet Psychiatry. The AP report, Meditation helps vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, broke the news. It was picked up in hundreds of news outlets across the country and around the world. It’s the kind of promising good news the press like to report. The Washington Post published this story about the ground-breaking study. So did The New York Times. The Sun published a picture of Maharishi with The Beatles: Meditation techniques used by Beatles in 1960s could benefit veterans with PTSD. The Military Times, Army Times, Marine Times all published the AP story.

Other news services also published encouraging reports. AFP: Meditation helps conflict veterans with PTSD: study, which includes a personal testimonial from one of the subjects. The Hans India and Deccan Chronicle ran the AFP report. The London Economic, TLE: Transcendental meditation ‘could combat post traumatic stress disorder in war veterans’. Helio: Transcendental Meditation as effective as prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD. MedicalResearch.com interviewed Dr. Nidich: Transcendental Meditation May Help Veterans with Resistant PTSD. Will continue to update with other major news reports.

The Lancet Psychiatry included an accompanying editorial by Vernon A Barnes: Transcendental Meditation and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Medscape Medical News reported on the study and quoted from the Barnes editorial: Meditation May Best Gold Standard Therapy for PTSD.

This Graph by Alliance for PTSD Recovery shows the results of the study.Image-Graphs of The Lancet Psychiatry TM-PTSD Study

They also interviewed study co-author Dr. Maxwell Rainforth on how it was put together and the outcomes.

Check out this infographic comparing different meditation techniques.

David Orme-Johnson summarized the study on his Facebook page.

Dear Friends,

Today the best study to date on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) on PTSD was published in The Lancet Psychiatry, a leading journal in the field. The study compared TM with prolonged exposure therapy (PE), which is the current treatment of choice for treating PTSD. PE involves having the veterans re-experiencing their trauma through remembering and engaging with situations that remind them of it, in the hope that repeated experiencing of the stimuli associated with the trauma will eventually diminish the patients stress responses to them. PE is very painful for the Vets to go through.

The study was a “non-inferiority clinical trial”, meaning that the objective was to see if TM was at least as good as PE. TM was at least as good. Both TM and PE were significantly better than a Health Education (HE) for PTSD patients, with TM more significantly so (TM, p=.0009; PE, p=.041). 61% of those receiving TM showed clinically significant improvements compared to 42% of those receiving PE and 32% of those receiving HE.

Below is a link to an abstract on the journal website.

All the best,
David Orme-Johnson

Nidich, S., Mills, P. J., Rainforth, M., Heppner, P., Schneider, R. H., Rosenthal, N. E., Salerno, J., Gaylord-King, C., Rutledge, T. (2018). Non-trauma-focused meditation versus exposure therapy in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, Online First

 

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.

Ideal Energy’s solar-plus storage system for MUM is first large-scale installation of its kind in Iowa

October 3, 2018

A detailed creative article on this innovative project written by Bob Saar for The Hawk Eye was published September 9, 2018. Click on the title to see more photos at their website. A recent synopsis published in MUM’s The Review, Vol. 34, #2, October 3, 2018 is added at the bottom. Also added info on the upcoming December 14 inauguration in The Review, Vol 34, #6, November 28, 2018, page 3.

Ideal Energy CEO Troy Van Beek with account manager Michael HalleyThe Hawk Eye caption for Ideal Energy

Here comes the Sun

Fairfield company Ideal Energy brings Iowa to national attention with new solar array installation at Maharishi University of Management.

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

That Buddhist concept fits the solar energy business: The first mountain was long-term storage, but that has been alleviated with modern battery technology, paving the way for local, independent companies like Ideal Energy, Inc. in Fairfield, Iowa to enter the energy-supply business.

But that in turn led to another mountain: How will those smaller companies interconnect with utility giants like Alliant and MidAmerican Energy when they’re in competition with them for energy dollars?

Depending on who you ask, Iowa ranks somewhere in the top 20 states in solar energy development and production, based on a multitude of factors from metering to rebates to tax credits and electricity prices, but Ideal Energy is rising like the morning sun to heat things up for the Hawkeye State.

Founded in 2009 by CEO Troy Van Beek and chief marketing officer Amy Van Beek, Ideal Energy is pioneering modern solar storage technology in Iowa. One of their hottest projects is installing a large solar field for the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield.

MUM’s array, Iowa’s newest and largest privately owned solar array, will track the sun as it moves across the sky, charging a battery system designed by Ideal Energy, providing the college affordable electricity when prices are highest. Called a solar-plus storage system, it’s the first large-scale installation of its kind in Iowa. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is sponsoring a study to encourage the spread of this new renewable technology throughout the state.

Ideal Energy is constructing the 1.1-megawatt solar tracking array on five acres of land. The panels in the array will move 120 degrees each day to track the sun’s journey. Each row of panels can move independently to maintain its own optimal angle to the sun.

Key to the dream of living entirely off the sun in the form of solar and wind energy is the need to store the sun’s output during peak times — noon on a cloudless day, for example — for use during low times — with solar, that’s all night long. Exacerbating the problem is the tendency for demand to increase at periods during low-light times.

The answer is batteries.

The array will provide electricity to the university and charge a vanadium flow battery system. When electricity is in highest demand and prices peak — hot summer days, for example — the university can draw from its own battery supply. Over time, reducing these “demand charges” will help MUM reduce its electricity bill. The battery power can also be used during emergency outages.

Renewable energy is obtained by collecting naturally replenished resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, all of which support sustainability.

Sustainability avoids the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. In 1987, the UN said “sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations.”

Fossil fuels are nonrenewable — the earth has a finite supply of decomposed dinosaurs — thus a world economy based on coal and oil is not sustainable.

If the major industrialized nations worked toward sustainability by developing renewable energy sources, we wouldn’t be talking these days about global warming, melting polar icecaps or the threat of year-round hurricanes.

Back in the early 1970s, when America was bleeding out in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia, the Baby Boomers stumbled across several fresh concepts including sustainability, Buckydomes and — thanks to people like the Beatles, Donovan Leitch and the Beach Boys — a technique called Transcendental Meditation, via the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian guru who first met those musicians in 1967.

Those so-called counter-culture concepts were not considered cutting edge; rather, they were ignored by the mainstream as being on the fringes of American societal thinking.

But mountains crumble with time and rivers flow relentlessly to the sea, thus today America embraces such previously alien concepts as solar energy, non-dependence on fossil fuels, electric cars, and Dick Tracy two-way wrist radios.

Back then, the problem was how to get off the grid; today, the problem is how to get on the grid with your solar energy system. Solar energy is big business growing larger each year, and big business means government regulation, utility giants and infrastructure.

The symbiosis of small outfits like Ideal with the big utilities — Alliant and MidAmerican in Iowa — is a topic beyond the scope of this story, but look at it this way: Companies like Ideal are the Davids standing tall for the common man, and Alliant is Goliath, only this time, the two are not combatants but are, instead, reluctant dance partners carefully avoiding stepping on each others’ toes.

One of the early solar energy problems was storage: Efficient use of solar requires storage for dark hours and peaks. Used railroad engine batteries were used by some off-gridders, but they had too short a cycle to keep a factory running all night, and thus battery technology had to grow up before solar could become truly viable.

At the heart of the solar problem was the duck curve — that’s the graph of usage versus time of day, which, when plotted out, looks like a duck’s silhouette. The fact the peak demand does not occur when the sun is high means peak usage is somewhat the inverse of peak solar input. In other words, while everyone leaves the office or factory to drive to McDonald’s for lunch, they aren’t using electricity, even though the sun is at it’s zenith. Conversely, when those same workers go home in the evening to fire up the stove, the TV, the hot tub, the Xbox to play Minecraft — that’s when the sun is crashing on the western horizon.

That’s why America needs companies like Ideal Energy.

Ideal wisely focused on battery storage. Today’s battery technology far surpasses those bulky D-cells you used to slide into your dad’s big flashlight, and two technologies are leading the way: vanadium flow and the batteries used in Tesla automobiles.

The vanadium flow battery is a non-toxic, pH-balanced battery whose performance does not degrade over time. Ideal was considering lithium-ion batteries, but those degrade: after 15 years, the top of the line lithium-ion batteries will only hold 50 percent of their initial charge. NEXTracker, owned by Fluxtronics, Ideal’s source for vanadium flow batteries, warranties their batteries for the life of the solar power system as long as Ideal follows a recommended annual maintenance schedule. That means after 25-plus years, the vanadium flow batteries will still hold 98 percent of charge.

A 2-by-4-by-6-foot vanadium battery sits at the end of each row on the MUM array, which consists of 3,150 panels rated at 350 watts each.

The Tesla Powerwall is the same battery utilized in Tesla’s cars; it can be integrated into a modular system and built out for commercial applications. Tesla also does this for residential homes, but the level Ideal is dealing with is large commercial installations.

Troy Van Beek earned his bachelor’s degree in sustainability from MUM and brought his Navy SEAL experience to the company.

“A part of the mission that has created Ideal is that we look at resource security as part of what we’re doing,” Troy said. “We’re in the process of creating abundance for our clients, and that’s really important because of the effect that it has on opportunity. The more opportunity there is, the less need for conflict.”

Amy Van Beek said the MUM project is the first solar and storage, large-scale battery project in the Midwest.

“It’s pretty significant because the National Renewable Energy Labs put out a study about a year ago indicating Iowa is one of the top ten states in the country to benefit from battery energy storage for peak demand mitigation,” she said.

Demand mitigation can reduce energy prices for hours with high price spikes by reducing the marginal generating cost of the system.

“The University is one of these peak demand customers,” Amy said. “We in Iowa have some of the lowest utility rates in the country, but for peak demand users, they’re in the top ten highest utility rates in the country. That can be a big problem for universities, manufacturers, even non-profit organizations — anybody that’s a large electric user.”

Troy Van Beek said that together, the vanadium flow battery technology and the tracking system makes the MUM project unique.

“It gives the U a good energy profile for its particular type of energy curve,” he said. “So that gives nice shoulders on the energy that’s being produced throughout the day. It really gives them a good payback on the project itself.”

That’s enough battery talk for today. Here’s something you can meditate upon tonight: The Sun is free and you can harvest whatever heat, light and wind by-products you want, all day, for free.

The technology to do so is not free. The delivery infrastructure is not free. The maintenance, legislation and continuing R&D are not free.

In the end, there will be no more solar mountains as more energy companies shine as brightly as Ideal Energy.

Read more about Ideal Energy’s projects at www.idealenergysolar.com.

The lyrics to Donovan’s song “There is a Mountain” refer to a Buddhist concept often attributed to Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his “Essays in Zen Buddhism.

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Also see Iowa Entrepreneur profiles Ideal Energy, Fairfield. IPTV first aired this 13-minute story, on July 28, 2017.

On Oct 10, 2018, Ideal Energy posted Women Empowered: a short film about the leaders driving Iowa’s energy future.

See The Review story below:

(more…)

US News and World Report selects Fairfield, Iowa with Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities

June 22, 2018

USN&WR-Transcending Together

Ashia Freeden of Canada journals on campus at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. (Rachel Mummey for USN&WR)

Fairfield, Iowa — Of the dozens of Iowa cities with populations hovering around 10,000, only one can tout repeated visits from A-list celebrities and Transcendental Meditation practitioners from across the globe.

For more than 40 years, the city of Fairfield, Iowa, has been coming to terms with its dual role as the county seat of largely rural Jefferson County and the host city to the Maharishi University of Management, the institution founded in the 1970s by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his followers.

The city of approximately 10,400 residents has the familiar mix of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and big-box retailers seen in other similarly sized enclaves throughout the state. But it also boasts a retail area filled with yoga studios, wellness centers, high-end coffeehouses and the largest organic and natural foods store in southeast Iowa.

Over the past half-century, most of Iowa’s rural counties have seen a population and economic decline. Fairfield, however, earned the nickname Silicorn Valley during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, highlighting the presence of dozens of tech and programming companies within its small confines. It’s been touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America of its size.

“It’s kind of a side attraction of Fairfield that every once in a while there’s Oprah, or there’s David Lynch or there’s Jim Carrey,” says Dick DeAngelis, a New Jersey native who first came to Fairfield to study in the 1970s and returned a few years after graduation to raise his family. “But it’s also this small, Midwestern hometown steeped in family values and apple pie, which I love.”

City and county leaders say the health and overall success of their community comes through the effective bridging of the small-town experience and the university’s broader draw. The school incorporates Transcendental Meditation alongside more traditional academic offerings, such as majors in computer science, business or art.

“It’s really gratifying to see the culture change so now we don’t talk as much about the difference anymore,” says Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who was first elected to the office in 2001. “I’m always tickled when I hear a local person refer to one of our strengths as diversity. I think everybody is on board now. They understand that good values and good things come out of our diversity.”

Read the rest of this excellent US News and World Report, Iowan City Transcends a Divide, written by Jeff Charis-Carlson with photos by Rachel Mummey posted June 20, 2018 on Healthiest Communities: Transcending Together. Fairfield, Iowa, has found success as a home for townies and meditators alike. (Much to my surprise I’m in the third photo towards the end of the article walking under the movie theater marquee.)

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Earlier related news: Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | “Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield | @DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women

May 21, 2018

Each week, The Hawk Eye, Iowa’s oldest newspaper based in Burlington, focuses on an Iowan who is making a difference in the world. Bob Saar, a great storyteller of other people’s stories, came to Fairfield earlier this month to interview Leslee Goldstein about her TM study empowering disadvantaged Ugandan mothers. The Hawk Eye published his article on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Leslee Goldstein cropped from The Hawk Eye

I cropped this photo taken by Bob for The Hawk Eye. The caption reads: Leslee Goldstein at her home near Fairfield. The Detroit area native came to Iowa in 1975 to study Transcendental Meditation, and went on to earn a doctorate in Vedic science. Her research is in the area of using TM to address stress and improve learning opportunities among women in poverty.

To read this well-written, comprehensive personal profile in their 52 Faces section, click on the title to go to the website where you’ll also see a gallery with 5 photos: Road to Africa is paved with good intentions. You’ll enjoy reading this inspiring heartfelt story. It’s also available in this PDF without the photos.

KTVO had also reported on the study: Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report.

ENJOY TM NEWS reproduced The Hawk Eye article with additional photos and a video made on Leslee’s study by her daughter Alena Goldstein: Empowerment from Within for Mothers in Africa.

Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report

May 3, 2018

(Wednesday, May 2, 2018): KTVO’s Aish Menon visited Leslee Goldstein to talk about her research study in Uganda and aired this story on last night’s KTVO News at 10. Click the title below to see the report.

Fairfield woman researches benefits of Transcendental Meditation on Ugandan women

Leslee Goldstein is a faculty and research scholar at the Maharishi University of Management.:KTVO

Leslee Goldstein is a faculty and research scholar at Maharishi University of Management./KTVO

What started out as research for her PhD, has turned into something much larger.

Back in 2012, Leslee Goldstein, a faculty and research scholar at Maharishi University of Management, visited Uganda to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation on women.

In her research, she found that their self-efficacy and mental and physical quality of life greatly improved after practicing the technique just twice a day.

“When they could start to create more balance in their own lives, then they were able to do their job better as a mother, and I see it as the highest profession,” said Goldstein.

Now, Goldstein’s research is being published, but that’s not putting a stop to her work – it’s just inspired her to do more.

She says she plans on returning to Uganda and conducting more research in the area as well as in other parts of Africa.

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Note: Visual excerpts used in the news report were taken from Alena Goldstein’s documentary of the project, Mothers of Uganda.

Related: New research shows Transcendental Meditation empowers disadvantaged Ugandan mothers. The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women.

New research shows Transcendental Meditation empowers disadvantaged Ugandan mothers

April 18, 2018

Summary: A new study with disadvantaged women in Uganda using measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life, found significant differences between a group practicing Transcendental Meditation and controls after three months. Results indicate improved ability to cope with difficult situations, decreased perceived stress, and improved clarity of mind and physical vitality. In follow-up questionnaires after 8 and 36 months, the women reported improvements in health, employment, and social relationships. Decreased Perceived Stress and Increased Self-Efficacy in Women in UgandaApril 18, 2018, 8:00 ET: A study published today in Health Care for Women International shows how the Transcendental Meditation technique can empower women’s lives, using measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life.

The practice was shown to help single, disadvantaged, illiterate mothers in Uganda deal with high levels of physical and psychological stress in their daily lives while improving their health, well-being, and ability to support themselves and their children.

“Transcendental Meditation has been in the news in recent years, with many celebrities talking about how they’ve benefitted,” said lead author Leslee Goldstein. “Moreover, many educational institutions and organizations around the world have successfully adopted Transcendental Meditation in programs for students, veterans, and the general population. This pioneering research shows that it can also aid vulnerable women in Africa who’ve never before heard about meditation.”

Impoverished mothers able to help themselves

A top leader in the Uganda Ministry of Health, Dr. Grace Nambatya, said the findings are extremely important in showing how this simple meditation technique can provide a platform for impoverished mothers to help themselves.

“There is a significant need for evidence such as this to help us improve women’s health and promote empowerment for vulnerable women in Uganda and worldwide,” she said. “Given the global impact of stress on women’s health and self-efficacy, this study has wide, interdisciplinary applicability.”

How it began: Uganda NGO introduces Transcendental Meditation

The research was conducted under the auspices of the United Women’s Platform for Empowerment and Development (UWOPED), a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) that offers training and educational programs to impoverished women to build practical skills to help empower their lives and increase their competencies and productivity.

UWOPED founder Brenda Nakalembe learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 2012, and due to the benefits she experienced, decided to offer it as one of her training programs for women to help them cope with the challenges they face.

“These women face serious deprivation, and have so much stress in their lives that they become hopeless,” Ms. Nakalembe said. “The result is that it’s a real challenge for them to engage in meaningful action.”

Ms. Nakalembe collaborated with the African Women and Girls Organization for Total Knowledge (AWAGO) to provide instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique. Licensed in 2011, AWAGO offers programs, including Transcendental Meditation, to develop the full potential of women and girls in Uganda.

Single-blind, controlled study

AWAGO’s certified Transcendental Meditation teachers initially taught the technique to 60 women in the village of Nsambya in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. After observing the benefits experienced by their neighbors, 81 more women requested to learn. UWOPED and AWAGO then elected to invite these 81 women to participate in a single-blind, controlled study.

Of these 81, 42 of the women learned Transcendental Meditation immediately, and the rest (39), were put on a waitlist to learn the technique after three months, serving as a control group. All subjects were assigned to groups without known bias, and there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of demographics or study outcomes at baseline. The women on average were 28 years old and instruction was conducted in their mother tongue. The participants practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day for about 20 minutes. Twice a month they attended group follow-up meetings.

Ugandan women meditate together

Improvements in self-efficacy, stress, and mental/physical health

Assessment after three months of practicing Transcendental Meditation found benefits on standardized measures of self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life. Further questionnaires after 8 and 36 months suggested that the women enjoyed improved health, better relationships with others, and increased employment rates.

A total of 71 participants completed the three-month post-test. The primary outcome was a significant improvement in self-efficacy in the Transcendental Meditation group, as measured by the 10-item General Self-Efficacy Scale, which assesses the ability to cope with difficult life challenges. These outcomes are particularly relevant because self-efficacy is considered a critical element of empowerment.

“This Self-Efficacy Scale, which has been in use for nearly 40 years, is a good way of getting a sense of how optimistic a person is, and how much belief a person has that she or he can overcome obstacles,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Those in the Transcendental Meditation group clearly had a changed attitude and greater confidence in their ability to overcome difficult demands in life.”

Secondary outcomes in the study included the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, which measures the degree to which situations are perceived as stressful and the Medical Outcomes Survey, which measures general physical and mental health as well as social functioning. Again, there was a significant difference between the Transcendental Meditation group and controls.

“These instruments used in the study measured energy and vitality, decision-making, problem-solving, and how overloaded the respondents feel,” Dr. Goldstein said. “What’s really interesting is that the participants simply learned a meditation technique that’s been shown scientifically to provide deep rest and relieve stress. After three months of practice so many aspects of the participant’s lives were greatly improved.”

Long-term benefits

A follow-up questionnaire was completed by 54 of the original 81 participants after 8 months, and 56 of the original participants completed a questionnaire after three years. All of the women who completed the questionnaire at three years were still practicing Transcendental Meditation.

The women’s self-reported benefits included improved general physical health, fewer headaches, better sleep, greater ability to deal with HIV, greater calm and peace, and less worry and anxiety. There were also reports of decreased drug use and prostitution.

Furthermore, women reported that their employment situations improved, as did their social relationships at home, at work, and in their community – such as more cooperation, love, respect, trust, and friendliness.

Comments from participants

“I used to be stressed to get enough to eat. I would cry and argue with my husband. I used to get so angry I would get a headache and fever from the stress. TM has calmed me down and I feel happy from inside because I can manage stress better. I am thankful for my TM training for giving me self-control and a better feeling about myself as a woman and that I can do something to take care of myself and my children.” (NA)

“Before TM I was unable to get myself going to find work, I couldn’t even think of working. TM has opened up my mind, and help me think better, and now I have a job selling bananas and my children are going to school and feeling happy.” (NG)

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, Transcendental Meditation practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. It automatically and effortlessly allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of deep inner calm. For more information visit http://www.africanwomenandgirls-uganda.org and http://www.tm.org.

The effect of Transcendental Meditation on self-efficacy, perceived stress, and quality of life in mothers in Uganda
Leslee Goldstein, Sanford I. Nidich, Rachel Goodman, and David Goodman

Health Care for Women International, an online international journal that provides a unique interdisciplinary approach to health care and related topics that concern women around the globe.

This research was supported by funding from the Abramson Family Foundation.

Contact information: lgoldstein@mum.edu

Source: EurekAlert!

Watch a video made on how UWOPED partnered with AWAGO to provide instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique to Empower Women from Within. Author and freelance writer Linda Egenes wrote an article of how Leslee’s daughter, Alena, came to make this documentary film, and was transformed in the process: A Young Filmmaker Documents the Transforming Experiences of Women in Uganda—And Finds Her Own Life Changing as a Result.

Some news coverage: The Hawk Eye interviewed Leslee Goldstein on her TM study with impoverished Ugandan women | KTVO: Maharishi University researcher Leslee Goldstein studies benefits of Transcendental Meditation on impoverished Ugandan women — news report.

New study highlights unique state of “restful alertness” during Transcendental Meditation

March 24, 2018

fMRI shows increased blood flow to frontal areas of brain and decreased blood flow in pons and cerebellum

Summary: A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that Transcendental Meditation is associated with a unique state of “restful alertness.” The study, which monitored blood flow, found that, compared to eyes-closed rest, during Transcendental Meditation there was increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, indicating the sort of alertness also seen in other meditations. However, unlike other meditations, there was decreased activity in the cerebellum and pons, indicating deep rest.

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Mahone - side view fMRI

fMRI images show significant areas of activation during Transcendental Meditation compared to resting with eyes closed. Areas of activation (orange) included the anterior cingulate gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Areas of deactivation (blue) included the pons and cerebellum. These findings suggest the mind is alert but that mind and body are in a deeply restful state.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is said to lead to a state of “restful alertness,” and now a new study in Brain and Cognition using brain-imaging supports the assertion that during the practice one’s mind is alert but that both mind and body are in a deep state of rest.

Functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI) patterns of 16 subjects during their practice of Transcendental Meditation found that, like meditations that involve focused attention or open monitoring, there was increased activity in the areas of the prefrontal cortex related to attention – indicating alertness. However, unlike other meditations, during Transcendental Meditation there was also decreased activity in the areas related to arousal – indicating deep rest.

“Given the wide variety of meditations that are practiced today, it’s important to distinguish among them in order to see the different ways they affect the brain,” said Michelle Mahone, lead author. “It makes sense that different approaches to meditation would use the brain in different ways.”

A state of restful alertness

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced Transcendental Meditation in the West, taught that TM practice leads to this state of restful alertness. And over the past decades, researchers have sought to verify this claim scientifically.

Early research suggested that Transcendental Meditation practice lowers sympathetic nervous activity, as indicated by a reduction in skin conductance and plasma lactate – two physiological markers of sympathetic functioning – and a decrease in breath rate.

“This reduction in sympathetic activation results from gaining the state of restful alertness during Transcendental Meditation practice,” said Fred Travis, a coauthor of the study. “This restful alertness is the key to Transcendental Meditation. It’s a very different kind of rest than sleep. It’s rejuvenating and healing, as evidenced by a wide range of clinical studies, while at the same time it allows the person to experience deeper mental states – with profound implications, such as an ongoing experience of transcendence.”

The restfully alert state gained during Transcendental is more than a concept, Dr. Travis says. “These blood flow patterns give a physiological picture of the reality of restful alertness in the mind and body.”

Increased blood flow to prefrontal cortices

The sixteen subjects, who had been practicing Transcendental Meditation an average of 34 years, were each tested as they meditated for 10 minutes while the blood flow in their brain was monitored by an fMRI scan.

Compared to just resting peacefully with their eyes closed, the fMRI scan found an increase in blood flow in the bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices – areas of the brain’s prefrontal cortex associated with attention and executive functions such as decision making, reasoning, working memory, inhibition, and reward anticipation.

Frontal blood flow is also reported during other meditations and indicates that the mind is alert.

Decreased blood flow to pons and cerebellum

However, unlike other meditations, during Transcendental Meditation there was a decrease in blood flow to the pons and cerebellum. The pons modulates the individual’s overall state of arousal and governs breath and heart rates. The decrease in activity in this brain area supports the experience during Transcendental Meditation of a deeply silent mind and rested body.

The cerebellum modulates the speed and variability of information processing, both related to coordination and motor control and to cognitive functions such as attention and language. The decrease in activity suggests that the body reverts to a more automatic mode without the need of cognitive effort to exert control.

Together the decrease in activity in the pons and cerebellum activity suggests an overall reduction in cognitive control and executive processing during Transcendental Meditation – as if the attentional system is at a balance point ready to act when needed, Dr. Travis said.

“By using the mind in a specific way, restfulness follows,” Dr. Mahone said. “While this may seem contradictory, this finding is compatible with other research supporting that meditation could be key to balancing the autonomic nervous system and improving quality of life.”

Natural tendency of the mind

This state of restful alertness is said to result from correct practice of Transcendental Meditation: without effort.

“Transcendental Meditation is effortless because it follows the natural tendency of the mind,” Dr. Travis said. “One begins the practice in a simple way, and then it goes automatically, without any analyzing or intention. Maharishi said that it simply follows the natural tendency of the mind to settle down to quieter states if given the opportunity.”

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easily learned, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It doesn’t involve concentration, control of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts or breathing. The practice allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of inner calm. For more information visit http://www.tm.org.

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“fMRI during Transcendental Meditation practice”
Michelle C. Mahone, Fred Travis, Richard Gevirtz, David Hubbard
Brain and Cognition 123 (2018) 30–33

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Reports: EurekAlert | Health Imaging: fMRI confirms state of ‘restful alertness’ during transcendental meditation | EUPB | Press Locker | Bioengineer.org | Science Newsline: Medicine | INTO.AI | The London Economic | Scicasts | SCIENMAG | The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest wrote an impressive review of the study (April 16, 2018) in their section: Brain, In Brief: First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation.

Check out this infographic comparing different meditation techniques.

Norman Zierold: Hollywood biographer, novelist, TM Teacher, member of Maharishi’s Purusha program, raconteur, publicist, beloved by all

March 9, 2018

Norman Zierold photo by Mary Drew

Norman Zierold: 7/26/1927–3/7/2018

A close friend and colleague, Norman Zierold, passed from this world early Wednesday morning, March 7, 2018. Beloved by all, he lived a long, culturally rich and spiritually devoted life.

Born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Norman enlisted in the navy, graduated cum laude from Harvard, and earned a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa. He spent two years in France on a French Government Teaching Assistantship, then a decade in New York City, where he taught at Brearley School, worked at Collier’s Encyclopedia, then Theater Arts Magazine and Show.

Norman wrote eight books: true crime novels, tales of Hollywood’s golden age, and science fiction: The Child Stars, (1966); Little Charlie Ross, (1967); Three Sisters in Black, (1968), which won a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award; The Moguls; Garbo; (both 1969); The Skyscraper Doom, (1972); Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen, (1973); and his final book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational Memoir (2013).

In 1972, Norman began the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He became a TM teacher and taught the technique to hundreds in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He later joined Maharishi’s Purusha program and eventually moved to Fairfield, Iowa in 2002. Norman became part of a dynamic media team at Maharishi University of Management under the direction of Bob Roth. Norman’s accomplishments there were legendary!

Those of us who worked with Norman over the years were always impressed by his work ethic and ability to charm writers, editors, and producers into reporting on TM. Bob Roth, now CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, is fond of telling the story of how Norman inspired a national TV profile on the NBC Today Show for TM and the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse in inner city Detroit.

A few years later, when Bob and David Lynch showed it to Ray Dalio in a private meeting, it inspired him to give the David Lynch Foundation a donation of one million dollars for more school projects. This was the start of an ongoing relationship with DLF, now in 35 countries, and led to millions more over the years for many at-risk groups. Bob feels the successful launch of the Foundation was largely due to Norman’s efforts, and prepared a special message about him for today’s memorial service.

Norman is survived by his sister Loretta Wolf, nephews Geoffrey and Mark, and niece Candice. A memorial service and cremation ceremony will take place Friday, March 9, 2018 at Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Rustin Larson, published poet and MUM librarian, interviewed Norman Zierold on the publication of his book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational Memoir. Enjoy this interview, which took place in the MUM Library. There is a short separate introduction by librarian Suzanne Vesely. Both videos were posted March 2, 2013 on mumlibrary. Margot Suettmann posted a link to this video on Facebook when she found out about Norman’s passing. She also posted a lovely comment there about Norman that captures him perfectly. I’ve included them both below.

Margot Suettmann: I did not know Norman that well for a long time, but he left a deep impression on me as a very gentle, refined and also intellectual or let’s say: well educated person. I saw him often on the road walking up and down and doing his errands. He was tall and slim and his gait was very typical for him. He immediately learned my name – soon after I had arrived in Fairfield – and thus greeted me always with my name “Margot” which is something special. One feels appreciated and familiar with a person who takes the effort. I also knew he was a good friend of Ken Chawkin’s whom I consider a good and old friend myself. I knew Ken before I came to MUM. I also may have read some of Norman’s media press releases at times. He was working in the media department of MUM. I got to know him a little better at the memorial or obituary lunch for Sally Peden which Ken Chawkin had organized at Revelations as I happened to sit next to Norman. Of course we started to talk about different subjects and I noticed his refined personality and his rich educational background and the way he expressed himself verbally in a cautious and knowledgeable way. Probably what I appreciated most was his gentleness and his intuition for other’s feelings and handling them with caution and tenderness. I also admired his bravery how he mastered his life in his old age. He never complained and trod his way up and down the road unperturbed – and of course he loved and appreciated deeply to live in Fairfield. He was very independent in his inner Self and a noble personality in some way. And I remember most his kindness.

Linda Egenes sent this note. It says a lot! “Thank you, Ken. What a lovely memorial post of Norman! I think we all felt connected to him because he was so deeply settled in himself, and made everyone feel appreciated, loved and respected.”

Linda also sent this: Here’s a link to a “My Story” feature by Norman for Enlightenment magazine. It features a moving chapter from his book, about how he started to meditate and then why he became a TM teacher: From Utopia to Hollywood and Back.

“Today, I believe that omniscient Mother Nature remembered my youthful spiritual stirrings even when I did not, and also noted my disillusion with metropolitan high life and my attempts to find a better road to fulfillment.” —Norman Zierold

Jim Turner sent a wonderful Letter to the Editor of The Fairfield Ledger, which they published on March 22, 2018: A tribute to Norman Zierold.

Earlier related blog posts on Norman Zierold: The Chronicle of Higher Education: Notes From Academe: The Spokesman Who Kept CallingDiane Vance and Norman Zierold discuss his new memoir, That Reminds Me, at Revelations Café | You can read more lovely articles and listen to a few fascinating interviews with Norman about his book in this post by scrolling down to Articles, Interviews, and Update: That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer Norman Zierold is now out!Norman Zierold: A Charmed Life: Celebrated Hollywood Author Reminisces on Six Decades of Extraordinary Encounters | THE REMARKABLE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION — written by Norman Zierold for Healthy Referral | Celebrating Norman Zierold’s 90th birthday at the Bonaparte Retreat Restaurant we met Marie.

KYOU FOX 15.1 reports on MUM Film Class

February 15, 2018

Maharishi University of Management offers a program called the David Lynch MFA in Screenwriting…and for 10 days… 16 students from Maine to California …are staying in Fairfield with dreams of one day being able to share their writing with the world…

Watch a 2:43 minute news report by KYOU news anchor Chase Scheuer: KYOU FOX 15.1 News Story, Wednesday, 2/14/2018, MUM Film Class.

Watch an earlier report from KTVO’s Aish Menon on this program: New David Lynch MFA Screenwriting students use #TranscendentalMeditation to unfold creativity.

To find out more about MUM’s David Lynch MFA in Screenwriting, visit www.mum.edu/mfa-in-screenwriting.


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