Archive for the ‘Maharishi University’ Category

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students

February 20, 2019

Tues, Feb 19, 2019: A study published in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. Students also experienced relief from depression. A comparison group from University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the same diagnosis received no treatment and showed no change in their symptoms.

IMAGE

College students diagnosed with PTSD at Maharishi Institute (MI) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) were tested at 15, 60 and 105 days. After 3.5 months, the MI group practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) went below clinical thresholds, while controls at UJ showed no change.

A very high percentage of young people in South Africa suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A college that offers the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique to its students found this approach helped reduce their symptoms.

A study published today in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. The students also experienced relief from depression.

A comparison group of 34 students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) suffering from PTSD and depression received no treatment and continued to show no change in their symptoms throughout the study.

High levels of PTSD

An international research team of seven scientists and psychologists conducted the study. At the start, students at MI and UJ had a score of 44 or more on their PCL-C test and a clinician’s verification of PTSD. A score above 44 indicates likely PTSD and below 34 indicates that one is below the PTSD threshold.

Symptoms included nightmares, flashbacks to traumatic events, anxiety, fear, and hyper-vigilance. They also reported emotional numbness, anger, and violent behavior, as well as abuse of drugs and alcohol. PTSD is a chronic, debilitating condition that may last a lifetime if not treated effectively.

The study showed a rapid and significant reduction of symptoms in the test group, according to lead author Dr. Carole Bandy, professor of psychology at Norwich University, America’s oldest military college. Results were stable over time.

“A high percentage of young people in South Africa, especially those living in the townships, suffer from PTSD,” said co-author Michael Dillbeck, researcher in the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. “To become successful students and productive members of society, they absolutely need help dealing with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation, this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation (TM), this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

High levels of PTSD are prevalent in South Africa

Up to 25% of the population in South Africa suffers from PTSD, according to Dr. Eugene Allers, past-president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. Estimates put the same figure in the USA at 8%.

Several recent scientific studies show that adolescents and children in South Africa may be exposed to relatively high levels of traumatic experiences, particularly witnessing or experiencing violence of a criminal or domestic nature, associated in turn with estimates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ranging from 8% to 38% (Ensink, Robertson, Zissis & Leger, 1997; Pelzer, 1999; Seedat, van Nood, Vythilingum, Stein & Kaminer, 2000; Suliman, Kaminer, Seedat & Stein, 2005).

UJ students assessed by expert NGO

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), the largest mental health NGO in SA, which assists more than 180,000 people each year, interviewed and tested UJ students suffering from PTSD. They were also tested for depression, since it often accompanies PTSD and can in fact be considered a component of PTSD.

Students were only invited to join the study if they met two criteria for having PTSD: a score indicating PTSD on the PCL-C paper test and the opinion of a trained psychologist. Re-testing was 15, 60 and 105 days after baseline testing.

MI students find relief

At 15 days into the study, Maharishi Institute students showed a significant drop of more than 10 points in their PTSD symptoms after learning Transcendental Meditation. They also found relief from depression, judged by Beck Depression Index scores.

Re-testing was also carried out at 60 days and 105 days of their TM practice. By 105 days, the average group score for the MI students was below the PTSD threshold of 34, according to the paper tests. The UJ students showed no significant reduction in symptoms—neither depression nor PTSD. They received no support of any kind.

A binary logistical regression analysis for the effect of TM practice on PTSD PCL-C diagnosis 105 days after instruction was also highly significant, with 7 likely PTSD and 27 unlikely for the experimental group and 30 likely and 4 unlikely for the comparison group.

First study of its kind

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students. “This study shows that there are new tools available for professionals to add to their tool bag,” says Zane Wilson, Founder and Chairman of SADAG.

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students.

Thirteen previous studies utilizing Transcendental Meditation showed reductions in PTSD on Congolese war refugees, US war veterans, and male and female prisoners.

###

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 https://www.tm.org.

Funding for the study was provided by David Lynch Foundation and PTSD Relief Now Corporation (African PTSD Relief), two US 501c3 charities.

Ref: Bandy, C, Dillbeck, M., Sezibera, V., Taljaard, L., de Reuck, J., Wilks, M., Shapiro, D., Peycke, R. (Psychological Reports. on-line: February, 2019) Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students Using Transcendental Meditation Practice. DOI: 10.1177/0033294119828036 | PubMed

EurekAlert! | ZME Science | Medical News Today | PsychCentral and more

See this recent study: #TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD. See other TM studies and articles on PTSD posted on this blog.

College life can be destructive to student health. Panel of experts offer evidence-based solutions.

February 3, 2019

VIEW EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENT WITH ALL IMAGES

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

Is College Bad For Your Brain?
How the epidemic of stress on college campuses
is destructive to student health–and what can be done about it
 

LIVE EVENT 
Friday February 8th • 7:30 pm CT 
Dalby Hall, MUM Campus, Fairfield, Iowa
 

GLOBAL WEBCAST 
Wednesday, February 13th • 4:00 pm ET

Webcast link: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

Mental health challenges, substance abuse and poor lifestyle choices undermine student learning outcomes and successful college experiences. This webinar will explore disruptive solutions and highlight a unique university that is reversing this trend by placing stress-busting meditation at the core of its curriculum.

The statistics are sobering: 75% of college students report feeling stressed and 39% of college freshmen report symptoms of anxiety or depression.  Suicidal ideation in students has doubled over the last 10 years, 40% of college students binge drink, and there is a 30% rise in requests for mental health support.

Is there an antidote to this potentially lethal epidemic on college campuses? The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) and Maharishi University of Management (MUM) are cohosting a major conference, “Is College Bad For Your Brain?” to offer evidence-based, disruptive solutions to college students and educators alike on Friday, February 8 on the MUM campus in Fairfield, Iowa. The conference will be then webcast on Wednesday, February 13. A distinguished panel of thought-leaders—neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and students–will convene to explore the destructive impact of college stress on mental and physical health and what can be done about it.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

Gregory Gruener MD, Vice Dean for Education and neurology professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has developed a cutting-edge wellness program in the highly stressful environment of medical school. “A lot of studies show that as many as 50 percent of medical students and residents exhibit symptoms from stress that can develop into burnout, so we’re trying to help students focus on wellness for themselves by teaching skills that they can take with them, skills they will need to be effective physicians.”

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

To counteract this trend and help students better manage their stress, Dr. Gruener and Adjunct professor at Loyola Stritch, Carla Brown EdD, established the first elective course in Transcendental Meditation (TM) to be offered at a major medical school. Drs. Gruener and Brown will speak (via Skype) about the benefits medical students have been experiencing in their program since it’s inception in 2014.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeClinical neuropsychologist William Stixrud, Ph.D. will also address the conference. Author of The Self-Driven Child, Stixrud has worked closely with students to help them manage their stress and become more proactive in creating success in college and in life.  Stixrud commented on the problem in his recent New York Times op-ed, When a College Student Comes Home to Stay.

“As we see it, there are two critical issues at hand.  First, college life is a highly deregulated environment with inconsistent sleep patterns and diets, little structure, and an abundance of binge-drinking, pot-smoking, and abuse of stimulants like Adderall.  Second, students haven’t been given control of their own lives until way too late.  It may be just too much to ask students to go from parental control to near-total freedom.”  In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, the most effective antidote that Dr. Stixrud has found to relieve the problem is the regular practice of the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeHeart transplant specialist and Chief Informatics Officer for the U.S. Navy, Hassan Tetteh, M.D., brings a unique medical perspective to the issue.  After two tours of duty in Iraq, and as Command Surgeon for the National Defense University, which trains the elite officers in the military, Tetteh saw firsthand the effects of stress in these high-stakes, life-and-death environments.  But after several personal life-altering experiences in the military, he found a calling to heal others, in particular, by helping them to cultivate a deeper mind-body connection.  His favorite John Steinbeck quote captured this feeling, “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ;” and added, “Identifying the goals, beliefs and human connections that enrich our souls can be just as essential to healthy living as any medical treatment.”

2019_01_changemakers-2_travisMUM neuroscientist Fred Travis, Ph.D., will report on new research showing that meditating students display a “brain signature” indicating greater resiliency, adaptability and coherence in the face of stress. MUM offers students a Brain Integration Progress Report using a Brain Integration Scale to begin to assess the effects of their college experience on brain functioning. Dr. Travis will conduct a live EEG demonstration at the conference highlighting the differences between a brain under stress and a brain during TM.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree“As experts search for a solution to the effects of stress on learning, one common theme seems to emerge: mind-body practices such as Transcendental Meditation work,” says MUM Dean of Faculty and co-founder of the Institute for Research on Consciousness and Human Development, Vicki Alexander Herriott. “MUM is already a global leader in the field because its educational curriculum and campus culture has made Transcendental Meditation (TM) central to the life of the student—and teacher. This conference will showcase why.”

MUM Student Body President, T. Chevonne added, “The best thing in my life is my TM practice.  It has helped me see past doubts and fears into the infinite realm of possibilities.  I am more confident and outspoken than I’ve ever been, and anxiety is a distant memory to me.”

For more information and a list of speakers and panelists visit: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019.

Organizer Michael Sternfeld wrote an excellent article on this second Changemakers event published in the February issue of The Iowa Source Magazine: Is College Bad For Your Brain? MUM also posted this short video promo.

Watch Changemakers: Is College Bad For Your Brain? • Part 1Part 2.

###

Related: The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school | Catholic Health World reports on medical students learning Transcendental Meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

 

Iowa press cover launch of new MEG’Array Solar Power Plant for Maharishi University Fri, Dec 14

December 30, 2018

It was a great day for Maharishi University of Management, Iowa Integrated Solar, Ideal Energy, the City of Fairfield, and the state of Iowa, as MUM’s new MEG’Array Solar Power Plant went live. The first and largest of its kind in the Midwest, this large solar array stores its own energy and is powered by AI allowing solar panels to follow the direction of the sun thereby generating more power than a fixed array. It will generate a third of the campus energy needs, operate behind the meter, and shave off costly peak demands. This is a big step towards fulfilling the University’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral within the decade. Here’s some regional news coverage.

Matt Kelley of Radio Iowa interviewed MUM President Dr. Hagelin in the morning and aired it at 1pm to over 70 Iowa radio stations: Maharishi University now features state’s largest solar power plant.

Matt Milner, editor of the Ottumwa Courier, had also interviewed Dr. Hagelin, then attended the event and published his article later that day: MEG’Array lights up MUM campus.

TV reporters from KYOU and KTVO attended the day’s activities. Each station broadcasts on two different networks, via cable and digital HD. KYOU runs on Fox 15 and NBC 15.2, while KTVO runs on ABC 3 and CBS 3.2. They interviewed Dr. Hagelin, Tom Factor, Troy and Amy Van Beek, along with Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy and Congressman Dave Loebsack.

Click on the headlines to watch their news reports: KYOU: Maharishi University of Management Solar Array and KTVO: Maharishi University goes green, installs solar energy.

Retired Des Moines Register Iowa columnist Chuck Offenburger tweeted our success: “Wow! Fairfield and Maharishi U, as often happens, are leading the way.”

All reports came out on Friday, Dec 14. The Fairfield Ledger ran our press release as an advance announcement, and sent a photographer to cover the event. Ledger editor Andy Hallman published a front-page report with 4 photos on Monday, Feb 17: University unveils huge solar array. If you can’t see it online, here is a PDF.

The solar power plant is fully operational now and research on it will be forthcoming by spring 2019.

See an earlier article written by Bob Saar for The Hawk Eye: Ideal Energy’s solar-plus storage system for MUM is first large-scale installation of its kind in Iowa.

#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.

On Jan 3, 2019, APA’s Psychiatric News published this study under Clinical and Research News: Transcendental Meditation May Be as Effective as Exposure Therapy for PTSD.

In the National Center for PTSD, on page 2 of their December 2018 issue of Clinician’s Trauma Update, there is a report on this study: Transcendental Meditation for PTSD, and another one.

MUM Achievements posted this review in their January 27, 2019 • ISSUE 463: New Study on TM and PTSD Published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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.

###

Update: Iowa press cover launch of new MEG’Array Solar Power Plant for Maharishi University Fri, Dec 14. https://goo.gl/4uypUX

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:

Construction Begins on Five-Acre Solar Array West of Campus

Construction began last month on a 5-acre, 1.1-megawatt solar array west of the recreational trail that borders the west side of campus. It will be capable of supplying approximately a third of the energy needs on campus.

The array will have a number of advanced features, including panels that track the movement of the sun and a battery system that will store power for use when the sun isn’t available and during times when there is “peak demand” (such as a hot summer day).

During times of peak demand, not only is electricity from the power company more expensive, it also raises the basic rate the customer pays throughout the year. The utility company offers lower rates to customers who are able to reduce their consumption during peak demand – which will also save the university money.

The array is being installed by Ideal Energy, a highly successful company founded by alumni Troy and Amy (Greenfield) Van Beek. It will be the first solar and storage, large-scale battery project in the Midwest.

The project, which will cost over $2 million and will be owned by an independent company, is being funded by private investment and by a loan from MUM that was made possible by donations, including a $100,000 grant from the Wege Foundation.

The panels in the array will move 120 degrees each day to track the sun’s movement across the sky. Each row of panels can move independently to maintain an optimal angle to the sun.

###

MUM to Inaugurate Solar Array Dec. 14

MUM’s new solar array will be inaugurated at an event Friday, December 14, beginning at 2:45 p.m. in Dalby Hall.

The 1.1-megawatt, five-acre solar array west of campus will provide one-third of all the electricity used by MUM.

The MEG’Array Solar Power Plant is the first system in the Midwest to combine two leading-edge technologies on a large scale: active tracking and vanadium-flow batteries. In active tracking systems, the solar panels follow the sun as it moves across the sky, yielding 20–25% more energy than a fixed tilt array.

Each row of panels in the MEG’Array includes its own motor controlled by software that allows rows to move independently of each other and remember the best angles for maximum energy production throughout the seasons.

The vanadium-flow batteries will store energy for use at night, on cloudy days, and during peak energy usage times. These batteries are capable of operating for decades without any loss of efficiency.

The solar array is being installed by Ideal Energy, a Fairfield company founded in 2009 by MUM alumni Troy and Amy (Greenfield) Van Beek. As the CEO of Ideal Energy, Mr. Van Beek has brought the company to a leadership position for the solar industry in Iowa and the U.S. He has spoken to national, and international leaders in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations about the fundamental relationship between sustainable energy and national security.

The MEG’Array Solar Power Plant is owned by an Iowa LLC that will sell electricity to MUM at considerable savings to its current energy costs. The solar facility operates “behind the meter,” meaning that all the electricity produced by the solar panels and batteries directly powers the campus.

MUM Trustee Tom Factor is the managing partner of the LLC that owns and operates the MEG’Array. He began his involvement in renewable energy at MUM in 1992 and has since pioneered the development of 60 Midwest wind farms generating over 8,000 megawatts of wind power. He now serves as a trustee with a focus on helping the university achieve its goal of carbon neutrality.

The inauguration on Friday, December 14, will begin at 2:45 p.m. in Dalby Hall and will feature President John Hagelin and Mr. Factor, along with video presentations by Ideal Energy. At 3:30 p.m. the event will move to the site of the solar array west of campus to “flip the switch” on the array. (Bus transportation provided).

The MEG’Array Solar Power Plant will serve as an energy research facility, with studies being conducted by Ideal Energy, MUM’s Sustainable Living Department, and the Iowa Economic Development Association. This project represents a unique leadership role for the university and community, and the research it generates will help validate solar energy as a solution for colleges, factories, and government policy makers.

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.)

###

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.

###

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)

###

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.


%d bloggers like this: