Posts Tagged ‘America’s Most Unusual Town’

Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise

September 24, 2013

See my earlier post on a segment from this film: Maharishi describes the nature of inner life: bondage and liberation, and gaining bliss consciousness through Transcendental Meditation. Maharishi is seen walking and talking about the nature of life, with the beautiful scene of Lake Louise and the Rocky Mountains behind him. He describes the lake, its surface and depth, and the reflections on it, as a metaphor to explain the spiritual content of life and how it gets lost and overshadowed when we identify with only the surface material objects of life, a state of bondage, at the expense of our own inner unbounded nature, bliss consciousness, which gets unfolded and integrated through the practice of his Transcendental Meditation technique, into a state of liberation. I transcribe Maharishi’s words there, the film’s essential spiritual message.

maharishi signs gita for ken

In the opening scenes of this complete video of the CBC documentary, we were all walking up to Maharishi to give him a flower. At 2:07-2:10, I’m seen coming up to Maharishi asking him to sign a copy of his translation and commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, Chapters 1-6. The film closes with more of the same footage, which was all actually shot towards the end of the course. That wonderful week was the first time a lot of us got to meet Maharishi. It was an unforgettable divine experience in a most sublime natural setting!

Four years later, my mother, two sisters and I would meet privately with Maharishi at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, where a Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence with many of Canada’s intellectual luminaries was taking place. But that’s another amazing story!

Forty years after I started TM, and thirty-nine years after having met Maharishi, I was able to assist an ITN Factual commissioned producer in making the A&E biographical film, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for the History International Channel (November 2007). Luckily I was able to procure vintage footage taken by Eileen Learoyd, a Victoria, BC journalist, and the first national leader of the Canadian TM Movement. Grania Litwin, her daughter and also a Victoria journalist, was kind enough to send us those home movies transferred to videos taken by her mother. We found one of Maharishi at Catalina Island from 1962 that was still in the original film canister! We had them all digitized and sent selections to the producer for use in the film. She was delighted to have received such historical footage. We also returned the videos with new DVDs to Grania.

I also put the producer in touch with Alan Waite, who had made the award-winning 1968 documentary, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Sage for a New Generation, and she ended up using many segments from that film as well. Also lined up interviews for her when she came to MUM in Fairfield, Iowa, as well as Mike Love in LA and Donovan in London.

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia

Eileen Learoyd and her brother Hubert Gray organized a seminar for meditators with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia in 1964. Elieen would later organize the 1972 SCI Symposium. In June 1968 they arranged for the CBC to film Maharishi at the Lake Louise, Alberta course. Interestingly, after Maharishi signed my copy of the Gita, we both turned it toward the camera. That footage was edited out, but it seemed to be a symbolic gesture for what I would end up doing with a large part of my life in my own small way — helping to teach, promote and publicize Maharishi and his world-transforming Vedic knowledge and TM technique. And for that I am most thankful and fulfilled. Jai Guru Dev, Maharishi. Na Guror Adhikam.

And last year, (2012) a small crew from DFL.TV and I were fortunate to have assisted Oprah’s producers by providing them with more b-roll footage for the OWN program on the meditators of Fairfield, Iowa, referred to as “TM Town” by Oprah. They even gave us a credit! Here’s a post with Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town.

See a photo of Eileen and Hubert walking with Maharishi into the lobby of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Five-Star Hotel posted here. Here is a group photo of that sublime one-week residence course with Maharishi.

Enlightenment, the Transcendental Meditation Magazine, also published an article on Maharishi at Lake Louise discussing the blissful nature of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

In the summer of 2014 I retired from my position at MUM. A year later I was featured on the TMhome website: PR to poetry – how things sometimes happen to Ken Chawkin. They followed up with The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (International History Channel documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). A nice way to go out. I continue to write, blog, and freelance as a publicist for the movement as needed.

On September 30, 2014 I had posted how I learned #TMmeditation 47 years ago today. In there I share more information about the making of the CBC Telescope film, The Guru, of Maharishi at Lake Louise. Richard Day shared a story he had heard many years later about the director of the film who told Maharishi that he wanted to film him saying something that would encapsulate all his teachings. Maharishi said, “I’ll walk by the lake, you walk with me, and I’ll tell you everything about spiritual development.” He did it in one take! That’s the part I had transcribed and posted in the first link above.

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Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town

March 30, 2012

Preview: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town Oprah spends the day in Fairfield, Iowa—one of the safest, greenest and most unusual communities in America. It’s the last place you’d expect to find two huge golden domes built for the thousands of residents who rush there to meditate twice a day. The full episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter aired on Sunday, March 25, at 9/8c.

Welcome to TM Town Fairfield is a quiet community nestled among the cornfields of Iowa. It’s also the center of the transcendental movement in the United States. Many of the 9,000 residents who live here meditate every day, including the Winer family. Watch as the Winers reveal why they left an affluent suburb outside of Atlanta to move to Fairfield. Plus, find out how the architecture of homes in Fairfield can improve a homeowner’s happiness.

The Architecture of TM Town Many homes in Fairfield, Iowa, are built in a style of architecture inspired by nature. Take a tour of one family’s home and learn about the theory behind its layout.

Fairfield’s One-of-a-Kind School The Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment uses “consciousness-based education” to teach children from kindergarten to 12th grade everything from college prep to spiritual awakening. Watch as Oprah tours the school and shares a meditation session with some of the older students.

16 Principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence The children at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Fairfield, Iowa, are learning life lessons it took Oprah decades to learn. Learn the 16 principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence for yourself.

Rush Hour in Fairfield, Iowa Rush hour in Fairfield, Iowa, is unlike any other town in America. Twice a day, residents stop what they’re doing and head to two giant golden domes to meditate. Watch as Oprah meets with the town’s mayor and a founder of a nearby community to learn more about the practice of Transcendental Meditation and then tours the Bagambhrini Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge for women.

Oprah Meets Iowa’s Pandits Pandits are professional meditators who practice Transcendental Meditation for hours a day in the name of world peace. For two to three years, many of these men from India devote their lives to this practice in the cornfields of Iowa. On the day Oprah visits, nearly 800 are in residence. They’ve never allowed television cameras to film them—until now. Watch as Oprah gets an unprecedented look into the life of a pandit.

Three excerpts from the show are posted on The Transcendental Meditation Program website — www.tm.org/oprah — Excerpt one: Oprah’s take on TM, Excerpt Two: Why our family meditates, and Excerpt Three: From Guns to TM.

The show, America’s Most Unusual Town, on Oprah’s Next Chapter, will rebroadcast Sundays, April 8 at 7:00 pm ET/6 CT and April 15, at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT. Last minute schedule changes do happen and so this info is updated.

Oprah’s Next Chapter America’s Most Unusual Town
Oprah spends the day in Fairfield, Iowa – one of the safest, greenest, and most unusual communities in America. It’s the last place you’d expect to find two huge, golden domes built for the thousands of residents who rush there to meditate twice a day. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/Oprahs-Next-Chapter-Americas-Most-Unusual-Town

For more on Oprah’s Next Chapter visit http://www.oprah.com/OprahsNextChapter. Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN.

Here’s an article posted on the TM Blog about the preliminary results of the show: TM’s Popularity Surges After Oprah’s TV Show.

To find out more about Fairfield and neighboring Maharishi Vedic City, visit http://discoverfairfield.org.

OWN: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town, Sunday, March 25, 8 p.m. CT, 9-10 p.m. ET/PT

March 20, 2012

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network presents a new episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” featuring America’s Most Unusual Town this Sunday, March 25, 8:00 p.m. CT (9-10 p.m. ET/PT).

On “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Oprah Winfrey travels to Fairfield, Iowa—one of the safest, greenest and most unusual communities in America—to visit a school where daily Transcendental Meditation® (TM) practice is mandatory. Winfrey then visits the neighboring community of Maharishi Vedic City, where non-organic food is banned and all houses face East — adhering to an ancient Indian style that brings peace and harmony. Also, for the first time, cameras are allowed inside a top-secret, 80-acre compound where 800 Indian men live spending eight hours a day meditating and chanting. Later, Winfrey joins the community at their domes for evening meditation.

The episode will only be available in its entirety on the OWN TV network. However, clips and footage may be featured on www.Oprah.com. Once there, find out what channel the Oprah Winfrey Network is on in your area by entering your zip code on the right. Canadian viewers, click here. Watch a Sneak Preview here: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town.

Oprah spends the day in Fairfield, Iowa—one of the safest, greenest and most unusual communities in America. It’s the last place you’d expect to find two huge golden domes built for the thousands of residents who rush there to meditate twice a day.  Watch a sneak preview; then tune in for the full episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter on Sunday, March 25, at 9/8c. Please note: There will only be one episode, on March 25. http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/Sneak-Preview-Oprah-Visits-Americas-Most-Unusual-Town-Video

Addendum: Members of  the Fairfield community are invited to a live viewing of Oprah’s New Chapter, Sunday, March 25, at 8 p.m. CT (doors open at 7 p.m.) at the Sondheim Theater, Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Free Admission – First come first seated. Also, being broadcast live for students in Dalby Hall, Argiro Student Center, on the Maharishi University campus. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. CT. Free admission

Related: Fairfield Ledger: Fairfield readies for Sunday debut on Oprah network | KTVO: Fairfield to be featured on Oprah Winfrey Network | Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome | Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter | Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome | Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa | Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview.

Also see The Iowan: Sizing Up Small Towns: Rethinking Success in Rural Iowa: Fairfield Thinks Inclusively.


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