Posts Tagged ‘Ayurveda’

Mike Love, Not War

September 4, 2009

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Mike Love, Not War
Get Ready for Good Vibrations
by Virginia McEvilley
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It’s Endless Summer for Beach Boy Mike Love (third from right), as the band wraps up its summer 2009 tour in Fairfield, Iowa, and makes plans for its 50th anniversary celebration in two years.

It may come as a surprise that America’s best-selling band of all time has chosen Fairfield, Iowa, for the grand finale of its 48th annual summer tour. But for long-time lead singer Mike Love, playing Fairfield is nothing short of “special.” And though it has been many years since 1961 when the Beach Boys’ first hit single “Surfin’ ” was released and since Mike Love, together with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, hit the charts with the group’s first nationwide hit, “Surfin Safari,” the feelings of happiness generated for millions of people by the Beach Boys’ music is still as lively today as it was almost 50 years ago.

Since then, the Beach Boys have performed their original hit songs recounting the Southern California life experience thousands of times, recapturing the innocence of an era that propelled them to the top of their profession. Mike says he is proud to have been the lead singer for so many of the Beach Boys’ hits, and in spite of the loss of his cousins, Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike’s experience has remained fundamentally positive.

“I still treasure all the great times we had together,” Mike says. “The loss of Carl Wilson 11 years ago was profound, but I still feel like he’s looking down on us whenever we do ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Kokomo.’ At first I thought no one could ever sing our songs like Carl, but as it turns out my son Christian has a beautiful voice and not only can sing Carl’s parts but actually sounds a lot like him. This is great because we like to keep the re-creation of these songs consistent to the best of our ability.” Whether it is to preserve the Beach Boys’ legacy or for the sake of all their loyal fans, this may be one reason why the momentum of the Beach Boys’ greatest hits has lasted until today.

The Beach Boys are, in fact, among the top three groups who recorded from the late ’50s to the early ’70s, along with the Beatles and the Supremes. The Pet Sounds album was voted the number one album of that era and “Good Vibrations” the number one single. The time that passed between “Good Vibrations” in 1966 and “Kokomo” in 1988 was the longest period of time between number one records of any group in history.

“The amazing thing about music,” says Mike, “is that as long as you have the right piece of music and your abilities intact, you can experience great success irrespective of how many years you’ve been at it.” This basic theme of optimism and positivity has pervaded most of the Beach Boys’ musical history.

And just as “Good Vibrations” differed from the earlier surfin’ songs in subject matter, Mike’s lifestyle began to differ from others in the group, and many of those in the recording business in general. While others chose drugs and alcohol as a method of relaxation, Mike chose Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Several group members learned the technique from Maharishi in Paris in December of 1967, but Mike was the only one to go to the widely publicized course in Rishikesh, India, two months later, which was also attended by the Beatles, Donovan, and Mia Farrow.

Mike remembers Paul McCartney coming to breakfast one morning strumming his acoustic guitar and playing “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” an experience Paul himself writes about in his autobiography. Mike often recounts other moments in India and has written a song entitled “Pisces Brother” about his 1968 birthday party at Maharishi’s ashram with the late Beatle George Harrison.

Recently, Mike has written a number of other songs that draw from his experience in India, music he says was inspired by Maharishi and the ancient Vedic scriptures. Some of these tunes include “Ram Raj,” “The World is My Family,” and “Make Love Not War.”

After his visit to India in the spring of 1968, Mike attended many meditation courses, becoming a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Mallorca, Spain, in 1972. “Too many people in my family and my profession paid a heavy price with their health and well-being by not using the knowledge Maharishi made available to us,” Mike says. “This knowledge has relieved me of stresses that certainly would have otherwise accumulated to my detriment, and has also improved my life dramatically.” Mike also schedules regular Ayurvedic treatments for rejuvenation, often at the Raj Resort in Maharishi Vedic City just north of Fairfield.

When asked about retirement, Mike says, “I don’t think of retirement as it is viewed by most people in our society. People work for 20 to 30 years, then get a pension and move to Florida, play bingo, clip coupons, and go on group excursions. . . . For me, my goals would be to become more creative, more productive, and produce more positive, uplifting actions for humanity, while becoming more saturated in knowledge and spiritual life. The retirement of retiring to the self appeals to me—the kind of thing you read about in the spiritual literature of the East. Still, in the future, we may become more selective about how we present our music . . . .”

Mike says there are a lot of other things he envisions for the future. Currently, an Emmy Award-winning documentarian is interested in filming a biography about the Beach Boys for the PBS American Masters series. “So there’s really no need to talk in terms of retirement—there’s no retirement in sight for the Beach Boys at this time,” Mike says. “In fact, we’re really looking forward to our 50th anniversary celebration in two years. We’re getting offers to do concerts in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the Caribbean.” Even though it can be tiring moving from place to place Mike admits he still enjoys touring. “What’s not to like!” he says.

This relentless positivity and optimism combined with a focus on health and spirituality are the foundations of Mike’s life. This has been his contribution to the Beach Boys since the beginning and is now the engine that drives the band. Together with “I Write the Songs” Bruce Johnston, who has been a Beach Boy on and off for decades, and several other musicians, including Mike’s son, Christian, and John Cowsill of the ’60s group The Cowsills, the good vibrations continue.

Now, for the first time ever, though he has been a frequent visitor to Fairfield over many years, Mike Love and the Beach Boys will be performing all the great songs here that have made them famous the world over as “America’s number one band.”

“Every year we play all the major cities—New York, L.A., Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta,” Mike says, “but those people have so many choices because a myriad of performers come through there. It’s almost like they become a little jaded. That’s why it’s special to go places we’ve never been before. It’s exciting and fun, and we’re inspired by the feeling of appreciation we get.

Don’t miss this special performance sponsored in part by the David Lynch Foundation, whose successful fundraising concert at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall this spring featured Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Donovan, Moby, Sheryl Crowe, and others, including Mike Love, who says, “I have great admiration for the David Lynch Foundation. The Love Foundation currently has a project for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to learn TM, but we’ve never been as organized and dynamic as the DLF. Their work is inspirational and makes me want to do even more.”

The Beach Boys perform the finale of their Endless Summer Tour in Fairfield on Labor Day Monday, September 7, 2:00 p.m. at the Fairfield Middle School Outdoor Field, 404 W. Fillmore. Tickets range from $12.00 to 37.50, available at or (641) 472-2787.

Visit the index for more articles on music and musicians.

Watch Fairfield’s Beach Boys End of Summer Concert promo on YouTube.

Related: Here’s an Interview With Mike Love of the Beach Boys posted May 29, 2012 on Stories of Success. At about the 9:55 mark Mike answers the question of what kept him from getting caught up in drugs and alcohol, with the responsibility of acting as a role model, by talking about his TM practice, dharma, and persevering to fulfill your chosen career path.

Extreme City: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa

September 3, 2009

Associated Content | Travel
Extreme City: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
August 29, 2009 by Sherri Granato

Capital of the Global Country of World Peace

Iowa is often referred to as the American Heartland so it comes as no surprise that a vast amount of people would find a peaceful refuge within its borders, or at least within one of the cities located within the state. The city of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa named for the famed yogi Maharishi, Maharishi Vedic City is the fastest-growing city in all of Iowa. So the question is why are people suddenly flocking to this small community in leaps and bounds, and is it worthy of sharing?

The Travel Channel decided to investigate what they dub an “Extreme Town” for themselves and share their discoveries with anyone who cares to know the hidden secrets and vast treasures that are luring citizens into relocating to the Midwest region of the United States. So pull up a chair and learn a little bit about Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, and “Welcome to the Capital of the Global Country of World Peace”.

The city itself is spectacular in the fact that it is squeaky clean and virtually crime free. The Travel Channel was so enamored by their findings that they included the city on their list of most unique zip codes and brought it to television for viewers to catch a glimpse of something you wouldn’t otherwise believe.

The unbelievable part is that every person that lives within the city limits of Maharishi Vedic City happens to practice Vedic Natural Law, which is in layman’s terms an ancient Indian science focusing on transcendental meditation. The ultimate goal in this practice is nothing more than a deep mental cleansing and physical peace that is practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day. The ending result leads to revitalization and happy thoughts that are free and clear of stressful situations.

From the beginning the original idea of the city was the master plan of San Francisco real estate developer Chris Johnson. In 1991 his idea evolved into a working municipality centered on the principles and teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, including his views on architectural design.

Due to his vision the town offers homes all facing toward the east, clean cut lines, beautiful in nature, and all offer a gold colored kalash on the roof. Since 2001, the population has grown ten times its original size with 1,200 residents now calling it home.

The significance of the kalash on top of the house is that it completes the desired form. The mental peace one finds in the heart of a temple whose top is a dome-shaped kalash and having a kalash placed on the peak most obviously testifies the importance of the roof-component of Vedic architecture. All homes built in the city must face the east simply because the design promotes health, happiness, and good fortune.

Maharishi Vedic City is made up of a ring of ten circles covering slightly more than one square mile, the town has its own observatory with ancient astrological and astronomical instruments to orient itself within the cosmos. City leaders and educators recognize that the solution too many problems with today’s youths is a lack of proper education that develops the total brain potential in every child.

With this in mind the city developed an ordinance on January 28, 2004, to establish Maharishi Vedic University to provide a public university, colleges, and primary and secondary schools for the city’s residents. Just a few miles south of the city is Fairfield, Iowa, the home of Maharishi University of Management, formerly known as Maharishi International University.

Many residents moved to Fairfield to participate in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. The university campus, located on the north side of Fairfield, is home to two large golden domes used for the group practice of TM-Sidhi program. The other technique, referred to as the Yogic Flying technique consists of sitting in the cross-legged lotus position on a foam mat while the body lifts up and the subject moves forward in short jumps.

Living in Maharishi Vedic City is for anyone that wishes to live the remainder of their life on Earth stress free. The whole city enforces this notion by the way that the citizens do things day to day. Everything from the local businesses to the schools and restaurants are geared to maintain inner peace throughout a life style that is the choice of the people living there.

Everyone including school children stop what they are doing to meditate 15-20 minutes per day, everyday, twice a day. The mind is then cleared of lack luster debris, replaced by positive thoughts that promote all things good and wholesome.

The Raj Ayurveda Health Center offers comfortable lovely rooms, organic vegetarian food, and is simply one of a kind as it sits in the middle of a cornfield is this oasis. The health center explains everything you ever wanted to know about ayurvedic and transcendental meditation.

Visitors learn how individual factors in their make-up affect physical tendencies, moods, cravings, motivation, and behavior. The ultimate lesson from visiting the center is simple shifts in diet, exercise, and daily and seasonal routines can enhance their progress toward increased strength, stability and vitality. Contact the Raj for individual and group rates. Call: (641) 472-9580, ext. 0, or email:

As for the dietary plan of the good citizens of Maharishi Vedic City, Organic is in, and synthetic chemicals are out! Even the restaurants support the beliefs of the residents by only cooking with the purist of ingredients. City officials recognize the importance of healthy food for the citizens and have banned the sale of all non-organic food from its city. Construction has begun on the first of a planned 100 acres of greenhouses at Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farms which will grow organic produce for residents of the City and Midwest.

The city has been featured in various media venues from newspapers, magazines, radio, and news and most recently on the Travel Channel under Extreme Cities. For more information on the traditions being practiced in the American Heartland, go to:

Places of Interest to Visit: the Rukmapura Hotel, a large Stapatyavedic, log-built hotel and see the nearby Pandit Campus, where nearly 1000 Pandits from India help create peace and harmony in the world.

Extreme City: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
Neighborhood: American Heartland
Maharishi Vedic City, IA 52556
United States of America

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