Posts Tagged ‘Jim Carrey’

@NylonMag visits the @TMmeditation Capital of the Midwest @MaharishiU in Fairfield, Iowa

August 11, 2016

During the spring of 2016, Kathy Peterson (MVC), Eva Saint Denis (MUM), and I had the pleasure to host writer Dan Hyman and photographer Logan Clement. They were assigned by NYLON Features Director Lisa Mischianti to visit Fairfield, Iowa and neighboring Maharishi Vedic City, homes of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi University of Management, Maharishi School, The Raj, and more. Their August issue is out, and the feature on us came out today online.

radar | NYLON Explores The Meditation Capital Of The Midwest

“The middle-of-nowhere Iowa is pretty weird…and pretty special”

By Dan Hyman

MaharashiVedicCity-142
Photographed by Logan Clement.

The following feature appears in the August 2016 issue of NYLON.

A flatbed truck whizzing around the town square kicks up dust on Burlington Avenue. A repairman with his morning coffee in hand tosses a smile my way. All cornstalks and cool spring breeze, Fairfield, Iowa, wouldn’t seem unlike any other Midwestern city, ones such as Pleasantville, Swan, or Oskaloosa, which dot the map from here to Des Moines.

And then they come into view.

The Golden Domes of Pure Knowledge: orblike, almost shimmering, vaguely extraterrestrial in appearance, 25,000 square feet each. “Your imagination could go wild,” says local resident Kathy Petersen, who has lived in the Fairfield area for nearly 35 years, with a laugh. “Like, ’What do they do in there?’” The reality, it turns out, is not a whole lot: Twice daily, hundreds of people meditate together under the domes. Silence. Concentration. Transcendence. This is Fairfield, a major hub of the spiritual practice and ever-growing global movement known as Transcendental Meditation.

“I haven’t really come across a place like this anywhere else,” says 26-year-old New Orleans native and current Fairfield resident Lauren Webster of the approximately 9,500-person town that, in addition to housing the aforementioned twin Maharishi Golden Domes, is home to the Maharishi University of Management (MUM), a school at which the principal mission is to provide a “Consciousness-Based Education” and Transcendental Meditation is part of the daily practice and core curriculum. To that end, all first-year undergrad students are required to take “Science and Technology of Consciousness,” or Transcendental Meditation 101, if you will, during which they learn the technique and traditions surrounding the practice, as well as explore its theoretical foundations. Students can further immerse themselves in all things Meditation by majoring in, say, Maharishi Vedic Science, which, among other big-ticket subjects, aims to help them understand how they can maximize personal growth and contribute to world peace.

Click through the gallery to read the rest of the feature on their website.

Dan Hyman posted a PDF of his 8-page article as it appears in print: Transcendent City: Inside the meditation capital of the midwest.

Amine Kouider (left) Dan Hyman (rt)

Writer Dan Hyman (right) interviewed Amine Kouider, whose quote about Fairfield and MUM was featured in the NYLON article’s sub-heading. (Photo by Ken Chawkin)

Related News: ABC News reports on Maharishi University in Iowa and Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news  

@David_Lynch’s MA in Film program @MaharishiU encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness

October 12, 2014

Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson profiles the David Lynch MA in Film at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City, Iowa.

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, I hosted The Register’s Iowa journalist Kyle Munson and photographer Mary Willie. Kyle had contacted me during the week because of David Lynch’s announcement to produce 9 new episodes of Twin Peaks for Showtime. This seemed to be the tipping point to finally visit our Masters Program in Film in David Lynch’s name. For information on the David Lynch MA in Film at MUM, visit http://filmschool.mum.edu.

Kyle said his report would appear this weekend. I checked online Saturday night to find Kyle’s video and Mary’s photos about MUM’s DLMA, both in an article: Vedic City film school program enters 2nd year. This is how it appears in the Sunday Register.

The title may appear to be a bit confusing since the David Lynch MA in Film is part of Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfield, Iowa. But the graduate film department classrooms and offices are located in Headley Hall in neighboring Maharishi Vedic City.

As a result they’ve now retitled the article to read: Munson: David Lynch and the ‘Twin Peaks’ of Iowa. The article starts out referencing one of the most famous lines from David Lynch’s iconic TV series, Twin Peaks.

It’s easier to find a “damn fine cup of coffee” here than in other Iowa towns two or three times the size.

At least a few top-notch coffee shops surround the town square — not to mention a vast array of vegetarian and organic cuisine far beyond the staple pork tenderloin or rural fixture of “Taco Tuesday.”

It’s all part of the familiar plotline about how Fairfield, pop. 9,447, has evolved in the last 40 years into a surprising cosmopolitan oasis on the prairie thanks to the global influx of followers of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) — at least 20 minutes twice a day — as a means to promote peace and unlock their creativity. They have trekked here since the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) was founded on the former Parsons College campus as a center of “consciousness-based education.”

Kyle interviews Joanna Plafsky, the one who created the program; John Raatz, the new executive director who also brought Jim Carrey to give this year’s commencement address; as well as some of the students who came from far and wide for the graduate film program, including the international scholarship winner, Agnes Baginska, whose film was selected by David Lynch himself. Agnes posted a scan of the full article on her website and her Facebook Timeline Photos. Read the rest of the article here. Click on these titles to see the video and photos.

Kyle Munson’s Iowa: David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

The David Lynch MA in Film at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City began a year ago. The second year of the “Twin Peaks” filmmaker-focused curriculum is underway. Kyle Munson/The Register

16 photos: David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

16 photos - David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

Fairfield Iowa is the home of David Lynch’s MA film program which encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Mary Willie/The Register

I already put some of the photos up on my Pinterest account, which go on Twitter. Also posted the links to the photos and the video on Google+ and Twitter. Even though I officially retired, I could not pass up this PR OP! 🙂

Related news: Fairfield Creatives Get Started.

DLMA Students & Faculty Participate in Music Video Production

Months later some of our students participated in a music video for Kid Moxie singing the hauntingly beautiful “Mysteries of Love” written by David Lynch and composed by Angelo Badalamenti. The film premiered at The Music of David Lynch fundraiser. Noisey/VICE broke the news, launching the video with photos. Watch ‘Twin Peaks’ Composer Angelo Badalamenti’s Eerie Video for “Mysteries Of Love” with Kid Moxie. See a press release with the video and more production stills: David Lynch Music Tribute Continues with Online Music Video Premiere.

Two famous quotes on courage and commitment by Marianne Williamson and William H. Murray

August 14, 2014

Here are two famous quotes I’ve admired that have to do with overcoming our fears, believing in ourselves, and having the courage to commit to our dreams, which then moves Nature to support us in ways we never would have imagined. They seem to be related in an important way — having the confidence and courage to commit to ourselves and fulfill our life’s purpose.

The first quote, having the courage to overcome our fears to become our true self, is from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love. It’s often been mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, who used it in his 1994 Inaugural Speech.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be?

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

This second quote, on commitment, was thought to have been written by Goethe, but it is from William H. Murray, author of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1951).

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

W. H. Murray’s book details the first Scottish expedition in 1950 to the Kumaon range in the Himalayas, between Tibet and western Nepal. The expedition, led by Murray, attempted nine mountains and climbed five, in over 450 miles of mountainous travel. You can read more about this on About.com: German Myth 12: The Famous “Goethe” Quotation.

I just came across a similar post by Joseph Ranseth: 3 of the Greatest Quotes – W.H. Murray, Henry David Thoreau & Marianne Williamson. Ranseth cites the more complete Murray quote in context, where he describes the initial steps he and his party were taking before they actually started the mountain-climbing part of the expedition. Their commitment and follow-through precipitated Providence moving in their favor, which explains how he came to write about the power of commitment and its results. Murray also acknowledged and paraphrased a translation of Goethe’s couplet at the end of his quote.

The article also includes a selection from Thoreau’s Walden, Chapter 18. He also went in the direction of fulfilling his dreams when he chose to live self-sufficiently at Walden Pond. He described his opening up to deeper more universal laws of nature during his two-year seclusion and how that impacted his life. The quote ends with these famous lines: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” But what proceeds them is quite profound. I recommend you read that section of the blog post.

Marianne Williamson’s quote reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech he gave at MUM this year where he told students they will only have two choices in life — love or fear. He said, “Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Watch Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey and see Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation.

Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey

May 31, 2014

Visit the MUM website to see videos of Maharishi University of Management’s May 24, 2014 Graduation ceremonies. See the press release with a video and photos. From there you can also access Jim’s full Commencement Address, his honorary degree award, as well as the 2014 MUM Graduation Valedictorian Speech and 2014 MUM Graduation Salutatorian Speech, and the Full Graduation Ceremony.

Paresh Dave of The LA Times just published Could these be the best commencement speeches of 2014? and Jim’s address is 7th in the top 10! See: Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation, for a review of some of the amazing news coverage, including two JPEGs of articles not available online. That post has the B-roll footage embedded in it. A little longer is this Highlights video, minus the joke Jim pulls on Bevan, in the third video.

Other videos will be added next week: Dr. Craig Pearson’s introduction, as well as Dr. Bevan Morris’s impressive introduction to Jim Carrey. In it he told a story about Judd Apatow, who, early in his career as a young standup comic, was opening for Jim Carrey. After seeing Jim perform and the response from the audience, Judd decided to quit comedy. He said “Jim Carrey is funniest man on earth. This is something we can all agree on. We can debate forever number two but Jim will always be the king.” Until that video is available, I share this story so you’ll more fully appreciate the humor in the Valedictorian’s opening remarks.

About six months later, November 13, 2014, Jim Carrey was on The Ellen Degeneres Show promoting his film Dumb and Dumber To. One of the things Ellen asked him about was the Commencement speech he had given and what it was like for him. Jim spoke glowingly about MUM and the students, and that he had learned TM. They actually showed a clip of it. Here is the 1:40 minute segment, which starts at 6:36 of the 8:20 interview. After the show over a half-million people visited the MUM YouTube Channel. To date over 60 million people worldwide have seen Jim’s inspiring talk.

Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation

May 29, 2014

“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

This was one of many profoundly wise things Jim Carrey told the graduating class of 2014 at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa on Saturday. He was referencing his father’s choice in life, who could have been a great comedian, but chose instead to play it safe and become an accountant, thinking it would be a secure profession. But after several years he lost his job and the family had to do what they could to survive. In Jim’s case that meant leaving school to work at something he didn’t like to help support the family. But he also realized his father’s humor and love made people laugh, feel happy and forget about their cares. He soon realized he wanted to do that too and decided to become a comedian to make people forget their concerns. And he certainly succeeded beyond his wildest dreams!

Gazette writer, Diana Nollen, attended the MUM Graduation and heard Jim Carrey deliver his amazingly funny and deeply insightful Commencement speech. Earlier, during his introductory remarks, President Bevan Morris mentioned Judd Apatow’s story of opening for Jim Carrey in his early days, and after seeing Jim perform, decided to quit standup comedy. He said Jim is the number one funniest person on the planet.

So when Donna Marie Jones, the class valedictorian, was walking up to the podium we all wondered how she could follow such an act! Diana opens her piece quoting Donna’s opening remark, and then comments:

“Wow! What an honor to have Jim Carrey as my opening act!”

It was the best opening line to a valedictory speech, following the best commencement address ever.

Both were delivered Saturday at Maharishi University of Management, where about 1,000 people filled every chair and space in the Golden Dome to see 285 students from 54 countries receive bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees — and to hear what the veteran Hollywood funnyman would have to say.

Everyone, including Carrey, laughed at valedictorian Donna Marie Jones’ opening line. The mathematics major had the unenviable task of following Carrey at the microphone.

Read more: Jim Carrey wise beyond his wiseguy ways: Hollywood funnyman gives commencement address in Fairfield.

Sunday’s Hawk Eye cover story on Jim Carrey delivering the commencement address at Maharishi University in Fairfield was written by Bob Saar. He captured the joyful mood of Carrey’s wit and wisdom as he delivered a funny yet deeply powerful message of insight and encouragement to the graduates. Dr. Carrey (he received a doctorate in Fine Arts) touched the hearts and minds of the over 1000 people there in the dome with his understanding, humility and humor. Brilliant! To read this article, just click on it once, and then again after it opens larger. Other articles are available below as well. Maharishi U. grads celebrate with funnyman Jim CarreyOther Iowa media that reported on the MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey are: The Des Moines Register, Jim Carrey mixes laughs with advice at Iowa college graduation; The Gazette/KCRG, Jim Carrey wise beyond his wise guy ways, which is another excellent article, but with a slideshow and voice-over; The Fairfield Ledger: Carrey infuses graduation speech with humor; The Iowa Source article with photos and quotes: Jim Carrey Gives Heartfelt, Laugh-Filled Commencement Speech; and The Fairfield Weekly Reader for a personal glimpse from Michael Sternfeld of what it was like to see Jim Carrey work with the MUM and DLF crew to get his presentation in place: The True-man Show: Behind the Scenes with Jim Carrey.

FWR-Jim Carrey

Michael Sternfeld later had a longer version of this article published as a cover story in Australia’s largest holistic magazine, Living Now, on pages 12+13, with a mention by the editor in the middle of page 3: http://bit.ly/1rmUTXE.

National news coverage was by The Hollywood Reporter: Jim Carrey Delivers Commencement Speech, Receives Honorary Doctorate, NY Daily News: Jim Carrey gives emotional commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, CNN: Jim Carrey’s inspiring commencement speech, USA TODAY: Hear what advice Jim Carrey has for college graduates; The Wrap: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Students of His Own Father’s Failure (Video); Time: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Against Playing It Safe; and many TV news shows like Today: Jim Carrey delivers life lessons in commencement speech, Good Morning America: Jim Carrey Reveals His Father’s Failure Inspired His Comedic Dreams; PEOPLE Magazine, June 9, 2014, page 8, under StarTracks; and many major publications running the story. WPTV 5 included a comprehensive review of highlights from various media in the Newsy report: Jim Carrey Maharishi University of Management graduation speech; Tells graduates don’t fail at what you don’t want. The international press ran the news all over the place. The Hindu later came out with, Choose between fear and love, including many highlights from Jim’s inspiring talk.

Also visit the TM Blog for some more good quotes: Jim Carrey in Iowa? University Featuring Transcendental Meditation Scores Big with Commencement Speaker. KTVO posted two reports: Jim Carrey Gives Memorable Speech at MUM Graduation and Inaugural David Lynch MA in Film class graduates. Visit http://filmschool.mum.edu to submit your work for a chance at a scholarship.

Here is a sample of the highlights on a b-roll sent to the media. It is included in the Washington Post article: Jim Carrey gives commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, which seems to be one of the best articles so far. And CNN just posted a second news report: Carrey Gets Serious at Graduation, Says His Dad Paved The Way For Him. The news anchor was surprised at how serious he was and what he shared with the MUM graduates: “That’s Jim Carrey. Wow! Jim Carrey told the crowed that he got into comedy to free people from concern.” More to come. This just in: Paresh David of The LA Times just published Could these be the best commencement speeches of 2014? and Jim’s address is 7th in the top 10! This is followed by TakePart, which listed quotes from Jim Carrey’s commencement address 2nd out of the top 6 commencement speech quotes of 2014: Six Commencement Speech Quotes That Got It Perfectly Right. Jim’s was listed after Colin Powell’s!

MUM has now posted a report with this video and photos at https://www.mum.edu/whats-happening/graduation-2014. From there you can also access Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address, his honorary degree award, as well as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Addresses here. See MUM Valedictorian Shines Alongside Jim Carrey. See some Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey. Six months later, Jim Carrey appeared on Ellen. She asked him about his giving a commencement speech, and to date, over 60 million people worldwide have seen Jim’s inspiring talk.


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