Posts Tagged ‘Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’

Lost Civilization Re-Emerges: article by William Hathaway on Maharishi’s restoring the technique of meditation, the basis of Vedic civilization

November 5, 2019

Lost Civilization Re-Emerges

Ancient India created a civilization based on Vedic knowledge, which had a global influence, elevating the other cultures it came in contact with. In “Lost Civilization Re-Emerges,” William T. Hathaway traces its rise and fall, and its current regeneration by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who has re-enlivened it by restoring the technique of meditation upon which it was based. Read Hathaway’s full article published on Trans4mind. https://trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-new-age/hathaway13.html

Some background on “Lost Civilization Re-Emerges”

When William sent me a short description and link to his article I asked him to explain where this idea had come from and why he decided to write about it. He replied:

On my Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in Majorca 1971 Maharishi was asked, “Why are we the ones who are supposed to revive the Vedic knowledge?”

Maharishi looked at the questioner, a young woman standing at a microphone, and smiled. Then he looked out over the 2000 people behind her in the large hall and said with a gentle shrug, “Because we are the ones who lost it.” He gave the word “we” a slight emphasis to indicate it included him.

Maharishi explained that thousands of years ago Vedic civilization began in India then spread over the globe, generating a high quality of life both materially and spiritually. But eventually the knowledge of effortless transcending, which created and maintained this advanced culture, was lost. The consciousness of the people and the quality of their lives declined until humanity veered to its current brink of self-destruction.

We were part of that whole process — the developing and the losing — in many lives. Now it’s our job to restore it through the authentic technique of meditation and create a global age of enlightenment.

“That’s a pretty big job,” the woman said.

“But it’s the only one worth doing,” he replied.

Maharishi didn’t go into details about the ancient civilization because our purpose there was to learn to be TM teachers, and that would take the full two months of the course. I was fascinated by the idea of it, though, so I later delved into it in my spare time from teaching TM and writing books and articles. I found amazing evidence, ignored by conventional academic scholars, that established the existence of that global civilization. I wrote this article to do what I could to bring that evidence to more people and to show them Maharishi and Guru Dev’s crucial role in restoring the authentic Vedic way of life in India and the world.

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About the Author

A former professor in MIU’s MA in Professional Writing program, William T. Hathaway is the author of eight books and was a Fulbright professor of creative writing at universities in Germany. He and his wife, Daniela, direct the TM center in Oldenburg, Germany. His novel of the climate change, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, tells of an old woman and a young man healing nature through techniques of higher consciousness. Chapters are posted at https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/cosmicegg-books/our-books/wellsprings. His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim (and TM teacher) and learning from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence. Chapters are posted at http://shattercolors.com/fiction/hathaway_summersnow01.htm.

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Conscious Life News chose the top photo to go with their publication of William Hathaway’s erudite article. I added photos of Maharishi and William for this post. See previous articles by William Hathaway here.

Maharishi on the nature of a settled, silent mind in the November 1993 Science of Mind interview

August 31, 2019

I remember reading this interview in Science of Mind magazine when it first came out over 25 years ago in the November 1993 issue, pages 32-38. Kathy Juline asked good questions, and Maharishi gave erudite answers. A UK TM website posted it, and this website. The blogger also listed the questions, which link to each answer, a convenient option. I added links and updated relevant information in parenthesis.

Settled Mind, Silent Mind

You developed Transcendental Meditation. What is it, exactly?
What are some of its practical benefits?
Can other kinds of meditation produce similar results?
What gives TM such great potential for positive change?
How is TM different from the various other forms of meditation?
Can you offer us more understanding of the “settled state”?
Being in the “settled state,” is equivalent to transcendence?
TM takes the mind from an active, “unsettled” state to the settled state?
What is the nature of transcendental consciousness?
Is the state of unbounded awareness maintained during the day?
How does a person learn to practice Transcendental Meditation?
When people begin to practice TM, does it involve a painful period?
If TM is a program for the mind, what is its relationship to the intellect?
What new applications are you currently exploring for TM?
What recent successes have you had in applying TM to achieve this goal?


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation Movement, after graduating from Allahabad University with a degree in physics, studied for thirteen years with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the world’s foremost exponent of the ancient Vedic Science of consciousness.

Then in 1955, after spending two years in silence in the Himalayas, Maharishi began teaching his Transcendental Meditation technique. In 1957 Maharishi founded the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and began the first of his many world tours to bring his technique to people on all continents. He has authored a number of books, including on the Bhagavad-Gita A New Translation and Commentary with Sanskrit Text, The Science of Being and Art of Living, and Love and God.

Science of Mind: Transcendental Meditation, which you developed, has enjoyed phenomenal international success. What is it, exactly?

Maharishi: Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural program for the mind, a spontaneous, effortless march of the mind to its own unbounded essence. Through Transcendental Meditation the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness. Unity Consciousness – a lively field of all potential, where every possibility is naturally available to the conscious mind. The conscious mind becomes aware of its own unbounded essence, its infinite potential. Transcendental Meditation provides a way for the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence – active and silent, point and infinity. It is not a set of beliefs, a philosophy, a lifestyle, or a religion. It’s an experience, a mental technique one practices every day for 15-20 minutes.

What are some of its practical benefits?

Scientific experiments with people who practice Transcendental Meditation indicate that it tends to produce normalization in all areas of life. It reduces stress, improves health, enriches mental functioning, enhances personal relationships, and increases job productivity and job satisfaction.

Can other kinds of meditation produce similar results?

They can, of course. However, one advantage of Transcendental Meditation is its extreme simplicity. It is very simple for anyone to learn. In addition, it has been the object of scientific research for over 30 years, and its beneficial effects are well-documented.

What gives Transcendental Meditation such great potential for positive change?

To answer that, we must look at the nature of creation itself. Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That’s why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree – leaves, branches, flowers, fruit – through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence – like the leaves and flowers of a tree – appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind – or performing mind – to quiet mind – or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence. The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all.

Can you offer us more understanding of the “settled state”? Why is it so important?

The settled state, as we know from physics, is the state of being from which nature’s intelligence functions and administers the whole universe. The settled state is where we find the principle of least action, through which natural law operates. It is important because it is the fundamental level of life.

And being in the “settled state,” or the state of least action, is equivalent to transcendence?

Yes. Transcendence is the state where the mind has moved beyond everything other than itself. That means it has transcended all kinds of activity, small and big, and it has settled down in its own authority, in its own sovereignty, into the unbounded dignity of its own intelligence. And in this state, Transcendental Consciousness turns out to be a lively field of all possibilities.

So, while the mind usually operates in an active, or “unsettled” state, Transcendental Meditation takes it to the settled state?

Exactly! To understand this process, we must ask: how does the mind work? What does it do? We know the mind is always subject to its own nature, which is to evolve. Evolution is the essential nature of existence. The mind is always searching for more and more and more – more knowledge, more happiness. The mind moves on, always toward more and more.

But the mind has two sides. One side is in the direction of diversity, in the direction of many, many. The other is in the direction of unity, the unified state. Gaining unity means rising to Transcendental Consciousness, the settled state, while gaining diversity means moving toward more and more activity. Unity is on one side, diversity is on the other side. Both sides belong to the nature of the mind.

The mind moves to diversity in search of more and more, and it moves in the direction of unity – a quiet state of unbounded awareness, unbounded consciousness, unbounded intelligence – in search of less and less. The move of the mind from its active state to its quiet state is part of nature. Its potential is unbounded, infinite; it enters the field of all possibilities. When the mind gains its unified state, that is Transcendental Meditation.

What is the nature of transcendental consciousness?

It is unity consciousness, an encounter with the field of unified consciousness. In Transcendental Consciousness, the mind experiences itself, intelligence experiences itself. The mind is the observer of its own reality. In that state, the mind is Transcendental Consciousness.

Just as the quiet surface of the ocean is the source from which all waves arise, so the self-fulfilled state of mind, which we call Transcendental Consciousness, is the unified field of natural law, from which all the different laws of nature emerge and conduct their specific activities in the relative world.

Is the state of unbounded awareness maintained during the day, even after the formal meditation period ends?

As a result of regular practice, it is maintained more and more, The situation is as though we were to take a white cloth and dip it in yellow dye. We bring the cloth out and put in the sun and the yellow fades away. Then we put it back again and again into the color and back again and again into the sun. It keeps on becoming yellow and yellow and yellow, then fading, fading, fading. But over time the color becomes permanent. That happens to the mind through regular practice. That unbounded awareness, that pure consciousness, the field of all the laws of nature, becomes ingrained in all activities of the mind. Then the mind begins to live in Unity Consciousness. That’s how Unity Consciousness becomes a living reality.

How does a person learn to practice Transcendental Meditation?

Through instruction. What happens is that the mind, in its active state, learns to experience its own less active states, experience its progressively minimized active states, until eventually it cognizes the transcendental state of consciousness.

But in learning to do this, we must remember that the mind has usually been allowed to wander around so long in the realm of knowledge or power or the pursuit of happiness that it must be taught how to know itself again. That’s why teaching becomes necessary. After learning Transcendental Meditation one knows what the natural state is. But to realize this, one has to be liberated from unnatural programs, performances and experiences.

Most people have no experience with Transcendental Consciousness, pure consciousness, the pure nature of the mind. They are aware of active mind, which is the waking state of consciousness. They are also aware of the complete forgetfulness of the mind, the sleep state, And they are aware of the middle stage, the dreaming mind. But they are not aware of pure or Transcendental Consciousness. So the experience of that consciousness is taught in Transcendental Meditation, though it’s nothing other that the very nature of the mind.

When people begin to practice Transcendental Meditation, do they experience purging or cleansing effects, when negative things come up? Does moving into the unified state of consciousness involve a painful period?

We think about the cloth again. When the cloth is very, very dirty, you begin to rinse it in soap. You rinse it once and then twice. But as it gets cleaner, soiled patches which didn’t seem to be there before begin to appear. However, if you keep on washing and washing, those patches start to fade away and fade away completely. Similarly, when old habits of stress and straining begin to be neutralized through Transcendental Meditation, a person may feel discomfort as other, more subtle habits of stress come up, but only because the natural state is returning and the stress is leaving, This is part of gaining normality and natural status.

For example, some people may say, “I don’t worry about things like I used to. Does this mean I am losing myself, my identity?” To them, this normalization of the mind feels strange, They have been behaving with boundaries, in space and time, and now they wake up to unbounded awareness. So there is often a feeling of difference and strangeness at first.

You say that Transcendental Meditation is a program for the mind. What is its relationship to the intellect?

Transcendental Meditation does not involve intellect. Transcendental Meditation is an experience of the mind, from the active levels to the unified level. It’s just an innocent experience of active mind and an innocent experience of settled mind, silent mind.

Through certain other meditation practices, however, particularly those in which the intellect seeks God through recalling the qualities or names or virtues of God, the intellect is stimulated and begins to thrive, It does so increasingly in the presence of God in the glory of God, in the dignity of God, in the grace of God, in the merciful nature of God. There may then come a point where intellect is in its natural state and comprehends the unbounded awareness of God, the merciful nature of God, the presence of God. The intellect, through pursuing God intellectually, can recognize its natural status as the mind wakes up to its unboundedness.

The intellect thus leads one to the settled state, a non-intellectual experience of pure being. The intellect can finally be enveloped by all the exalted qualities of God as it arrives at its natural state, the level of fundamental intelligence. That will be the same as Transcendental Consciousness, the union which recognizes the unbounded dignity of the light of God, the feeling of God, the experience of unboundedness, pure intelligence. But such is not the approach of Transcendental Meditation, which does not operate through the intellect.

What new applications are you currently exploring for Transcendental Meditation?

We are working in many directions – dealing with education, community planning, prison rehabilitation, and so on – but our primary focus is on promoting what we call “irreversible world peace.” We are seeking to establish several permanent groups of 7000 advanced Transcendental Meditators in various places around the planet. Their meditations will create a powerful coherent influence in the collective consciousness and neutralize built-up stress and tension in the world, creating an environment of progress and peace.

Our goal is to create Heaven on Earth, and we are taking practical steps to accomplish it.

What recent successes have you had in applying Transcendental Meditation to achieve this goal?

There have been many scientific studies validating the effectiveness of this program. Just now I could mention two recent demonstrations – one from the poorest country in the world and one from the richest.

For the last year, the president of Mozambique, His Excellency Joachim Alberto Chissano, has been organizing instruction in Transcendental Meditation for large numbers of his people. Recently, he credited their practice of this discipline with keeping the peace in Mozambique after many years of civil war. (See Psychology Today‘s article, Can Meditation Change the World? and my response to it.)

During June and July of 1993, in Washington DC, about 4,000 experts in Transcendental Meditation demonstrated the power of this technology to eliminate stress and create more coherence and harmony throughout a society. Scientists now report preliminary statistics from the Washington police showing 13% drop in total violent crime during the demonstration compared to the same period in 1992. New reports show that President Clinton and Congress enjoyed much greater success and appreciation during the demonstration than either before or after it. (It actually turned out to be a drop of 24%. See Noetic Science’s Shift article, The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin, and the Global Union of Scientists for Peace for the latest developments.)

We feel very fulfilled by these results, and wish to invite every government to establish a coherence-creating group in its capital city. This step will ensure that every government has a neat, clean, pure atmosphere in which to make decisions.

This interview with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is from Science of Mind Journal, Vol. 66 No. 11, Nov. 1993, pages 32-38. Science of Mind Journal is published by the Church of Religious Science, 3251 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

Note: I like this self-referral nature of the mind when it transcends during TM: “The mind is the observer of its own reality. In that state, the mind is Transcendental Consciousness.” It contrasts with a quote from the November 1990 Life Magazine article, when the mind is object-referral: “The sight occupies the seer, transforms seer into sight.” I combined both notions in my poem, Seeing Is Being. Maharishi also gave a clear explanation of this difference in perception, of bondage and liberation, in the June 1968 CBC documentary, Maharishi at Lake Louise. You can see more posts about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on this blog.

Update: On August 30, 2019, India PM Narendra Modi unveiled a commemorative stamp of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Click here to see 3 photos on Twitter, and here to see the photo and description on Instagram. Below is a scan of it.

‘Dear Prudence’ Bruns in Parade discusses world peace, the ’60s, and why kids love the Beatles

August 9, 2019

Parade’s senior features editor M.B. Roberts interviewed Prudence Bruns for this Aug 9, 2019 article: The Woman Who Inspired ‘Dear Prudence’ Opens Up About World Peace, the Influence of the ’60s and Why Kids Today Love the Beatles. Click the title to see original article with photos. Here is the text.

The Beatles’ muse still believes in world peace.

Prudence Bruns, 71, has several claims to fame. First, she’s the daughter of film director John Farrow and actress Maureen O’Sullivan, as well as the younger sister of actress Mia Farrow. Second, she’s a teacher and passionate advocate of Transcendental Meditation who studied with the TM guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India, back in the late 1960s. It’s at Maharishi’s retreat in 1968 where Prudence’s fellow students included all four members of the Beatles. Third, her behavior during the retreat led John Lennon to write the song “Dear Prudence,” which appeared on the Beatles’ White Album. So, who is the flesh and blood woman behind the song that Rolling Stone named as No. 63 on its list of “100 Greatest Beatles Songs”? And what’s the story behind the famous song? Parade caught up with Bruns to find out.

You met the Beatles at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s retreat in Rishikesh, India, in 1968, where you’d traveled with your sister, Mia, to learn Transcendental Meditation. Were you starstruck?

No, I’d been around famous people before. It wasn’t a big deal to me but I liked them a lot, especially John and George. They came into my room one night to play a song and I could hear them outside on the patio at night playing. But really, I was so focused on getting the most out of my time there. It was my dream to go to India and study with a person who really knew about this meditation. I was pretty extreme.

That’s why John wrote the song, which starts out, “Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play/Dear Prudence, greet the brand-new day.”

Right. People over the years would have these reasons why I was Dear Prudence that were completely off the wall and almost disturbing, like I was a heroin addict or I lost my mind or all these crazy reasons why John wrote the song. It bothered me in a sense but it seemed over my head, like what can I do about it. I’d tell people, well I had to stay in my room. Nobody believed that I didn’t have an affair with him. I couldn’t tell people. But it all came about because I stayed in my room by myself for five days straight. I hadn’t gone to the bathroom or slept. I didn’t eat. I was trying to see where [meditation] would take me.

And you’ve stayed with meditation all these years?

Yes, I’m back teaching now. At Sofitco Studios, a fitness studio in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

What do you love so much about TM?

TM is a yogic meditation but what’s different about it is that it has been streamlined and simplified for those of us who are busy and can’t give our whole lifestyle over to changing how we are and what we’re doing. It makes it so that in just a short period of time you can go extremely deep inside and tap into a part of the mind that is foundational. It’s just silent. It’s like, the ocean has a surface and as you get deeper it becomes less active. And if you can get incredibly deep, it’s still. So the same with the mind. You can get to this part of the mind that is still, but it’s not inert. It’s actually very creative. And so, it’s wonderful. You can actually experience that. Anybody can.

Your memoir, Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song, came out in 2015. Why did you decide to write the book so many years (nearly 50!) after John Lennon wrote that song about you?

It was because of my grandson. We’d moved down to Florida and my daughter lived next door. At a certain point when my grandson was in high school, he came over and said, “OK, Grandma, you have to come to my school and speak to my friends.” It surprised me because at that point, I was getting used to accepting myself as being old and kind of irrelevant. I forgot I was Dear Prudence, because my older daughter and son—they were the generation after the Baby Boomers—and their interest in The Beatles was zip.

But there’s been a revived interest in the Beatles among kids and twentysomethings, don’t you think?

Yes, absolutely. Especially with [the game] Guitar Hero. Then you even have little kindergartners knowing all the Beatles songs. Anyway, being Dear Prudence really never mattered. Then when I went to my grandson’s school, it was like one of the Beatles came to see his friends. There were about 30 kids and they all came rushing up and gathered around me with all this respect. I was completely stunned.

Was it your link to the Beatles they were excited about?

Besides the kids noticing the Beatles and actually knowing every song they did and the words to every song, one of the kids asked a question that stood out. “Why did John and the Beatles think there could be such a thing as world peace?” I mean, they really believed there could not possibly be such a thing! This shocked me. It was sad, but it meant that they were actually listening to us. For us, we didn’t listen to anybody over 30! But grandparents? Forget about it. So that they were actually listening and hearing The Beatles and that message was a real wake-up call.

What was the message?

That there can be world peace. I told them, you’re wrong. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean we can’t achieve it. I explained to them that if enough of us live more consciously rather than every man for himself, really caring about our culture and our humanity then we can have peace. It was very powerful and that’s when I decided I had to tell my story. I’m Dear Prudence, one of the many that went through the ‘60s. We brought yoga in and the whole perspective of green and organic and all that came in to our culture.

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See this blog post with links to other interviews: Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

See What Transcendental Meditation does for Ringo, published in Parade.

Can you imagine a world without the Beatles? Watch the new film “Yesterday” to find out.

June 20, 2019

I read an article in today’s Newsday on the movie release of “Yesterday” a week tomorrow. Due to a freaky worldwide blackout, the only person who remembers The Beatles and their music is Jack Malick, a struggling singer-songwriter. His life is about to change. The film stars Himesh Patel as Jack, his girlfriend Lily James, Ed Sheeran, and Kate McKinnon. Danny Boyle directed the film based on a screenplay by Richard Curtis. Read the synopsis and watch the previews on the film’s website.

The film poses an interesting question for those who deeply love the Beatles: How would life be different if your favorite band had never existed? Film critic Rafer Guzmán interviewed Long Islanders on the impact the Beatles had in their lives and society in general. A local FM radio broadcaster’s comments are spot on!

For the on-air personality known as Donna Donna, who hosts middays on Babylon’s FM station WBAB, the Beatles’ impact went beyond music. A preteen during the first wave of Beatlemania, Donna says, she remembered the band’s 1964 visit to New York, the British Invasion that followed and, in 1968, the Beatles’ famous trip to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

“After they came back from India, I think every town in America had a Transcendental Meditation center,” says Donna, who grew up in Floral Park. “I went and learned TM in Mineola! Right on Old Country Road! We were all meditating.” 

The band’s spiritual side “affected me in a very personal way,” Donna says, adding that she meditates to this day. “I would say they had an impact on world peace.” 

That kind of wide-reaching influence is what makes “Yesterday” such an interesting thought-exercise. According to Boyle, the director, the movie’s conceit couldn’t have worked with any other band. “If you’re going to make something disappear, you’ve got to make it something truly significant,” he says. “These guys literally changed the world.”

Read the rest of this well-written article: With ‘Yesterday’ about to hit theaters, LIers imagine a world without The Beatles.

#TranscendentalMeditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi interviewed on Finnish TV in 1973

May 21, 2019

I saw this video (27:47 minutes) posted on a Kazakhstan TM Center’s YouTube channel. They provide close-captions and translate the interviewer’s questions into English subtitles. Here is the program description about the 1973 show. Finnish TV: interview with Maharishi and group meditation. Most or all of the meditators had flown in together with Maharishi. Note that the meditation was held before the interview. Obviously, the director thought it better not to start the broadcast with more than five minutes of virtual silence—in itself a rare feat on TV—but to show it somewhere in the middle of the program.

I found the original video on the YLE Finland TV website. The quality is sharper but the interviewer’s questions are not translated and subtitled in English as the one above. Their video description translates to: Mirja Pyykkö interviews the inventor of Transcendental Meditation and the Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the studio during this visit to Finland. They post the air date as 1.12.1973, Maharishi’s birthday!

A friend pointed out that she saw Sally Peden meditating from 11:23-11:33. What a pleasant surprise!

Around two years and 5 months later Sally would travel with Maharishi and a handful of people on a Timeless Journey in India To Jyotir Math to inaugurate the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment.

From that interview in Finland, we would meet around 30 years later in a Maharishi Vedic Science class at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and share an evolving 14-year life-transforming friendship.

I first met Maharishi on a course for Canadian meditators. It was held at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise, located in Alberta’s Banff National Park. The setting was majestic! A CBC film crew showed up to interview Maharishi for their popular television series, Telescope. The episode, The Guru (aka Maharishi at Lake Louise), turned out to be the best documentary every made of Maharishi at the time. It still stands today. Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

@Willwrights interviews Director @DAVID_LYNCH on #TranscendentalMeditation for @LOfficielUSA

July 29, 2018

This interview between L’Officiel USA journalist William Defebaugh and Director David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation is one of the best on the subject! Visit their website to see the article with photos published July 23, 2018. (Photo: Matthias Nareyek/French Select/Getty Images)

David Lynch in L'OfficielUSA by Matthias Nareyek:French Select:Getty Images

While David Lynch may be most revered as the man behind mind-melding cinema masterpieces like Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and Twin Peaks, his work with the human psyche extends far beyond the small and silver screens.

Since he discovered its potency in the 1970s, the artist and auteur has been an avid practitioner and preacher of Transcendental Meditation. In 2005, he started the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which actively teaches TM to adults and children — including war veterans and victims of violence and assault — in countries all over the world. Why? Because it works.

When and how did you first discover Transcendental Meditation?

I heard about Transcendental Meditation from my sister in 1973. I’d been looking into many different types of meditation; before that, I was not interested one bit. But suddenly it hit me, this phrase I heard, “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.”

Then I thought, “Maybe meditation is the way to go within.” So, I started looking into different forms of meditation.

Nothing seemed right for me. My sister called. She said she started Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She told me about it, and I liked what she told me. More than that, though, I heard a change in her voice. More self-assuredness. More happiness. I said I want this. So, I went and got it.

Do you recall preliminary breakthrough moments in your early days of practicing or did it have more of a gradual effect?

You know, everyone is different. Me, it hit me with my first meditation. It was as if I was in an elevator and someone cut the cables and I just went within. So blissful, so powerful. I had this anger in me that I took out on my first wife. And after I’d been meditating two weeks, she comes to me and says, “What’s going on?” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “This anger, where did it go?” And it just lifted. That negativity starts leaving and positivity starts coming in when you truly transcend. That’s the key. Transcending is the thing that we human beings want. We want to experience the deepest level of life. For some reason, we’ve all lost contact with that level.

Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique, an ancient form of meditation. Ancient: Maharishi revived it, he didn’t make it up; it truly brings the experience of transcendence. Now with brain research, they know that’s true.

Whatever size ball of consciousness they had to begin with truly starts to expand, little by little. You expand consciousness. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. But the potential for every human being is unbounded consciousness. Infinite consciousness. Enlightenment. It just needs unfolding.

Do you consider meditation to be more of a mental practice or a spiritual one? Or is that an irrelevant distinction?

It’s strange. This bliss, it can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual all at the same time. You can vibrate in happiness. And we human beings are supposed to enjoy life. Right from the beginning, when you start transcending, huge pressure goes out. Negativity starts lifting away. They say negativity is just like darkness. And then you say, “Wait a minute. Darkness isn’t really anything. It’s the absence of something.”

What separates TM from other forms of meditation?

In Transcendental Meditation, you’re given a mantra—a very specific sound, vibration, thought. And the mantra you’re given is like a law of nature, designed for a specific purpose. And that purpose is to turn the awareness from out, out, out, 180 degrees to within, within, within.

Once you’re pointed within, you will naturally start to dive through deeper levels of mind, and deeper levels of intellect. And at the border of intellect, you’ll transcend. You’ll wish you could stay there, but you’ll come out with thoughts. And you’ll go again. You just stay regular in your meditation day by day and watch things get better and better.

And how do you go about finding a mantra for someone?

It takes about four days to learn, about an hour and a half a day. You need a legitimate teacher of Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It’s so important that the technique stays pure. And the teacher knows what mantra is correct for you.

At the end of the four days, you’ve been taught how to meditate, and your questions have been answered. This is the way, I feel, that our almighty merciful father has built into this game to get real peace. You enliven that deepest level and affect collective consciousness.

With Transcendental Meditation, you’re given the technique and it’s up to you to do it. When you learn this technique, it’s like you’re placed in the middle of the river, in the fastest current and you go. It’s a very profoundly beautiful cosmic thing to get on the path to enlightenment. To get a technique that works, where you truly transcend and experience this level of life, which is eternal. Always there.

Everything in the field of relativity has a lifespan. Some super long some very short—but a lifespan. Beneath the whole field of relativity is a non-relative absolute and that’s what you want to experience. That’s the key to everything good in life.

If you could capture the entire world’s attention for two minutes, what would you tell them?

I’d say, “Do yourself a giant favor, learn Transcendental Meditation from a legitimate teacher and practice this technique regularly. Be a light unto yourself.”

Rememberances of #TranscendentalMeditation and #MaharishiU founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

January 12, 2018

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

January 12th has been traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This year, January 12, 2018, is the centenary of his birth. After taking a Week of Silence at the start of every year, Maharishi would use the occasion of his birthday to inaugurate a new theme for the new year for his worldwide Transcendental Meditation Movement. See a PDF of Maharishi’s Achievements for each year.

For example, on January 12, 1975, after hearing of a few cities in the United States where 1% of the population were practicing TM and the crime rate had gone down compared to similar cities where it had gone up, he inaugurated the year as the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, saying, “Through the window of science, we see the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment.”

You can read more about this in the description I wrote after Sally Peden’s poem, To Jyotir Math, in this post: Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to tell the Shankaracharya about the dawning of a new age.

On January 18, 2011, The Times of India published an article about Maharishi by Lane Wagger, The Prime Mover of Life. In this article, titled, Transcendental Meditation, Lane Wagger recalls the legacy of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for his centenary year. Don’t know the date and paper it was published in, but here is an image of the article I had converted into a PDF: Maharishi’s Legacy by Lane Wagger. If you open it, go to Tools, Rotate Clockwise, then Zoom up to 110% to read it.

A very beautiful article is A Remembrance of Maharishi by James Powell. Many articles came out after Maharishi’s passing 10 years ago. See A Tribute to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And Australian Yoga Life Magazine features Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in their Early Pioneers of Yoga series.

Some of my favorites of or about Maharishi are: Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise | The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | Peter Wallace’s story of how he met Maharishi.

Oct 2018, Steve Van Damme wrote a comprehensive personal answer to a question posed on Quora: What do TMers think about Maharishi’s character?

These remembrances are just a fraction of what he had accomplished. He created schools, universities, revived ancient Vedic medicine, architecture, music, encouraged scientific research on TM, and so much more. Maharishi’s Vedic knowledge and technologies continue to transform millions of people’s lives for the better, and for that we are very thankful. Jai Guru Dev.

1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus and Maharishi Vedic Pandits at the Brahmasthan

November 12, 2017

This is the one-year anniversary of the start of my trip to India. A year ago today, I boarded a very long non-stop flight from Chicago to New Delhi. After clearing customs I went to an airport bank to change some money. It took a while, but a driver who had been sent to pick me up waited to take me to a Holiday Inn, where I finally crashed. The next morning another driver took me to the airport for a flight to Jabalpur. My sister and brother-in-law where there to welcome me when I arrived, which was very nice. We then traveled to the holy Narmada River, to fulfill the prime purpose of my long journey.

As it turned out, November 14, 2016 was a very significant day in three major religious traditions at this celebratory time of year. We hired a boatman, and after some special prayers, I spread Sali’s ashes on this peaceful celestial river as he rowed the boat towards and around a small temple at the foot of the Gwari Ghat. This took place during the late afternoon on a Monday, a moon day, but the largest full moon in 70 years, the supermoon! It was highly significant, worthy of Sali’s spiritual merit she had earned offering a lifetime of one-pointed devoted service to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Movement. Some of his ashes had been spread at this holy place as well.

See more details in last year’s post I wrote 3 weeks after returning home: An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times. You can read the many inspiring tributes that were given at the October 5th memorial service, about her brilliant mind, kind heart, and good nature.

It was evening by the time we arrived at the Bijouri Campus in the Brahmasthan of India. During my 3-week stay there I would meet many wonderful meditators and sidhas from different countries around the world who came for the Maharishi India Courses, to meditate and enjoy the recitations of the Maharishi Vedic Pandits. It was a very healing atmosphere to settle into. Just what I needed, thanks to my family.

Traditional Indian Greeting

To start our course, we were each given a special welcome by the Maharishi Vedic Pandits and garlanded with flowers. Here is a photo of me, taken last year, November 16, 2016, after that warm reception.

Kenny at the Brahmasthan Nov 16, 2016

I purposefully stood in front of a large beautiful painting of Guru Dev, Maharishi’s master. I had purchased a print of this latest painting of Guru Dev the previous summer, having seen it featured at Art Fifty Two in Fairfield during a reception for the artist and her work. I had taken a photo of Frances Knight at the gallery standing in front of the original painting. You can also see part of a large Holy Tradition painting on the back wall behind her, one of many she had painted in the past.

Visiting the Maharishi Vedic Pandit Campus

On one of our trips we were taken to the geographical center of India known as the Brahmasthan. We shared a short group meditation and took photographs. And once a week we were driven to the Maharishi Vedic Pandit campus to hear 1,500 pandits recite Atirudrabhishek, an ancient Vedic performance to create world peace.

Sitting there with my eyes closed listening to the powerful Vedic recitation, I started to feel a deeply relaxing peacefulness growing inside my body. Soon, much to my surprise, I started to smile, then chuckle! I felt an inner happiness welling up within me that was totally unexpected. This bliss was a welcome contrast, a relief from the grief I was carrying around with me, mourning the loss of my sweetheart. This profound experience was worth the long tiring trip over there!

Group photo at pandit campus Nov 25, 2016

We put on traditional Indian clothing for these special occasions and posed for a group photo before boarding the buses back to our campus. I am standing in the upper second-to-last row on the far left. The course participants came from England, Ireland, USA, Canada, several European and Asian countries, Israel, Australia, and many from Iran. We were a diverse and harmonious group.

Now that I finally transferred all of my photos from my iPad onto my computer, I could post some of them related to this story. Who knows, maybe other photos will spark new stories.

Added June 28, 2019: Poem for Sali—An Undying Love—heals the heart.

@DAVID_LYNCH answers questions from students as part of the 2016 Commencement @MaharishiU

June 24, 2016

2. Hagelin & Morris present Lynch with Doctor of World Peace

David Lynch receives honorary doctorate of World Peace from outgoing president Bevan Morris (right) and incoming president John Hagelin (left) Maharishi University of Management ©2016

During their 2016 commencement ceremony on June 18th, 2016, Maharishi University of Management was proud to feature world-renowned filmmaker David Lynch, who was presented with a Doctor of World Peace honoris causa degree. Instead of a traditional graduation speech, Mr. Lynch held a spontaneous Q and A session with students about life-oriented topics that commencement speakers traditionally address. Here is that lively interactive commencement address. (19:37).

Here is a transcript of the David Lynch 2016 MUM Commencement Q&A. See The 5 Best Quotes from David Lynch’s Commencement Q&A

Selected Excerpts

Behind David Lynch’s Success | Consciousness-Based Education | What Makes a Meaningful Life | Graduates’ Roles for World Peace | What Makes a Good Leader | Falling in Love with an Idea | Following Your Intuition | Filmmaker’s Secret.

News Coverage

Motto* (Words to live by): David Lynch to Grads: Intuition ‘Is the Number One Tool for Human Beings’ Watch the ‘Twin Peaks’ director give his advice to 2016 Maharishi University grads | La Voce di New York: David Lynch: trascendere per migliorare il mondo. Here is a translation of The Voice of New York’s David Lynch: transcend to improve the world | The Fairfield Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports: @DAVID_LYNCH addresses @MaharishiU graduates | The Hawk Eye’s Bob Saar: Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield | KTVO’s Stephen Sealey reported on Maharishi University’s special graduation ceremonyFilmmaker David Lynch to Give Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management | Des Moines Register: David Lynch promises ‘strange’ commencement address in Iowa | Open Culture: David Lynch Gives Unconventional Advice to Graduates in an Unusual Commencement Address

*Advice worth sharing from the world’s most influential people and the editors of TIME

About MUM

Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, IA is a private university featuring Consciousness-Based℠ Education. The accredited traditional curriculum offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business, but also integrates self-development programs. Innovative aspects include the Transcendental Meditation® program, one course at a time, and organic vegetarian meals. Visitors Weekends are held throughout the year. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 800-369-6480 or visit http://www.mum.edu.

MUM Social Media Accounts

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Google+

Related News

Market Wired: Professor John Hagelin Named President of Maharishi University of Management | The Gazette: New president named for Maharishi University of Management. John Hagelin takes office Sept. 12 | Ottumwa Courier: Hagelin is incoming president of MUM | Inside Higher Ed: New Presidents or Provosts

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The Fairfield Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports: @DAVID_LYNCH addresses @MaharishiU graduates

June 20, 2016

Lynch addresses M.U.M. graduates

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jun 20, 2016

David Lynch

Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo: Filmmaker David Lynch addresses the graduating students of Maharishi University of Management Saturday in the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome. In the fall of 2013, the university debuted the David Lynch Master of Arts in Film program.

Saturday was a gorgeous day for a graduation as 366 students at Maharishi University of Management received their degrees in the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome.

The list of graduates included 268 graduate students and 98 undergraduates from 53 countries. The foreign country with the most students graduating was Ethiopia with 42, followed by China with 41. Nepal, Egypt and Bangladesh each had at least 10 students graduating. Nearly one half of the students graduating, 168, earned their degrees in computer science.

The graduating class included a few interesting pairs. Touch Phai and his son Pakrigna Phai, both from Cambodia, had the honor of receiving their degrees together Saturday. Brothers Christian and Nicolas Martina from Argentina graduated together, as did the brother-sister pair of Naamee and Nahshon Yisrael from Chicago.

The commencement speaker was someone the students and faculty have come to know well: filmmaker David Lynch. M.U.M. president Bevan Morris read a long list of accolades Lynch has earned in his career, such as his Golden Globe for Best TV Series for his 1990–1991 show “Twin Peaks,” which he is filming a new season of that will air in 2017.

Adam Delfiner, Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Laure Muzzarelli

(left to right) Adam Delfiner, Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Laura Muzzarelli

Lynch’s speech was unconventional in that rather than deliver prepared remarks, he asked four graduating students to join him on stage and ask him questions. He insisted that he not be told of the questions ahead of time. The four students selected for this honor were Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Adam Delfiner and Laura Muzzarelli.

The students asked the accomplished filmmaker a wide range of questions about what makes a meaningful life, what the world will look like in 10 years and whether he would have done anything differently in his youth.

When Bekele learned she was one of the students who would ask Lynch questions, she turned to Facebook for advice on what questions to ask. She asked him when it was appropriate to trust one’s intuition, to which Lynch said that intuition should generally be trusted and that it was the No. 1 tool for artists, businessmen and women and many other careers.

Bekele said she particularly liked what Lynch said about getting ideas, which was that they are not so much invented as “caught.”

Saad is a computer science major and a graduate instructor. He sent emails to his students to ask what questions to ask, then chose the best ones. He asked Lynch about his interactions with the founder of the university, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Lynch has begun filming scenes for a documentary on Maharishi’s time traveling from northern to southern India, and Saad was curious when the documentary would be finished.

Lynch said of Maharishi that he was the “greatest master who ever walked the earth” and he gave out profound knowledge during his lifetime. Lynch said there were two keys to a better life: practicing Transcendental Meditation and drinking coffee.

On the question about his documentary of Maharishi, Lynch said that he was busy with the third season of “Twin Peaks,” but that once that is finished, he would be able to devote more time to finishing his other projects.

Andrew Rushing

Andrew Rushing

Andrew Rushing, who majored in Maharishi Vedic Science, was the school’s valedictorian and also gave a speech. Rushing said he had little more than a week to prepare his speech.

“My goal was to inspire the 2016 class to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and to encourage them to do great things,” he said.

During his speech, Rushing told the audience, “Just by being your true self, you act as a conduit for goodness in the world.”

Runzjao Xie

Runzjao Xie

Twenty-year-old business student Runzhao Xie was recognized as the youngest graduate. Xie graduated from Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in 2012, and said he could have graduated from M.U.M. as early as last year but a professor whose class he needed was not available to teach it.

“My parents were both in education, so that got me interested in academics at a young age,” he said.

Xie said he specialized in accounting and took five accounting classes in a row before university officials advised him to branch out into other subjects. He has a summer internship with Andrew Bargerstock, chair of the accounting department.

John Hagelin

Physics professor John Hagelin speaks about the exciting opportunities and responsibilities he will have Sept. 12 when he becomes the university’s new president, taking over from Bevan Morris, who held the position for 36 years.

Also announced during Saturday’s ceremonies was that John Hagelin will become the university’s new president effective Sept. 12, known as Founder’s Day at the university. He will assume the role held by Bevan Morris for the past 36 years. For the first time in its history, M.U.M. awarded post-doctoral degrees Saturday, which it bestowed upon both Morris and Hagelin. (Correction: These new post-doctoral degrees were announced and described, but will be bestowed on Drs. Morris and Hagelin Sept. 12, 2016.)

Hagelin has been a member of the faculty at M.U.M. since 1984. In addition to teaching physics, he has held many positions of leadership such as director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy and president of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

Reprinted with permission. All photos taken by Andy Hallman for Ledger photo. The 4 photos, embedded here in the article where relevant, are in an online slideshow format, with their captions, underneath David’s photo, starting with John Hagelin. The article and 5 photos appear on the front page of Monday’s Ledger concluding on page 7.

Related news: @DAVID_LYNCH answers questions from students as part of the 2016 Commencement @MaharishiU | The Hawk Eye’s Bob Saar: Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield and KTVO’s Stephen Sealey reported on Maharishi University’s special graduation ceremony.

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