Posts Tagged ‘OWN’

Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise

September 24, 2013

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

maharishi signs gita for ken

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

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

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

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

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Des Moines Register: Oprah in Iowa: Fairfield meditation segment airs Sunday

March 24, 2012


Oprah in Iowa: Fairfield meditation segment airs Sunday

By TODD ERZEN | FILED UNDER – News | 1:28 PM, Mar. 23, 2012

The media icon paid a stealthy six-hour visit to the Maharishi University of Management last October and will tell the country about her newfound devotion to Transcendental Meditation at 8 p.m. on Sunday as part of her new weekly series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who took the media mogul on a tour of one of the university’s golden domes before she meditated there with about 400 other women, said Winfrey already had a working knowledge of Transcendental Meditation based on her experience with inner-city school systems.

The practice has been introduced there to children suffering from academic and behavioral problems with the help of Maharishi board of trustees member David Lynch, the television and film director whose private foundation promotes “Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.”

“It’s had phenomenal results (in schools) and I think she became intrigued by that,” said Malloy, who has practiced Transcendental Meditation for 38 years. “Oprah’s bright and energetic and gregarious and thoughtful and provocative and we are honored and tickled to be featured by her in this way.”

Watch a sneak preview of the show

Sneak Preview: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town

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


Transcendental Meditation first came to Fairfield by way of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who gained international fame as the guru to the Beatles before transforming the bankrupt Parsons College property into his namesake university in 1974.

In 2001, the Maharishi’s followers incorporated their own town, called Maharishi Vedic City, about two miles north of Fairfield. Sales of non-organic food are banned and buildings are designed to follow principles the Maharishi established, such as facing east and featuring a golden roof ornament. About 1,300 people live there, and an estimated one-quarter of Fairfield’s 10,000 residents also practice Transcendental Meditation.

Winfrey has tried to make a similar impact on her employees by encouraging them to meditate twice during each work day.

Paul Chesnutt-Winer, who hosted Winfrey in his home and will be featured with his family on Oprah’s television show, said the practice of Transcendental Meditation could not have made a better friend.

“She’s an amazing combination of being a strong, executive woman and really a lot of fun,” he said.

See this earlier post by Todd Erzen on Mar 22, 2012 with links to a preview of the show and interview with Dr. Oz on Oprah’s visit to Fairfield and company-wide practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Fairfield sees itself through Oprah’s eyes on Sunday.

For information on Transcendental Meditation, visit www.tm.org.

Related articles: Chicago Sun-Times: Oprah will talk about transcendental meditation on OWN | The Fairfield Ledger:Fairfield readies for Sunday debut on Oprah network | OWN: Oprah Visits America’s Most Unusual Town, Sunday, March 25, 8 p.m. CT, 9-10 p.m. ET/PT | KTVO: Fairfield to be featured on Oprah Winfrey Network | Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome | Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter | Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome | Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa | Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview. Also see The Iowan: Sizing Up Small Towns: Rethinking Success in Rural Iowa: Fairfield Thinks Inclusively.

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

March 20, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome

January 17, 2012

In the February 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Oprah in her column, What I Know for Sure, (page 162) shares her mission in life, what she’s all about: seeking the fullest expression of self. Part of that life’s purpose brought her to Fairfield, Iowa, or TM Town, as she calls it.

Oprah and her crew were here filming segments for her Next Chapter on OWN, including interviews with students at the Maharishi School; Vedic Pandits in neighboring Maharishi Vedic City; a visit to a home in Abundance Eco-Village, which is totally off the grid and designed with Vedic architectural principles; and practicing Transcendental Meditation with the ladies in one of the two golden domes on the campus of Maharishi University of Management. The show may be airing sometime in March. Updates to follow.

In the article, Oprah shares some personal thoughts on her visit to Fairfield, in particular, meditating in one of the golden domes with the ladies of the Fairfield community. She had a “powerfully energizing yet calming experience” of deep inner stillness and “didn’t want it to end.” When it did, she “walked away feeling fuller than when I’d come in…full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy.” She elaborates saying we all need to tap into and experience “the constancy of stillness” from where “you can create your best work and your best life,” even during “the daily craziness that bombards us from every direction.”

Click on the photo and then the text box to enlarge and better see them. You can also click on this Oprah Feb 2012 to download a pdf of the article, or pick up a copy at a store where her magazine is sold. The same article is now posted on Oprah.com with a larger photo showing hundreds of ladies meditating behind Oprah in a packed dome: Oprah on Stillness and Meditation – Oprah Visits Fairfield Iowa – What Oprah Knows for Sure About Finding the Fullest Expression of Yourself. Enjoy!

AND THANK YOU, OPRAH!

Also reported in Global Good News | Maharishi School News | TM Program for Women Professionals | Transcendental Meditation Blog | Peacetown, USA.

See related posts: Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter, which includes a segment of that interview, Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome, Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa, and Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview.

Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter

December 14, 2011

In the first part of Dr. Oz’s exclusive interview with Oprah, she discusses why she cancelled her show, what she misses most, and what it’s been like starting her Next Chapter.

Later on in the interview—and here is that video clip everyone is talking about—Oprah Winfrey discusses her experience with Transcendental Meditation. Oprah mentions a visit she made to ‘TM Town’ in Fairfield, Iowa, where, she says, a third of the town meditates. To better prepare for the visit, Oprah invited teachers of Transcendental Meditation to teach her and her staff how to meditate. She then shares the wonderful transformations that have been occurring as a result of everyone meditating twice a day, before and after their workday.

To get an appreciation from where Oprah Winfrey came from, and “Why the ‘talkinest child’ understands women and the power of television better than anyone else,” read The Glory of Oprah in the December 2011 ATLANTIC MAGAZINE.

See Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome.

This happened later as a result of Dr. Oz’s interview with Oprah: Dr. Oz on Transcendental Meditation.

Below is a sampling of some of the reactions to the Oz interview. Enjoy!

Blisstree One More Reason Oprah Is Awesome: All Of Her Employees Meditate Twice A Day

Home Dr. Oz Interviews Oprah: How You Can Change Your Life

Miami Spirituality Examiner: Oprah Discusses Her Life After the Practice of Transcendental Meditation

Oprah Talks Transformation and Meditation with Dr. Oz

TM ProgramTM Program: Transcendental Meditation Blog: Oprah Winfrey talks TM with Dr. Mehmet Oz

The Christian Post: Oprah Winfrey Discusses Getting Closer to ‘God’ in New Chapter of Her Life

Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome

Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview

Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa

MUM Review: Oprah Visits Campus; Program to Air Early Next Year on OWN.

Oprah Winfrey talks Transcendental Meditation with Dr Mehmet Oz

As a result of Oprah offering TM to her employees Dr. Oz did the same. Watch these videos, which came out later: Dr. Oz on Transcendental Meditation and Dr Oz’s gift of TM to his employees resulted in personal and corporate benefits — see the video.

Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview

September 17, 2011

Oprah and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg enjoy a lively discussion.

This was news to me. Did you know that Oprah was interviewed on Facebook Live? Live Interview with Oprah Winfrey – Sept 8, 2011. Since I’m not on Facebook I didn’t go there to look for it. So I did a Bing search and found it posted on talkbytes.com. Oprah sat down with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for an enjoyable talk. Besides Sandberg, members of the Facebook crowd also got to ask Oprah questions, along with online participants.

Oprah is quite the talker. She is a great communicator and teacher. She sincerely wants to bring more consciousness into the lives of her viewers, and shares some revealing valuable lessons she’s learned over the years. Around 9:15 minutes into this enjoyable 1 hour interview, Oprah tells Sheryl that she and her OWN company offices in Chicago and LA have now incorporated meditation, a Quiet Time, twice a day into their schedule. Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this in a future show.

There were so many wise things Oprah said about her life, the evolving philosophy of her program, from entertaining and shocking her viewers, to helping them empower themselves. She feels her mission is to help people become the best they can be. Here is a partial transcript from the section on meditation. Sheryl asks Oprah what was it in her that helped her become who she is today.

Oprah: I think that the same thing that is in me is in everybody else, and when you close your eyes sometimes and you get really still…like one of the things that we are doing at my companies now is everybody is learning to meditate. And everybody gets all thrown by the word, meditation. So I said to them the other day: Let’s not call it meditation, let’s just call it Quiet Time, because…

Sheryl: Like my kids. They get Quiet Time.

Oprah: Yes, yes. Because when you teach your children meditation, you don’t say, we’re going to me-di-tate. You say, let’s have some Quiet Time. So twice a day now, at OWN, in Chicago and Los Angeles, we take Quiet Time…where you…literally…

So I have…having grown up in rural Mississippi, alone with my grandmother, I had a lot of quiet time. I had a lot of time to touch the stillness inside me. And the truth is, that’s where God lives. God lives in the space of stillness. Whatever you chose to call God, or not call God. It doesn’t matter whether you chose to call it or not, that stillness is always there, that awareness space.

…where you live, where the capital You resides, is not in the thoughts, but in the awareness, in that space. So I have lived in that space, of awareness for myself for a very long time. I can’t even remember…

You know, all of us has that space were you’re willing to get still, because the world will try to tell you everything about yourself, and…we have so many voices, in our heads and on our Facebook pages telling us everything. But, to know, really, what to do and how to be guided in your life, you have to go to that still space where the bigger You, the greater You, resides. And I have it, and so does everybody else who’s listening to us right now.

Sheryl: Get ready Facebook, we’re going to be meditating. (Sheryl gives the peace sign).

Oprah (laughs): Ya…ha ha ha

Sheryl: Twice a day.

Oprah: It changes the energy of everybody in your company. I mean, for years I’ve wanted to do it. And I knew that, because I didn’t start out that way. And I started out my school doing it too in South Africa.

Have a moment where you can go into that space, so that you’re not just talking and operating outta the top of your head, and you’re not just moving in your action-external self, but that you’re bringing a deeper sense of who you really are.

For a review of the show with quotes, here’s an article about it in The Huffington Post: Oprah At Facebook: Incredible (VIDEO). The video is posted there, as it also is on talkbytes.com: Oprah Forces Her Employees to Meditate, which is unfair since Oprah doesn’t force her employees to participate in such programs, she just provides it to them as a Quiet Time option, a time to chill out—something we can all benefit from in this fast-paced crazy world. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

This first show is now posted on Facebook: http://livestre.am/11yid.

It’s a great interview. Enjoy!

Also see Reports of Oprah’s visit to Fairfield, Iowa in the news Oct 19+20, 2011: Fairfield Ledger: Oprah visits Maharishi School, Fairfield | KTVO: Oprah and her jet land in southeast Iowa | Oprah Winfrey Meditated in Fairfield Iowa Tonight with Other Transcendental Meditation Meditators: Oprah Jets into Fairfield and MeditatesInspiring Developments | Mount Everest | Emporium. And Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome, which includes links to an interview with Dr. Oz, reported in examiner.com: Oprah Discusses Her Life After the Practice of Transcendental Meditation. And a recent post on the TM Blog Oprah Winfrey talks TM with Dr. Mehmet Oz. For more, see: Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter. And this latest news: Oprah writes in O Mag about her visit to TM Town and meditating with ladies in their Golden Dome.


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