Posts Tagged ‘Vedic City’

@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

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.

Finding peace in Fairfield by Diane Vance

April 13, 2012

Finding peace in Fairfield

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Apr 12, 2012

At the Transcendental Meditation Blog,, Mario Orsatti wrote on April 4, the website was flooded with visitors the week following Oprah Winfrey’s televised take on TM, Fairfield and her October visit here.

The hour show, one in her series of “Next Chapter” programs first aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network TV channel April 1. It was repeated on Easter Sunday and will air again at 6 p.m. this Sunday. Video segments also are available online.

It’s resulted in “thousands of Americans learning the TM technique,” Orsatti wrote.

While Oprah’s endorsements have propelled other products, some may doubt her embrace of TM will make much difference in Fairfield.

However, the planners and shakers in the TM community are preparing.

A summer session will be newly offered at the Maharishi University of Management, moving its annual graduation ceremony to May 26, rather than its typical mid-summer date.

“Experience the Self” course, offered as a one- or two-week course in July, promises to address consciousness, one’s body and mind, allow participants to discover sustainable living projects, relax in nature and celebrate the cultural opportunities of Fairfield.

As I mentioned in my introduction column the fourth day of Ledger employment in October, I was a student at M.U.M. in the Spring 2010 semester. It was not my first time on campus.

I moved to southeast Iowa in the summer of 1997 with my former husband and two children. We had moved after five years in a small town north of Davenport, after my spouse left 13 years of active duty Army in 1992. (Yes, this San Diego native has now lived in the Midwest 20 years!)

At my job at Keokuk’s newspaper the Daily Gate City, I heard remarks about those weird “flyers” up in Fairfield.

As the education reporter, many press releases from schools around the state and region passed through my desk. I began learning more about M.U.M.

When Vedic City, became incorporated, we drove up here to look around. Dirt lanes took us past cute little white houses with golden topknots and white picket fences.

In October 2007, my spouse and I traveled to Fort Hood, Texas, (where we lived in 1981) to hug our youngest good-bye. His Cavalry Scout unit was deploying to Iraq for 15 months. He was on the older side of 23 years of age.

Having a child at war makes it hard to breathe.

He was at a remote place in the Diyala Province. His care packages needed to include the basics, such as razor blades, toothpaste, etc. He asked for canned soup because it could be heated on the Bradley’s radiator when they spent days at a time away from base camp.

Sending a small Christmas tree and chocolates (chocolates and other meltables can only be mailed October-March) comforted me probably more than my son.

Still, the weeks dragged on. And on. I had a large wall map of Iraq on the wall of my cubicle. I read daily Associated Press stories about Iraq and the U.S. military. I always volunteered to do the stories on local veterans and active military.

When a press release about an April 2008 David Lynch weekend landed in my in-box, I investigated.

The TM promise of stress relief kept calling. I signed up, received a scholarship for the four-day weekend, came to Fairfield and fell in love with this place.

I was delighted to see, and hear, John Hagelin, because I had watched “What the Bleep Do We Know” video a few years earlier. I was astounded to see Donovan, a musician from my youth! And though I didn’t know who David Lynch was, I enjoyed his interaction with all of us visitors that weekend.

I traipsed around in the light rain and mud to view the on-campus green house and one of the golden domes. I ate organic, vegetarian meals (new experience).

And yes, I learned TM that weekend, in a comfortable, non-threatening space from a sweet woman, Linda Mainquist, who happens to be married to Mario Orsatti, where I started this column.

I have to admit to being sort of a slacker; I don’t always make time in my day for 20 minutes each morning and evening. But TM has helped with my stress levels — a good thing!

My son returned from Iraq in January 2009 having survived through two I.E.D.s blowing up the Bradleys he rode in.

And I have survived — and hopefully thrived; through my son-in-law’s year deployment to Guantanamo in 2008; both Army “sons” in Iraq in 2009 and 2010; and my divorce in 2010.

Calming peace is good to have in any form it comes.

Diane Vance is a Ledger staff writer. See other Columns by Diane Vance.

Reprinted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

See NPR: Fairfield, Iowa: Where ‘Art Belongs To Everyone’

Extreme City: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa

September 3, 2009

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

Capital of the Global Country of World Peace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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