Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Officing in Vastu
Yes, I know officing is not a word, but it captures part of what I want to talk about today. My campus office is in a Vastu building on the Maharishi University of Management campus. Vastu, a Sanskrit word meaning perfect orientation, indicates that the building is oriented due east to get the morning sun. The first morning light is considered by many cultures, including the Vedic culture, to be advantageous, energetic, and life-supporting. Ideally, the building should receive the morning light within two hours of dawn.
The building where my office is located is Veda Bhavan. Previously, my office was in the library basement. I didn't so much mind being in the library basement; after all, books are a large and pleasurable part of my life. Still, when told I would have to move, I was delighted to discover that my destination was Veda Bhavan. 
This building is surrounded by a Vastu fence and is graced by seasonal flowers during the growing months. Benches on the porch allow one to sit and gaze at the tulips or look out across the campus prairie-scape toward the golden domes, where the community practices the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs twice a day. 

Since I've been in this office, I've noticed several things about my work life, not the least of which is that every day, I enjoy entering and being in this building. Just inside the doors to Veda Bhavan, one crosses the anteroom to the Brahmastan, the perfect center of the building. Sitting under a skylight in this central area is a model version of a Vedic Astronomical Observatory (an outdoor version can be toured in Vedic City, just west of campus). The model observatory is a pleasant place to pause and allow one's awareness to settle down.
I teach in the Department of Literature and Creative Writing and I edit for the University, so much of my work is done sitting at a computer. Sitting at a computer all day still makes me tired, but in this building, I do feel a more balanced awareness while working. I remember to get up and move around every hour or so to refresh myself. Before, I used to lock down into work mode and found it difficult to move away (and after a few hours, to move at all!). This more balanced attitude I attribute to the Vastu nature of the building. My work also seems to flow more easily now. Solutions to problems present themselves rather than my having to spend time tracking them down. Order and progress seem a natural part of each project. I'm glad my office is in Vastu. Now I'm thinking—wouldn't it be nice to live in a Vastu home!


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