Media Turns Out for National
Yogic Flying Competition
Recently the University hosted the 2003
United States Yogic Flying Competition in the
Golden Domes with a good turnout by the media.
In addition to The Des Moines Register and other
major Iowa newspapers, five television stations
See news reports at
This was the first University competition
since the 1996 Silver Jubilee Celebration.
Craig Pearson, University executive
vice-president, addressed the audience attending
the competition, saying that "Our approach to
peace may seem new, but it has a 25-year track
record, has been used successfully in all parts
of the world, and has nearly 50 scientific
studies validating its effectiveness. It is
powerful, safe, noninvasive, and nonpolitical,
and it produces immediate results."
For the first time, the competition featured
three divisions of Yogic Flyers: Maharishi
School of the Age of Enlightenment and Maharishi
University of Management, where many students
incorporate the practice of Yogic Flying into
their daily routine, and a third division of
adult Yogic Flyers.
The competition included four events:
25-meter dash, 25-meter hurdles, long jump, and
high jump. In each division a first-, second-,
and third-place medal was awarded for each
Two University students were overall winners
in the men's competition, with Patrick Kennedy
winning the hurdles in a time of 16.52 seconds
and Michael Koren taking the 25-meter dash with
a time of 14.25 seconds. And two participants in
the adult division were also overall winners,
with David Sinton leaping 65 inches to take the
long jump and Martin Davy winning the high jump
with a 30-inch hop.
"Yogic Flying competitions are highly
evolutionary--the experience is completely
fulfilling and exhilarating, moving through
wholeness with no restrictions," said Rod Falk,
registrar at Maharishi School and gold medal
winner in the adult 25-meter dash and bronze
medal winner in adult long jump and high jump,
and world champion Yogic Flyer in competitions
held in India and The Hague, Netherlands.
In the women's competition Yukiko Tashiro won
three gold medals in the adult division: hurdles
with a time of 18.32 seconds, the 25-meter dash
with a time of 16.61 seconds, and the high jump
with a hop of 18 inches. Monica DeAngelis won
gold in the long jump for the Maharishi
School/Ideal Girls School team with a jump of 49
After the ladies' events, one competitor
said, "It was the most blissful experience
multiplied by infinity."
"The Yogic Flying competition is a fun way to
demonstrate Maharishi's technology for world
peace," said Richard Neate, dean of students.
"In the recent war, governments were spending $1
billion dollars a day losing lives. For a
fraction of that we can create world peace. We
need to get the word out."
Eco-Fair to Teach Use of
Alternative Energy Sources
A solar-powered bicycle, cars that run on
sesame oil, homes heated by the sun--these
topics and many more will teach people how to
avoid using fossil fuels as part of this year's
Eco-Fair, May 23-26.
"We have an amazing lineup of speakers who
are eager to teach people how to live in a way
that doesn't plunder or damage the environment,"
said organizer Marielle Savard. "These are
people who are living what they talk about. Many
live completely 'off-the-grid.'"
The speakers include Lonnie Gamble, who has
been living in a solar- and wind-powered straw
bale home for 10 years. He will discuss "radical
strategies for living wisely and well without
fossil fuels." Participants will learn how they
can obtain energy, water, food, and shelter in
ways that are sustainable and how they can turn
waste products into resources.
In addition, John Freeberg, a developer of
Abundance EcoVillage near Fairfield, will give a
presentation on solar heating and natural
cooling. Dan Isbell from Vinton, Iowa, will
describe his home that uses photovoltaics, wind
generation, small-scale hydro, wood heat, solar
hot water, and solar cooking. And John Root, an
energy consultant for Muscatine Power and Water,
will also cover wind and solar power, including
the use of photovoltaics.
While solar power is more commonly used for
heating, it can also be used to power
transportation vehicles. David Osterberg,
associate professor of Occupational and
Environmental Health at the University of Iowa,
will show how his solar-powered bicycle
Not to be outdone, Michael Havelka will show
two cars fueled mostly with sesame oil. He will
discuss the fabrication and use of biodiesel
Finally, the use of natural energy sources
will be expanded to the municipal level by Kent
Boyum, Ph.D. M.B.A., director of the Maharishi
Vedic City Rebuild Program, and Maharishi Vedic
City Mayor Robert Wynne.
Dr. Travis Gains Recognition
Fred Travis, director of the University's EEG
lab, is being asked by many academic journals to
evaluate the merit of scientific papers--an
indication that he is now recognized as a leader
in brain research.
Dr. Travis said that a main task of
scientific journals is to decide the quality of
research, and they rely on acknowledged experts
to make these judgments. Because Dr. Travis has
now published widely and in top journals over a
number of years, he is increasingly being asked
to review articles for psychology journals.
These include Biological Psychology and
Psychophysiology, two top journals in the field
that have published Dr. Travis's research in the
past. Other journals that have relied on Dr.
Travis's expertise in recent years are Brain
Research, Psychology Bulletin, Psychiatry
Research: Neural Imaging, Annals of Behavioral
Medicine, Informatica, Physiology and Behavior,
and Alternative Therapy in Health and
He said that publishing in journals helps
them become familiar with his expertise. In
those instances in which he hasn't had prior
contact with the journals, he suspects they
simply do a search in a science database on the
Internet to determine who has published
extensively on a given topic. And he thinks that
in some instances, they may have first
encountered his research as a result of the
publicity of the University's PR office.
"Science is a consensual process," said Dr.
Travis, who is dean of the Graduate College.
"Researchers donate their time to do this. The
common goal is to understand natural processes,
and it's fun to be part of that."
Dr. Travis said that seeing the work of other
researchers also gives him an opportunity to
appreciate the high quality of the research at
Maharishi University of Management.
New Findings on Meditation
and School Behavior
School students who practice the
Transcendental Meditation® technique show a
significant improvement in their behavior in
school, according to a new study by Vernon
Barnes, 1996 graduate of the Ph.D. program in
Dr. Barnes has been principal investigator on
a randomized clinical trial for the last four
years examining the impact of the Transcendental
Meditation program in preventing high blood
pressure in African-American youth. Part of his
research has been to examine data from school
Findings showed that the group practicing the
Transcendental Meditation technique had
significant decreases in absenteeism,
suspensions, and rule infractions. These results
were published in the peer-reviewed journal
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.
Dr. Barnes feels that negative school
behaviors remain a major problem in the U.S. and
that Transcendental Meditation could help
reverse this. He said that this study extends
previous findings and is important because
rather than using self-reported data, it
incorporates a randomized, controlled design and
uses documented school records.
"This is the first time the Transcendental
Meditation technique has been formally studied
in a public high school setting," Dr. Barnes
said. "We are grateful to the American Heart
Association and the National Institutes of
Health for over $1.5 million in grant
"This research publication comes at a good
time, as we are currently submitting charter
school applications in several states," said Dr.
Richard Beall, national director of the
Consciousness-Based Education Association. "It
is always important to be able to emphasize the
scientific research supporting the use of the
Transcendental Meditation technique, and this
work is foremost in that regard."
Forty-five inner-city African-American high
school students were assigned to either
Transcendental Meditation or health education
control groups. The Transcendental Meditation
group engaged in 15-minute group meditation
sessions at school each day for four months.
Overall, Dr. Barnes's school-based study has
recruited over 150 high school students with
high normal blood pressure. The first results of
this study were published in the Journal of
Psychosomatic Research and show a beneficial
impact of the Transcendental Meditation program
upon blood pressure and cardiovascular
Vicki Alexander to Head
Longtime faculty member Vicki Alexander,
J.D., was recently named chairperson of the
management department, replacing Dennis Heaton,
who was recently named dean of distance
Ms. Alexander has a law degree as well as an
L.L.M., an advanced degree beyond the J.D. that
specializes in tax law. She has taught courses
in the areas of business law and taxation for
the past 20 years and has also held various
"I want to focus on the students and their
desires," Ms. Alexander said. "And I want to
continue the tradition of the management
department being one of the largest and
strongest departments." A major emphasis will be
recruiting and retention.
Ms. Alexander takes the helm at a time when
the department is moving toward developing a
"green" M.B.A.--an emphasis on business
practices and entrepreneurial ventures that are
in harmony with the environment.
"This is the wave of the future," Ms.
Alexander said. "And these are the kinds of
businesses we want to grow."
She said that this angle would be useful to
traditional students, since this is an area of
dynamic growth, while also appealing to new
students who have an interest in creating a
better world. This green track will be in
addition to the entrepreneurship track. Other
tracks, such as human resource management, will
be taught if there are sufficient numbers of
She said the green M.B.A. will integrate well
with the new sustainable living program and the
University's increasing emphasis on developing a
green master plan for campus.
Ms. Alexander noted that there will be a
large Ph.D. class in the fall, with many
applicants from around the world. "I'm very
excited about the Ph.D. program," she said. "It
gives the whole department an added depth.
Having Ph.D. students encourages the faculty to
think deeply, and it brings in additional
teachers with excellent backgrounds."
She said that the angle of the Ph.D. will
also be green.
New Website Offers Videos of
Maharishi Gandharva Veda Music
Dozens of streaming video and audio segments
highlight a new website put online by the
University's Institute of Maharishi Gandharva
Veda(SM) music to promote the music program
among students and prospective students.
"Maharishi Gandharva Veda music is the
science and art of bliss," says Isabelle
Matzkin, director of the Institute and the
developer of the site.
Ms. Matzkin said that one goal of the site
was to go beyond general information and to
present specific knowledge along with lots of
examples. For example, in the Sample Lesson
section, Ms. Matzkin gives an at-a-glance
picture of the eight time periods of day, the
qualities associated with each, and an audio
sample, either sitar or flute, of the music
appropriate for each period.
The site's streaming videos offer sample
performances, an explanation by University
Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, student
testimonials, and more.
The dozens of music samples, many in
RealAudio format, represent some of the world's
greatest musicians, Ms. Matzkin said, such as
Pandit Debu Chadhuri.
Also unique to the site is a section on the
health benefits, with information on preliminary
studies that have been done showing the powerful
and immediate healing effects of the music.
Other information offered includes upcoming
performances, recordings, and the various
instruments. There are also a number of
streaming video testimonials by students, who
themselves produced the videos as a class
Freshmen Lead Spring Golf
Freshmen Evan Huggins, Sarah Sica, and Aubrey
Deans led the way during the spring round of
golf tournaments for the University team. They
were joined by graduate students Ted Hirsch and
Aubrey Deans had an 8th-place and an
11th-place finish, which is excellent for this
level of competition, said coach Richard
"Aubrey averaged a 79 in the tournaments,"
Mr. Neate said. "He is one of the premier
players in the Midwest."
Sarah Sica finished second in a women's
tournament. In addition, she played in the men's
tournaments. According to one of her teammates,
Ms. Sica is one of the best lady golfers in the
First-year student Evan Huggins also helped.
His scores counted toward the team's total in
each tournament, Mr. Neate said.
"In the team's six years of intercollegiate
golf, we have played nearly 100 different
teams," Mr. Neate said. "Our University's name
is all over the Midwest. The players really
enjoy representing the University and its goals.
Every player is focused, kind, friendly, and
eager to talk about the University."
Enrollment Center Offers New
Both students and faculty can now access a
number of Enrollment Center services via the
These new services include a schedule of
classes, classrooms for the present block,
graduation applications, requests for transfer
credit evaluation, transcript and records
requests, the academic calendar, and a directory
"Our goal is to have an online Enrollment
Center," said Diane Sanny, registrar. "This is
just the beginning. We are moving toward
interactive services that will enable students
to register online, fill out financial aid
forms, and access grades."
She said that because so many of the future
services that they will be offering contain
confidential information, they are in the
process of installing the necessary firewalls to
make the system secure.
Michael French, graduation director, said
that students are already taking advantage of
the new online services. "I can e-mail students
to remind them to turn in their graduation
application by a deadline, then they can fill
out the form online in three minutes and return
it on time. It's great."
Ms. Sanny said that there has been the need
and the desire to offer these services online
for some time. She credited Kathy Jaffey and Mr.
French with spearheading the project.
The online enrollment information is
available at http://www.mum.edu/registrar/welcome.shtml.
Student Production of Our
Town Opens Friday at Spayde
The classic American play Our Town, by
Thornton Wilder, will open in Spayde Theater on
Friday, May 9.
Produced by the University's theater program,
Our Town is one of the most popular plays in the
history of the American stage. "Mr. Wilder has
transmuted the simple events of a human life
into universal reverie," stated a review in the
New York Times. "He has given it a profound,
strange, unworldly significance--brimming over
with compassion . . . a hauntingly beautiful
play." And the Chicago News stated,
"Unconventional, intriguing. An absorbing
experience in playgoing."
The story of Our Town revolves around the
lives of the citizens of Grover's Corner, New
Hampshire, at the turn of last century. We are
drawn into the quiet and simple world of two
families, and in particular, we come to
appreciate the incalculable value of living,
loving, and even dying through the eyes of Emily
Webb, a sweet "all-American" girl.
"What a marvelous play," says Kent Sugg, who
is directing. "It is unique--reminding us that
in every second of life, in each of our most
mundane activities, the infinite value of the
divine is available to us. All we need do is
wake up and appreciate each other and ourselves.
The play encourages us to recall our unity. What
could be more worthwhile than that?"
Our Town opens Friday, May 9, and runs Friday
and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. in Spayde
Theater through the month of May. Tickets are
available at Somebody Cares and the University
Bookstore: $8 general admission and $6 for
Maharishi University of Management students and
employees. For more information call
School Alum Receives
Pascal Openshaw, a 1999 Maharishi School
graduate, has been awarded the 2003 Iowa
Governor's Cup, presented once a year to the
leading Army cadet at each state university with
a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program.
Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will personally
present the award this month.
Mr. Openshaw is a senior at Iowa State
University and will graduate with honors next
month with a Bachelor of Science in computer
engineering and a minor in military science.
Mr. Openshaw was also awarded a $1,000 cash
scholarship by the United States Automobile
Association, an award given to only 29
graduating cadets nationally, for having
"demonstrated an exceptional leadership example
and achieved academic excellence during their
tenure with ROTC."
Mr. Openshaw credits his education at
Maharishi School and the Transcendental
Meditation technique for his success. "I got a
great head start with the education I received
at Maharishi School, and TM has definitely given
me an edge in everything I do," he said.
Mr. Openshaw will join the Federal Cyber
Service this fall, a group of information
technology specialists who ensure the protection
of the United States Government information
School Photography Students
Win Seven National Awards
Maharishi School students recently won seven
awards at the Texas A&M University Third
Floor Photographic Society 21st Annual High
The seven award-winning photos were chosen
from among 2,081 prints entered from 29 high
schools throughout the country.
The winners are Joy Joy Small, grade 12,
second place in First Year/color; and Sundari
Bales, Grade 10, honorable mention in First
Year/color. In the category First Year black and
white, Katie Greenfield, grade 12, earned third
place and honorable mention, and Kate Vigmostad,
grade 12, also earned honorable mention.
In the category Portrait/People, honorable
mention went to Aaron Hirshberg, grade 12. And
Jordan Narducci, grade 12, earned honorable
mention in Open/Color.
"We are impressed by the level of composition
and concepts involved in the imagery," said the
judges in their comments on the work.
The Maharishi Upper School photography
teacher is Carolyn Waksman.
School Students Win 11
Awards at Art Competition
Maharishi Upper School students entered 15
works and came away with 11 awards at the recent
Southeast Iowa Superconference Art Show at
Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant.
At the event the Superconference provided
workshops for the students from 25 schools and
ended the day with a gallery walk of the show.
"It was a fabulous opportunity to see the work
from the other schools," said Carolyn Waksman,
Upper School photography teacher.
The winning students are Lynn Harvey, grade
12, first place, and Taylor Butterfield, Grade
10, second place in Acromatic Drawing; Joy Joy
Small, grade 12, first place in sculpture;
Hilary Nelson, grade 12, first place in Pen and
Ink; Sundari Bales, Grade 10, first place in
Color Photography; Katie Greenfield, grade 12,
second place in Black and White Photography; Joy
Joy Small, grade 12, third place in Black and
White Multiple Image; Aaron Hirshberg, grade 12,
fourth place in Sepia Toned-Ortho Film Portrait
Lighted; Willy Blackmore, grade 12, first place
in Mixed Media; and Camie Bargerstock, grade 11,
second place in Mixed Media Photography.
Greg Thatcher is the Upper School art
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