Enrollment of New Students Increases
Enrollment at the University continues an upward trend, with 303 new students having enrolled or being expected to enroll as of late August, representing a 49% increase in new students compared to a year ago.
The number of new students this fall includes 73 undergraduates and 150 graduate students, as well as 80 students at the University’s partner institution in China. The Chinese students are officially enrolled as Maharishi University of Management students during their third and fourth years at the partner institution.
As is typical, many new students enrolled in the Computer Professionals Program, accounting for 62 of the new arrivals. Another 30–40 are expected to arrive in October.
Currently enrolled students come from 65 different countries:
Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, and Jordan.
Also, Kenya, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, China (Taiwan), Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zambia.
Study Shows Brain Has Reduced Reaction to Pain
A study published in August in the journal NeuroReport showed that the Transcendental Meditation® technique reduces the brain’s reaction to pain.
The researchers used neuroimaging to study the effect of meditation on brain reactivity to pain. Twelve healthy long-term meditators who had been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for 30 years showed a 40–50% lower brain response to pain compared to 12 healthy controls. Further, when the 12 controls then learned and practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique for five months, their brain responses to pain also decreased by a comparable 40–50%.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is able to reduce the brain’s response to pain because it produces a physiological state capable of modifying various kinds of pain. In time it reduces trait anxiety, improves stress reactivity, and decreases distress from acute pain.
According to retired faculty member David Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., lead author of this research, “Prior research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation technique creates a more balanced outlook on life and greater equanimity in reacting to stress. This study suggests that this is not just an attitudinal change, but a fundamental change in how the brain functions.”
Study coauthors included Robert Schneider, M.D., director of the University’s Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, and Zhang-Hee Cho, Ph.D., the director of the neuroimaging laboratory at the University of California at Irvine, where the study was conducted.
Executive Chef Heads Food Services
By Patricia Boland
The University recently recruited a highly experienced executive chef to head food services. Don Bowman describes himself as an “up-from-the-ranks” food service professional with many years experience in university and multicultural settings.
“I have an absolute passion for cooking, and that’s what I love about my job,” Mr. Bowman said.
Mr. Bowman worked for over 15 years at University of California, Berkeley, and, most recently, in helping provide dining services to Philadelphia University. He has received numerous service awards from his employers in recognition of his financial and procurement skills, as well as for menu innovation and development, catering, special dining events, and training kitchen staff.
Having lived in large cities for most of his life, Mr. Bowman is already enjoying life in a smaller community. The position appealed to him because he felt the University was so far ahead in terms of the organic food movement and because of the opportunity to reinvigorate a food service facility after moving into a state-of-the-art kitchen in the new Student Center.
Plans are in place to solicit as much feedback as possible on food preferences. Mr. Bowman is already working on a survey to be distributed campus wide and he plans to work with a student who will act in the role of food service liaison. He also plans to train kitchen staff to improve their level of expertise.
“Mentoring and teaching staff increases their skill set, so they will be more professional and more attractive in general to the community due to the training I’ll be giving them,” Mr. Bowman said.
Menu changes will be based on feedback Mr. Bowman gets from his research, but he plans to offer more cuisines and put more attention on European and possibly African dishes.
“We have world-class products, so I will be refining the cooking to bring all the many products to a more refined level. Menu items will be changed in all kinds of ways,” Mr. Bowman said.
Mr. Bowman takes over a food service that has already been considerably upgraded in recent years.
“We deeply appreciate the seven-year effort of outgoing Food Services directors Tom and Marie Siegel,” said Executive Vice-President Craig Pearson. “They were the ones who made our menu virtually all organic and greatly improved the variety and quality of the dishes. Now we’re expecting another leap forward to an unrivalled organic cuisine, led by an executive chef with extensive university experience.”
Students Taking TM-Sidhi Course Via Special Arrangement
Thanks to their sincere desire to join the Invincible America campaign (see next article), a large number of students were expected to begin instruction in the TM-Sidhi® program as this issue of The Review goes to press.
The students had expressed their eagerness to learn the TM-Sidhi program as soon as possible to contribute to greater coherence in the world and had initiated various fundraising plans. Then at a campuswide meeting for all those interested in taking this step, it was announced that there would be no charge for current students to learn the TM-Sidhi program if they would commit to participating in group program in the Golden Domes for a year.
Because of the urgency of the situation in the Middle East, and because of the need to have a larger number of participants practicing the TM-Sidhi program together in the Domes, a decision was made to start instruction immediately rather than to wait until the regularly scheduled TM-Sidhi course in November. The latter course will also be held, since some students weren’t able to begin immediately.
The offer of free instruction in the TM-Sidhi program has now been offered to anyone in the United States who practices the Transcendental Meditation technique and who is accepted to the TM-Sidhi program course. Those interested must move to Fairfield and commit to regular attendance in the Domes for a minimum of one year.
Invincible America Course to Continue Indefinitely
In another historic summer almost rivaling the Golden Jubilee celebrations in The Netherlands last year, the University facilitated the Invincible America Course, the largest gathering of Yogic Flyers in the U.S. in over 12 years. The benefits of the course on all levels have been so great that the Invincible America Course will continue indefinitely.
While Maharishi spoke last year of the arrival of Sat Yuga — an era of prosperity, peace, and mass enlightenment — he explained there could be many ups and downs until that era is stabilized. During July he recognized the extremely dangerous world events and called on every country to urgently establish groups of Yogic Flyers to practice the TM-Sidhi program at coordinated times.
Over 45 scientific studies indicate that the square root of 1% of a population — the Super Radiance number — practicing the TM-Sidhi program as a group creates the Maharishi Effect. This effect raises national consciousness to a high level of integration and coherence so that the country radiates only friendliness and harmony to the family of nations — and has no enemies.
Although the U.S. did not achieve its Super Radiance number of 1,730, there were dramatic improvements on many levels. The stock markets improved so significantly the media referred to it as “Wall Street Euphoria” and “Blissful Shock.” Inflationary expectations were markedly better, oil prices dropped dramatically, and an oil exploration discovery indicated a potential increase in oil reserves of 50%. Intelligence agencies thwarted a terrorist attack.
Most significantly, a ceasefire was achieved to stop the fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. French fries may even return to the White House with the U.S. working with France in successful negotiations.
Participants in Washington, D.C., and Fairfield enjoyed daily live conference calls with Maharishi. They spoke about their experiences from group program, and Maharishi gave many comments and brought out even more Vedic wisdom. He was pleased with the experiences on the course and said a bubble of stress had burst in world consciousness.
Experiences were so profound most participants felt the benefits to be among the most transforming they’d had. Most of the experiences exemplified or indicated achievement of higher states of consciousness or unique styles of mind and body functioning.
M.U.M. Flyers Win Ultimate Co-ed Tournament
The University’s ultimate disc (aka “Frisbee”) team won their first regional tournament in June, besting the SouthSide team from Chicago 12-11.
After two grueling days of competition in the Fertile Ground tournament hosted by Iowa City’s Soy Nuts squad, the Flyers team stuck it out in a thrilling come-from-behind final to beat the vaunted SouthSide team.
In searing June heat, the Flyers dug themselves from a 0-3 start, 5-7 at half, and a 7-9 disadvantage until both teams tied at 11. Due to the time elapsed, the championship was capped at 12 points, forcing the Flyers to come out on defense and with great poise (and a bit of luck) win the disk back to engineer the final score that would deliver the team’s first regional tournament win.
The Flyers went into the tournament loaded with a couple of friends from the Iowa City summer league, a trio of the Fairfield AirSharks, and the guest appearance of T.J. Smith, who plays at Santa Cruz University, backing up the impressive home lineup.
Playing in their second co-ed tournament and facing teams from Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois, the Flyers showed their determination to win by playing solid defense, making smart passes, and jumping higher to score.
“We are so proud of all our players because today we played our game and really felt that we can take it down the stretch, even when we’re down several points against strong, fast teams like Chicago’s SouthSide who are serious enough that they actually hold player tryouts for regional tourneys and have rotating offensive and defensive lineups,” said Flyers captain Aaron Hirshberg.
The tournament also brought additional sweet returns as the Flyers beat IDIO (Columbia, Missouri), the team that stopped the team’s advance in the playoffs in the last co-ed tourney, and Meddling Kids (Champagne, Illinois) who had narrowly beaten the Flyers on Saturday in another hotly contested game.
“This win is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication,” said David Averbach, team co-captain. “We started playing with the AirSharks, started the Maharishi University of Management team, recruited players, practiced a lot, and it’s a great feeling to see the team run the table and win it all against really good teams from the region.”
Ultimate disc is a fun, athletic sport where two seven-player squads strive to score by taking the disc the length of the field by making stationary passes to sprinting receivers until one reaches the end zone or a pass is either dropped or intercepted. Ultimate disc is played in 42 countries, and it is estimated that over 100,000 people play the sport, half of them in the United States.
Students Enjoying Semester of Music
A group of nine students is enrolled in a sequence of courses in Maharishi Gandharva Veda(SM) music this semester and will earn a minor in music.
According to music professor Isabelle Matzkin, this sequence is being offered because a group of highly talented students expressed a sincere desire for it.
Ms. Matzkin teaches the more theoretical aspects and Binay Krishna Baral teaches bamboo flute and singing. Both instructors praised this group of students and said that having continuous instruction over the course of a semester is much more desirable than offering occasional electives.
“It’s a great joy to see every day that the students have this commitment to learning,” Mr. Baral said. “I feel very fortunate and happy being in class with them. This is the right time with the right people.”
The students begin with a general course on musicianship. They also study the health benefits, including conducting original research. They then spend a block on melody and a block on rhythm. The semester culminates with recital preparation — and performance.
The music module will be offered each year based on demand. Those interested need to take the course on general musicianship as a prerequisite. However, they can begin in Block 2 with the consent of the instructor.
Student Dylan Katz says that this is more than simply learning music. “From Maharishi Vedic Science we learned a lot about how the whole universe is vibration,” he says. “Learning Maharishi Gandharva Veda music is learning how to work with vibration in a fundamental way. We can use it to understand the most fundamental aspect of our lives and the environment. It’s a wonderful fulfillment of both the science of being and art of living.”
Dr. Schmidt-Wilk Gives Talk on Management and Spirituality
Jane Schmidt-Wilk, associate professor of management, recently gave a talk titled “Education for Enlightenment,” which highlighted Maharishi University of Management’s system of Consciousness-Based(SM) education.
Dr. Schmidt-Wilk was an invited guest speaker at the inaugural Junior Faculty and Doctoral Consortium of the Management, Spirituality and Religion Interest Group at the annual Academy of Management meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in August.
The response of the audience was very positive, Dr. Schmidt-Wilk said. “One panelist asked me to go more slowly through the scientific research charts so he could read everything on them. And a man in the audience said, ‘It was good to see all that research on the Transcendental Meditation technique.’ Many audience members asked good questions that showed respect for the knowledge.”
In her role as coeditor of the Journal of Management Education, Dr. Schmidt-Wilk also addressed the attendees of the Junior Faculty and Doctoral Consortium of the Gender and Diversity Division and spoke at a reception for the journal and its host organization, the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. Professor Schmidt-Wilk also represented the journal at several other functions, including professional development workshops on scholarly publishing.
Ph.D. Grad Puts All Vedic Literature on the Internet
As part of his dissertation research, recent Ph.D. grad Peter Freund, the University’s videotape librarian, has put online the world’s most comprehensive and orderly collection of Vedic Literature written in the Sanskrit Devanagari script.
The collection comprises almost 60,000 pages of Vedic texts, including rare, sought-after, or out-of-print publications. Scholars and libraries from around the world contributed to the project by providing texts. Dr. Freund worked on the project as part of his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Maharishi Vedic Science(SM).
The Vedic Literature website orders the previously scattered Vedic texts according to the principles of ancient Vedic Science revived by Maharishi, who first proposed a reading program in 1991 to allow students to read the Vedic Literature in Sanskrit in a proper sequence. Maharishi predicted the profound benefits that would result, and these have been verified by the experiences of students.
The main goal of the website is to smooth the progress of the Vedic Literature reading curriculum. Previously, students faced a difficult task to gather or borrow all the texts and to get them in time to be read in sequence.
Approximately 311 texts were identified by Maharishi as the essential parts of a reading program. So far 288 of these texts have been assembled and most are online. A small number of texts still need to be assembled or prepared, including rare texts in the Grantha script that need to be converted to Devanagari.
The online collection shows an at-a-glance structure of the Vedic Literature with links to downloadable PDF files. The overview page has links for each of the 40 branches of the Vedic Literature, which in turn give each individual quality of a branch and how it correlates with the functioning of the physiology, as explained in the profound work of His Majesty Raja Ram.
The Vedic Literature collection can be viewed at www.mum.edu/vedicreserve.
Thatcher Exhibit Goes on Tour
A retrospective exhibit by Maharishi School art teacher Greg Thatcher originally shown in Unity Gallery in May is now going on tour in the region, with five venues arranged and more expected.
Works in the exhibit range from early abstract painting and prints to hand-made paper pieces, drawings, and mixed media. The majority of work in the show relates to the landscape in its many forms, including his current yew tree series.
The exhibit will first travel to Iowa Wesleyan College, opening on September 24 from 1:00–3:00 p.m. The exhibit runs through October 27. The gallery is located in the P.E.O. Administration Building at 601 N. Main in Mount Pleasant, with regular gallery hours from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Future stops for the exhibit include the Burlington Art Center, Indian Hills Community College, the Blandon Memorial Museum of Art in Fort Dodge, and Witter Gallery in Storm Lake.
These venues were a result of an initial mailing of a museum-quality catalog done to coincide with the original exhibition in May. The catalog, exhibition DVD, and cover letter were mailed to over 50 museums, art galleries, art centers, colleges, and universities across the state.
This outreach was made possible in part by an Iowa Arts Council grant received by the Maharishi University of Management art department to help create a catalog to accompany the exhibit. This initiative is intended to create a larger audience for Mr. Thatcher’s work and to help create a more informed perception of the quality of art work being created in Fairfield.
The catalog was written by Diana Rugh and designed by Shepley Hansen and included photographs of the works taken by Rick Donhauser.
Mr. Thatcher is continuing to follow up on the initial mailing and hopes to generate more venues soon.
Closing Reception Friday for Ceramics Exhibit
“Fluid Color II,” an exhibition by artists Jim Shrosbree and Mara Winningham in Unity Gallery, has been extended through September 22. There will be gallery talk and closing reception on Friday, September 22, from 7:30–9:00 p.m.
The show features the newest designs that have been produced for the Ceramics for Permanent World Peace project. In addition, some of Professor Shrosbree’s work in this exhibit will be included in the prestigious Scripps Annual Ceramics Exhibition in Los Angeles at Scripps Claremont College. He is one of 11 artists to be featured. Any artist is only invited once in a lifetime to be in the Scripps Exhibition.
The exhibit’s title, “Fluid Color,” is inspired by the bold and intense color of the glazes which become fluid when fired, sometimes multiple times. “The role of color in the case of this functional work is to charge and extend beyond the surface of the forms themselves,” Professor Shrosbree said. “We want the color to have the effect, when seen individually and especially in groups, of enlivening the air around the work.”
Many visitors have already enjoyed the show. Art Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Baker said, “This must be the most impeccable exhibit this gallery has ever seen. The highest level of judgment and taste is everywhere present. Hung with the keenest sense of proportion and interval, the pieces radiate deep inner harmony.”
The inner harmony Professor Baker noticed is in keeping with the larger goal of the artists. The Ceramics for Permanent World Peace artists want to help support peace-creating efforts such as the Invincible America course that will bring greater harmony to the world. Buying the artwork in this show is one way for people to make a contribution to support a project that directly supports world peace.
“It seems almost beyond comprehension that such an exhibit should not already be the talk of the town, for here there can be picked up for a song superb ceramics whose deep sonorous color and radiant glow — beyond even the capacity of oil paint — fill a room with a quite distinctive and memorable ambiance,” Professor Baker said. “Huge abstract paintings (readily available for a few million dollars) are here reduced to human scale and ridiculously low prices. Moreover, as glowing pieces of taste and distinction, one may savor these creations on one’s wall or table, or as a gorgeous gift to a friend.”
The Ceramics for Permanent World Peace project now has a website: peaceprojectceramics.com.
Unity Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 9:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and 7:15–9:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m., and Sunday, 7:15-9:00 p.m.
For more information call 472-7000, ext. 5035.
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