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Vol. 15, #5, November 24, 1999
Copyright 1999, Maharishi University of Management


Study--Meditators Close Eyes--Physiology Changes Instantly
University Soccer Team Undefeated, Wins League Title
Dr. Schneider Speaks at National Center for Disease Control
Recreation Head Attends Governor's Summit
Faculty Publish Two New Books
Dr. Schneider Earns Clinical Hypertension Certification
Students Attend Business Symposium
New Tennis Team Begins Practice
Cantus Angelicus Presents Christmas Concert in Chapel
Maharishi School Grad Wins Major Tennis Tournament
Ladies Dome Gets Landscaping and Renovation
Images of Italy: A Photo Essay

Study--Meditators Close Eyes, Physiology Changes Instantly


Practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique begin to experience something much different from just resting with their eyes closed within the first minute of practice, according to a recently published study by Fred Travis, chairman of the Psychology Department and director of the University's EEG Lab.

In the first minute of practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, Dr. Travis observed a profound physiological shift to lower breath rate, increased adaptability (i.e., increased heart rate variability), and decreased arousal (i.e., decreased skin conductance levels). "It's as if we flip a switch to a restfully alert state rather than a slow metabolic change," Dr. Travis said.

These research findings were just published after a year and a half of peer review screening, and appear in Consciousness and Cognition, volume 8, 1999.

In response to the publication, the editor of Consciousness and Cognition, Bernard Baars, wrote, "This is a significant addition to the existing literature on brain correlates of consciousness. The number of published studies that add something new and significant in this field are small. Dr. Travis is to be congratulated for adding to that select number, and I hope he will continue to contribute to our slowly accumulating body of indisputable evidence in the future."

The study compared the physiology of meditators just sitting with their eyes closed for 10 minutes to their physiology during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique for 10 minutes. The two 10-minute periods were separated by a 15-minute computer game to control for "carry-over effects." The results show statistically significant changes in the physiology in the first minute of practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. These changes continue throughout the 10-minute period.


University Soccer Undefeated, Wins League Title


The University soccer team was undefeated this season in the United States Amateur Division, winning five games and tying two, and coming out on top in its first year of league play.

Out of eight teams the University team came in with 17 points. The second team, Iowa City Campus Crusaders, finished with 16.

All the players made significant contributions. Filipe Navesse was the leading scorer, with seven goals. "Filipe is powerfully driven and skilled. When you give him the ball, you know he will do something good with it," said long-time player Falk Mieschendahl.

Head coach Francesco Volponi, in his first year as University coach, also deserves applause. "The reason why we won was because we implemented the drills Francesco taught us," Mr. Mieschendahl said.

Another factor that contributed to the team's success is that they played as a team rather than relying on individual talent. "In the season we made 36 goals and only had 4 goals scored against us," said Mr. Mieschendahl.

With all the talent, new and old, the soccer team has an exciting season to look ahead to next year.

"This season provided a basis to work from and develop, not only technically but also tactically," Mr. Mieschendahl said.


Dr. Schneider Speaks at National Center for Disease Control


Robert Schneider, dean of the College of Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care, recently gave an invited presentation at the federal government's Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

He was among a panel of approximately 30 medical experts who were specially invited by the CDC to present on the topic of stress and disease. In particular, the panel focused on ways to prevent pre-term delivery in women who are under high levels of stress. According to Dr. Schneider, pre-term delivery is the major cause of infant mortality in the United States, and is prevalent among ethnic minorities such as African Americans.

Dr. Schneider said that psychosocial stress can be a cause of pre-term delivery and that various intervention techniques were considered by the CDC panel.

Dr. Schneider and his colleagues were the only expert team invited to give two presentations. The first was an overview and comparison of scientific studies on different approaches to stress reduction, including traditional and modern meditation and relaxation techniques.

Dr. Schneider explained that most of the techniques offered results no better than a placebo. He said, "Quantitative comparative studies, or meta-analyses, however, show that the Transcendental Meditation® technique, on average, is twice as effective as other relaxation techniques in reducing psychological stress, improving mental health, reducing risky behaviors--such as smoking and drug use--and in reestablishing physiological balance."

The second presentation that Dr. Schneider and his colleagues gave was an in-depth review of the federally funded research that the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention has conducted over the last decade. While the focus of this research is primarily on the prevention of cardiovascular disease, explained Dr. Schneider, it shows that the consciousness approach of Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care can prevent and treat stress-related diseases in minority populations who are especially susceptible to these problems. For example, in recent studies, practice of the Transcendental Meditation program has been shown to reduce enlarged hearts in people suffering from hypertension and even to result in fewer heart attacks and strokes over the long term.

Kofi Kondwani, a graduate of the University's doctoral program in psychology and currently assistant professor of family medicine at Morehouse College of Medicine in Atlanta, also spoke at the panel hearings about his experience in urban communities teaching the Transcendental Meditation program to African Americans at high risk for heart disease.


Recreation Head Attends Governor's Summit


Ken Daley, chairman of the University's Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, was one of 150 officials in the state of Iowa invited to attend the Governor's Summit on Enhancing the Livability of Iowa's Communities.

The summit was held on November 10 at the University of Northern Iowa's Wellness and Recreation Center in Cedar Falls. Mr. Daley, along with three other state educators, was there representing Iowa's Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

In a post-summit meeting, Mr. Daley asked Iowa's Speaker of the House, Brent Siegrist, for legislative support on behalf of the association to enhance physical education in the state; Mr. Siegrist responded positively and said he would support them.

"I was pleased with both the house speaker and governor's response to sound issues I posed to them and the support they offered us," Mr. Daley said.

The summit began with Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack, sharing his vision of Iowa's future. "Enhancing greater community livability through recreation, cultural attraction, scenic preservation, strengthening community, and maintaining our environmental integrity are important elements to the well-being of Iowa's citizens," the governor said in his greeting.

The day included numerous presentations followed by small-group discussions on such topics as livability trends and issues, population and urban migration, youth exodus, education, employment, economics, recreation, and tourism.

"The conference was a success," said Mr. Daley. "Lots of ideas were generated that will now be taken to the state capitol."


Faculty Publish Two New Books

Faculty members Thomas and Linda Egenes have published two books, both in collaboration with Kumuda Reddy, M.D. Due out in December, one is based on the Upanishads and the other covers newborn health care.

All Love Flows to the Self: Eternal Stories from the Upanishads is co-authored by Dr. Egenes, associate professor in the SCI department; Ms. Egenes, adjunct faculty in the Professional Writing Department; and Dr. Reddy, director of the Maharishi Vedic Medical Center of Upstate New York.

Vernon Katz, University trustee, said, "The Upanishads are perhaps the greatest works of wisdom known to man. The authors have presented the charming and profound stories in a clear, accessible, and enjoyable way. Each ends with a memorable saying in Sanskrit and English."

The book contains an extensive introduction to the Upanishads from the perspective of Maharishi Vedic Science and the discovery of Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D. "The Upanishads are the impulses of pure consciousness in our own awareness," Dr. Egenes said. "They are the aspect of the Vedic Literature that says the individual is cosmic--Aham Brahmasmi, I am the Totality."

The book was designed by Shepley Hansen, with color photographs by Mark Paul Petrick and Michael Cain.

Ms. Egenes also co-authored For a Blissful Baby: Happy and Healthy Pregnancy with Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care with Dr. Reddy and Margaret Mullins, MSN/CFNP. Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., director of the Maharishi Vedic Medical Center in Washington, D.C., wrote the foreword.

"The deepest desire of all parents is to raise happy and healthy children," Ms. Egenes said. "This book explains how Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care presents a completely natural approach to prenatal, postpartum, and new baby care."

The books will be available at, through the MAPI catalog, and by calling 888-603-9171.


Dr. Schneider Earns Clinical Hypertension Certification


In late October Robert Schneider, dean of the College of Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care, was designated a Specialist in Clinical Hypertension by the American Society of Hypertension.

The ASH Specialists Program was formed by the American Society of Hypertension to identify and recognize those physicians with expert knowledge and skill in the management of clinical hypertension and related diseases.

According to Dr. Schneider, the credentials committee considered factors such as academic preparation and training in the area of clinical hypertension, consultations in complex hypertension cases, publications, research, participation on editorial boards and in the journal review process, and recognition by established experts as knowledgeable in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertensive disorders. Dr. Schneider was one of 548 physicians so designated in the U.S.

Dr. Schneider said that 20 percent of Americans suffer from high blood pressure and relatively few physicians specialize in the disease. Those who do tend to treat hypertension with drug therapy alone. "However, all the physician experts recognize and recommend that non-drug treatment should be the treatment of choice for high blood pressure, yet few doctors can help their patients do this effectively. Drug treatment doesn't cure the underlying disease," he said.

Dr. Schneider is currently conducting research in nonpharmacological approaches for the prevention and treatment of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in high-risk minority groups at the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention.

The designation is granted for a period of ten years.


Students Attend Business Symposium


A total of 25 students and three faculty members from the Management Department attended the Second Annual Iowa Business and Entrepreneurship Symposium early this month in Newton, Iowa.

The purpose of the conference was to bring together business professionals, university professors, students, and government officials to discuss the business climate in Iowa.

The theme of the symposium was "Integrating technology in business." The symposium covered demographics, doing business in rural areas, web-based business development, women in business, and business plans.

The featured speaker of the symposium, Iowa Governor Thomas J. Vilsack, talked about economic development in Iowa and the various activities that the state government is taking to encourage economic growth.

Two important issues the governor discussed were how to retain graduating Iowa students in the state and how to restructure government regulations to encourage businesses to stay in Iowa. The governor was also enthusiastic about finding ways to improve the value of Iowa's biggest business--farming.

Lilian Villegas, an MBA student, was impressed with the governor's speech. "I really enjoyed the way the governor related business to his political campaign," she said. "His examples made it clear that running for a government office is like running a business. He is also very focused on establishing Iowa as a state that has many business opportunities."

One of the most popular workshops offered was about starting a new business. Greg Saboe, the owner of Strategies Plus, Inc., a successful business consulting company in Iowa, gave practical advice on business plans and business startup procedures. He pointed out that a business plan and financial calculations are essential.

"This was a great practical experience for all management students, since they are developing their own business plans," said faculty Jane Schmidt-Wilk.

In addition, Mr. Saboe emphasized that entrepreneurs should understand the risks in a business before they spend time, energy, and money on starting their own business. "If you want to be successful you've got to do the work and learn it before you start. And you've got to believe in what you do," he said.

David Goodman, who teaches the entrepreneurship course, said, "The value of this conference was for students to gain the confidence that they can build a business."

"The most important thing about this conference was to connect with the key people who can help us with our business plan," said student Virat Vij. "They will send us information and guide us to the right path."


New Tennis Team Begins Practice

According to coach Paul Stokstad, the new University tennis team has started informal practices and is already anticipating an exciting spring season of matches with teams around Iowa.

The team meets from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for hitting and light drills. Participants have included Matt Levi, Jesse Berkowitz, Dan Zajic, Suresh Miller, and Steve Yellin.

Mr. Stokstad said that part-time students may be eligible for the team, and that competitive women players are also welcome to try out and to drill with the group. While the eligibility of women to compete in team matches has not yet been determined, he said that if there is enough interest, a women's team may be formed.

For more information, please call Mr. Stokstad at 472-6293.


Cantus Angelicus Presents Christmas Concert in Chapel

This year the Cantus Angelicus Choral Society (formerly Musica Sacra) presents its concert, "A Musical Feast for Christmas," in Barhydt Chapel on Sunday, December 12, at 2:30 p.m., and again the following weekend on Friday, December 17, at 8:00 p.m.

In response to requests from the public, this year's concert will offer a program of exclusively a capella choral music. Some of the most thrilling music from the European tradition of sacred works will feature "echo" choirs front and behind, alternating, overlapping, and singing together in eight-part harmony and counterpoint for an ancient but stunning "live stereo" effect.

This marks the beginning of the society's fourth year of public concerts in Fairfield, the highlights from which have now been released on a high-quality, full-production CD, complete with program notes and photos, available in five Fairfield bookstores.

This year's concert will begin with audience participation in traditional carol singing. The performance will include masterpieces for the season from Victoria, Monteverdi, Gabrieli, and others. Cantus Angelicus will also present again "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl.

Sopranos Faith Danneil and Meret Amick are featured soloists, singing both individually and in duet. Art Atkinson will accompany the soloists on hammered dulcimer. The choir will close the performance with "Angelus ad Pastores Ait" (The Angel to the Shepherds Said) in five voice parts by Sweelinck. The evening will end with audience participation in "Silent Night."

"I think even those very familiar with our past performances will be surprised at the high quality and increased dynamic range and power of Cantus Angelicus," says Music Director Robert Wendell. "We are both bigger and better, with musical maturity and sensitivity significantly superior to our highest past achievements. We're having more fun than ever before, and we're very excited about these concerts."

Advance tickets for either concert are available at Somebody Cares on the Fairfield square and in the University Bookstore. They are $7 general, $4 students, in advance, and $1 more at the door. Children will be considered students and should be mature enough to quietly enjoy the performance with their families.


Maharishi School Grad Wins Major Tennis Tournament

Tyler Cleveland, a graduate of Maha-rishi School, recently won the Rolex Region IV men's indoor singles tournament and will now advance to the finals of the national indoor championships.

Mr. Cleveland, in his third year as the number one player on the University of Iowa tennis team, won the tournament in impressive fashion, rolling over all comers, including the second-ranked college player in the country by a score of 6-4, 6-1.


Ladies Dome Gets Landscaping and Renovation


The ladies Dome is in the process of major renovation in order to be in accord with Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design.

"This entire renovation project will take about two years to complete, entailing landscaping, fencing, and building reworking," said James Bedinger, director of Facilities Management.

The landscaping will be an ongoing process over the two-year period, and will include removal of the trailer bathroom, sidewalks, and trees. The land will require grading and regrading in order to be sloped in accord with Natural Law.

Once all the grading has been completed, a fence will be erected around the entire Dome. "This new fence should allow for about 40 new parking spaces," Mr. Bedinger said.

Since the trailer bathroom was originally a temporary facility, it is in the process of being removed. The door to the temporary trailer will be replaced to the original design. "Removing the trailer will be quite a feat, as it has been there since the early 80's, imbedding itself into the ground," said Mr. Bedinger.

A new second bathroom will be installed on the west side of the Dome within the next couple of years. This will be done within the round Dome walls, utilizing the former west entryway.

Renovation will also include reworking the Dome's exterior walls, replacing drainpipes, and restuccoing.

Thirteen trees have been removed and replanted elsewhere around campus, including the old Walter Koch Drive, which will become a mini-park, a green zone with shrubs and flowers.


®Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care, Maharishi Gandharva Veda, Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, and Maharishi University of Management are registered or common law trademarks licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and used under sublicense.

The Review is written and produced approximately twice a month during the academic year by the students in the Professional Writing program at Maharishi University of Management. Send comments to Jim Karpen at