Video Program that Focuses on Creativity
When university students enroll in a video program, they probably expect to learn how to write scripts, shoot video, set up lights and microphones, add animation, and edit the video for a finished product. Most video programs at universities do all that, but there's one that also organizes group meditations for their students twice a day to help increase their creativity.
Video Program at Maharishi University
Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, is a liberal arts college with about a thousand students that offers a Media and Communications major in which students can specialize in Video, (aka Filmmaking), Web Design, Creative and Professional Writing, Music and more. Students at MUM do Transcendental Meditation for twenty minutes, twice a day -- first thing in the morning, and then at the end of classes each day.
Gurdy Leete, an Associate Professor of Media and Communications, who has authored many books on animation explains, "Education today is fast-paced, and while it can be very exciting and mentaly stimulating, it may also be overwhelming at times. By allowing students 20 minutes, twice a day to calm the mind, we find that they can be more creative, less stressed, and get more accomplished during the day."
David Lynch, the famous director and four time Oscar nominee, discusses the link between TM and Creativity in an eight-minute talk below. "You dive within and transcend. Experiencing this field of pure consciousness, you enliven it, you unfold it. It grows," said Mr. Lynch.
This creativity/meditation link has also been looked at objectively. MUM students were given a test called the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. The scores showed a significant increase in creativity with changes much higher than the national norms, as shown in the chart to the right. IQ scores and scores measuring happiness also increased. To see descriptions of these tests and more see page 52 of Education For Enlightenment, The Story of Consciousness-based Education.
“Evidence indicates that creativity does increase with meditation," says Professor Leete, "And that may explain why our students are so extremely talented and have won many awards for their videos.” For examples of student videos, check out the MUM Student Showcase.
Turning Students into Creative Professionals
“Because of the high caliber of our students, we are able to place a large percentage of graduates of our video program in good positions.” Professor Leete continues. “Fairfield is a hotbed of entreprenuerial energy which many students are able to network into. Plus we have contacts with industry professionals around the world who often seek us out to hire our students, including David Lynch Foundation Television.”
“MUM's video program is an exciting place to be. And next year we are expanding from not just a BA degree, but also an MA degree in Filmmaking." says Professor Gurdy Leete. "It's a great time to be a filmmaker, and Maharishi University is a great place to be making films."