MA in Maharishi Vedic Science student Sasha Parmasad
Sasha with Amine Kouider, her collaborator on the story for Amine’s film, Land of Nothing
Sasha’s painting, The Body of Silence
With Dr. Bevan Morris, Dr. Craig Pearson, and fellow Enlightened Leadership Program members
A scene from Land of Nothing
Sasha Kamini Parmasad — Helping Others
Find Their Inner Voice Through Teaching,
Writing, and Consciousness
Sasha Kamini Parmasad grew up as a writer, performer, and visual artist. Born into an Indian family of TM® practitioners in Trinidad and Tobago, she performed her father’s folk songs, poems, and calypsos and began writing poetry herself at age five. Sasha’s art received first place in Trinidad and Tobago in the Cambridge International A Level Examination in art and design. This secured her a scholarship to study visual art and English literature at Williams College in Massachusetts. She then obtained an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University in New York City.
Sasha has always considered self-expression a critical means of self-discovery and self-empowerment, and when she began teaching various forms of writing at Columbia University, she found teaching very enriching. “I had a very special upbringing because my own voice was honored so much via singing and performing,” said Sasha. “I saw how valuable this was later and I wanted to give it to my students.”
In 2006 Sasha’s essay “To Keep My Body Clean, To Breathe, To Give My Mind Rest” was published in Why We Write: The Politics and Practice of Writing for Social Change. In 2008 her poetry was awarded first place in the Poetry International Prize contest and in 2010 it was included in the book Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry.
After leaving Columbia University, Sasha worked as a writer-editor and educator in several nonprofit organizations in New York City. Even though her work was fulfilling, she felt that consciousness was missing from education on all levels. As a long-time practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation® program, she had always wanted to come to MUM. In 2012 she took the position of program administrator of the David Lynch MA in Film program, and a year later she switched to teaching writing courses in the English Department.
Sasha is now enrolled in the Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM part-time graduate program and is planning to take the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training course this October. In addition, she has been an active member of the Enlightened Leadership Program at MUM since its beginning in 2013.
“It’s a deep privilege to teach and study at MUM, for here self-knowledge is honored as much as academic knowledge,” Sasha said. “At MUM you deeply realize your own capacity to be a force of peaceful change in the world. The university is a beacon for seekers everywhere.”
Sasha’s creative work and writing continue to evolve and she recently completed the screenplay for the film Land Of Nothing, co-creating the story with David Lynch MA in Film student Amine Kouider. One of her poems inspired another film, Navaswan: A tale of self, loss, and love, and she co-authored the screenplay with Marc Baraka Strauch (MA in Film student). She also presented a paper about Consciousness-Based℠ creative writing titled “Writing and Transcendence: Experience and Exploration of Cosmic Knowledge” at the 2014 WAVES conference at MUM and is slated to publish a collection of poems, No Poem: A Divine Rising.