A Forest Academy is a two-week period of study of particular themes of Maharishi Vedic Science, where students will explore, through direct experience and understanding, the most vital element in creation – the field of pure consciousness that is the inner intelligence at the basis of every individual and the entire universe – and how it applies practically to all areas of life.
In the first semester, students take the Science and Technology of Consciousness course (or Science of Creative Intelligence course for graduate students) as a prerequisite to all subsequent course work at the University. This course takes the place of a Forest Academy in that semester. In all other semesters, students take a Forest Academy of their choice from those being offered at that time.
In most semesters, students have the option of choosing Forest Academies that include a retreat called a TM Retreat (or World Peace Assembly for those practicing the TM-Sidhi program). This provides the opportunity to enjoy deeper and more frequent periods of meditation along with lectures and discussions that deepen one’s intellectual understanding of the development of consciousness. TM Retreats and World Peace Assemblies also promote the release of deeper layers of fatigue and stress and lead to more profound experience of pure consciousness.
At the end of each forest academy the student experiences a new wave of freshness in body, mind, and perception, returning to studies with an expanded awareness, a clearer mind, and a greater desire to learn. Therefore, as the intellectual material of the student’s academic program becomes more demanding, the student finds the ability to assimilate new knowledge increasing, so that learning is progressively easier, smoother, and more enjoyable.