Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa!

I have just returned from the David Lynch Weekend at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. The theme for the weekend's activities was "Exploring the frontiers of consciousness, creativity, and the brain."

I really knew very little about Transcendental Meditation (TM) before this weekend, but I'm amazed at how much I learned and how this practice really does support my passion about teaching students to think rather than how to give the "right" answer.

One of the most fascinating things to me was finding out about this university in the middle of Iowa. It was founded in 1973 and today has a K-12 school as well as the university where students are taught transcendental meditation (TM) as part of the curriculum.

We heard from John Hagelin, a quantum physicist and featured speaker in What the Bleep and The Secret, who is also a faculty member at the university. He wasn't able to be with us in person because he couldn't get away from his research in New York, but he was with us live via satellite. He presented all kinds of medical statistics of the benefits of TM on not only the person doing the meditating, but the energy of the world.

He showed that when the square root of one percent of the population in any country is practicing TM, they can actually cause the collective consciousness of that country to move to peace. That means 2,000 people in the U.S. can meditate for the rest of the country. John Hagelin is working on a project right now with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of this university and the father of TM, as well as with the U.N., to get 35 countries to have the proper number of meditators in their country trained in TM by September of this year. That means that the square root of one percent of the population of 35 countries will be using TM to raise the consciousness of those 35 countries.

It was very fascinating information, especially when it came to teaching kids these techniques. Statistics show that test scores are raised, stress is decreased, creativity, memory, moral reasoning, emotional maturity, reaction time can all be stimulated by TM. In fact, it has even been proven that IQ can be increased by practicing TM.

David Lynch, who has produced such films as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the TV series Twin Peaks, spoke about his use of TM and the effects on his own creativity. He is on the board of trustees at the university and created a foundation two years ago to offer Consciousness-Based education in colleges and schools to help students become “wide-awake, energetic, blissful, creative, powerfully intelligent and peaceful human beings.”

Through David’s work, including the David Lynch Foundation, thousands of students are learning the creativity-enhancing, stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique in the US and around the world.

David is now launching a new program “Teaching One Million Students to Meditate.”

Donovan is a legendary singer, songwriter, and musician whose string of major hits starting in the mid-1960s included Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, and Catch the Wind.

Donovan is actively involved with the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace where he is fulfilling his 40-year desire to bring the Transcendental Meditation technique to students.

He actually studied under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with the Beatles in India, and we had a chance to meet him this weekend.

It's amazing to consider what's happening right in our own backyards. Fargo is another well-kept secret ... consider finding out what's happening here and share in your own bigger small talk at the Bigger Small Talk Summit June 27-28 right here in Fargo!


At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jodee! I hope you got a chance to look around a little in Fairfield too. Sorry our weather wasn't perfect, but our farmers liked the rain. Come back and visit sometime when we are having a 1st Fridays Art Walk, (www.FairfieldArtWalk.com) and discover the treasure that Fairfield is. MUM is great, but for we creatures of the Relative, Fairfield is da bomb. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

"came for MUM 32 years ago, staying for Fairfield"

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

We did get a chance to walk around downtown a little bit - went to a cute little shop just before it closed on Saturday afternoon. We drove by all the art galleries - wow! We also ate at Azteca (great Mexican food!) and stayed at the Raj. That was a real treat! We drove around Vedic City and saw all the cool Vedic architecture. We only got caught in the rain between our classes and lunch and Sunday the weather was beautiful.

Thank you and all of Fairfield for our warm welcome! I'm guessing we'll be back someday (but I'm saving up my energy for that next 19-hour round trip!).

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice site and I am sure when dust settles from Florida trip we will talk more. Marty McEvoy in Viroqa, Gods Country, Wi


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