Maharishi University of Management , formerly Maharishi International University, is an American non-profit university located in Fairfield, Iowa. It was founded in 1973 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and features a "consciousness-based education" system that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Its founding principles include the development of the full potential of the individual, fulfilling economic aspirations while maximizing proper use of the environment and bringing spiritual fulfillment and happiness to humanity.The university is accredited through the PhD level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers degree programs in art, business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.The original campus was located in Goleta, California, and in 1974 moved to the current 272-acre campus in Fairfield, Iowa. During the 1990s many older buildings were demolished and replaced using green technology and the principles of ancient Vedic architecture. The university features an academic "block system" and a diverse, multinational student body. It is said to offer a "whole-system approach" that aims to move beyond the library and classroom settings and engage students in a personal journey of evolution and growth through meditation and an organic, vegetarian food program. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 19, 2017
FAIRFIELD, IA--(Marketwired - April 19, 2017) - U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) will deliver the 2017 commencement address at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. During the ceremony he will be presented with a Doctor of Laws honoris causa degree in recognition of his lifetime of public service. Congressman Ryan is a leading voice for promoting college affordability, expanding renewable energy, and enhancing access to healthcare. As part of his healthcare agenda, he has worked to move federal subsidies away from highly processed foods. His 2014 book The Real Food Revolution promotes health through better eating. Congressman Ryan's focus on health includes being an active proponent of the benefits of meditation. He has organized twice-weekly meditation sessions for staff and members of Congress, which he calls "Quiet Time Caucus." In addition, he is working to make integrative health techniques, including Transcendental Meditation, more accessible to all veterans through funding from the Veterans Administration. Congressman Ryan has been the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th Congressional District since 2003, having been reelected seven times. He previously served in the Ohio Senate. He studied political science at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and then received a law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Maharishi University of Management, founded in 1971, offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a variety of subject areas. The curriculum includes a focus on natural health and wellness, self-discovery, and harmony with nature. All students and faculty practice Transcendental Meditation. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Commencement will be held Saturday, June 24, at 1:00 pm in the Golden Dome.
News Article | June 28, 2017
For a small institution to win national recognition is a great achievement. At Maharishi University of Management (mum.edu) this success is based on a key innovative educational factor – all students, faculty, and administrators practice the stress-busting Transcendental Meditation® technique, revived and taught throughout the world by founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Published scientific research shows that Transcendental Meditation improves health and well-being, reduces high blood pressure, increases creativity and intelligence (and grade-point average!), and promotes warmer and more genuine social interaction. The results are impressive. In the fields of business and management, filmmaking, computer science and fine art, MUM students and faculty rise to the top in their professional achievements. From the MUM School of Business: A team of MBA accounting students finished in the 99th percentile in the CAPSIM online business simulation that involved 1,136 master's-degree-level teams worldwide, including teams from top American B-Schools. The teams act as executives who plan strategies and implement tactics across eight years of business activities. Since 2011, MBA accounting students have consistently finished in the top 10th percentile, including three first-place finishes. At the 2017 Annual Conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) accounting faculty member Andrew Bargerstock and PhD student Ye Shi were recognized as the IMA Lybrand Gold Medal Award winners for the Best Article published in the peer-reviewed journal Strategic Finance. The article, “Are We Leaning Away from Standard Costing? Reconciling Lean Accounting Theory and Practice,” appeared in the June 2016 issue. In addition, Bargerstock was awarded the Excellence in Lean Accounting Professor of the Year Award for 2016, which is his second recognition by the Lean Enterprise Institute (the first was in 2009). Shi received her second award as Lean Accounting Student of the Year for 2016 from the Lean Enterprise Institute (the first was in 2013). (In 2014, Bargerstock and Shi were awarded IMA’s Menconi Award for Best Accounting Ethics Article. ) From the David Lynch David Lynch MFA in Film: Johnny Coffeen, a 2015 graduate of MUM's David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts, won a Student Academy Award in the alternative category of Hollywood’s 2016 Student Academy Awards for his thesis film The Swan Girl. Coffeen’s film was one of 17 selected from the competition out of 1,749 films submitted from 381 colleges and universities around the world. A short film by student Gregor Kresal won four awards at the Annual Iowa Motion Picture Awards, including the top award for cinematography and three Awards of Achievement for editing, soundtrack, and long-form live-action entertainment. Mr. Kresal’s film has also won a host of other awards at international film festivals. Shot in Iowa, Slovenia, and France, and titled 8 ½ Circles, the film is a psychological drama that tells a story about a professional mountain climber whose dreams become increasingly disturbing. Monica Demes, who graduated in 2015, has been winning awards and gaining attention at international festivals for her student film “Lilith’s Awakening.” Having first won awards in the Iowa Motion Picture Association for best director, best actress, and best cinematography, her film was selected for the prestigious Internacional Film Festival of Ourense, which is one of the 10 biggest film festivals in Spain. One of Spain’s largest newspapers described the film as a “grunge Gothic, disturbing, vampiric fairy tale.” Other prestigious awards include best director from the Optical Theatre Festival in Rome, and best film and best director from Boca do Inferno at a festival in São Paulo, Brazil. In addition, the film was listed on five different film-related websites as one of the best of 2016. From the MS in Computer Science: An MUM intern student who works for Amazon as part of his curricular practical training in the Computer Professionals program, was named “Associate of the Month” in recognition of his contribution to, and impact on, one of the software development engineer teams he was supporting. He works on an Amazon Fulfillment Technologies DevOps (development operations) team and also earned a significant promotion. The recognition comes as a result of his reducing his team's operating issues by 86%. Many art students are going on to enjoy success in graduate school MFA programs, including top art schools such as Cranbrook Academy of Art and Chicago Art Institute. Students graduating in 2017 have been accepted into multiple programs with full and partial scholarships, including Penn State, the University of Iowa, the Chicago Art Institute, Cranbrook Academy of Art, California College of the Arts, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Pratt Institute of Art. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4efba005-5018-4564-be68-fcd8a7a498b3 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/305e2987-eefa-442e-9d52-a45d064826a2 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4cab4f45-b2c9-4c63-aa93-26e40024d6c8
News Article | June 26, 2017
"Supreme Awakening" is a collection of experiences of higher consciousness from great figures in history. The author, Dr. Craig Pearson, is Academic Vice-President of Maharishi University of Management (MUM), Fairfield, Iowa. (At MUM, all students, faculty and administration use a meditation technique, Transcendental Meditation® (TM®), as part of the learning environment.) Pearson connects historic descriptions of higher states of consciousness to modern day personal development, drawing on his many years of experience with Transcendental Meditation, both personally and as an educator. The book begins by answering the question, "Do higher states of consciousness exist — beyond the ordinary states of waking, dreaming, and sleep?" The response is a resounding, "Yes!" Throughout history people have experienced great moments of awakening. Nevertheless, for the great figures of history these moments of exaltation seem to be more common, and in many cases they did not fade at all, but grew, consolidated and had life-altering consequences. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/20132170-63da-4b49-822a-c1aef7521ad4
News Article | June 29, 2017
Maharishi University of Management (MUM) has launched the world’s first complete program to train the next generation of farmers in an agricultural paradigm that can fully reverse climate change and provide abundant and healthy food for our planet’s growing population. Termed “regenerative organic agriculture,” this new program is being headed by Professor A. Thimmaiah, who says that few schools or organizations offer even one course in regenerative organic farming systems, which he distinguishes from common organic farming. “Most organic agriculture is still a substitution farming wherein most of the inputs are imported, such as seeds, manures, bio-pesticides, and more.” Regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which farmers, on their own farms, produce all the inputs required for farming. This system uses only the naturally available resources within their farms. The global greenhouse effect, from atmospheric carbon build-up, is reversed through a large variety of regenerative procedures: no till (prevents carbon loss from soil), farm-based fertilizers (eliminates wasteful utilization of fossil fuel in synthetic fertilizer production and transportation), cover crops, crop rotations, compost, and animal manures (which restore the plant/soil health and promote carbon sequestration into the soil, where it performs a life-promoting role). “This course is of interest to anyone who has a passion to create radical change in the current food and agriculture systems,” Dr. Thimmaiah said. “The students can be food activists, farmers, food advocates, home and urban gardeners, or future organic farmers.” The program is a collaborative effort among five internationally renowned organizations in the field of organic and biodynamic agriculture. Innovating a program with international credibility, MUM has partnered with IFOAM Organics International, Demeter Association, Biodynamic Association, Sarojini Damodaran Foundation and Agribio – all recognized as top sustainable agriculture associations globally. “The world leaders in this field are helping to teach this course of study,” Dr. Thimmaiah said. “It is an unmatched opportunity for students to gain a global understanding and to learn and adopt solutions to the present unsustainable, exploitative farming systems.” Local residents are already benefiting from the program. Vegetables grown by students are sold in the Fairfield Iowa Farmers Market. In late spring students were selling early produce such as arugula, salad mix, and radishes. In the coming months the community can expect chard, kale, onions, leeks, squash, zucchini, peas, and beans. And later in the season they will be offering multiple varieties of carrots, sweet corn, and melon. "It's been incredible watching these guys work as teams, and break through into uncharted territories," said assistant farm manager Dan Harvey. "Many of them come from non-agricultural backgrounds and seeing their determination and passion come through is beautifully inspiring. The future is bright." Program head Dr. A. Thimmaiah is an expert in climate-smart agriculture promoting low-carbon green approaches for rural development. Through constant innovation and research, he has developed many low-cost farming solutions using natural resources that are benefiting thousands of farmers in different countries. Globally he has played a leading role in the development, coordination, and implementation of strategies, programs and policies addressing the issues of food security, climate smart sustainable agriculture, rural poverty reduction, sustainable development, and Gross National Happiness (GNH). The program is offered in the context of a 4-year college BA degree track, or as a 10 to 11 month fast-track Certificate Program. For more information, visit the MUM website BA College Degree Program in Regenerative Organic Agriculture or the Certificate webpage for the Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program on the MUM website, (www.mum.edu/roa-certificate). Or email: email@example.com. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/84dd00dd-b2fb-4010-9237-adfd941f7f7a A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/145496cf-0c3f-4b45-b4ae-696e69471ac2 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e6f71d99-816f-427d-b5c6-8b3d78ddeacb
News Article | November 25, 2015
It’s Thursday night at Carnegie Hall, and Jerry Seinfeld, Katy Perry, and Sting are all set to perform. Most of the women in the audience are decked out in designer dresses, and the men boast expensive suits. But right now, everyone is sitting in dead silence with their eyes closed, because they have been asked to begin the night by meditating. This is “Change Begins Within” a star-studded benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation, and the goal is to raise money for the foundation’s efforts to promote Transcendental Meditation to at-risk New Yorkers. Jerry Seinfeld opens with a 10 minute comedy set—”I hate the phrase ‘It is what it is,’” he says. “What is that? It’s meaningless. I’d rather someone just blow air on my face.”—but his tone gets serious when he starts talking about the role that TM, a form of mantra-based meditation, has played in his life. “I’d do anything I could to promote it in the world,” he tells the audience, “because I think it’s the greatest thing as a life tool, as a work tool, and just making things make sense.” George Stephanopoulos is the night’s emcee, and he too is a TM convert. So is Howard Stern, who shows up in a video clip. So is Sting, who performs a set of hits. So is Katy Perry, one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Before taking the stage in a giant bowtie dress and belting out “Wide Awake” into a pink microphone, Perry explains how meditation helps her creative life in a short video. “I meditate sometimes before I write a song,” she says. “I meditate before I go on stage. I meditate when I’ve been on my social media too much, when my mind starts to feel like mush. And when I meditate there’s something physical that actually happens. Something medical, scientific. Where I feel like the neuro pathways in my brain open up like they’ve had cobwebs on them for days or weeks, and I feel my most sharp. So I couldn’t encourage you more to try meditation.” The fact that A-list stars like Seinfeld and Perry are willing to donate their time and talent to stump for the Lynch Foundation is just one indicator of how far the movement has come in recent years—and how much Hollywood’s most influential avant-garde director is to thank. “We are now in 35 countries,” DLF’s executive director Bob Roth recently told me, “offering programs all over Latin America, in the West Bank and in the Middle East. In Africa, we’re in the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa. In Asia we’re in Cambodia, in Vietnam—it’s all word of mouth. I don’t take out an ad in a Cambodian newspaper or something like that. People hear about it.” Roth says that TM is at a “tipping point” and cannot currently supply enough certified TM teachers to match booming worldwide demand. But despite the movement’s global appeal, Roth says the next frontier is closer to home. “We’re really putting a lot of attention on New York City,” Roth tells me. “We want to use New York as a model of what a city could be like if it’s offered in the school system if TM is offered in homeless shelters, if it’s offered in companies and governmental organizations. And not just offering it to students but the parents and grandparents and not just offering it to veterans but to wives and husbands and children. And just really making it into a community-wide practice.” The David Lynch Foundation is embarking on its Big Apple mission after a successful ten years of spreading TM across America. The foundation has implemented TM programs in schools across the country. The Department of Defense recently invested $2.4 million to research TM as a potential cure for PTSD. It’s also being used as a productivity tool in boardrooms. TM proponents claim it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and enhances creativity, and point to a host of studies as evidence. But the history of TM is a long, winding road, and its resurgence today is no less complex. In the 1950s, Mahesh Prasad Varma entered a cave in the Himalayas for a period of spiritual study. There, he developed the meditation practice that would eventually become Transcendental Meditation. Mahesh had studied math and physics at Allahabad University, but after graduating, he left to pursue enlightenment under the tutelage of a famous Swami named Guru Dev, a spiritual leader in the tradition of Advaitic Hinduism. During his hermitage he developed the theories that would underlie the practice of TM. Mahesh believed that there was an absolute reality he called “the Unified Field” that all people, not just spiritual leaders, had the capacity to connect with. Practitioners of TM engage in two 20-minute meditation sessions per day; once in the morning and once in the evening. They access this field by silently repeating a mantra given to them by a certified TM instructor. By connecting with the Unified Field, meditators purportedly feel calmer and more at peace. In 1957, Mahesh, who would come to be known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and was often called simply “The Maharishi” or “The Giggling Guru,” embarked on a world tour with the hopes of spreading TM. He was vocal about his idea that if enough people—to be precise, a number equalling the square root of one percent of the world’s population—practiced TM, the positive energy that they would generate would bring about world peace. He called his quest to find these followers and create a more peaceful world “The Spiritual Regeneration Movement.” From the beginning, he wanted to bring his meditation to the United States. His biographer Paul Mason quotes him as saying that “the people of that country would try something new very readily.” TM was well received by a select group of Americans and Europeans, but it really took off in the West after it was endorsed by the Beatles. Mahesh first met the Beatles in 1967, in a meeting arranged by Ravi Shankar. In 1968, the band stayed in the Maharishi’s ashram, where they were trained in TM. The Beatles’ sojourn with Mahesh was widely documented in the Western media and images of The Maharishi graced the covers of American pop culture magazines in the late 60s. This publicity changed the tenor of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement and celebrity endorsement became a central tool in TM’s spread. Celebrities made the movement cool, and they often claimed that their creative power, as well as their wealth, was a direct result of practicing TM. In 1968, The Beach Boys’ Mike Love told the Chicago Tribune that practicing TM “shot our record sales up to about five million last year from about two and a half million.” Currently, TM's most serious devotees—many of whom became believers after being inspired by 1960s pop cultural icons—run The Maharishi Vedic City in Fairfield, Iowa which has its own internal currency system, its own security apparatus, and its own city council. Followers in Fairfield also administer the Maharishi University of Management, which Mahesh founded in 1971 and which has overseen many of the studies on TM’s effectiveness. Despite the establishment of an entire town, however, Transcendental Meditation might have remained a relic of 1960s counterculture practiced by the elite few, if it weren’t for David Lynch. David Lynch, the creative force behind Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive, has been meditating twice-daily since the 70s, and he believes TM is the secret to his creativity. In his book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity, he urges his readers to meditate. “It’s very important to experience that Self, that pure consciousness,” he writes. “It’s really helped me. I think it would help any filmmaker. So start diving within, enlivening that bliss consciousness. Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you’ll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!” Lynch believed that people from all walks of life should be able to practice TM, not just those creative LA types who had the means to pay the hefty price tag (learning TM from a certified instructor at one point cost about $2,500 dollars; today the price has reportedly gone down to just under one thousand.) It was this passion and deep-felt belief in the transformative powers of TM that led him to start the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace in 2005. Since then, the foundation’s profile has been rapidly rising, along with interest in Transcendental Meditation. The David Lynch Foundation has distanced itself from the religious roots of TM, insisting that it is only promoting the technique, not the cosmology behind it. Its representatives rarely mention the promise of yogic flying, for example, or position spiritual enlightenment as the goal of practicing TM. Today, Lynch Foundation supporters prefer to talk about how TM can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Its members bristle at any suggestion that TM is religious. Multiple performers at the Foundation’s recent benefit preemptively disavowed that the movement was cultlike. “It’s not a religion, it’s not a cult, it’s just good for you,” said Angelique Kidjo, introduced as “Africa’s premier diva,” at the Change Begins Within benefit. There is some evidence to support her assertion: Even given the accusation that some of the hundreds of studies on TM might be biased, studies do indicate that practicing TM can lower blood pressure and may have other positive health effects. However, most of the health benefits advertised by the David Lynch foundation have also been found in other forms of meditation, and . “In some ways all of these forms of practice and spiritual discipline are more or less the same,” Tanya Luhrmann, a psychological anthropologist and professor at Stanford University who has written extensively about the effects of prayer, told me. “They are all training a practice of attending to the inner experience and they all manage that in different ways.” Though she had never been involved in a study specifically comparing TM to prayer, she was not surprised to hear its supporters claim that TM “works” for people. In fact, the practice reminded her of the tradition of speaking in tongues. Both rely on the repetition of relatively meaningless phonemes, she said, and both can have effects on consciousness and even physiology. So, if TM isn’t necessarily more effective than other forms of meditation, or even prayer, why are so many people jumping on the TM bandwagon, specifically? The answer may take us back to Seinfeld, Perry, and Sting; the Beatles and the Beach Boys. In other words, it may boil down to a matter of superior marketing. “TM uses a multi-target strategy to appeal to a variety of people,” Mara Einstein told me. Einstein is a professor at Queens College who wrote, Brands of Faith, a book about how religious and spiritual movements brand themselves in order to appeal to followers. “For business people, for example, it is promoted as helping them to reduce stress so that they can be more successful. Using celebrities is simply a way to attract another segment for whom that stardom and fame is appealing—it's the ‘I want to be like them’ factor.” Einstein says that TM’s supporters are particularly good at marketing relative to other traditions. “In this, TM is no different than Scientology or The Kabbalah Center, though perhaps with fewer negative consequences.” So, TM may be trending because we all want to be as successful as Paul McCartney and Sting. Whatever the reason, TM is growing. Bob Roth tells me that the “Change Begins Within” benefit concert cleared over a million dollars for the foundation, and that the money is going to go to support spreading the practice of TM all over New York City. In light of the foundation’s mission to make New York a meditating city, I asked Roth whether he still believed in the vision of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, the notion that if the square root of one percent of the world’s population were to practice Transcendental Meditation, they could bring about world peace. He was hopeful. “I think it’s something we should definitely test,” he said, “because it’s very clear that the stresses, and the racial, religious and political tensions that fuel violence are never going to be resolved through more violence, through warfare, or even economic embargo, so one of our focuses is to have enough people meditating so that we could test that theory.” At the end of the benefit, David Lynch, who couldn’t attend because he was on location filming the new installment of Twin Peaks, beamed into Carnegie Hall with a very Lynchian video message to conclude the evening. “Transcendental Meditation is life-transforming for the good. It works if you’re a human being,” he said. “It’s change from within. Help get this beautiful blessing of a technique to the people. Thank you very much, have a great night.” Lit Up is a series about heightening—and dulling—our sense of perception. Follow along here.
News Article | February 28, 2017
The Community for Accredited Online Schools, a leading resource provider for higher education information, has ranked the best colleges and universities with online programs in the state of Iowa for 2017. Of the 17 four-year schools that were ranked, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Buena Vista University, Saint Ambrose University and University of Northern Iowa came in as the top five institutions. Iowa’s top 14 two-year schools were also included, with Western Iowa Tech Community, Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Eastern Iowa Community College and Des Moines Area Community College taking the top five spots. “By 2025, 68 percent of all jobs in Iowa will require postsecondary training or education, according to research from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. “The online programs at schools on our list provide the best opportunities for students to meet their educational and career goals.” To earn a spot on the Best Online Schools list, Iowa colleges and universities must be institutionally accredited, public or private not-for-profit entities and have a minimum of one online certificate or degree program. Each college is also scored based on more than a dozen unique data points that include graduation rates, student/teacher ratios, employment services and financial aid availability. For more details on where each school falls in the rankings and the data and methodology used to determine the lists, visit: The Best Online Four-Year Schools in Iowa for 2017 include the following: Allen College Briar Cliff University Buena Vista University Dordt College Graceland University-Lamoni Iowa State University Iowa Wesleyan University Maharishi University of Management Morningside College Mount Mercy University Northwestern College Saint Ambrose University University of Dubuque University of Iowa University of Northern Iowa Upper Iowa University William Penn University Iowa’s Best Online Two-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Des Moines Area Community College Eastern Iowa Community College District Ellsworth Community College Hawkeye Community College Indian Hills Community College Iowa Central Community College Iowa Lakes Community College Kirkwood Community College Marshalltown Community College Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar Northwest Iowa Community College Southeastern Community College Southwestern Community College Western Iowa Tech Community College ### About Us: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable, quality education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success.
News Article | November 4, 2016
As the value of meditation becomes widely recognized, researchers are increasingly trying to understand the differences among approaches. A study published today in Brain and Cognition reports subjective experiences and cortical activation patterns that distinguish the Transcendental Meditation technique from other meditation practices. "Transcendental Meditation uses a mantra, and for this reason some researchers maintain that it involves focused attention and controlling the mind," said lead author Fred Travis. "Those who practice TM know this is not the case. This study supports their experience that Transcendental Meditation is easy to learn and effortless to practice." This study involved 87 students at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa who had been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique from one month to five years. Researchers investigated experiences and brain patterns of students as they rested with eyes closed, during Transcendental Meditation practice, and while engaging in a challenging computer task. "There are two key findings from this study," said lead author Dr. Travis. "First, individuals practicing Transcendental Meditation for just one month reported the same frequency of Transcendental Consciousness experiences during their practice as individuals meditating for five years. This supports the understanding that Transcendental Meditation uses the natural tendency of the mind to transcend--to move from active thinking to deep, inner silence. Extensive practice doesn't make a natural process go any better." The second finding deals with activity in the "default mode network," which is a large-scale brain network involving areas in the front and back of the brain that are active during internal thinking and self-referential activity, such as creating an autobiographical story. Default mode network activity is high when a person just sits with his or her eyes closed, and low when one opens one's eyes and begins to interact with the world. The study reports that activity in the default mode network remained high during Transcendental Meditation practice. Activity in the default mode network is reported to go down in all other types of meditation -- since they involve focus and control of the mind. "Deactivation of the default mode network indicates how much effort we are using," Dr. Travis says. "While people may not have had the experience of effortless transcending and so do not know what it feels like to transcend, they can now see the objective high activation in the default mode network--and see that something different is happening during Transcendental Meditation practice." Transcendental Meditation different from resting with one's eyes closed The study found that the default mode network was as high during Transcendental Meditation practice as during eyes-closed rest. "This is an important finding, since eyes-closed rest is usually used as the benchmark for default mode network activity," Dr. Travis said. However, Dr. Travis found two important differences when comparing the brain states during Transcendental Meditation and eyes-closed rest. Eyes-closed rest had more beta brain waves in areas of the brain associated with memory and motor aspects of speech production. "This could reflect the mental chatter that goes on when one's eyes are closed," Dr. Travis said. Transcendental Meditation had more theta brain waves in orbitofrontal areas associated with reward anticipation. This could indicate the movement of the mind to more charming levels of thought during transcending. The meditators' attention was absorbed in the inner march of the mind, attracted by the increasing charm of finer levels of mental functioning. This process did not involve effort or control of the mind since default mode network activity was high. These differences -- the activity in the default mode network, as well as the fact that the frequency of transcending is the same regardless of how long one has been practicing -- contrast Transcendental Meditation with other meditation practices. "It's a critical point," Dr. Travis said. "Researchers, commentators, and popular media often lump meditation practices together. This distorts understanding the benefits of different meditations and confounds applying these approaches to different subject populations." Frederick Travis PhD; Niyazi Parim MA. Default mode network activation and Transcendental Meditation practice: Focused Attention or Automatic Self-transcending? Brain and Cognition 111 (2017) 86-94. DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2016.08.009 Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The TM technique is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, TM practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. It automatically and effortlessly allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of deep inner calm. For more information visit http://www.
Travis F.,Maharishi University of Management
International Journal of Psychophysiology | Year: 2011
This random-assignment study compared coherence, amplitude, and eLORETA patterns during practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the TM-Sidhi programs. The TM technique involves systematic transcending of contents of experience to a state of pure consciousness. The TM-Sidhi program involves sanyama-the simultaneous experience of dhārānā (fixity), dhyāna (transcending) and samādhi (pure consciousness). Thirty-two channel EEG was recorded from experienced TM subjects randomly assigned to two consecutive 10-min TM sessions or to a 10-min TM session followed by 10-min TM-Sidhi practice. Compared to TM practice, TM-Sidhi practice was characterized by higher frontal alpha1 and beta1 amplitudes, and eLORETA-identified sources of alpha1 EEG in right-hemisphere object recognition areas including the right parahippocampus gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, lingual gyrus, and inferior and medial temporal cortices. These cortical areas are involved in specific/holistic representation of words. The observed brain patterns support the descriptions of sanyama as including both specificity (sutras or verses), as suggested by higher frontal beta1 EEG amplitude and by eLORETA sources in right-hemisphere object-recognition areas, and holistic experience (pure consciousness) as suggested by higher frontal alpha1 EEG amplitude. These EEG patterns fit the complex description of sanyama. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Travis F.,Maharishi University of Management
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2016
This paper draws from three different bodies of research to discuss the hypothesis that age-appropriate experiences enhance brain and cognitive development throughout the life span. These age-appropriate experiences could be considered as the drivers of development at each age, including drivers to foster development beyond adult abstract thinking, as described in Piaget's formal operational stage. We explore how a nurturing caregiver is the driver in the first 2 years of life, how language learning is the driver from 3 to 10 years, and how problem solving is the driver in the teenage years. To develop beyond adult rational thinking, we suggest that the driver is transcending thought, which can result when practicing meditations in the automatic self-transcending category, such as Transcendental Meditation. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.
Travis F.,Maharishi University of Management
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014
This article explores transcendental experiences during meditation practice and the integration of transcendental experiences and the unfolding of higher states of consciousness with waking, dreaming, and sleeping. The subject/object relationship during transcendental experiences is characterized by the absence of time, space, and body sense-the framework that gives meaning to waking experiences. Physiologically, transcendental experiences during Transcendental Meditation practice are marked by slow inhalation, along with autonomic orientation at the onset of breath changes and heightened α1 (8-10 Hz) frontal coherence. The integration of transcendental experiences with waking, dreaming, and sleeping is also marked by distinct subjective and objective markers. This integrated state, called Cosmic Consciousness in the Vedic tradition, is subjectively marked by inner self-awareness coexisting with waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Physiologically, Cosmic Consciousness is marked by the coexistence of α1 electroencephalography (EEG) with delta EEG during deep sleep, and higher brain integration, greater emotional stability, and decreased anxiety during challenging tasks. Transcendental experiences may be the engine that fosters higher human development. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.