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Is College Bad For Your Brain?

How an epidemic of stress is overwhelming students — and what you can do about it


David Lynch Foundation and its Abramson Center for Peace along with Maharishi University of Management hosted this past weekend the second ChangeMakers: Disruptors Transforming the World for Good conference. This year’s event examined disruptive solutions to the epidemic of stress plaguing our college-aged students.

David Lynch again headlined a panel of distinguished thought leaders, and closed out the proceedings with a wonderful Q&A.

Watch the video here:

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Maharishi University of Management Now Offering MBA, Management PhD at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

MUM’s graduate programs in management are now being offered in Shanghai, China, in collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the oldest university in China with about 40,000 students.

The first course, taught by MUM Professors Fred Travis, Yunxiang Zhu, and Lijuan Cai, began in October with 18 students, half MBA and half PhD.

The graduate programs are low-residency, oriented toward working professionals. The students go to campus on weekends for classroom instruction while also receiving instruction online. The classes taught by MUM faculty are offered in Chinese through an interpreter.

More than half the instruction is by MUM professors and the rest by Shanghai Jiao Tong University faculty members from the Antai School of Business, considered by the Financial Times to be the top business school in China.

The first course, World-Class Brain for Success in Life, connected principles of the Science and Technology of Consciousness to management.

“The students are top-level people, such as top managers at the largest auto manufacturer and largest real estate business in China,” Dr. Travis said. “They deeply appreciate what they’re learning – a larger vision of the mind.”

The students learned about the levels of the mind and transcendence, and how this not only benefits the individual but also the organization.

“They appreciated how Transcendental Meditation gives organizations an extra edge,” Dr. Travis said. “Their dean is very enthusiastic about the process.”

Focus on Brain Integration

A new book by Harald Harung and Dr. Travis, World-Class Brain, was used in the course, with the first weekend of instruction drawing from the beginning chapters. This part of the book talks about the most important factor common to individuals who perform at a high level: greater brain integration.

The students then learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique from Yunxiang Zhu and Lijuan Cai.

Then the second weekend of the course, after the students had the experience of transcending, the course covered the latter chapters of the book: how to develop brain integration, peak experiences, and the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique for the individual and society.

“The students were very open to the idea of collective consciousness,” Dr. Travis said. “It’s part of their tradition that the individual is the basis of the family, the family the basis of the environment, and the environment the basis of society.”

Dr. Travis gave the students two assessments before they began Transcendental Meditation and after one week of practice. The students were shown to have reduced levels of perceived stress after just one week.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University is considered to be one of the top nine universities in China, comparable to the Ivy League universities in the U.S.

Enthusiastic Students

Dr. Yunxiang Zhu said the CEOs and top professionals in China are very eager to hear about consciousness and brain development.

“Our students enjoyed learning Transcendental Meditation and their experiences,” he said. “They appreciated the connection with Chinese traditional wisdom such as the teaching of the Dao and Confucious.”

“They seem free and eager to grow and develop,” Dr. Travis said. “They’re open to new ideas and are wanting to excel.”

MUM’s programs are offered in collaboration with Shanghai Haizhe Education Service, an organization affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

While in China Dr. Travis traveled to Beijing and Taiwan to give presentations. He also taught a six-hour course in Hangzhou to CEOs and professionals.

Source: The Review, Vol. 34, #6, November 28, 2018
Copyright 2018, Maharishi University of Management

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The Evolving Brain Course with Prof. Fred Travis Begins February 12


More MUM courses:

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Indian village where people speak in Sanskrit

… “Sanskrit is a language that teaches you old traditions and values. It’s a language of the heart and cannot die,” says Sanskrit scholar Aswathanarayana Avadhani.
Many of Mattur’s young have gone abroad to study engineering or medicine and I ask if Sanskrit helps in developing a mindset that aids understanding other languages, including those used in computer sciences.
Shashank, who runs an IT solutions company in Bangalore, says: “Yes, there is a connect if you delve deep into Sanskrit. Those who have gone into Vedic mathematics [which dates back to a time in ancient India when Sanskrit was the main language used by scholars] have certainly got a logical mindset that helps in information technology.”
“I have learnt some Vedic maths that has helped me. Others use a calculator when I could just do all that without a calculator.”


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The Healing Power of Transcendental Meditation

By William T. Hathaway

I suffered a brain injury at birth. An EEG test showed chaotic, abnormal brain waves, and in school I had attention deficit disorder. I couldn’t concentrate and my thoughts were cloudy. My grades were mediocre, and I flunked out of my first university. I wanted to become a writer, but my writing was disorganized and unclear. In despair I took marijuana and other drugs, but they made my thoughts even foggier.

Then I started Transcendental Meditation. My thoughts became clearer, and I didn’t want drugs anymore. I could concentrate. And I could write. One of my essays gained me entrance to a much better university, Columbia in New York City, and this time my grades were so good I received a scholarship. My first novel won a Rinehart Foundation Award, and I became a professor of creative writing. I’ve now published eight books and many shorter pieces.

My EEG now shows normal, orderly brain waves with no sign of damage. TM healed my birth injury and gave me access to my talent and mental abilities. Without meditation, this change would not have occurred.

How did it happen? Physiologists have discovered that during Transcendental Meditation nourishing blood flow to the brain increases by 20%. Our brain waves become more coherent, synchronizing and coordinating across both hemispheres, an indication of more integrated mental functioning. The whole brain becomes more activated, and that gives us access to more of our potential. In the blood stream arginine vasopressin, a hormone that improves memory and learning ability, increases, as do serotonin and melatonin, hormones that indicate relaxation and well being. Adrenalin, cortisol, blood lactate, and blood pressure decrease, indicating lessened anxiety. The effortless process of TM produces mental and physical rest that is twice as deep as in sleep, although we’re fully awake. This rejuvenating state enables the body’s self-healing mechanism to repair the damage from traumatic events and illnesses. With these blockages gone we are more able to develop our full capabilities.

Physiological studies published in independent peer-reviewed journals indicate that TM creates this state of deep rest and removes these stress blockages more effectively than other forms of meditation:

Research on the physiological changes: – physiology.

More information on the effects of TM on attention deficit disorder:


William T. Hathaway’s new book, Lila, the Revolutionary, is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old Indian girl who sparks a world revolution for social justice. Chapters are posted on A selection of his writing is available at