Amphitheater Stage Completed

Amphitheater Stage Completed

The elevated stage at the amphitheater in Gil Younger Central Park, with its tiered seating and memorial garden, is now completed (except for a few finishing touches).

This centerpiece of the  beautiful multipurpose park, which features shade trees, lawns and flower beds, will be a venue for plays, concerts, lectures, movies, and more, for students, faculty and visitors to enjoy.

Nearby, a Maharishi Vedic Observatory has  been completed.

MUM Quest: A Fantasy Adventure

MUM Quest: A Fantasy Adventure

Students participating in the first MUM Quest
(photo by Peter Arnold)

Changing the color of a liquid during the magic potion challenge
(photo by Luke Stenger)

Students walking on water for the faith challenge
(photo by Luke Stenger)

The MUM Quest participants with their art challenge pieces at Waterworks Park
(photo by Cody Olivas)

Magic, dance, and art were at the heart of the two-hour adventure that involved over 80 students last month as part of MUM Quest, a series of events this academic year based on teamwork, fun, and fantasy, all with the purpose of engaging students and fostering connectedness among them.

“The Quest was the most mythical and mystical event MUM has ever put on,” said student Alexandria Van Boven.

Planned by alumnus Chris Grace and student Haley Spitzfaden, the MUM Quest was modeled after Harry Potter’s Triwizard Tournament. During the inaugural event six teams of students trekked across campus to engage in challenges. Teams earned points based on the quality of their teamwork, enthusiasm, and achievement of goals.

“A goal of the Quest was for the students to escape the ordinary world for two hours, and cross a threshold to experience something magical,” said Chris Grace.

The Quest commenced with an 8-minute video featuring President John Hagelin reading an alternate history of Fairfield and the MUM campus, based on a 19th-century diary “found” during the demolition of Carnegie Hall. The story involved Freemasons, magic, a uniquely powerful energy vortex in Fairfield that’s in danger of being lost, and the immediate need to re-enliven this vortex by priming three “ley lines” that intersect on campus. The participants had until sundown to achieve this; otherwise, the vortex would be lost forever.

The goal was to re-enliven the ley lines by completing four challenges. The faith challenge involved walking on water. During the art challenge, each team was given a canvas to create a design, with each canvas ultimately becoming part of a larger design.

The magic potion challenge entailed thinking specific thoughts, which then caused a liquid to change color. For the dance challenge, students had to dance in three circles in time with four drummers. For the grand finale, all of the teams gathered under the pine trees at Waterworks Park for a pizza party.

“The Quest was the beginning of a journey,” said Cris Evergreen, student body president. “The first of its kind, it opened me up to the magic of what’s possible when we work together. It was light-hearted and fun. I look forward to seeing what the game masters conjure up for next time.”

President Hagelin Receives Doshi Bridgebuilder Award

President Hagelin Receives Doshi Bridgebuilder Award

Earlier this month, Maharishi University of Management President John Hagelin received the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award as the culminating event at an Ayurveda conference at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Oct. 6-7.

Named for its benefactors, Navin and Pratima Doshi, the annual award honors an individual or organization dedicated to fostering understanding between cultures, peoples, and disciplines.

MUM benefactor and donor Michael Busch and his wife Margaret were instrumental in advocating for Dr. Hagelin for the award, providing information about Dr. Hagelin’s research and work in connecting modern science and spirituality. (In addition, Michael initiated Dr. Doshi into his TM practice.) Dr. Doshi has made a substantial gift to the University to further its scientific research as well.

In presenting the award, Dr. Doshi said, “Your accomplishment includes the widely accepted theory of galactic super-symmetric particles produced during the Big Bang. You are among very few who applies this knowledge and the knowledge of the sciences of yoga and the Vedas for the benefit of humankind, accepting the primacy of mind and consciousness over matter, unlike scientists deeply submerged in materialism.”

Dr. Doshi is an engineer, attorney, and investor who has long been a leading proponent of the Vedic heritage of India and its role in the modern world. His goal is to build bridges between East and West.

Past recipients of the Doshi Award have included conductor Zubin Mehta; Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh; author Greg Mortenson, who has built schools and bridges in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan; world religions scholar Huston Smith; Rupert Sheldrake, scientist and naturalist; Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu to become a member of the U.S. Congress; and Karan Singh, a member of Indian parliament, former ambassador from India to the USA, a Vedic Scholar, who holds a PhD, and India’s UN representative to UNESCO.

After receiving the award, Dr. Hagelin gave a highly detailed keynote address on the correspondences between physics and the structure of the Veda and Vedic literature, as well as AyurVeda. It was met with a standing ovation from the audience of about 340 people, including many highly credentialed academics and chairs of departments.

The two-day conference brought together scholars, researchers and medical professionals in the fields of yoga, Ayurveda, and Western medicine to explore the future of holistic and integrative health and wellness. Also presenting at the conference were MUM faculty Robert Schneider, Keith Wallace, and Fred Travis, as well as Nancy Lonsdorf, a physician who practices Maharishi AyurVeda(SM).

The award ceremony is jointly sponsored by Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Theological Studies, and the Navin and Pratima Doshi Professorship of Indic and Comparative Theology.

David Navarrete—Researching the Convergence of Architecture and Neurobiology

David Navarrete—Researching the Convergence of Architecture and Neurobiology

MUM alumnus David Navarrete at the 2014 Architizer Awards at Highline Stages in New York City

With the 2017 EDRA CORE award-winning team (left to right: Jiancheng Hou, TTU; David Navarrete, Sky Factory; Lauren Steingreaber, Sky Factory; Cherif Amor, PhD, TTU; Debajyoti Pati, PhD, TTU; Shabboo Valipoor, PhD candidate, TTU)

A Revelation SkyCeilingTM Installation at St. David’s Foundation in Austin, TX


David presenting the paper he co-authored (The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space) at the Planetree Conference in Baltimore, MD

Ceiling installations at the medical offices of Vendome Hospital in Vendome, France

MIU alumnus David Navarrete is director of research initiatives and content development at Fairfield’s Sky Factory. He recently co-authored a white paper about how the company’s
architectural illusions of sky and nature, installed in ceilings and windows, actually help people feel more connected to nature—even when they’re in windowless rooms.

David was 15 when he came to Fairfield from Mexico to attend Maharishi School. He went on to Maharishi International University where he earned a double major in business and government (‘92) plus an MBA (‘93). He later obtained a master’s degree in public relations from Boston University (‘97).

In 1998, David gained extensive experience in mass communications working for Hill & Knowlton, a global PR firm, out of their Mexico City office, but returned to Fairfield in the fall of 2000 to work locally during the dot-com boom. When he landed the Sky Factory job in 2013, he became fascinated with the research and connection between architectural illusions and neurobiology. “Architects are beginning to realize that the interior environment has a very powerful cognitive effect on the occupant,” he said.

Over the past several years, David has led several research collaborations with various health institutions around the world to study the therapeutic effects of architectural illusions using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology and explore the neural pathways involved in the perception of photographic Open Sky Compositions. A 2017 multidisciplinary study conducted at Texas Tech University (TTU) earned him and his colleagues a Certification of Research Excellence (CORE) by the Environmental Design Research Associations (EDRA).

David, who is a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation®technique, says his practice of the TM® technique has helped him manage stressful work environments.

“In architecture and healthcare everyone is looking at the powerful way the environment affects people’s experience, but they are still looking to the external environment as the primary means to influence that experience,” David said. “MUM gives you the ability to experience your internal environment—your own consciousness. If you can experience the deepest level of your own internal environment, then you naturally extend into the external environment. You bring empathy and receptiveness into the world, tapping more of your creativity and happiness.

New Brick Patio and Signage Completed

New Brick Patio and Signage Completed

Construction has been completed on a new brick patio located beside the the Argiro Student Center entrance and its nearby parking lot.

The accompanying sign displays a campus map, and there will be signage on the opposite side as well. The site will also include a waiting bench and a few bollards (vertical protective posts) to shield the structure from vehicles.

Also in the plans will be uplighting for the new maple trees.