Melanie Telego–Supporting Veterans Education

Melanie Telego–Supporting Veterans Education

MIU student Melanie Telego

With her family in 2013 on the occasion of her husband receiving the Purple Heart military award

Speaking during an MIU ChangeMakers essay contest where she won second place

With fellow students in Fairfield during Marianne Williamson’s visit

Melanie Telego served two years in the US Army in the 1990s and spent a large part of her life around military installations, following her career soldier husband. She worked as a substitute teacher in public schools as well as in a Department of Defense school in Germany.

Most recently, Melanie ran the US Army’s Career Skills Program for the Fort Drum Army Education Center in New York, where she helped establish civilian employment skill training programs for soldiers who had completed their military service.

Melanie has always been interested in holistic health, but couldn’t find a university that offered a suitable program. She attended college three different times and studied psychology, but between working full time and raising two children she never had the chance to graduate. She became a certified yoga teacher, completed a yoga training course for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and studied yoga philosophy and Ayurveda in her free time.

In 2018 Melanie saw an ad for MIU on Instagram and was excited to discover a degree program in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine. She originally applied for the online program, but decided to move to Fairfield and study on campus in August 2019.

“MIU has been a life-changing experience for me,” said Melanie. “MIU offers a very unique learning opportunity. I have found a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment where I can rediscover myself and who I really am at my deepest foundation.”

Melanie soon realized that many former military service members and their families would enjoy the same benefits she has experienced. “Soldiers are often looking for a rural location, a supportive community, and degree programs in agriculture, sustainability, health, business, and entrepreneurship,” she said.

Using her connections in the military, Melanie would like to facilitate collaboration between MIU and the US Army so that more soldiers can learn about MIU. Her dream is to promote the incorporation of the Transcendental Meditation® program into basic military training in order to reduce stress and PTSD.

Dr. Jim Brooks Publishes Paper on Maharishi AyurVeda and Mental Health

Dr. Jim Brooks Publishes Paper on Maharishi AyurVeda and Mental Health

Dr. Jim Brooks

The cover of Reflections on Maharishi AyurVeda and Mental Health

Dr Brooks with a patient

Jim Brooks, MD, is an adjunct assistant professor of physiology and health at MIU, whose paper on Maharishi AyurVedaSM and mental health recently appeared in the Journal of Maharishi Vedic Research Institute. His book, Reflections on Maharishi AyurVeda and Mental Health, was published by MIU Press in 2016.

Dr. Brooks has studied Maharishi AyurVeda since 1983 and trained with some of the most renowned Vaidyas from India. He was founding director of the Maharishi AyurVeda Health CentersSM in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, and published the first research paper on the use of Transcendental Meditation® for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Books is also a teacher of the TM® technique and has incorporated the practice of the TM technique and Maharishi AyurVeda in his private psychiatry practice. He has witnessed dramatic improvements in the areas of depression, anxiety, addiction, and schizophrenia with his patients and became passionate about educating people, especially mental health professionals, about the contributions of Maharishi AyurVeda to mental health.

“The approach to mental health in the West is to treat symptoms,” he said. “There is a lot of evidence that TM and other modalities can help prevent mental illness and addictions. The potential cost savings with Maharishi AyurVeda are staggering.” Dr. Brooks hopes that his book and paper can contribute to the understanding and adoption of Maharishi’s technologies in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders.

“The TM technique and other supportive modalities help people experience bliss consciousness,” Dr. Brooks said. “That is the most effective treatment for depression. Bliss is the best antidote to sadness; it melts away depression.”

At MIU, Dr. Brooks teaches the third year students in the online MS in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine program. “It’s rewarding to be able to help students get a deep understanding of Maharishi’s knowledge and Maharishi Vedic Science as it applies to health and Maharishi AyurVeda,” he said. “It’s fun to watch them evolve.”

Dr. Brooks is also a practitioner of Chinese medicine and classical five-element acupuncture. In addition, he and his wife Linda facilitate couples workshops in the US and South Africa.

Henry Gonzales Ortiz—Studying and Practicing Ayurvedic Prevention

Henry Gonzales Ortiz—Studying and Practicing Ayurvedic Prevention

MIU student Henry Gonzales Ortiz

During the TM-Sidhi course

Henry at Juan N. Corpas University at a piano competition

MIU student Henry Gonzales Ortiz hails from Bogota, Colombia, where he studied classical music at Juan N. Corpas University. While in college, one of his classmates introduced him to the Transcendental Meditation® technique, which he learned in 2015.

Henry’s parents have struggled with health issues, and in 2018 Henry lost his father to cancer. He decided to change direction and pursue training in natural health and prevention. “I realized that life is about healing and learning, and the TM and TM-Sidhi programs have sped up the process,” he said. “When you have access to your inner peace, the learning gets done more easily. I am very grateful for the deep transformation I have experienced.”

He heard about MIU’s online MS in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine program from his TM-Sidhi® administrators and enrolled in February 2019. Henry is motivated by the desire to improve his health and help those around him.

“Ayurveda is such an ancient concept, yet it’s also current,” said Henry. “It’s a very profound knowledge that helps you connect with yourself in a way that allows you to be in harmony without much effort.”

Henry has incorporated many of the daily ayurvedic preventative measures in his life, such as the daily oil massage, and has experienced great improvements. He enjoys the weekly structure of his classes and the focus on understanding the material, while at the same time maintaining a stress-free learning process.

In addition to pursuing the online program at MIU, Henry is exploring other forms of preventative therapies, such as energy medicine, yoga, and local medicinal herbs. Once he graduates he would like to have a practice integrating Maharishi AyurVedaSM and local herbalism. In his free time, he contributes to a music blog by compiling a playlist of songs.

Shareen Joseph—MC and Videographer

Shareen Joseph—MC and Videographer

Recent graduate Shareen Joseph

Filming an actress for her senior project

With a friend acting in her senior project video

Shareen Joseph from Northern Virginia earned an associate degree from a local community college and was seeking to earn an undergraduate degree when she saw a Facebook ad for MIU.

“Consciousness-Based education caught my eye,” she said. “I had never heard that term in the form of higher learning. Then I went to the website and there was meditation, vegetarianism, natural medicine, and private dorm rooms. These were very different from any other college I was researching.”

Shareen came to a Visitors Weekend in December 2017, fell in love with MIU, and enrolled in January the next year. Shareen loves performing and being on stage, so at MIU she has acted as host and MC for multiple events, including Visitors Weekends and award ceremonies. She has also been an event planner as part of her work-study position with Student Activities, and served as a residential advisor for her dorm. Shareen feels that her experiences have facilitated both her personal and professional growth.

“I have really learned how to stand on my own and how to integrate myself into my community in ways that feel true to me,” she said. “I have gained a lot of skills that I wouldn’t have learned at a bigger college, where there is more competition.”

Shareen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in cinematic arts and new media in December, and she feels confident in finding jobs in videography. “I think it is cool that I am graduating college and I have the skills to make a living.”

Shareen loves making videos and is excited about their potential for marketing. For her senior project she made a short biographical video about her experiences at MIU. She also has a YouTube channel where she shares her insights about personal growth.