Emily Torres—Promoting Equity for All Students

Emily Torres—Promoting Equity for All Students

Emily Torres speaking at the 2020 MIU Graduation Awards Ceremony

In the Science and Technology of Consciousness class with Professors John Collins and Joe Holland

At the July 2019 TM-Sidhi Course graduation (photo by Jim Davis)

Emily Torres is one of MIU’s most recent graduates of 2020, with a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences and an Outstanding Student Award.

Emily was studying psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when her counselor introduced her to the Transcendental Meditation® technique. After learning the TM® technique, she immediately felt a shift in consciousness. She attended a Visitors Weekend in May and enrolled in August 2018.

In North Carolina, Emily had a job taking care of young people on the autism spectrum. At MIU, she assisted a fellow student with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair. In addition, she was residential advisor in the women’s dorm, where she focused on creating safe and inclusive events to the diverse international student body.

As a member of a minority who has experienced prejudice and discrimination in school, Emily is sensitive to the needs of young people coming from different backgrounds. She wrote her senior thesis on multicultural education, researching systems that make all young people feel included, regardless of disability, race, or culture. She described the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique in helping students with self-awareness.

“TM helped me become more self-aware,” she said. “I was able to take more responsibility for the things that I was perpetuating and recognize how I internalized some of the prejudices of my environment.”

Emily wants to continue her research on finding innovative methods to address these issues of equity for students and the role of the TM® technique as part of a solution. She is now enrolled in MIU’s new master’s degree program in leadership and conflict resolution. She also plans to become a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

New Book on How to Create a World-Class Brain

New Book on How to Create a World-Class Brain

The cover of World-Class Brain

Levels of brain integration in 4 groups. This figure shows the Brain Integration Scale scores of average performers; individuals with short-term TM practice (7 years); world-class athletes, managers, and musicians; and individuals with long-term TM practice (24 years)

Harald S. Harung, PhD

Fred Travis, PhD

In a new book, titled World-Class Brain: the Edge that Helps Peak Performers Succeed and How You Can Develop It, authors Harald S. Harung, PhD, and Fred Travis, PhD, combine decades of their research to reveal the relationship of brain integration to peak performance.

Using the examples of athletes, musicians, and top-level managers, the book shows how these high-performing individuals are different from others, not due to their education, work experience, or age, but as a result of their more integrated brain functioning. Their brains work in a more coherent, relaxed, and efficient way and they enjoy greater levels of happiness, more peak experiences, and a more highly developed moral sensitivity.

“It is gratifying to see how the peak performers vividly illustrate the great significance of development of consciousness for high performance and high quality of life,” said Dr. Harung.

The secret to peak performance is integrated brain functioning, which can be measured by EEG. The research has shown that the brains of high performers are more coherent; different parts of the brain can collaborate better.

The authors also present ways to achieve higher brain integration. The regular, long-term practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique leads to the highest level of brain integration. One can also contribute to increasing brain coherence by getting adequate sleep, exercising, playing music, and engaging in visual arts.

“The take-home from this book is that anyone can become world-class in their area,” said Dr. Travis. “Yes, you need to develop the skills needed in your field, but the primary factor for top performance across all domains is the level of brain development. This you have control over by embracing Transcendental Meditation and the other technologies that Maharishi has brought to the world.”

Fred Travis has been Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at MIU since 1990. His work has focused on brain development from birth to adulthood, higher states of consciousness, and the effects of meditation experiences on the brain.

Harald S. Harung is an interdisciplinary researcher with a focus on peak performance and leadership, and is himself a high performer in lecturing, writing, and the sport of orienteering. At Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway, he has for many years been teaching leadership, ethics, and peak performance to classes of up to 500 students.

David Samuel—Growing Through Supporting Others

David Samuel—Growing Through Supporting Others

MIU graduate David Samuel

With professor William Graff and classmates in an auditing class

At a Christmas celebration with classmates and program administrator Karen Slowick

David Samuel came to MIU from India, where he began his career as a data analyst. He developed a passion for finance and accounting and has worked as a financial analyst in multiple sectors, including manufacturing, information technology, and the service industry.

He had always wanted to pursue an MBA in a different country, but his many commitments intervened. Then, after working for over 15 years, he finally made the decision. He heard about MIU from a friend who visited campus and decided to enroll in the Accounting MBA program in 2017.

He liked the friendly campus and the smoke- and alcohol-free environment. But he was most impressed with the structure of the program: eight months of classes followed by an 18-month practicum with a US company.

David had concerns that meditation would take a lot of effort, but when he learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique he realized how easy the practice was. He said he has been learning to recognize and understand his inner value as a result of his practice. “TM helps me to know what I should be doing and move forward,” he said. “Whatever I do, it helps me do it better.”

While still attending classes, his professors placed him in an internship position with Fairfield’s Ideal Energy. Soon after he started there, the company decided to retain him for his practicum and obtain a work visa for him. David is now working as operations support manager preparing budgets and forecasts, analyzing financial performance, and helping the leadership with strategic growth.

“Launching my career in the US by working for a small company where I can add a lot of value is a good starting point,” he said. “I want to grow where I can help.”

David graduated during the 2020 commencement and received the Outstanding Student Award in the MBA Accounting track.

Alafair Turner—2020 MIU Salutatorian

Alafair Turner—2020 MIU Salutatorian

2020 MIU salutatorian Alafair Turner

With course leader Ajaya Shrivastava (left) and friends Iuulia Khairutdinova and Heather O’Moore (center) at the Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in Thailand

Speaking at the commencement ceremony

Alafair Turner arrived at MIU in August 2018 and, in less than two years, she learned the TM-Sidhi® program, became a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and graduated as salutatorian.

A self-described seeker, Alafair was pursuing a major she designed at the University of Chicago aiming to answer the question: “What is the Self?” In her second year, she read Jack Forem’s 1973 book on the Transcendental Meditation technique, and a few weeks later she learned the TM® technique. She discovered MIU through her TM instructor and MIU alumna, Tegan Jung, and decided to transfer in search of a healthier lifestyle, supportive environment, and the true answer to her question.

At MIU Alafair completed an individualized BA in holistic life and a minor in Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM, with the Transcendental Meditation teacher training course as the final component of her degree. “A part of me knew the moment I learned TM that I wanted to become a teacher,” she said. “It was an instant recognition of a deeper value.”

Alafair completed the Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in Thailand and, after she returned in February 2020, she taught the TM technique at MIU; in Nashville, Tennessee; and in San Diego, California, before the centers had to temporarily close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For her next assignment she is joining the Heal the Healers Now initiative in Chicago, which provides the TM technique to frontline healthcare workers battling COVID-19. In addition, she is continuing her studies at MIU in the online MA in Maharishi Vedic Science program.

Alafair is grateful to the MIU community for the support, generosity, and inspiration she received while pursuing her goal of becoming a teacher of the TM technique. “Having learned the history of the Transcendental Meditation organization, to feel the enormity of the tradition keeps my awareness clear,” she said. “Knowing that now I am becoming part of this tradition, contributing to Maharishi’s vision and our collective goals, carrying the torch forward is the inspiration that flows through me every day,”.

Watch Alafair’s commencement address during the commencement ceremony.