Simone Cabizuca — Learning to Enjoy Stillness

Simone Cabizuca — Learning to Enjoy Stillness

June 28, 2021 – Issue 578

Simone Cabizuca
Learning to Enjoy Stillness

MIU alumna Simone Cabizuca hails from Belo Horizonte, the capital city of southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Simone earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language for 30 years, teaching professionals and working with corporations.

For most of her life Simone experienced anxiety and frustration when she wasn’t constantly busy. In 2016 she felt she needed to switch gears, so she began taking online courses on meditation and other wellness modalities. In 2017 she attended an introductory lecture about the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and she knew instantly she wanted to learn it.

“In the first few months I had amazing experiences,” she said. “I felt I was at home inside myself. I didn’t need to go anywhere to search for things. It was incredible and I wanted to go deeper.”


With her daughter, Bruna

She soon learned about MIU and decided to apply. She joined the on-campus master’s program in consciousness and human potential in 2019 and enrolled her 14-year-old daughter at Maharishi School. After six months, she had to return to Brazil due to a family health emergency, so she continued her studies online.

For the last two years, Simone has also been involved with her father’s coffee-growing business, helping to market and sell their line of specialty coffee. In addition, she organized online seminars on Vedic knowledge by MIU faculty for her local community, viewed by hundreds of people.

With classmates and Professor Tom Egenes

Simone graduated this June, receiving the Outstanding Student Award from the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science℠. “One of the main things about this program is that it changed my perception about life, myself, and my relationships,” said Simone. “I feel calmer, more patient, happier, and more joyful. It’s fun being myself.”

Simone has also enjoyed making friends and appreciated the support of the faculty. She feels that finishing her degree online allowed her to integrate the knowledge with her experience more easily. When her daughter finishes high school in two years, Simone plans to apply for the PhD program in Maharishi Vedic Science.

Christi Nickey — From Chef to Farmer

Christi Nickey — From Chef to Farmer

June 19, 2021 – Issue 577

Christi Nickey

From Chef to Farmer

MIU student Christi Nickey grew up in a small farming community in Indiana, where her grandparents and parents farmed the same land. When she was in high school her family moved to Florida, where she attended culinary school and worked as a chef in Palm Beach County.

When a series of hurricanes struck the Florida coast in 2003 and 2004, Christi and her parents decided to move to safer and more sustainable grounds. They bought a farm in South Carolina, where Christi worked while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Clemson University.

After graduating, she moved to Colorado Springs to work as a chef. When the COVID pandemic hit last March, Christi and her partner, who is also a chef, both lost their jobs.

Working as a chef in Florida

Christi decided to return to school and study organic, sustainable agriculture. She looked for programs online and found MIU’s Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program. After visiting and taking an online course last spring, they moved to Fairfield and she enrolled at MIU.

Christi enjoys the hands-on experience of the program and the safe, friendly atmosphere of Fairfield, which reminds her of her hometown. Christi says learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique was the right next step to take, along with returning to farming.

Tending the goats on the family farm

“I feel more confident now that I am making the right decisions,” she said. “When you are on the right path, you know it. Practicing TM has increased that feeling of being on the right path, and making good choices is easier.”

While attending school and raising her three children, Christi also took a staff position with the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) as farm and food coordinator for Fairfield. As part of a new SILT campaign called Circle Our Cities, she is working to protect land for sustainable food production on local farms around Fairfield during this year, with the ultimate goal of surrounding ten Iowa cities with ten permanent food farms in ten years. “I am passionate about farmers, protecting land and biodiversity, and making great food,” she said.

After graduation, Christi would like to stay around Fairfield and start a permaculture-style farm.

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

June 15, 2021 – Issue 576

New Maharishi AyurVeda Clinic Opens in Los Angeles

On May 14, the Day of Lasting Achievements in the Vedic calendar, MIU inaugurated the Navin and Pratima Doshi Center for Integrative Medicine in West Los Angeles, California. The clinic is located in an 11,000-square-foot building donated by philanthropists and LA residents Navin and Pratima Doshi.

Mr. Doshi, reading a poem he wrote, at the evening celebration with President Hagelin

Navin Doshi grew up in Mumbai and moved to the US in 1958. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Harbor, and worked as an aerospace engineer for over two decades. He has received NASA awards and US patents.

Later he started a business with the help of his wife, Pratima, and also invested in real estate and financial instruments. He has been involved in philanthropic work, mostly in the field of education. In 2019 he received a honorary doctorate from MIU for being a leading proponent of India’s Vedic heritage and its role in the modern world.

Manali (granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doshi) and MIU alumna Tara De Santis singing Mr. Doshi’s poem

The teaching and research facility is an extension of MIU and will provide health consultations to the public. The clinic’s supervisor is John Zamarra, MD, a cardiologist and clinical professor of physiology and health at MIU. The resident Maharishi AyurVeda expert is Vaidya Manohar Palakurthi. Patients visiting the health center will receive evaluation and recommendations from both a western physician and an ayurvedic expert.

Manali, granddaughter of the Doshis; Tara De Santis, MIU alumna; Mrs. Doshi; Mr. Doshi; Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi professor of Indic and comparative theology at Loyola Marymount University; MIU President John Hagelin; Deepak Shimkhada, professor of Hindu studies at Claremont Lincoln University; Louise Allison, director of Orange County TM center; Michael Busch, development officer Global Peace Initiative

The center will also give opportunities for MIU students to participate in patient consultations for their clinical training in the MS in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine Program. MIU’s program is one of only two accredited master’s programs in Ayurveda in the United States, and it is the largest, with 350 graduate students and 250 undergraduate students.

On the evening of May 14, MIU President John Hagelin invited local community leaders for a celebration in honor of the Doshis at the Sanatan Dharma Temple and Cultural Center in Norwalk, California.

Watch a replay of the inaugural broadcast by MIU here.

Navin Doshi receiving an honorary doctorate degree from President John Hagelin in 2019

Raul Calderon — A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

Raul Calderon — A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

June 4, 2021 – Issue 575

Dr. Raul Calderon Jr.

A Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being

MIU alumnus Raul Calderon Jr., PhD, was recently appointed as executive advisor to the International Organization of Health, Sports, and Kinesiology (IOHSK).

Raul Calderon’s career as a physical educator, health researcher, and sports and exercise professional began 40 years ago when he first arrived at MIU. He had competed in sports like basketball, soccer, and track and field since third grade, so he chose a bachelor’s degree in education and physical education, graduating in 1982. He then pursued an MA in exercise and sports science at the University of Iowa, and an MS and a PhD at MIU in health psychology.


Leading a four-week MIU leadership and adventure sports course on Maui, Hawaii, 2009

“My overall desire has always been to help students grow,” said Dr. Calderon. “MIU gave me a broad, comprehensive point of view and I continued to build on that. I am using that model of Consciousness-Based education and higher states of consciousness and study how different techniques can develop the mind/body connection, reduce stress, and lead to a healthier, happier, and longer life.”

At a canyoning adventure in the mountains of Ecuador, 2015

Dr. Calderon was an assistant professor at MIU between 2005 and 2012 in the Departments of Education and Exercise and Sports Science. He directed the MIU rock-climbing club and ran leadership and adventure sports trips with Professor Ken Daley.

For the the last seven years, Dr. Calderon has been teaching and researching at universities in South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Thailand. He has also spoken at numerous conferences on the psychological well-being and health of Asian students and the psychology of sports performance and has published the results of his research in scientific journals.

Giving a presentation on enhancing sport performance through development of mind and brain at Burapha University, Thailand, 2019

Dr. Calderon is currently on a sabbatical, visiting universities in Central America to offer his expertise and promote the IOHSK. He also plans to continue his research in Central and South America on the connections of health behaviors to psychological well-being.

Physical exercise and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs are both integral parts of his daily routine. “It’s important to me to practice what I teach and be a role model for my students,” Dr. Calderon said.

At Kasetsart University, Thailand, Senior Students Research Project Presentations, where Dr. Calderon’s research group was presented with the best poster presentation award, 2020

Varsha Khatri Publishes Book on Ayurveda and Nutrition

Varsha Khatri Publishes Book on Ayurveda and Nutrition

May 28, 2021 – Issue 574

Varsha Khatri Publishes Book on Ayurveda and Nutrition

MIU alumna Varsha Khatri recently published a book titled Think Healthy, Choose Healthy: Make Healthier Dietary and Lifestyle Choices through the Holistic Approach of Nutrition and Ayurveda. The book covers areas of holistic living such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and self-care and also addresses the importance of digestion and the immune system.

Varsha grew up in San Diego, California, and had wanted to be a physician. After her mother made a near miraculous recovery from a serious injury by practicing yoga asanas, Varsha became interested in studying a holistic approach to health. She discovered MIU at a college fair and decided to major in Maharishi AyurVeda®.

She enrolled at MIU in 2004 and experienced a major personal transformation from an under-confident student to a woman with a purpose. “When I came to MIU, I found my calling,” she said. “TM helped me with my anger and I became a happier person.”

In one of her Ayurveda classes on prevention, Varsha recognized the value of education in the prevention of disease. This led her to earn a graduate degree from JFK University in holistic education and nutrition. She began to integrate her knowledge of Ayurveda with the modern science of nutrition and decided to write a book about it.

With husband, Stan; son, Keyan; and daughter, Symran

Varsha realized that in order to have the job she wanted, she needed to create it for herself. When she relocated to London in the UK, she started her own business in 2012. At Illuminated Health she provides holistic nutrition consultations, teaches classes, and runs group programs on yoga, nutrition, Ayurveda, and digestion.

Based on her ten-year experience, she was finally ready to write her book last fall. “This book doesn’t give people a specific diet,” she said. “I talk about how you need to listen to your body and make your own choices. I give people a way to create their ideal wellness plan.”

Varsha is a mother of two young children, and she continues to value her practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and the balance it brings to both her work and family life.