Karena Jones—Pursuing Self-Fulfillment to Support Others

Karena Jones—Pursuing Self-Fulfillment to Support Others

January 24, 2022 • ISSUE 607

Karena Jones

Pursuing Self-Fulfillment to Support Others

Karena Jones is a childcare specialist from Colorado who is pursuing a master’s degree in Maharishi Vedic Science℠ at MIU. Karena earned an undergraduate degree in contemplative psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Colorado Denver.
She has spent 18 years in private childcare, specializing in the care of infants and children under three. She also has experience in parent education regarding the development of young children. In 2012 she spent a year volunteering in a Tanzanian orphanage, where she supervised the care of infants.
Karena has a passion for supporting families and making an impact on children’s development during their most receptive years. But she wanted to shift her career so that she is not limited to working with families only.

With MIU friends Sanaa Sayani and Sarah Bozann

In 2021 she began looking for higher education that would facilitate the development of her consciousness and personal growth. In June she found MIU and in August she arrived on campus. Within a few months she completed the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Program℠.
“This has been one of my most profound and beautiful experiences,” she said. “What a blessing to receive this technology and be able to rise to my full potential.”

With children in the Cradle of Love Baby Home in Arusha, Tanzania

She currently works as a residential advisor in the women’s dorm and enjoys interacting with others and supporting them in the fulfillment of their goals.
“The more self-care I do by maintaining my regular TM practice, the more I can offer to the world at large,” she said.
Karena’s new calling is to integrate her experience of the TM® technique and the knowledge of Maharishi Vedic Science with her education in psychology and background in energy healing in order to reach a wider audience through coaching and education.

Performing a devotional dance in 2019 celebrating the life of innovative speaker, futurist, and author Barbara Marx Hubbard at her memorial

High-Risk Black Adults Benefit from TM Practice

High-Risk Black Adults Benefit from TM Practice

January 17, 2022 • ISSUE 606

High-Risk Black Adults

Benefit from TM Practice

Dr. Robert Schneider

The latest NIH-sponsored study led by Dr. Robert Schneider and collaborators at the Medical College of Wisconsin was published in the December 2021 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Cardiology. The study found that the Transcendental Meditation® technique reduces risk for cardiovascular disease and potentially related co-morbidities, such as COVID, in Black adults with high normal blood pressure.

In 2022 Black men and women continue to suffer from disproportionately high rates of death and hospitalization due to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and, over the past two years, COVID. High blood pressure poses the greatest risk for many of these conditions, accounting for 50 percent of the disparities between Black and white adults.
These disparities in cardiovascular health are associated with social determinants of health, including racism, which lead to psychosocial stress. Stress in turn contributes to high blood pressure and inflammation, which predispose to life-threatening diseases.

There was a significantly greater systolic blood pressure reduction in the TM group compared to the health education group for participants with high normal blood pressure

“High blood pressure contributes to severe illness and death from COVID as well as heart attack and stroke,” said Dr. Schneider. “Black Americans who suffer from health inequalities and all at-risk adults would benefit from naturally lowering their BP through the Transcendental Meditation program.”
Although prior studies have shown the benefits of the TM® technique on hypertension in Black Americans, this is the first published clinical trial studying the long-term effects of stress reduction for at-risk individuals with high normal blood pressure, also called pre-hypertension. More than half of Black adults suffer from either pre-hypertension or hypertension.
The study followed 304 Black man and women who were randomized to either the TM program or a health education group. Their blood pressure was measured regularly for up to 36 months.

Co-authors Drs. Komal Marwaha, John Salerno, Carolyn King, Sanford Nidich, and Charles Alexander

The study showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure in the high normal group assigned to practice the TM technique over an average of 20 months. In the normal blood pressure group, there were no significant changes in blood pressure.
These results suggest that the practice of the TM technique in patients with high normal blood pressure can contribute to the prevention of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and related health disparities in high-risk Black populations.
The study was a collaboration between MIU’s College of Integrative Medicine, the Institute for Prevention Research, and the Department of Medicine of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Co-authors of the study were Dr. Komal Marwaha, Dr. John Salerno, Dr. Carolyn King, and Dr. Sanford Nidich. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Francesca Redlich—The Magic of Writing Fiction

Francesca Redlich—The Magic of Writing Fiction

January 11, 2022 • ISSUE 605

Francesca Redlich

The Magic of Writing Fiction

Francesca Redlich is a student from California who has served on MIU Student Government since her enrollment in August 2019. She has acted as LGBTQ+ as well as diversity, equity, and inclusivity representative and is now the Student Body president.
Francesca was looking for an alternative university seven years ago when she found MIU, but wasn’t ready to leave sunny California. Five years later, when she decided to finish her degree, she chose MIU.
Her outgoing nature and desire to support her peers motivated her to join Student Government right away. She enjoys her role of listening to students and sharing their concerns with the administration.

Hosting the Winter Celebration and Maharishi Awards

Taking on extra responsibilities can be overwhelming, but Francesca feels more comfortable with it since she began practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique. “I am a very anxious person,” she said. “Being able to quiet my mind is an invaluable feat this school has allowed me to accomplish.”
Francesca loves singing, reciting poetry, and public speaking, but her passion is writing fantasy fiction. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age four and has wanted to become an author ever since. Prior to coming to MIU, she studied cultural anthropology and acquired the skill of researching and writing about civilizations.

With Student Government vice president, Jonathan Looney

She is a certified teacher of the TM® technique, taught at Maharishi School for 11 years, and is currently the director of MIU’s Evaluations and Assessments, which conducts the student surveys used in her study. Her research interests also include the effect of the TM technique on burnout in educators, health care workers, and professionals in other high-stress jobs.
Her goal is to write stories incorporating history, mythology, and religion while traveling the world and gathering inspiration and material. She is especially fond of the magical realism genre, which combines real world settings with magical and supernatural phenomena.

Francesca is completing her BFA in creative and professional writing next spring, and during the upcoming semester she will be working on several chapters of her first novel. “I am very excited to work on something so important to me and also be in a class with my peers and professors,” she said.

Burcu Çenberci — Enriching Life with Art

Burcu Çenberci — Enriching Life with Art

January 3, 2022 • ISSUE 604

Burcu Çenberci

Enriching Life with Art


According to a recent study by lead researcher Marie Loiselle, PhD, in the Journal of American College Health, Consciousness-Based℠ education buffers the effects of stress on mental and physical health in college students. 

Assistant Professor Loiselle and her co-author, Professor Fred Travis, compared surveys of 321 undergraduate students at MIU between 2008 and 2014. The students were surveyed during their first month of college and again a couple of months before graduation.
The students spent two to three years at MIU, and they participated in at least one daily group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program. They had access to counseling, attended classes with a variety of lifestyle recommendations, and ate fresh organic food in the campus cafeteria.

With a class of ComPro students

The data showed significant improvements in eight out of eleven areas of the survey, including lower anxiety and depression, improved self-esteem, and increased mental and physical health. In contrast, studies at other universities report a general decrease in mental and physical health over the college years.
The study concluded that Consciousness-Based education appears to be an effective tool in improving student well-being, which is a key factor in academic success.
Assistant Professor Loiselle received her doctorate degree from MIU in Maharishi Vedic Science℠ in 2018. She first enrolled at MIU in 1974 and earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. Later she obtained a master’s in higher education administration from MIU.

With her husband, daughters, and son-in-law, from left to right: Vincent Bataoel, Nelina Loiselle, Dal Loiselle, Marie Loiselle, and Yelana Loiselle

She is a certified teacher of the TM® technique, taught at Maharishi School for 11 years, and is currently the director of MIU’s Evaluations and Assessments, which conducts the student surveys used in her study. Her research interests also include the effect of the TM technique on burnout in educators, health care workers, and professionals in other high-stress jobs.