Category Archives: Life in Fairfield Iowa

Things I Love in Fairfield Iowa

Hay Bales are Beautiful

It’s easy to take the beauty of our surroundings for granted…to daydream that it’s better somewhere else. Sometimes, I think about oceans – I love oceans. I remember trips through the mountains – mountains are beautiful. When you live in the Midwest, you have hay bales. You have lots of sky and space.

You have lots of things to be grateful for.

As the the great Buddha said,

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
— Buddha

Today in Fairfield, Iowa, it’s fall and the the air is fresh and the sky is big and I’m grateful.

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Oprah Winfrey Visits Fairfield Iowa

Oprah meditated with the group of TM sidhas at the Golden Dome for women.

Oprah and Other Celebs Endorse TM

Oprah, who has long been closely associated with a number of famous TM’ers, such as Deepak Chopra, has finally joined the ranks and become an official TM initiate and advocate. She is now connected to this controversial movement and given its meditation the Oprah stamp of approval. Maharishi captured the hearts and minds of a generation of youthful seekers, including celebs such as, The Beatles, Donavon, and Mia Farrow. And his teaching continues to resonate with many rich and famous followers—Clint Eastwood, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Oz—to name a few. David Lynch, who is a staunch supporter and practitioner of Transcendental Mediation (TM), continues to provide funding for the Maharishi Schools and a variety of programs that promote the teaching of TM worldwide. He continues to fund a program that makes TM available for soldiers recovering from PTSD; he has already committed to helping 10,000 Vets across the country.

I Learned TM in the 70’s

In the 70’s, I became one of Maharishi’s followers, and took to my mantra like a duck to water, became immersed in long meditations accompanied by yoga, and eventually became a TM Teacher. I remember the hours I spent listening to the guru’s lilting voice and giggles along with his promise that his meditation technique could enlighten the masses and create heaven on earth. He energized a generation that was disillusioned with organized religion, a world of war, and racial strife, and the paradigm of gross materialism.

So, where do I stand? Well, like many who have been avid followers and strayed from the straight and narrow teachings of any path, I feel I’ve saved the baby and thrown out the bathwater. I love doing a mantra meditation (not necessarily TM) and I still read all kinds of Eastern scriptures and teachings—not necessarily Maharishi’s—that’s how I’m wired. I guess I consider myself a reincarnated Indian. I’m grateful for the gifts and for the practice that helped me give up a wicked cigarette addiction, binge drinking, and drug usage. Maharishi opened me to a universe of concepts that have influenced me and enriched my life. The late 60’s and early 70’s were both exhilarating and dangerous times, and I emerged miraculously unscathed, in large part, due Maharishi’s influence.

But, I have long since dropped away from the TM movement or organization, preferring a more eclectic view of spirituality and preferring to think for myself (another blog altogether) than to follow the seemingly endless do’s and don’ts and should’s and shouldn’t(s) generously and frequently offered by the organization and its late founder. The TM movement has always claimed it is not a religion, but offers a simple meditation technique that can become a part of anyone’s daily practice. Yet I found that once you join the organization’s fold, the rules and regulations abound.

And, I predict that Oprah, who I respect very much, and who by nature seems to be an open-hearted and genuine seeker, will continue to embrace all the branches of that illusory Tree of Knowledge. Oprah has shown she likes variety—in shoes, in reading material, and in teachers. I think she will continue exploring and synthesizing the wisdom of the great teachers and teachings all over the world.

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October 21, 2012 · 12:49 am

Why Oprah Came to Meditate in Fairfield Iowa

Oprah Meditating in the Golden Dome

Now my little town of Fairfield, Iowa, has once more been put on the map – this summer Oprah Winfrey came to meditate with MUM’s yogic flyers in the Golden Dome for women.

Why in the world would Oprah Winfrey come to Fairfield, Iowa, a tiny Midwestern town in the middle of cornfields, which boasts approximately 9,464 people? Oprah can be anywhere at any time doing anything she pleases, her time is money, and her schedule grueling. In Fairfield, there is no spectacular scenery, no ocean front properties, no mountain views, or sandy beaches, and no redwood forests.

Okay, we have a cute town square, and she did show up at my favorite coffee shop on the square and chatted up the locals—the coffee is spectacular but not enough of a draw for Oprah. But, you know Oprah, she is not one to put on airs.

And, there is Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly Maharishi International University, founded in 1973, by the late world-famous, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There is the largest population of TM meditators in the world. And, there are the Golden Domes of Pure Knowledge (yes, these are literally golden dome-shaped structures) where advanced TM meditators can come together to FLY (up for debate) and meditate in a group for world peace and personal enlightenment.

And, Oprah, a new meditator, who would normally not be allowed to meditate with the yogic flyers, was invited to join the hundreds of women who do their meditation “program” together morning and evening—Super Radiance—in the dome designated for women. Oprah claims to have found kindred spirits among the spiritual seekers in Fairfield and elsewhere who have chosen this form of meditation as a path to enlightenment and development of consciousness. She has described meditating in the dome as a, “powerfully energizing yet calming experience” of deep inner stillness and “didn’t want it to end.” When it did, she “walked away feeling fuller than when I’d come in…full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy.”

Do you mediate? I do.

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October 19, 2012 · 6:17 pm