“2,000 for World Peace” course at MIU from December 29 to January 12

In another effort to bring some calm to a tense world and demonstrate a low-cost and effective pathway to peace, 2,000 advanced meditators from around the US and Canada will gather in MIU’s Golden Domes from December 29 through January 12.

People can still register if you practice the TM and TM-Sidhi programs. Go to https://www.miu.edu/2000-course

This gathering will take place during the same dates as a parallel assembly in Hyderabad, India, expected to bring more than 11,000 Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program participants from all over the world. Several hundred Fairfielders are traveling to India for this.

Those coming to Fairfield have a number of housing options: on campus, at local motels offering discounts for this event, and in local homes — many Fairfield residents are welcoming out-of-town visitors.

“We are excited to come to MIU and enjoy the blissful presence of all our wonderful friends there,” said David Mitchell, of Toronto, Canada, planning to attend with his wife Suzy. “It’s so great that just a few thousand of us meditating together can generate more peace in our world too.” Said Suzy: “I just want to come down and do anything I can to help the world.”

“In a time when most of us desperately desire peace, yet feel helpless in the face of escalating conflict, here is a scientifically-validated approach that anyone can do that promotes worldly peace through the experience of inner peace,” said medical doctor and author Nancy Lonsdorf. “I’m super excited to participate in this historic global initiative at MIU and am very grateful I can contribute to world peace at this critical time.”

An evidence-based approach to peace

MIU president Dr. John Hagelin

“Every time such groups have come together in sufficient numbers, they have created significant, measurable effects of harmony and coherence in the whole society,” said MIU president John Hagelin. “These effects show up as reduced crime, violence, accidents, traffic fatalities, smoking, alcohol and drug use, infectious diseases, suicides, infant mortality, and more.”

To date 56 empirical studies have been conducted on this effect, known as the Maharishi Effect, 28 of them published in leading peer-reviewed scholarly journals. 

The Maharishi Effect was discovered at MIU in 1974. As early as 1960 Maharishi predicted that as little as one percent of a population practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique would be enough to create a positive effect for the whole population. MIU researcher Garland Landrith discovered that in four cities that had reached this one percent threshold, crime trend began declining the following year, compared with matched control cities that had not achieved this threshold. Many further studies on increasingly larger population sizes confirmed that initial finding.

After Maharishi introduced the advanced TM-Sidhi program in 1976, scientists discovered that a much smaller percentage was required to create the same effect — when people practice the TM and TM-Sidhi programs together in one place, the threshold falls to just the square root of one percent.

“The Maharishi Effect is possible because consciousness is not confined to the brain, it’s an underlying, all-pervading field in nature,” Dr. Hagelin said. “This has been known since ancient times, and modern science is increasingly recognizing this. In fact, the large body of research on the Maharishi Effect provides compelling evidence that consciousness is primary.”

Rich daily schedule — “Nothing is more rejuvenating than this”

Ed Malloy

During the two-week gathering, mornings will be devoted to extended group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs in MIU’s two Golden Domes and other locations.

“Nothing is more rejuvenating than this,” said local businessman Ed Malloy, past mayor of Fairfield and chair of the MIU Board of Trustees. “Starting the New Year with a deep dive into the ocean of pure consciousness refreshes our mind and body and re-inspires a clear vision of our goals.”

Afternoons will feature a selection of knowledge and experience meetings. There will be four tracks: Maharishi Ayurveda, higher states of consciousness, the 16-lesson Maharishi Yoga Asana course, and recorded highlights from the large assembly in India. Participants can attend any session from any track on any afternoon, along with other special afternoon events, such as tours of the community.

Evenings will feature entertainment, sharing of experiences of growth of consciousness, knowledge presentations, and more.

40th anniversary of the Taste of Utopia Assembly

The course will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the historic Taste of Utopia Assembly, held December 17, 1983, to January 7, 1984, which attracted more than 8,000 people from 46 countries and was the first of a series of large peace-creating assemblies MIU held in the 1980s.

Because the square root of one percent of the world’s population at that time was 7,000, the Taste of Utopia Assembly was large enough, theoretically, to create a peace-creating effect for the whole world.

“It was as if a light had been switched on for three weeks and then switched off again.” — MIU President John Hagelin

Indeed, a wave of harmony and goodwill swept the globe during those three weeks. World stock markets, many of which had been trending downward for the previous year, soared upward in concert, many setting all-time records, often repeatedly. International conflict declined and heads of state became more positive and constructive. In the US and worldwide, crime rates dropped, infectious disease rates dropped, and highway and air traffic fatalities dropped.

At the end of the three weeks, when the group disbursed, everything quickly reverted to its previous state.

“It was as if a light had been switched on for three weeks and then switched off again,” President Hagelin said.

“In the ten years after the Taste of Utopia course and the courses that followed it, we saw things really lighten up in the world,” David Mitchell said. “The Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended, and South African apartheid collapsed. That’s the kind of change we want now. No more war and conflict. Bliss and fulfillment for everyone. Wouldn’t that be a great way to celebrate the 40 year anniversary?”

2007–2010 – dramatic improvement in US quality of life emanating from MIU

The longest-running experiment took place between 2007 and 2010, when the coherence-creating group at MIU was around 2,000 people, large enough to create an effect for the whole country.

A 17-year study published in the World Journal of Social Science looked at quality of life trends before, during, and after that period — discovering that when the group size reached the necessary threshold in 2007, the whole country seemed transformed. During those four years, murders dropped by 16%, rapes by 6%, aggravated assaults by 11%, robberies by 12%, infant mortality by 11%, drug-induced deaths (including opioid deaths) by 15%, vehicle fatalities by 21%, and child and adolescent deaths by injuries by 18%. This translates into many tens of thousands of lives saved and incalculable savings cost and human suffering.