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Millions exercise together for global Yoga Day
22 June 2016 - Millions of people twisted their bodies in celebration of International Yoga Day on Tuesday. At the United Nations in New York, various yoga [asana] poses were projected on a side wall of the U.N. headquarters building to highlight the role yoga [asanas] can play in helping the U.N. achieve its sustainable development goals. (more)

Smithsonian to host first major US Quran exhibition
22 June 2016 - The Quran, revered by Muslims, is the centerpiece of a first-of-its-kind exhibition in the United States as the Smithsonian displays exquisitely decorated manuscripts from one of the top Quran collections. The Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery announced Tuesday that 'The Art of the Qur'an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts' will bring 48 manuscripts and folios from the museum in Istanbul together with manuscripts from the collection of the Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art, which are together the Smithsonian's museum of Asian art. (more)

International Day of Yoga: Make yoga a part of your life, says Prime Minister Modi
21 June 2016 - Yoga is not a religious activity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, as he participated in a mass yoga [asana] demonstration camp in Chandigarh to mark the International Day of Yoga. In his brief address, the Prime Minister said the International Yoga Day had become a mass movement like no other in the world. 'Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life,' he said, drawing applause. (more)

Prime Minister Modi leads India into second International Day of Yoga celebrations
21 June 2016 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi today led over 30,000 participants at a mass yoga [asana] demonstration in Chandigarh. Modi joined participants for the second International Yoga Day celebrations as he pitched for treating diseases like diabetes through the ancient discipline [of yoga asanas]. In the run up to the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative postal stamp on Surya Namaskara in the national capital yesterday. (more)

In Morocco's Atlas mountains, Berber girls find the way out of rural poverty: an education
18 June 2016 - lliteracy rates for rural women and girls in Morocco remain as high as 90 per cent. Girls, especially those in areas such as the High Atlas, are more likely to drop out after primary school. Only 26 per cent of girls in rural areas enrol for secondary education, according to the World Bank. These problems disproportionately affect the Amazigh, commonly known as Berbers, the indigenous people of Morocco. A small Moroccan NGO, Education For All (EFA), is helping. EFA's solution is to bring the girls to the schools, an approach which is beginning to change the lives of Berber girls in a way that could transform the region's future. Their boarding houses, which are run solely by Berber women, provide accommodation, healthy food, support with homework, and extra French and English lessons. On average, the pass rate for all academic years is 97 per cent. (more)

Netherlands landlord offers tenants euro 100 rent cut for helping refugees
16 June 2016 - A social landlord in the Netherlands is offering to cut rents by euros 100 a month if tenants help refugees integrate into society. The Trudo housing corporation, based in Eindhoven, says residents will receive the discount if they agree to spend 10 hours a week helping new migrants navigate Dutch bureaucracy and guiding them through their host country's rules and customs. The initiative is one of scores across Europe in which ordinary people are seeking to help refugees adjust, integrate, and even find work. (more)

UK: The onward march of the new young fogey
14 June 2016 - Young people today are more clean-living than any generation since before the 1960s. What's driving the rise of the new young fogey? Wherever you look, Britain's young people are breaking records for good behaviour and social restraint. The data is striking: (more)

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival kicks off in blaze of colour
9 June 2016 - Scores of paddlers clashed on the waterways in glorious sunshine on Thursday morning as they kicked-off the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Across the city, centuries-old traditions returned with events scattered from Tai O to Aberdeen, Stanley to Sha Tin, with hordes of chanting onlookers and participants bracing themselves for the tough competition and searing conditions. The races were a feast for the senses as boats sped past the spectators in a flurry of spray and bright fabric. The highlight in Tai O village was was a water parade featuring three dragon boats bearing temple deities and shuttling around the stilt houses, in hope of entertaining the gods and blessing the village. (more)

Jordan: Archaeologists discover massive Petra monument that could be 2,150 years old
9 June 2016 - Archaeologists have found a monumental structure buried under the sands of Petra, according to a new study that drew on satellite imagery to scan the ancient city. Petra was built by Nabateans more than 2,000 years ago. 'To my knowledge, we don't have anything quite like this at Petra,' said Christopher Tuttle, an archaeologist who has worked at Petra for about 15 years and a co-author of the paper [on the discovery]. Tuttle collaborated on the research with Sarah Parcak, a self-described 'space archaeologist' from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who used satellites to survey the site. (more)

Mexico: Violence plunged after the arts were brought to Tijuana
9 June 2016 - Raúl Cárdenas Osuna has dedicated his life to creating social change through community-driven art initiatives. His outlook helped transform Camino Verde (formerly known as the most dangerous neighborhood in the city) into a neighborhood of hope and promise. He built a small building which is used for art, music, and education. Since it was built in 2010 the crime rate has dropped by 85 per cent. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Los Angeles Times: Why David Lynch says Transcendental Meditation is the secret to success
4 June 2016 - Filmmaker David Lynch was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times in support of Dr Norman Rosenthal's new book, 'Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation'. Mr Lynch fielded questions such as how TM enhances creativity - 'I think ideas are out there and you catch them like how you catch fish. The more consciousness you have, the deeper you can catch those ideas . . . ' and was also asked how he defined success - 'true happiness is not out there; true happiness lies within.' (more)

Dr Norman Rosenthal on 'Super Mind: How to boost performance and live a richer and happier life through Transcendental Meditation'
17 May 2016 - Dr Norman Rosenthal offers an excerpt from his book Super Mind: How To Boost Performance And Live A Richer And Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation. He tells the story of how Megan Fairchild, principal ballerina in the New York City Ballet, credits TM for relieving the effects of tension and giving her steadfast courage to undertake a challenging audition and new direction in her career. Dr Rosenthal says, 'I love Megan's story because it shows how the subtle but profound benefits of the TM technique exert their effects on a person's life. Initially there is often relief of stress, decreased anxiety, and greater resilience. These changes are often followed by expansion of consciousness and further personal development.' (more)

United Kingdom: The Mirror: Team manager Sam Allardyce using Transcendental Meditation to keep calm
6 May 2016 - Manager Sam Allardyce, of the Sunderland team in the United Kingdom's Premier League Football Club (soccer for North Americans) made sports page headlines about his practise of Transcendental Meditation. He says, 'I've read the science on it and it gives you a better insight into how it helps to reduce your blood pressure and keeps you calmer -- if done the right way. You can be anywhere at any time, in a relatively quiet place. It refreshes you and makes you feel good to push on.' The Mirror.com article also states, 'TM was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and some studies claim it can reduce high blood pressure, anxiety, and chronic pain -- all common symptoms for recent Sunderland managers.' (more)

Profile: Chelsea McCooey, teacher of Transcendental Meditation from Vancouver, Canada
20 April 2016 - Vancouver Real television sat down with Chelsea McCooey, the director of the recently opened Transcendental Meditation centre in Vancouver, Canada. Chelsea was literally born into TM as both her parents were TM meditators, but she had to find her own way in life, which eventually led to valuing the practice of TM. Chelsea rephrases Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who said that if we don't water the root of our existence, we cannot enjoy its fruit. 'So that's why we go within, settle, meditate,' she says, 'to then go out and enjoy life even more.' She relates her journey into TM and life as the centre director, and outlines some advanced programmes in Maharishi technologies available at the centre. (more)

Meditation, creativity, peace: A documentary about David Lynch and his travels
11 April 2016 - Shot by film students, the documentary Meditation, Creativity, Peace follows the famous director David Lynch on his globetrotting journey through 16 countries from 2007 to 2009. Mr Lynch's message centres on the crossroads of Transcendental Meditation and creativity -- and he is ever-ready for a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour, that includes his 'before and after' diagram of what it is like to practise TM. He explains the 'after' is very good but way after as: 'Totality. Total fulfillment. Liberation. Salvation.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation is tailor made for on-the-go millennials
31 March 2016 - Transcendental Meditation is being adopted by stressed-out millennials - people between the ages of 18 and 35 - reports Inverse.com. The article includes videos from a community of meditating celebrities - Oprah Winfrey, David Lynch, Hugh Jackman, and Howard Stern - who explain the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Additionally, an entertaining video follows four ordinary young adults from deciding to learn TM through one month of regular practice. (more)

Maharishi School students win top state award for musical theater
28 March 2016 - The Iowa High School Speech Association's All-State Festival gave the Critic's Choice Award to a team from Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment for its outstanding performance this year. After performing well in the state competition, two acts from Maharishi School were invited to perform at the recent All-State Speech Festival in the capital city, Des Moines, with their entry in the musical theater category coming away with the top award: a Critic's Choice banner. Senior Anna Unger and sophomore Devan Burke performed an excerpt of 'Once,' a musical stage adaptation based on the 2007 film of the same name. The award for 'Once' is the 18th Critic's Choice award in the school's history since it began competing in 1988. (more)

Christian Wharton, a painter with transparent and dazzling technique
16 March 2016 - Capturing water with water colours, Christian Wharton has had eight London exhibitions and her work adorns the offices of major corporations such as the BBC, hospitals, hospices and banks. By her own admission, it's the peaceful flow of meditating that has carried her so far. 'I started Transcendental Meditation in 1967 and it has been my guiding light,' Wharton says, 'a small candle at the still centre. My paintings would not have developed the way they did if it had not been for TM. It has not been merely an inspiration but has increased my perception of what is really going on in nature, art, and life itself.' (more)

Katy Perry and the 'cure for the common stress'
9 March 2016 - Katy Perry learned the Transcendental Meditation technique five years ago, and shortly thereafter, her road crew also learned. In a recent interview she said, 'I'm on a plane more than I am on ground, and this tool helps me find moments of peace--because I don't have a whole lot of time--that extend my day so I can live my fullest capacity. It gives me two days in one day!' (more)

From surviving to thriving with bipolar: Paul Dalio on TM and his new film 'Touched with Fire'
2 March 2016 - The practice of Transcendental Meditation had such a remarkable impact on Paul Dalio that it inspired his doctor, Norman Rosenthal's research and writing on the effects of TM on PTSD, bipolar, and other disorders. Paul, who had been struggling with bipolar, recounts meeting someone else with the disorder who practised TM and had spent the last 20 years 'happy 80 per cent of the time'. Inspired, he started meditating 'without fail, twice a day'. On the value of TM in his life, Paul says, 'If you settle your system down in a way that is natural and healthy, you don't need these heavy meds to filter your system and senses, you are actually able to experience so much more of the emotion, while at the same time being stable so they don't knock you over. . . . I genuinely feel rich, deep emotion that is sustainable, and I am allowed to experience it without getting thrown off.' Paul Dalio's new film, Touched with Fire, explores the relationship between two poets with bipolar disorder. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


U.S. families struggling with teens' phone addiction: report
3 May 2016 - Half of teenagers in the United States feel addicted to their mobile phones, with most checking the devices at least every hour and feeling pressured to respond immediately to messages, a survey released on Tuesday found. The majority of parents concurred. The findings from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, highlighted the tension such close ties to devices can cause, with it disrupting driving, homework, and other time together. 'It is causing daily conflict in homes,' Common Sense Media's founder and CEO James Steyer said in a statement. (more)

Retaking Syria's Palmyra reveals more shattered antiquities
28 March 2016 - The recapture of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group has brought new revelations of the destruction wreaked by the extremists, who decapitated priceless statues and smashed or looted artifacts in the city's museum. Experts say they need time to assess the full extent of damage in Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site which once attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year. The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law across the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, claims ancient relics promote idolatry. But it is also believed to have profited from looted antiquities. (more)

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
2 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

Horrific stampede at hajj in Saudi Arabia kills 717 pilgrims
24 September 2015 - A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was the second major disaster during this year's hajj season. Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction. (more)

Unsupervised teens more likely to use tobacco, pot, and alcohol
18 September 2015 - A small U.S. study appears to confirm adult fears that teens who spend more than the average amount of unsupervised time 'hanging out' with peers have higher odds of smoking cigarettes and marijuana and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, greater than average involvement in structured school and after-school activities did not seem to offer a protective effect. Organized time, such as arts classes at school, religious activities outside school, or community volunteer work had a very modest protective effect. (more)

Islamic State magazine blasts Muslims fleeing to Europe as sinners
10 September 2015 - Hundreds of thousands of people have fled wars in the Middle East this year, often from areas seized or threatened by Islamic State militants. They have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe on flimsy boats that have sometimes capsized, killing hundreds, in one of the biggest waves of migration since World War Two. Most of the refugees come from Syria, Iraq, and Libya -- states ravaged by conflict frequently involving Islamic State. But the magazine of Islamic State, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria where some 10 million people live, said those who leave its domain were committing a 'major sin'. (more)

UN: Satellite images show Temple of Bel in Syria 'destroyed'
31 August 2015 - A satellite image on Monday shows that the main building of the ancient Temple of Bel in the Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed, a United Nations agency said. The image was taken a day after a massive explosion was set off near the 2,000-year-old temple in the city occupied by Islamic State militants. It stood out among the ruins not far from the colonnades of Palmyra, which is affectionately known by Syrians as the 'Bride of the Desert.' Palmyra was an important caravan city of the Roman Empire, linking it to India, China, and Persia. Before the outbreak of Syria's conflict in March 2011, the UNESCO site was one of the top tourist attractions in the Middle East. (more)

Islamic State images purport to show destroyed Syrian temple
25 August 2015 - The Islamic State group released propaganda images Tuesday that purport to show militants laying explosives in and then blowing up the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. A resident of Palmyra had told the Associated Press the temple was destroyed on Sunday, a month after the group's militants booby-trapped it with explosives. The temple, a structure of giant stone blocks several stories high fronted by six towering columns, was dedicated to a god of storm and rain -- the name means literally 'Lord of the Heavens.' (more)

Islamic State destruction of ancient Syrian temple erases rich history
24 August 2015 - The destruction of the nearly 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin by Islamic State militants erased a symbol of the once rich religious life of Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra and left residents, archaeologists, and historians fearful that the extremists will destroy more of the rich site, including an even larger more ancient temple nearby. One resident told The Associated Press he saw it after it was blown up Sunday and said it was reduced to 'rocks on the ground, nothing more.' The temple was part of a sprawling Roman-era complex that includes other remains of temples to local gods and goddesses, including the even larger and slightly older Temple of Bel. (more)

Islamic State kills leading Syrian antiquities scholar in Palmyra
19 August 2015 - Islamic State militants beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then hung his body from one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq and declared a self-styled 'caliphate' on the territory it controls. The IS overran Palmyra in May. The Sunni extremist group has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, believes ancient relics promote idolatry. (more)

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