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The most amazing and transforming experience of my life
by Malinda Gosvig

The Edge    Translate This Article
1 August 2004

I attended Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment (MSAE) for the past four years, and graduated this spring. Based on the contrast I witnessed in my life after my transfer to MSAE, I feel I can say that, without a doubt, this education has been the most amazing and transforming experience of my life.

Before coming to MSAE for high school, I lived in Texas for five years. During that time I attended four different schools, at each of which I felt extremely frustrated. The teachers consistently tossed us the 'whats,' but refused (or, perhaps, were unable) to answer any of the 'hows' or 'whys.' At MSAE, the teachers approach academic subjects on a deeper level. Not only do they answer the 'hows' and 'whys,' they connect subjects both to all fields they are related to, and to the students themselves. They constantly encourage us to look deeper into what we learn, pushing us to new levels of understanding. Being in an environment where TM is not only accepted and encouraged, but actually structured into the routine, is unbelievably awesome. Because all the kids and teachers at MSAE meditate, the atmosphere is practically vibrating with creativity and enthusiasm for learning.

Another thing about MSAE that hit me right away was how easily and completely the other students accepted me. Right away I noticed that, because they were so peaceful and stable within, they were less apt to judge each other or put others down. The clique-ness I experienced so acutely at other schools is almost entirely absent at MSAE. On my first day of class, I was immediately confronted with a completely foreign dilemma: everyone wanted to sit next to me! At MSAE, I've felt accepted and supported by all of my peers; I can't think of anyone in my class whom I don't consider a friend.

Another unique element of MSAE, and the one that has impacted my life the most, is the regular practice of TM. At public school, although I had been taught to meditate, I rarely practiced the technique; I probably could have squeezed it into my day, but often found myself too busy or caught up in homework to meditate. However, when I transferred to MSAE, I began to meditate regularly. Almost immediately I noticed several huge differences.

To begin with, I found my capacity for knowledge increasing. With regular practice of TM, I found that school not only required less effort, it had become far more interesting. Instead of worrying about what details I'd need to remember for a test, I was able to relax and actually focus on what the teacher was saying. I found I applied myself more in papers, projects and class discussions, not for a grade, but for my own enjoyment. I no longer needed to stay up late doing homework. I've found that because of the clarity and creativity I've gained from TM, I can do things twice as well in half the time.

It's really quite simple: When you're free from stress and fatigue, all sorts of brilliant ideas and profound insights that were hiding within you all along can bubble to the surface, bringing excellence and reward to all you do.

Practicing TM regularly also improved my abilities in my main extracurricular activity: theater. I've discovered that because of the inner stability meditation establishes, I am freer from inhibitions and thus better able to express myself without pretenses or affectations. This honesty allows me to connect with the audience and truly give them something instead of simply putting on a character and fishing for emotion.

On top of all of this, TM has greatly improved my relationships. Before I learned to meditate, my relationship with my parents was, at best, tepid. I never saw eye to eye with my mother, and simply couldn't understand where she was coming from. My dad and I would always get along fine in the beginning of any conversation, but halfway through we'd be yelling at each other, and often I would stomp out of the room crying. However, when I started meditating, things began to improve. Then, when I began to attend MSAE, and became regular in my TM program, the problems practically disappeared.

I've found that almost all of my issues with people arose due to my own insecurities and stress. Because TM not only strips away stress, but is also a simple and direct way to experience who I really am (without any of my pretenses, insecurities or worries), regular practice has caused me to become more stable and comfortable with myself. Because I've discovered this strong foundation within me, I can now reach out to people and understand what it is that they think and feel. I no longer attack others' views, subconsciously attempting to validate my own, and even when I find my opinions are attacked, I'm rarely fazed.

Over the past four years, I've grown to realize that my thoughts and views are not what define me as a person, although society may think so; who I am runs much deeper than what I think or feel from day to day. Because of the inner stability I've gained through TM and my education at MSAE, I'm able to be more open-minded, and consequently, more openhearted. The less you judge, I've discovered, the easier it is to love.

From these experiences (and many, many more): It is my firm belief that TM, and the education offered at MSAE, are the best assets a person can have in life.

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