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Mind over mortar
by Jeff Turrentine

Washington Post    Translate This Article
8 July 2005

On 8 July 2005 Washington Post reported: A conference entitled 'A Lecture on Vedic Architecture: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability' at the National Building Museum featured architect Jonathan Lipman who spoke on Vedic Architecture, an architecture based on a system of immutable, universal principles called 'Natural Laws'. He said that when people live in accordance with Natural Law, they are healthy, happy, and at peace. When they defy it, they must endure the spectrum of human suffering: anxiety, misfortune, sickness, and violence. It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring fulfilment to the field of health.

Lipman, a Cornell-trained architect and a former president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, practises Transcendental Meditation and lives in Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa. Lipman is an expert in Vedic Architecture—a style of building described in the Vedic Literature and brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

One of the principles of Vedic Architecture is that the house must face east or north. Lipman explains, 'The most powerful influence of Natural Law on Earth is the sun.' He explained that the sun, when it rises in the east, has a specific nourishing influence. He mentioned that, according to Vedic design, 'A building acts as a kind of intermediary between us and the sun, and early-morning light is most available to us if that building faces in that direction.'

Vedic design also puts emphasis on symmetry and order. Lipman and other Vedic architects describe the effects of disorderly buildings on human health. They contend that individuals living in houses that don't face east or north experience anxiety, aggression, and physical and mental illness. Lipman gave an example of several studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience that demonstrate how rats are sensitive to the placement of their heads in different directions.

Lipman and the other Vedic architects may soon have further scientific proof of the benefits of Vedic design. Esther Sternberg, a board member of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, was quoted in the Washington Post article as stating that she and her colleagues are going 'to try and address how modern principles of neuroscience can inform questions of how the elements of physical space affect creativity, cognition, and mood'.

Specific benefits of Vedic design on the human brain have not been studied yet, but order could be a major factor affecting one's health. Says Sternberg, 'Clutter is essentially lots and lots of sensory inputs in one space. And when one has to deal with too many sensory inputs, one can get anxious.' Sternberg also addressed the subject of light, an important element in Vedic design. She said, 'Optimal amounts and wavelengths of light have different effects on the triggering of all those brain pathways that start at the eye and go through to the visual areas. . .'

One of Sternberg's colleagues, architect John Eberhard, has carried out 'research into human responses to architectural proportion (which) suggests that people may be hard-wired to appreciate the scale and balance that Vedic architects employ as a matter of doctrine'.

Also featured in the article was developer Jeffrey S. Abramson. Abramson, and his wife Rona, live in a 5,500-square-foot home built according to Vedic design. The couple, who practise Transcendental Meditation, credit Vedic Architecture for their professional success. Abramson is currently working on Tower II, an office building and hotel complex to be built according to Vedic Architecture in Rockville, Maryland.

Every day Global Good News documents the rise of a better quality of life dawning in the world and highlights the need for introducing Natural Law based—Total Knowledge based—programmes to bring the support of Nature to every individual, raise the quality of life of every society, and create a lasting state of world peace.

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