School News

Maharishi School: Peace From Within

Posted in TM Magazine, 12/21/11

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Maharishi School:
Adding Inner Peace to the Curriculum

Thirty years ago two peace initiatives were born in different settings. The first occurred on September 7, 1989. In the small Midwestern town of Fairfield, Iowa, Maharishi School was founded to explore an innovative proposition. What would happen if you combined a technique for inner development—twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique—with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum? Would inner peace lead to outer academic success and harmonious, happy students?

The other peace initiative was made at the United Nations in New York City, which resolved that September 21st would hereafter be recognized as the International Day of Peace, to be celebrated with community activities around the world.

Both have endured. And on September 21, 2011, they intersected.


Peace of mind and body
Fu Hao, a sophomore, compares Maharishi School to his education experience in China:
“My high school friends in China take 12 classes a day, from 7:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Then they go to study halls from 8-10:00 PM, and do their homework from 10:00 PM until midnight. At boarding school, if they turn the lights off at 10:00 PM, the kids use flashlights to study. There is so much pressure to get good scores on the tests. Here I feel more rested, and not so tired and stressed, so it’s easier to do well in school.”

Peaceful identity
Sophomore Isabel Reed’s family researched alternative schools:
“I was looking for a new school, because I felt like my old school was really holding me back. People weren’t always kind, and there was peer pressure to be someone that you weren’t. I couldn’t understand why people would do unethical things. I couldn’t be at peace with that so I wanted a change.

“I wanted to be in a caring place, where teachers and students care about learning and care about each other and want to be good people. The first thing I saw at Maharishi School was a sign on my locker that said, ‘Welcome Isabel.’ Hifza, the girl who has the locker next to mine, did everything she could to befriend me and make me feel welcome.

“With the meditation I’m less irritable with my family. Now I take it as it comes, and I’m able to stay calm. I’ve learned that I don’t have to let small problems upset me. I feel refreshed here, more peaceful inside and at peace with the whole environment.”

Peaceful relationships
Jeffrey Dale, 9th grader, moved to Fairfield from Seattle:
“I learned to meditate 3 years ago, and I wanted to come to Maharishi School because I wanted to get enlightened as fast as I could. To me, enlightenment means having total support of nature and enjoying everything I do.

“At my old school there was a lot of relationship drama and rumors going around. Here it’s easy to make friends because everyone’s family. With the meditation, you almost don’t notice the changes, but then you realize that something’s changed; some stress you’ve been carrying has been released.”

Peaceful environment
Gabriella Sleiman, 9th grader, came from Montreal. Her family is originally from Syria:
“My mom wanted me to be in this environment where all the students meditate. I didn’t want to come at first, but now I’m so happy. At my previous school, there was a lot of violence. The kids didn’t respect their teachers or even listen in class. They didn’t have the knowledge we have. Here the kids respect their teachers and pay attention. There is never any violence, or even arguments. People get along with each other and care about each other.”

Returning to a peaceful place
Jordan Town, 7th grader, returned to Fairfield:

“I went to Maharishi School from kindergarten until 4th grade. Then we moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I went to another school. There were lots of drugs, even in grade school, and it was a shock to me. I was really unhappy. Now we’ve moved back to Fairfield. It’s so great to be back at Maharishi School. I meditate every day and can see what it does for me. I have more energy, I’m less stressed, and I’m much happier.”

Every child should expect as much—a safe and peaceful environment in which to learn and grow. And now schools all over the world are proving that a simple formula delivers real peace: get rid of stress through the TM technique. Then individual peace grows naturally and that’s the basis of world peace. That’s Maharishi School’s contribution to our global family—not just on the International Day of Peace, but every day.

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