Thursday, June 18, 2009

Students Speak, Transcendental Meditation U Blinks!

Received the following email from TMFB reader Andrew. It appears that Maharishi University of Management is making changes brought about by student protest and activism.

There are many more changes necessary to bring MUM to the standards held by most other universities. But any change in a positive direction -- particularly in response the requests of students or other members -- is a cause for celebration in my book.

So today there was an all school assembly where they spoke about many new developments happening.... one in particular involved abolishing the Research in Consciousness program (required meditation w/consequences for not obeying)! Hooray!.... and creating the Development of Consciousness Program...... this new program consists of the following (from a handout):

Graduation Requirements - Development of Consciousness Program
All of the components of the Development of Consciousness Program are offered on an ongoing basis to support your maximum growth. Each semester after your first one, you need to earn at least 1 unit of academic credit in Development of Consciousness. Credit can be earned in a variety of ways as the chart below shows. You only need to earn 60 points per semester. Earn 60 points and you have your unit of academic credit for the semester.

1 unit of academic credit=60 points
-Personal Checking=10 points each(meet up to 3x w/TM teacher per semester=30pts)
-TM experience meetings=10 points each(attend up to 3X per semester = 30pts)
-Group meditation=1 point per each attendance in halls or domes
-Residence Courses= 30 points each
-Brain integration progress report= 10 points per semester
-Experience log= 5 points per block (daily journal of experiences approved by certified teacher)

If you do extra and earn more points you can gain credit... again following 60 points = 1 academic credit.

You can also gain 4 units of academic credit by completing the TM-Sidhi course

Andrew continues:

Basically this opens up the meditation policy enormously. Before we were required to attend a meditation session AT LEAST once a day, every day of the month in order to pass....these were held at a few pockets of time before and after class everyday in either the dorms or golden domes. If you failed 3 blocks in a row then you were put on "RC ALERT" which meant you had to start going almost every day, twice a day, to make up for missing meditations and to keep up with the current month/block.

With this new Development of Consciousness program we, the students, will NOT be required to attend EVERY SINGLE DAY. This leaves it open for students who want to do their own thing on a day to day basis and the hard core student meditators who enjoy going everyday can still do so. Though there are still some "requirements" for us students, they seem FAR MORE RELAXED than anything I've heard since being here and even from long before.

In my last letter to you I mentioned that their old system had me en route to be kicked out. But with this new system it seems like I will be able to do everything I had already been doing without a problem now. It's as if the school adapted to OUR schedule and expectations. Funny. It also seems that at least half of the student body just stopped caring about required meditation (included in this group were those with stellar grades) because everyone recognized how much B.S. was behind what we were being told to do. That coupled with the fact that MUM can't afford students leaving were probably the two biggest factors in this policy change.

Earlier in the year the administration put a band-aid over the whole RC issue by just renaming things....BUT... many of us grew up bullshitting our parents and we recognized what the administration did (or didn't do haha). There is the saying that "You can't bullshit a bullshitter." I find this to be evident with much of the current student body. So with some organization, economic motivation, and genuine passion for what this place could be, us students have managed to drastically change a policy and mindset which was foundational to the school.

The work is far from over but this is a big leap forward in thinking for the administration of the school.


Our next step will be to pay our teachers more, they live like slaves.... us students pay 30k a year...where does all that money go to?

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