Thursday, April 20, 2000

More, continued

The Global Country of World Peace was founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man behind the Transcendental Meditation movement. What does your group do, how many people are involved, and how long has it been around?

It was founded at least five years ago to be a country without borders, inhabited by people who wish to create peace, prosperity and higher awareness. Millions of people participated worldwide. About 1.5 million in the U.S.

Why are the centers called Peace Palaces?

Because they will be creating peace in two ways. The buildings themselves take advantage of sun's energy, true north, south, east and west, and pleasing proportion. When you're in them, or near them, you'll feel an inner peace. Also, our programs will focus on peace.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

It is a very simple, natural, effortless technique. Essentially, it's sitting comfortably 20 minutes, twice a day . . . closing the eyes and taking the mind within, to the simplest form of human awareness where we are completely at peace. Our brain wave research has shown that if even 1 percent of the population practices Transcendental Meditation, it can reduce crime, sickness and accidents and improve the economy.

Do you need to learn how to do Transcendental Meditation?

Most people require instruction. We teach basic courses, as well as advanced. In the advanced, you meditate at least an hour, twice a day. It becomes part of your life, as natural as brushing your teeth. You feel good and you feel refreshed. We meditate before we start our day. And at the end, before dinnertime.

Your group is planning 3,000 Peace Palaces. How many are up and operating now?

About five, in Kentucky, Bethesda, Md., Houston and several in Iowa. Others, like the ones here, are in the process.
How many Peace Palaces will open in Ohio?

There could be 10. We're planning in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Columbus and Cincinnati.

Why open them now?

Global Country of World Peace has only been around for five years, but Transcendental Meditation has been taught in the U.S. for 50 years now. I've been teaching for over 30 years. We're meeting a lot of people who are very ready to use their full potential.

Have government officials and the community at large welcomed Peace Palaces in other locations?

Yes. There's a great benefit. Having a Peace Palace brings greater prosperity, greater health and all sorts of good things.
What has been the biggest concern to people unfamiliar with your group and how has the group tried to calm any unease?
One of the concerns is that when people hear meditation, they think religion. This is not religion. It's a technique. It works whether you believe it's going to or not. It enriches spiritual life but has nothing to do with religion.

Does the Cleveland area already have many followers of the Global Country of World Peace?

We have a current mailing list on the order of 600.

Besides a spa, what other services will the Peace Palaces offer?

Classes in digestion and nutrition, health-related classes and other courses to help people take care of themselves.

Probably one of the more unusual concepts for people unfamiliar with the Maharishi's teachings is yogic flying. Could you describe it?

That is the most powerful part of the advanced program. Yogic flying takes the mind into unified fields of the laws of nature. The final goal is for the body to become light and to lift off. If everything is conducive, we do lift off. Most are in the beginning stages, just a hopping sort of motion. The second stage is hovering. Third stage is flying like a bird.

Has anyone reached the third stage?

They certainly have, but whether they have in this generation is unclear.

How long must one study before learning to fly?

The hovering mainly happens with people studying full time. But once a person learns Transcendental Meditation, within just two months they can start advanced courses.

Your group says it's important to build in harmony with natural law. Buildings shouldn't be near graveyards or high-tension electric lines. They can't be on hills that block the sunrise. Were there any reasons you chose local sites besides the criteria mentioned?

General location. We want to make programs available to everyone interested in and around Cleveland. We want Peace Palaces to be easy to find. We also want to be able to enter property from the east or the north . . .

Will the Peace Palaces provide consultation services so people can build homes in harmony with natural law?

We're hoping very much to build peace colonies, entire developments where all the homes will be aligned, whether people who live there participate in programs or not. We call them fortune-promoting homes. Research shows people get sick less often, get burglarized less often.

It has been reported that the Maharishi thinks the White House should be torn down and rebuilt. Why? And has there been a suggestion as to where and how?

I think the White House could even be rebuilt on the same site. It's a matter of which doors are used. They need to use a north door. The south door of the White House is being used now and that's contributing to all sorts of difficulty and confusion in our government.

When are the local Peace Palaces set to open?

We now have our funding. We're still finalizing with Parma about zoning. We're in discussions with Mayfield. And we're still obtaining property in Strongsville. We would really like to be open as soon as possible, hopefully within two years.
For more information about the Peace Palaces, go to www.maharishipeacepalace.org.

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