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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

trip to midwest US

In the Spring, 2014, I will go to visit my mom and step-dad in Iowa. They live in Fairfield at the Maharishi University of Management. I've gotten used to the idea that they will live there the rest of their lives, so yearly visits will be a part of my life.  Its a distance of 6,500 miles from Grenoble to Iowa and is a 7 hours time difference.

What do I do around there? Fairfield has around 10,000 people, many, but not all are part of the Transcendental meditation organization. Some nearby towns include Mt. Pleasant and Ottumwa. Lake Darling State park is nearby. Its not far from the Mississippi river. I can visit Hannibal Missouri, and the house of Mark Twain, or Bentonsport. Near Hannibal is the Meredosia Wildlife refuge.  I could visit the Meskwaki Settlement of native Americans not so far away. They lived along the Saint Lawrence river. They were allowed to purchase land in 1851. They are similar to the Sac and Fox nation centered in Shawnee Oklahoma.

Some larger cities in Iowa are Iowa City and Dubuque.  Dubuque is along the Mississippi.  The University of Iowa is in Iowa City.

I can fly to Chicago OHare airport, and spend some time in Chicago. I can visit the houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. There's good deep dish pizza in Chicago.   Fairfield is 231 miles from Chicago.

Regarding TM itself, I try to appreciate it as a religion. I've been reading the book by Lola Williamson about TM as a Hindu inspired Meditation Movement. I appreciate seeing it as a part of a larger whole, within religious development. She emphasizes how Hindu elements have been combined with American elements, such as the American idea of freedom of religion, and combining some of Emerson's transcendentalism. She also suggests that Maharishi may have engaged secretly in Tantric practices which he may have partially learned from Shankaracharya Saraswati.

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