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US: Oprah tours Vastu home in Fairfield, Iowa
by Global Good News staff writer
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25 March 2012
'Families from around the world are flocking to this small Midwestern town to live stress free,' Oprah Winfrey said as she hosted her recent television show about Fairfield, Iowa and the Transcendental Meditation Technique. The show, titled 'America's Most Unusual Town', explored the many aspects of life in Fairfield which separate it from the average American small town.
Ms Winfrey continued, '[Residents] claim to be the healthiest city in America, with virtually no violent crime and an education system unlike any other. They say that what they do twice a day is the key to real happiness.'
In addition to the twice-daily practice of Transcendental Meditation, many families in Fairfield live in houses designed according to a unique form of architecture known as Vastu.*
Ms Winfrey toured the home of the Winer family, who moved from an Atlanta suburb to Fairfield about four years ago, to learn more about the principles behind Maharishi Vastu architecture.
On the tour, the Winers and Ms Winfrey were accompanied by Jonathan Lipman.
Mr Lipman is a past president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and has done historic preservation work on some of the nation's most distinguished landmarks. He is widely published and is a frequent speaker at national architectural conferences. Mr. Lipman is also director of Fortune-Creating Buildings.
The tour started in the very centre of the house, a space known in Vastu architecture as the Brahmasthan.
The Winers explained that the Brahmasthan is one of the most important features of the house. Mr Lipman added that it is 'the place where the wholeness of the structure is established'.
Vastu architecture is designed around the cycles and intelligence of nature, he said.
'This is the architecture of nature. Galaxies, solar systems, cells in our bodies, everything in nature has a core, a silent centre, and all the activity takes place around it. When we build buildings that are emulating the structure of nature we also give them a silent core.'
In addition to this silent core, or Brahmasthan, Vastu houses also give the location of the sun special consideration.
Rooms are placed in reference to the sun's path as it crosses the house. For example, the bedroom is situated so that the occupants' heads are to the east and the rising sun naturally wakes them up.
Why is east so important in Vastu design?
Mr Lipman explained, 'You can measure the difference, and neurophysiologists can tell what direction we're facing just by measuring brain waves. We have the maximum prefrontal cortex coherence when our head is facing east. We spend one-third of our lives in one direction in a bed, and if we can spend that time in a way that our brain is most coherent, it's good for our thinking.'
© Copyright 2012 Harpo Productions, Inc.
* Vastu refers to Vedic architecture—the complete knowledge of design and building in accord with natural law—brought to light from the Vedic literature by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as Maharishi Sthapatya Veda.
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