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Maharishi Vedic University, Cambodia: 20 years of Consciousness-Based Education
by Global Good News staff writer
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30 July 2014
As far back as 1978 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme, felt deep concern for the people of Cambodia. During the Khmer Rouge regime he launched an initiative to bring coherence and peace to the country through education. Since its establishment in 1991, and opening its doors in 1993 with 557 students, Maharishi Vedic University (MVU) has graduated several thousand students.
Dr Lee Fergusson, together with his wife, Dr Anna Bonshek, introduced Consciousness-Based Education to Cambodia as founding co-rectors of Maharishi Vedic University. From the start the student body learned and practised Transcendental Meditation, and later learned the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, practising twice daily as a group. During a 15-year period, until 2008, all MVU students practised these technologies of consciousness as part of their educational programme.
Nearly all of the students who attended MVU were new to Consciousness-Based Education, the goal of which is to enliven the full creative potential of each student. In addition to the study of traditional academic subjects, Consciousness-Based Education includes direct experience of the field of consciousness through the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Research studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation reduces stress, promotes integrated brain functioning, increases intelligence, and improves academic performance—among its many benefits in every area of life.
The more than 4,000 graduates of MVU throughout the country are playing an important role in the development of Cambodia. Some have risen to top positions in business, industry, commerce, government, education, and agriculture. Many have become leaders in society. Dr Stuart Vernon, a Transcendental Meditation teacher from New Zealand who worked at MVU in Cambodia in the past and recently returned for a visit, reported he found MVU graduates to be happy and balanced.
The Ministry for Education, Youth, and Sport of the Royal Government of Cambodia supported the establishment of the university from the start. The university, which changed its name by royal decree in 2008, has now expanded to 5,000 students in three campuses. Dr Vernon spoke to about 300 students at the original campus and also met with faculty, many of whom are MVU graduates. He found a great deal of enthusiasm for Maharishi's programmes.
Over the years MVU has graduated a new generation of leaders who have created new universities, companies, and organizations that will increase national coherence, thus improving the quality of life—happiness, health, wealth, etc—for Cambodians. One example of this positive influence can be seen at the University of Management Economics (UME). The rector is an MVU graduate who has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in the USA to the effect that its faculty and students will be learning Transcendental Meditation later this year.
At a recent press conference in Phnom Penh that introduced the new book by Dr Fergusson and Dr Bonshek—Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: Educational Reconstruction and Social Renewal—several MVU graduates spoke on the importance of their MVU education, and on their progress in life as a result of Consciousness-Based Education.
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