Rounding, Rounding, Rounding

I rounded for a couple of weeks at the end of May and the beginning of June. For those unfamiliar with rounding, the term refers to an extended practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs as specified by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This extended practice allows time for deepening one’s experience of the transcendent and getting deep rest at the same time—all in all, not a bad way to spend one’s time. Rounding here at the University is practiced in the two golden domes on campus; these domes offer a cool and comfortable environment for this extended practice.

The Musical Round

The Musical Round

The idea of rounding considered as a term kept turning over and over in mind (yes, pun intended) during these two weeks. We speak of rounding a corner or rounding off an amount. Yet, here, rounding speaks to the idea of repetition. Most of us may remember singing rounds when we were children–some singers beginning a lyric, others starting the same lyric later, and everyone repeating in an ongoing refrain. In Girl Scouts, we sang: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” Different groups would start in at the beginning as the previous group got to the second line, and everyone would keep repeating until someone called time.

Each round was a turning back to the beginning. This musical practice evokes for me the dynamics of self-referral when we transcend. When we meditate, we experience a turning back onto the Self, that silent, transcendental field of Being. We meditate and the body becomes relaxed and the mind settle down and transcends finer and finer levels of thought to experience the simplest form of human awareness, the Self, a state of unbounded consciousness. This process happens again and again in the course of a meditation as the awareness settles down to that transcendent state.

The thought of this musical parallel charmed me as I entered the dome each day for my two weeks of rounding and found my place on the foam to meditate. I didn’t burst into song although I occasionally felt like it, at least the first week. The second week, my rounds more often ended with a little nap. Luckily, I was rounding, so I could just sit up after my nap and do my next round. Rounding, like the circle it implies, is suggestive of eternity, of infinity. Even when I don’t get to round myself, I like knowing that others are in the dome, going through their rounds and enjoying the infinite experience of the transcendent.

 

 

 

Officing in Vastu

The Veda Bhavan Building

The Veda Bhavan Building

Yes, I know officing is not a word, but it captures part of what I want to talk about today.My campus office is in a Vastu building on the Maharishi University of Management campus. Vastu, a Sanskrit word meaning perfect orientation, indicates that the building is oriented due east to get the morning sun. The first morning light is considered by many cultures, including the Vedic culture, to be advantageous, energetic, and life-supporting. Ideally, the building should receive the morning light within two hours of dawn.

The building where my office is located is Veda Bhavan. Previously, my office was in the library basement. I didn’t so much mind being in the library basement; after all, books are a large and pleasurable part of my life. Still, when told I would have to move, I was delighted to discover that my destination was Veda Bhavan.

Tulips Outside Veda Bhavan

Tulips Outside Veda Bhavan

This building is surrounded by a Vastu fence and is graced by seasonal flowers during the growing months. Benches on the porch allow one to sit and gaze at the tulips or look out across the campus prairie-scape toward the golden domes, where the community practices the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs twice a day.

Since I’ve been in this office, I’ve noticed several things about my work life, not the least of which is that every day, I enjoy entering and being in this building. Just inside the doors to Veda Bhavan, one crosses the anteroom to the Brahmastan, the perfect center of the building. Sitting under a skylight in this central area is a model version of a Vedic Astronomical Observatory (an outdoor version can be toured in Vedic City, just west of campus). The model observatory is a pleasant place to pause and allow one’s awareness to settle down.

I teach in the Department of Literature and Creative Writing and I edit for the University, so much of my work is done sitting at a computer. Sitting at a computer all day still makes me tired, but in this building, I do feel a more balanced awareness while working. I remember to get up and move around every hour or so to refresh myself. Before, I used to lock down into work mode and found it difficult to move away (and after a few hours, to move at all!). This more balanced attitude I attribute to the Vastu nature of the building. My work also seems to flow more easily now. Solutions to problems present themselves rather than my having to spend time tracking them down. Order and progress seem a natural part of each project. I’m glad my office is in Vastu. Now I’m thinking—wouldn’t it be nice to live in a Vastu home!

 

 

Officing in Vastu