Maharishi plans four peace palaces for TM activities

Pittsburgh is unique in many ways, but if the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has anything to say about it, in a few years, the Steel City will be no different from Aberdeen, S.D., Kenosha, Wis., or 2,997 other cities around the world.

That’s because in the future, at four sites in and around Allegheny County, four marble-clad, two-story Maharishi Peace Palaces will be constructed at an estimated cost of $3 million each.

The India-born Maharishi, who introduced Transcendental Meditation to the world in 1959, has set a goal of building Peace Palaces in the world’s 3,000 largest cities. The palaces, built in harmony with natural law, or Sthapatya Veda, range in size from 5,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet, and will offer Maharishi-inspired spas, Vedic Vibration Technology, exhibition halls, classrooms, a wide range of products and, of course, TM, including Yogic Flying.

Pittsburgh’s Peace Palaces will be co-directed by Ralph Emmerich and Lisa Ashelman, both of whom have doctorates in world peace from Maharishi European Research University in Vlodrop, Holland. Both are certified teachers of Transcendental Meditation.

Mr. Emmerich, a Churchill native, has been in Pittsburgh since January and hired a real estate agent six months ago to help identify potential sites for the Peace Palaces. He said yesterday that one site in Allegheny County has been purchased, but declined to say where.

Transcendental Meditation

“Transcendental Meditation was ruled a religion by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Docket No. 76-341 (H.C.M.) Civil Action, in the case of Alan B. Malnak. et al., Plaintiffs, v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al., Defendants, in a summary judgment issued October 19, 1977, followed by an order and judgment, filed December 12, 1977.”
Is TM a religion?

It has been tough to find suitable properties, he said.

“Most of the properties that come up are outside of Pittsburgh,” said Mr. Emmerich, a 1978 graduate of Churchill High School, now Woodland Hills High School.

He said Pittsburgh has numerous geographic challenges, such as rivers and steep slopes, to the tenets of Vedic architecture, which are derived from the Sanskrit texts of the Sthapatya Veda.

It’s believed health benefits and good fortune can be designed directly into a home’s foundation, based upon, among other factors, the direction a building faces and the spatial relationship of rooms to each other.

“It gets very nitpicky when you get down to details,” Mr. Emmerich said.

There are fewer details so far when it comes to explaining how the Peace Palaces will be funded. Mr. Emmerich said the primary sources will be developers, private donations, bank loans and World Peace Bonds through the tax-exempt Global Country of World Peace.

According to its Web site, the Global Country of World Peace was created “to establish global world peace by unifying all nations in happiness, prosperity, invincibility and perfect health, while supporting the rich diversity of our world family.”

More than 6 million people worldwide practice TM. Practitioners and some scientific research report that the technique, in which an individual spends 20 minutes meditating twice a day, can result in greater creativity and increased energy.

Mr. Emmerich first tried TM to alleviate his allergies by reducing stress.

He said he noticed a difference within three weeks. He later ran a TM center in Squirrel Hill from 1986 to 1987.

He and Ms. Ashelman are holding two introductory lectures at the Holiday Inn Express, 20 S. 10th St., South Side, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 and at noon and 7 p.m. on Dec. 16.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA
Dec. 5, 2005
Steve Levin
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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday December 5, 2005.
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