Site seen as way to bring more people to nonviolent group
Associated Press, Apr. 16, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A $4 million Peace Palace expected to become a model for others throughout the world will serve as a gathering place for people wanting to spread peace through transcendental meditation.
”The basis of world peace is in the individual,” said Tom Linner, administrator of the facility, which sits on 11 acres at the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus.
Fifteen to 20 people meet for about an hour a day to meditate at the Peace Palace, which opened last summer.
Lexington businessman Howard Settle, who has practiced transcendental meditation since 1972, provided the money to build the center.
”You can’t prove what it does for you,” Settle said of meditation, ”but over time, the effects become more and more noticeable.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the transcendental meditation movement, and his followers believe meditation has the power to reduce violent crime; terrorism; warfare; and ethnic, political and religious tensions in individual communities and throughout the world.
Practitioners say it also helps them relieve stress, stay healthy, feel happy and become mentally alert.
Settle said he built the Peace Palace because he wanted to share what he has learned with the rest of the community and have the center’s services nearby for his own use.
The maharishi has plans for 191 more Peace Palaces in the United States and 3,000 around the world, all to be financed by wealthy people in each city.
The maharishi sent a videotaped message to an inauguration ceremony Monday at the Lexington facility. He said the palaces will spread peace for generations to come.
Among the offerings at Lexington’s Peace Palace, or Maharishi Vedic Center, are a spa that provides massages, facials and other treatments; a doctor who practices Maharishi Vedic medicine, a natural form of medicine; and consultations in Maharishi Vedic astrology.
Fifteen people work at the center.
The offices of Settle’s oil and gas exploration business, Century Exploration Co., are on the second floor. He is having a Peace Palace built in Houston, where he also has offices.
Settle plans to build a 40,000 square-foot center next to the Lexington Peace Palace. That building will cost about $7 million and will house a residential medical treatment facility based on Maharishi Vedic medicine.