Maybe hotels can also create a greater harmony and a little taste of enlightenment in the weary world of a modern traveler.
February 4, 2017
In “ENLIGHTENED REAL ESTATE: Transforming ourselves and the world around us”, by Barry B. Scherr, with a special section by noted Vastu architect, Jonathan Lipman, AIA, the author makes the case that despite acceleration of advances in science and technology; the realization of greater fulfillment in life, achieving a more nurturing lifestyle free from fear and anxiety, eludes almost all of the people in this world we live in.
Mr. Scherr points to the chaotic, disconnected and dysfunctional state of our built environment; our homes, hotels, schools, retail, and office buildings and the infrastructure that we have created to connect them, as the source of our stress. In short, he sums up modern life's problems, which we are all too familiar with: “We are crowding together in urban environments by the millions. We rush around, battle traffic, eat on the run and feel as though there is never enough time.” The root cause, he sees, is the inadequacy of planning, design, and materials we have used to create our modern built environment. I would say this has led to a functional obsolescence of almost all of our buildings, neighborhoods and cities. If we consider that the primary function of any building is to improve the quality of life; and the ideal quality of life being free of stress and strain, and enjoying every aspect of life in freedom and happiness, and living the highest possible experience of life; then certainly the modern lifestyle and the built environment is not facilitating that experience.
We have heard of this word, 'Enlightenment' as perhaps the ultimate experience of life, but few know what that could mean. Mr. Scherr describes it as: “The ultimate experience... the full integration of the inner and outer values of life”. Further, Barry says, “The new goal for real estate is to create a holistic lifestyle to capture the experience of bliss and happiness that one feels in a state of enlightenment. Spaces should be designed to both the proportions and orientation of vastu [read below] to tap into the cosmic energy of the universe. The objective is ease, well-being, comfort, and balance.” I know, you're thinking, 'Is that even possible, and if so, ...
Enlightened Real Estate is the solution Mr. Scherr proposes; a new paradigm of real estate, a “game changing solution”. The book describes this “new way to live, and think about the built environment” as a societal solution to the stress and ills of the modern world. While this paradigm of building design is 'new' to us, to call it 'new' is in some ways a misnomer. Mr. Scherr and Mr. Lipman credit their knowledge of this paradigm to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's revival of an ancient science whose origins may be lost in pre-history, but are recorded in the Vedas, India's ancient texts in sanskrit written down ages ago by the great seers of reality of their time, the rishi's, of India's long preserved spiritual heritage. Maharishi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, saw the need to revive this knowledge, refine it, and promote it as a 'life hack' in today's jargon, a shortcut that along with T.M., will transform the individual and society to create an enlightened state of life. In India, this design concept is commonly known as “Vastu” architecture. Maharishi's specific revival of this knowledge has been given the name, Maharishi Vastu. The goal is to design and build structures that are in perfect harmony with the laws of nature that create and nurture life on Earth. What laws of nature exactly are we talking about?
Mr. Lipman tells us some of the key principals of this ancient design system are:
Orientation and alignment with 'The Grid': “In order to orient buildings to the east, the city plan must be laid out on a grid oriented precisely to the cardinal directions. This grid has an extremely important effect. Geophysics and astrophysics tell us that the Earth, like other celestial bodies, exhibits a variety of wave-like dynamics extending over the whole of the planet. Since the Earth spins from west to east on it's north south axis, there is a symmetry-breaking effect on the long period surface waves, quantified by spherical harmonics. It implies that such wave-like dynamics generate a grid (of energy) along the cardinal directions on the surface of the Earth. Buildings that are aligned to this grid naturally resonate with the dynamics of the Earth.” The importance of this orientation to the earth's energy grid system is beginning to be understood by modern science, as new paradigms are being created to encompass what the latest research and instrumentation is revealing, like the “Electric Universe Theory”, that attempts to explain the importance of energy fields and transmission throughout the universe. A great scientist whose work is only now being more widely understood, Nikola Tesla, said “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”. Anyone who has watched cymatic experiments can see the effect of sound waves on physical structures. The effect of the invisible waves that make up our world on the human mind, body, and emotions, need much more research, but it's clear those effects are powerful over time. Buildings that create a harmonic effect using those waves pouring into our world and emanating from it, rather than interactiing with geo, solar, and celestial electromagnetic waves chaotically, produce harmonic, or positive effects. Aligning buildings with the energy grid of the earth creates that harmonic effect.
Site Selection: “The texts of vastu record the various nourishing or harmful influences of these environmental elements, such as the slope of the site and the position of nearby bodies of water and hills.”
Layout with Silent Center – Brahmasthan: “When we examine the structures of nature, we consistently find that they have a silent core.”
Some other principals of Maharishi Vastu: The Boundary – Marking the Vastu; Vedic Measurements (using sacred geometry as also incorporated in the most ancient temples and structures of the great cultures of the past) and Materials and Technologies in Harmony with Nature.
When we research these principals of the ancient science of Vastu architecture and design, we find again and again that they agree with and are supported by modern science as well.
The hotel industry and real estate in general has seen a shortening of the life span of hotels and other buildings. This obsolescence of function and design that causes hotels to quickly lose their appeal may be good for the construction industry, but it seems such a waste to have to demolish a building that is only 40 or 50 years old, or have it run down in value and appearance and become an eyesore for the community. If the hotel industry could begin to incorporate the timeless principals of Maharishi Vastu architecture, Mr. Scherr and Mr. Lipman will tell you that those hotels built according to these principals will continue to generate an ROI long after other structures their age have been abandoned for use as a hotel, and maybe those hotels can also create a greater harmony and a little taste of enlightenment in the weary world of a modern traveler.
While this short book review can't fully elaborate these principals and the knowledge behind them, I believe the authors and recommend hotel developers research this new/ancient paradigm of design to increase the likelihood of success and extend the life span of any new hotel. While some brands are beginning to lean in this direction, such as Indigo with it's incorporation of certain of these principals of proportion of design, and Even with it's emphasis on the wellness of the guest, the opportunity for the hotel industry to make full use of Maharishi Vastu is wide open.
For more information, get the book, Enlightened Real Estate, at Amazon:
‘Til next time,