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Alumni Spotlight: Owen Blake

What is Maharishi School alumni Owen Blake up to?

alumni owen blake

Owen Blake

When catching up with Maharishi School alumni I often find them in very diverse career paths, from designing life saving technology , to creating a new venture capital start-up company, our alumni are doing great things.

One of those who are on the entrepreneurial scene is Maharishi School alumni Owen Blake. I had the chance to interview him and find how the fascinating world of esports and transcendental meditation merge.

Owen can you tell us a little bit about your background growing up in Iowa and  attending Maharishi School? Where did you go to college after high school and what led you to the work that you are currently doing now? 

I was born in Fairfield, and I mostly grew up here. I home schooled until 8th grade, then I came to Maharishi School, graduating in 2008. After high school I decided to attend MIU in the Media and Communications department, focusing on recording music and composing for movies. I briefly transferred to St. Ambrose University to pursue my basketball and piano dreams, but ultimately it wasn’t for me so I came back to MIU, graduating in 2012. 

Video games have always been a hobby of mine. I enjoy the competition, the challenge and strategy, and the social element of playing with friends and family. Video games were also an important way for me to stay in touch with my Dad as he didn’t always live nearby. I’ve followed the emergence of the esports industry and watched as it’s continued to exponentially grow in size and influence. I see

esport owen blake

Misfits competing on stage in the European League of Legends Championship League

a very bright future for esports as more and more generations are looking to esports and video game culture for entertainment, recreation, and competition. In the US, esports have recently exploded all over Universities with some offering esport scholarships and many creating esport “arenas” or venues for students to compete and have fun together playing video games.

Another interest of mine is giving back to others the gift I’ve received from Maharishi’s knowledge and technologies. I feel so much personal growth and benefits from studying Maharishi Vedic Science and practicing the Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi Program, and I enjoy sharing that knowledge. Most importantly, I feel like the knowledge and experiences have helped me become a better person and perform at a higher level which is how it connects to performance, sports, and esports. 

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Misfits taking a bow after winning a match

I realized I could combine two of my interests in life, esports and Maharishi Vedic Science, to bring something very valuable on many levels to esport athletes and through them to current and future generations. After completing my Masters in Maharishi Vedic Science from MIU and teaching at the Maharishi School for a year I decided to pursue my PhD in MVS from MIU and investigate if the TM technique could be a useful tool for esport athletes. 

In 2020 I went to Berlin to teach TM and collect data for my research. I was later offered to return as the Performance Coach for Misfits Gaming’s League of Legends team. This position would put me in charge of everything “outside” of the game from diet and exercise to team togetherness and mental and emotional coaching. This position allowed me to continue collecting data while also expanding my role with the team.

I decided to team up with Ruben Yepes Sanchez, a former professional football (soccer) player from Spain who has developed a Consciousness-Based Sports Methodology based entirely on Maharishi Vedic Science. Ruben and I attended our TM-Teacher Training Course together in 2013 and even at that time discussed working together to bring TM and Maharishi’s knowledge to sports and esports. We teamed up on this project to test the application of the Consciousness-Based Sports Methodology for esports and gauge the effectiveness in this new industry. Our season was a major success as we finished one game behind 1st place and nearly qualified for the World’s Championship tournament.

How would you describe your business for people who have never heard of esports before?

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Misfits Coaching Staff

Esports are video games that are played professionally. All esports are video games, but not all video games are esports. Some video games are more enjoyable to watch and are more skill-based which leads them to more often be considered esports. Esports can be watched online or in-person and can draw massive audiences, even exceeding traditional sporting events.

There are many different esports that each draw a variety of public interest. The video game that my team plays is called League of Legends and it is generally considered the biggest esport in the world. Last year in the global finals the viewership peaked at almost 4 million concurrent viewers. 

Ruben and I’s business applies the knowledge and techniques of Maharishi’s Vedic Science to help esport teams and players reach their peak performance in a stress free way. We help align a team or an individual with their highest purpose, connecting them with the Laws of Nature so their actions are effortless and maximally effective. We will be expanding our offerings in the next season and are looking for investors to help us bring this Consciousness-Based Methodology to more esports and traditional sport teams.

What drives your passion for the work you are doing in the area of Esports?

meditation esport alumni

Misfits players practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique

I think there are a lot of interests and personal qualities that combine to create my passion for what I’m doing. I’m very passionate about human development, I love working with younger people, I’m very competitive and love to be involved with sports. I enjoy esports and think they will continue to grow and develop, and I really feel fulfilled applying Maharishi’s knowledge into a new and exciting industry. This project feels like my contribution to the world and my way of giving back for all the personal blessings I’ve received in my life

How do you feel your education at Maharishi School has informed the work you’re doing today?

Maharishi School is the only school in the world which could have prepared me for what I’m doing today. Maharishi School taught me, through knowledge and experience, the power of consciousness for human development and performance. Through my unique education at the Maharishi School I was able to understand foundational principles of life and apply them to an exciting industry, in the process creating a dream job and opening up the possibility of forever changing the esport industry.

I will be forever grateful for the knowledge taught here at the Maharishi School and continue to use it for my own development and the development of my clients.

 

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Shristi Attends University of Iowa Hackathon

Shristi attended the University of Iowa Hackathon for high school students at North Liberty High School. This is the first hackathon of UoI for high schoolers. There were seven teams: five teams with four students each, one team with three students, and one all girls team of two students – Shristi and a 9th grader from North Liberty High School whom Shristi met the previous day and formed a group.

All teams were given time from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm to work on their projects and show to the judges at the end of the day. It was a fierce competition because other teams had senior and experienced programmers in their teams who worked on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence projects for this competition.

Suresh Sharma, Shristi’s father, had this to say:

“I was not expecting anything from Shristi’s team because they were competing against bigger and experienced teams. Shristi’s team was clueless when they started and in the beginning had no idea of the project, but finally, they came up with a very creative idea of creating an interactive map of major historical events during a specific period. Seeing the competition I was not expecting top three positions from Shristi’s team. I thought that if they were lucky, they might get a third place. When they announced the award, I was shocked and delighted that they got first place.”

Shristi and her teammate got first place because of the creativity, innovate thinking, and programming skills. It was a simple idea, but the judges hadn’t ever seen this type of thing before because it didn’t exist. The judges strongly encouraged Shristi to keep developing this idea and pitch this to Smithsonian. It was great and very satisfying to see Shristi’s progress.

 

-by Suresh Sharma

 

 

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Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

First of Its Kind for Maharishi School – Esports Victory

ESports Victory

Sage Cenatori is a true pioneer for the Maharishi School, recently bringing home the first place trophy from a tournament held at the WACO high school in Wayland, Iowa. This trophy is unique, not just because it was 3D printed during the competition, but because it was for an Esports tournament. Esports are video games that are played professionally and are generally watched by large audiences online and in person. Over 100 Universities and Colleges now offer athletic scholarships for budding Esport stars such as Sage, and many high school leagues have sprung up all around the country.

The Tournament

The recent tournament at WACO hosted 32 students from 8 different schools at their state-of-the-art Esports Arena. Students competed in a game called Fortnite which involves strategically building and battling their way to be the last player alive. Competitors have to protect themselves from their opponents while posturing for the high ground in a small arena. The battles are short, generally lasting about 5 minutes, but the action is blazingly fast.

Taking Home the Trophy

Drew Ayrit, the tournament organizer said Sage “dominated” the competition as Sage went undefeated through the bracket. Sage took home the first place honors along with his trophy and a specially designed gaming chair from Bytespeed who sponsored the event.

There was a clear buzz around Sage throughout the tournament as spectators and fellow students huddled close to watch as Sage methodically and creatively outsmart and outplay his opponents. Reaction times and hand-eye coordination are only part of the skill set necessary to be victorious. Much like traditional sports, there is a back and forth between opponents as they learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and decide how to approach each strategically unique situation. No battle is the same and creativity and flexibility are essential to be victorious.

Number One Challenge 

After the tournament, Sage said that “the fear of losing” was his number one challenge and that he didn’t just get used to it or learn how to deal with it but clearly “overcame” it throughout the course of the day.

Sage comes home with a well-deserved victory, and the Maharishi School adds another avenue for showcasing the creativity, intelligence, and mental toughness of their students. Congratulations to Sage for this pioneering accomplishment and hopefully this is the first of many trophies to be brought home to the Maharishi School.
– written by Owen Blake

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556