Transcendental Meditation Thrives in Iowa

"It feels harmonious, it feels orderly, there's a lot of silence here that was definitely not in our other house that we owned," said Meg Vigmostad.

The talk of order and inner peace might sound unbelievable. But it is also the work of Vedic City to make it all ... believable. Fred Travis, director of a university facility called the Center for Brain Consciousness and Cognition, demonstrated an EEG monitor of neurological electrical activity that he said shows that TM makes the brain more organized.

"What this is measuring is the electrical activity of the brain," Travis explained as a member of the community hooked up to the machine sat and meditated.

"You see this one going up and down?" Travis said, pointed to a gauge. "Look at the one next to it. It goes up and down in a similar way. This is called coherence. When the similarity of two signatures are very close, it suggests those two parts of the brain are working together.

Neurologist Gary Kaplan, a proponent of TM, said such "coherence" will bring happiness, success -- even world peace.

"What we notice is that this electrical activity becomes more harmonious or coherent between left and right hemispheres," Kaplan said. "There have been studies that have documented that the TM technique, when practiced in large groups, seems to have some effect on society in general, whether it's in war-torn areas where people are sitting to meditate together, or in high-crime areas that the trends reverse when you have larger groups meditating together."

David Lynch and TM

It is a lot to digest -- but then you don't really have to. The TM followers insist they are not a cult. They all have normal jobs, for the middle of Iowa, and they are not out to recruit you. They just want you to know the option is there.

Famed filmmaker David Lynch spends a lot of time in Vedic City. He started the David Lynch Foundation, which, in the last four years, has provided scholarships for over 100,000 kids to learn to meditate for free in schools across the country.

"It's not a religion. It's not against any religion, it's not mumbo-jumbo. It truly does transform life," Lynch told ABC News. "Kids come to school and they meditate together for 15 minutes in the morning. And before they go home they meditate for 15 minutes. A lot of them come from, you know, bad situations, and so this gives them this thing you know, at the beginning and the end of the day, the rest of the time you just watch the violence stop. Watch relationships improve. Watch happiness in the hallways, in the classroom, watch creativity flow more and more, watch that heavy weight that we are living under gently lift away."

"Nightline" was told there wasn't enough time to properly learn transcendental meditation on a short trip to Vedic City. But to get a feeling of the Vedic way of life, we did visit the Ayurveda Health Spa in Vedic City -- the leading spa of its kind in the country. Ayurveda is a system of health and healing involving food and behavior that originated in India thousands of years ago.

"We take your pulse, we put three fingers on the right hand," explained Mark Toomey, an Ayurvedic health expert at the spa. "And it's what I would say is like plugging into the inner intelligence of the body."

Toomey said he can learn a lot from feeling a person's pulse. He demonstrated on our correspondent.

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