Meet the MERU staff heading to TTC this year

by | Aug 24, 2020 | Blog, Transcendental Meditation

It’s that time of year when we prepare to send off another group of individuals to the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course in Thailand.

The Teacher Training Course, or ‘TTC’ as it’s often called, is a several month in-residence course designed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to train new Teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Typically taking place in a beautiful Maharishi Vastu facility in Thailand, TTC is an opportunity not only to be certified to teach the TM technique to others, but to prioritise personal growth beyond what our day-to-day routine allows.

This year, three of our staff – Caspar Jung, Julia Stibane, and Hubert Hol – will depart for Thailand in just a few weeks.

We’re proud to present their stories, and to share with you some of the contributions they’ve offered to MERU over the last few years.

Caspar Jung from the Netherlands

Rebekah: How long have you been at MERU? What made you decide to come?

Caspar: It’s been over four years now that I have lived here. 

Initially, I returned from the U.S. after working for a year and completing my degree, for a temporary job at MERU. This turned into a longer period and a bigger responsibility than I had originally planned.

What roles have you had?

I first worked as an organisational analyst, but after less than a year I was asked to become an executive director at MERU, taking care of day-to-day operations.

What has been your most memorable experience at MERU?

When I was 19 years old, I first came to MERU during my summer holidays. I was studying architecture at the time and looking for something to do. I was then offered a position in organising logistics for our yearly Guru Purnima Celebrations. 

It was an incredibly busy six weeks. But when I came out of it, I really felt like I had accomplished something. It really changed my perspective of myself, because I always felt I was a bit lazy. Diving into such a hectic time at MERU and really giving it my best was very transformative.

What made you decide to attend this year’s TTC?

The idea first came when watching Raja Luis while he was teaching the Personal Development Workshop. I knew many great TM teachers, but I was never really interested in the idea of just teaching people TM over and over again. I felt like doing more, so initially I thought that maybe it just wasn’t for me.

During this workshop Raja Luis really guided people in a beautiful way. He innocently shows people what opportunities they have within, and gently nudges them to move forward. After I saw that, it just clicked, I knew there was a way for me to teach people TM, but also go beyond.

What’s one experience you had at MERU you think more people should have?

Being self-referral. Sometimes it can seem that MERU is a bit disorganised or chaotic, but there’s a beauty in it. It allows for everyone in the community to find their own path, unfold their own potential. I really cherished the last four years in the community, and how it helped me find my own path and ultimately more happiness. That’s what I think people can find at MERU.

Sometimes it can seem that MERU is a bit disorganised or chaotic, but there’s a beauty in it. It allows for everyone in the community to find their own path, unfold their own potential.

Julia Stibane from Germany

Rebekah: How long have you been at MERU and how did you decide to come here?

Julia: I’ve been at MERU for almost two and a half years now.

I met Caspar, one of the directors of MERU, at a young meditators’ course in England in 2017.

He told me that you could volunteer at MERU to finance your Advanced Techniques and the TM Sidhi course. I was very eager to dive deeper into Maharishi’s techniques and knowledge, so I decided to come as soon as possible!

I had just finished my bachelor’s degree, so it was the perfect timing to take a few months off before starting with a master’s programme. But almost immediately after I arrived at MERU, I realised that only staying a few months wouldn’t be enough for me.

I felt at home at MERU and that I wanted to spend more time in this beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by like-minded people. So I ended up staying for two years instead of just a few months.

What roles have you had here?

I first started working in the kitchen, cutting vegetables. It was a lot of fun to work together in a team of young meditators. After that I moved on to working in the garden, which was just as lovely. I also helped out in the course office during Guru Purnima, welcoming course participants to the assembly.

Then last year in August I started working full-time in the course office, which was really a big step for me in my personal evolution. Organising all these courses, I got a much deeper insight into the knowledge and also the workings of the TM organisations. It was very inspiring to interact with so many different course participants from all over the world.

Organising all these courses, I got a much deeper insight into the knowledge and also the workings of the TM organisations. It was very inspiring to interact with so many different course participants from all over the world.

What has been your most memorable experience at MERU?

The Guru Purnima celebrations each year are always very special. Hundreds of people  come to MERU to celebrate Maharishi’s master Guru Dev, and there is such a vibrant and blissful atmosphere during that time.

It is also always special to meditate and do the TM Sidhi programme together in a big group during Guru Purnima the experiences in programme during Guru Purnima have been some of the deepest and most intense I’ve ever had.

What made you decide to attend this year’s TTC?

I was lucky enough to learn the TM technique when I was 15, and it helped me a lot throughout my life. From the moment I learned TM, I felt like every day I was becoming more calm, more happy, more successful in whatever I was trying to achieve. It’s been such a game changer for me. 

Especially in school and university I noticed how differently I was dealing with the stress and any problems that came up. 

I originally studied to become a high school teacher in Germany, but I quickly realised that just teaching students some subject wouldn’t really affect their personal evolution in a way that TM would. I realised that I would only truly be able to help people by allowing them to help themselves and providing them with this incredible technique that really is the basis for a happy life.

I realised I would only truly be able to help people by allowing them to help themselves and providing them with this incredible technique that really is the basis for a happy life.

I decided I wanted to become a TM Teacher, so that I could share this technique and knowledge with as many people as possible. I count myself very lucky to have come in contact with TM at such a young age. I want to make sure that many, many other people out there can have that same experience.

Do you have plans after TTC?

After TTC, my fiancé Hubert and I are planning to teach full-time in Amsterdam, but still stay connected to MERU for certain projects or courses.

What’s one experience you had at MERU you think more people should have?

When I came to MERU, I was in a very difficult and dark place, and MERU made it possible for me to have the space and the time to heal.

I think regardless of what situation you are in in life, it is such a rewarding experience to come to MERU and take the time to recharge and come back to your real ‘Self’.

Maharishi says that you need to have the contrast between meditating, going inside, and acting, going outside. And it is this contrast that helps you stabilise and integrate the experience during meditation.

Being at MERU is like taking a long, deep dive within – it really settles you and makes you more prepared to go out there and deal with whatever comes up.

Being at MERU is like taking a long, deep dive within – it really settles you and makes you more prepared to go out there and deal with whatever comes up.

Hubert Hol from the Netherlands

Rebekah: How long have you been at MERU? What made you decide to come?

Hubert: I’ve been at MERU since January 2018, so over two and a half years.

A friend told me about MERU and that they were looking for volunteers. At that point I was meditating for almost two years and ready to bring it to the next level. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me and indeed it proved to be a very wise and evolutionary step in my life.

What roles have you had here?

Right from the start I was offered a more responsible position at MERU as garden manager.

I did this for about one and a half years with great joy.

Then I was kitchen coordinator for a few months, before taking the position as community manager.

In the community manager role I oversaw food services, the garden, and the volunteer programme, and also took care of health administration and other community matters. Quite a dynamic and challenging job, especially with the COVID-19 situation that came up! But it was a great learning experience.

What has been your most memorable experience at MERU?

There were many memorable experiences for me and it’s hard to put one at the top.

The Guru Purnima celebrations in 2018 and 2019 were very powerful experiences for me. MERU is always a place of deep silence and evolutionary dynamism, but during Guru Purnima these qualities reach peak levels.

The TM-Sidhi Course I did at MERU was also a very transformative step in my life and one I will never forget, nor regret.

And then there is the fact that I met my fiancé Julia here…

What made you decide to attend this year’s TTC? Do you have plans after TTC?

While being at MERU, meeting so many enthusiastic TM teachers and at the same time becoming more acquainted and impressed with the power and depth of the Vedic knowledge, the wish to become a TM teacher grew strongly inside of me.

To be able to share and pass this knowledge on to others seems to me the most fulfilling thing possible to do. Together with my partner Julia, I would like to teach in Amsterdam after TTC, and if nature supports it, to establish a TM centre there again.

To be able to share and pass this knowledge on to others seems to me the most fulfilling thing possible to do.

What’s one experience you had at MERU you think more people should have? 

MERU gave me the opportunity to make a big leap in my personal evolution. 

In two and a half years, I was able to learn four Aadvanced Ttechniques, do the TM-Sidhi course, and get a lot of support while preparing for TTC – all while being surrounded by beautiful nature and meeting so many beautiful and inspiring people from all around the world who share the love for TM and the knowledge.

Support Hubert’s fundraising campaign here.

From all of us at MERU, we sincerely thank Caspar, Julia, and Hubert for their contributions and wish them the best of success on their Teacher Training Course and beyond!

About the Author

Rebekah Mays is originally from Austin, Texas, and currently lives in the Netherlands. She is thrilled to now be working as MERU’s Content Director, and her aim is to help make Maharishi’s vast knowledge more accessible to people from all countries, ages, and backgrounds.

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