Is the volunteer programme right for me?
Have you been wanting to learn the Advanced Techniques and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, but aren’t sure how to fit it into your budget and schedule?
If so, then maybe it’s time to consider the MERU Volunteer Programme.
Now, I should first say there are many ways to fulfil your intention of taking these beautiful programmes. Today, I’ll just be talking about one way to go about it – one that many young people in recent years have been able to enjoy.
If you’re interested in growth, deeper experiences, and learning more about Maharishi’s knowledge, read on to find out what the volunteer programme is, and how to know if it’s a good next step for you.
Not interested in volunteering, but in a professional position? Keep reading to learn about opportunities to work for the TM Organisation.
What is MERU exactly?
Before we get into the specifics of the volunteer programme, we should first say a few words about MERU – or as it’s also known ‘Maharishi European Research University’.
MERU is the international headquarters of the global Transcendental Meditation organisation, and the place where Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme, spent the last 18 years of his life.
Our campus is in the peaceful forest of the national forest ‘De Meinweg’ in Vlodrop, which is in the south of the Netherlands. The location makes it a perfect place for long walks in nature, away from the business of city life.
At MERU, we host and provide support to many of the departments in the Transcendental Meditation organisation such as Maharishi AyurVeda (health care), Aroma Therapy, Jyotish (Vedic astrology), and others.
We also have our own local MERU Course Office, which organises events on and near campus. These include courses like the Advanced Techniques, the TM-Sidhi Programme, Vedic celebration days, and many other knowledge and training courses throughout the year.
All this is to say that the MERU campus is a fascinating hub of knowledge, and a wonderful place to meet new and long-term meditators alike.
And of course, as Maharishi’s home for 18 years, the place has a very special atmosphere. In fact, many volunteers have commented on the fact that they have very clear experiences of transcending here – especially in Maharishi’s beautiful Peace Palace.
Who are MERU Volunteers?
To make all these activities possible, MERU employs many full and part-time permanent staff who take care of the large responsibilities in areas like administration and finance.
But we also have a regular group of volunteers who come to MERU for a month or more at a time and follow a more relaxed schedule tailored to their growth and development.
In terms of their responsibilities, they might take care of gardening, food preparation, housekeeping, or even administrative and creative services – usually about 25 hours a week. In their free time, they can enjoy knowledge meetings, time in nature, events like group meditations, and ultimately more time to focus on meditation and other priorities for their personal development.
Quite often, our volunteers are students, people who’ve recently learned Transcendental Meditation, and even older people who are just looking for the next step in life and have the flexibility to come to MERU for a while.
Many of our volunteers are also eager to learn the Advanced Techniques and TM-Sidhi Programme, and want to participate in the volunteer programme to help this become a reality sooner than later.
What are we looking for in MERU volunteers?
So what are we looking for in MERU volunteers? And how can you know if this is the right fit for you at this point in your life?
Here are a few qualities that will make sure you will get the most out of this opportunity.
You’ve learned Transcendental Meditation and have been practising for a few months or more.
With everyone on campus having a common interest and background in TM, we all know we’re committed to developing ourselves and learning how to use consciousness to improve our lives and the lives of others.
You’d like to be a part of a community of meditators.
At MERU, you’ll meet and work with many different people. You’ll even have an opportunity to enjoy group meditations with many of them, which helps to connect our community on a much deeper level.
You’re able to commit at least one month of your time.
While you can potentially stay on much longer if you like, the minimum time to volunteer at MERU is one month. This is because we need to arrange your accommodation and a number of other points for your stay with us – this modest time commitment makes it all possible.
You’re looking for deeper experiences in meditation and/or knowledge about Maharishi’s Vedic framework of life.
As Maharishi’s home for 18 years, MERU is one of the best places to deepen your experiences during meditation and learn more about Maharishi’s many programmes for improving life from every angle.
You’re ready to get out of the city for a while – and spend time on our forest campus that’s somewhat ‘off the grid’.
Wi-Fi and mobile phone reception are not available everywhere on campus. While this environment may be different than what you’re used to, it can actually be a welcome break if you’re looking to spend less time on your screens.
You don’t have huge financial needs at the moment.
We of course want to make sure you’re comfortable during your stay, and on our side we provide your accommodation and meals, plus a bit of extra pocket money (or if you prefer, the opportunity to join Advanced Techniques and other courses). Over the years, we’ve had many volunteers who’ve stayed on for several months at a time to take all four Advanced Techniques and the TM-Sidhi Course – and all have found it to be well worth the time investment.
You don’t have to be from the EU
One of the unique things about the programme is that we accept virtually every nationality.
If we feel you’re a good fit for the MERU Volunteer Programme, and you’re ready to come on as a volunteer, we will be happy to work with the Dutch authorities to arrange a visa for your stay.
Note this will likely require staying for a longer period of time with MERU, since there are some administrative costs associated with this request.
But the bottom line is – don’t stop yourself from applying simply because you’re not from the EU. Just get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to talk through the process with you and see if we’d both like to move forward with your application.
Other Opportunities at MERU and in the TM organisation
Of course, joining the volunteer programme is just one of many ways to fast-track your personal growth. And depending on your life situation, there may be a better fit for you in some other kind of role.
If you have professional qualifications under your belt and are looking to take on bigger responsibilities, you might consider a professional position at MERU or in the TM Organisation.
If that’s you, feel free to subscribe to our MERU newsletter here to receive job updates as they’re available. In this case, you’re still welcome to come as a volunteer, and you can let us know that you’re interested in transitioning to a staff position if it becomes available.
Or, for job updates from the broader TM Organisation, sign up for this newsletter from TM Together.
Whatever you decide, the important thing is to keep meditating, connecting with other meditators as you can, and growing in your knowledge and experience whenever possible.
Do those few things, and there’s no doubt you’ll grow and develop as a person – perhaps even more than can imagine.
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.