When I was a little kid, it always broke my heart to see a homeless person on the street or someone begging for food.
On one such occasion, I proclaimed to my father, “When I grow up, I’m going to give every poor person in the world a bag of gold.”
“That’s very kind of you,” he replied. “But if you only give someone money, they might just spend it all and end up back in the same situation. If you really want to help people, you should teach them to meditate.”
Both of my parents learned the Transcendental Meditation technique shortly after college and have been meditating twice a day, every day, for over forty years. I learned at the age of ten and have been meditating consistently ever since I started high school.
While the desire to help others was present from early on, I wasn’t sure how my career would unfold to support that goal. I earned an MBA and aspired to start multiple companies, yet the idea of teaching the TM technique was always in the back of my mind.
The experience that ultimately propelled me to become a certified TM instructor was a stint working at the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. This college for underprivileged students offers higher education to young people that wouldn’t otherwise have access to it – and incorporates TM practice into the curriculum. It was amazing to see firsthand how students from extreme poverty and hardship could blossom, with meditation playing a big role in that transformation.
I had the good fortune to open a new TM center in Los Angeles in 2012, along with my wife and another certified teacher. We quickly became one of the most active locations in the country and teach an incredibly diverse range of people, including many from the creative fields. Our two-year-old daughter even tags along and helps us welcome people sometimes!
Speaking about the role of a TM teacher, Maharishi once remarked how it’s both a highly personal yet highly impersonal endeavor. That description always stuck with me, because it’s true. When we teach people to meditate, we meet together for several days in a row and really get a good sense of each other. Yet we also don’t need to spend hours talking about someone’s issues in order to help them address those challenges more self-sufficiently and often achieve remarkable growth and progress.
Transcendental Meditation is such a simple, clear technique, and I’m continually surprised by how quickly many people experience positive changes. The irony is that I’ve been meditating my entire life, so I don’t even know what it’d feel like to be without the TM technique!
I wake up every day excited to give people – rich or poor – a precious tool to transform their lives in ways they hadn’t even imagined, and to discover a wealth of possibilities within themselves.
Jesse Berkowitz is one of about 500 certified TM teachers active in the US. The Transcendental Meditation organization is grateful to him and the rest of the TM teachers for their commitment to sharing this technique with anyone who wishes to learn it!
Although the TM technique is a simple, straightforward meditation technique, the learning experience is nuanced and delicate. TM teachers, like Jesse, go through 5 months of teacher training and gain the ability to teach every student, no matter their learning style, in a way that ensures they are practicing successfully and able to gain the maximum benefits of the practice. Each teacher is also trained to teach the TM course exactly the same way it’s been taught for over 50 years, guaranteeing the technique’s authenticity and effectiveness.
So no matter where you are in the whole world, you can learn the authentic TM technique in the same manner that has been proven effective time and time again, by hundreds of studies and millions of people.