The Meditation Trust
The Trust was founded in 2000 and began actively teaching transcendental meditation (TM) in 2004 with the aim of returning love and compassion to the experience of teaching Transcendental Meditation. We intend to make this wonderful knowledge, brought back to vibrant life by Maharishi, available to as many people as possible.
When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came out of the Himalayas in the mid-1950's and began touring India and then the world, teaching his revolutionary revival of the pure heart of Yoga - natural, effortless meditation - he declared his aim to "fill the world with love and create Heaven on Earth".
As a wandering monk, loved and supported by students wherever he went, he had no need of money. As he founded centres for teaching and began to train teachers however, funds were needed to pay expenses, and new teachers with family commitments needed an income. Donations were taken and subsequently levels of donation were requested according to income.
Scientific research in the 1970's showed the positive effects of meditation on individuals and then on communities, and his movement grew exponentially. In the 1980's further scientific research indicated the possibility of advanced TM programmes when practised by large groups, reducing crime (even stopping wars) and improving quality of life for whole populations.
Raising the price of transcendental meditation
Seeing the possibility of creating "world peace" more quickly, Maharishi began to focus on establishing large groups of "professional meditators", especially in India. This required a lot of money and so he raised prices for TM courses in developed countries to £500 for everyone in 1999, later to £1280, giving his teachers the experience of, in effect, turning away those who could not afford these prices.
Some teachers were able to justify this to themselves on the basis of "being more professional" or "following Maharishi's wishes" or even saying of their students, "they'll find the money if they really want to learn". However, our Trust's founder, Colin Beckley, and those who later joined him found this a heart-wrenching experience and totally unacceptable and so we have formed our own registered charity, with the principles:
- Prices charged to students will reflect their ability to pay.
- Donations given by grateful students and others will be used solely to sponsor low-price teaching in the donor's own country, NOT for projects abroad, and NOT for administration.
As a result, we have had countless people over the last few years thank us for enabling them to learn transcendental meditation when they would otherwise have been unable to afford it. Many had been profoundly upset that something they so desperately wanted had been priced out of their reach. We at the Meditation Trust are proud to have been the cause of the Maharishi Foundation, in 2009, returning their prices to a cost-according-to-income basis, generally around double ours.
The focus of our activities will be on teaching, and donations will be warmly welcomed from anyone wishing to help. However, the possible acquisition of premises to aid teaching is not ruled out and anyone who can help with this in any way will be welcomed.
Special Charitable Courses
We are keen to hear from organisations helping youth or special needs groups who would like us to provide special training, and also from potential donors who wish to support this kind of socially reconstructive project. Self-knowledge, the experience of inner silence is the one thing that can significantly help those addicted to self-abusive or anti-social behaviour.
Creation of a Meditation Village
Those who have felt the effects of joining one of our groups of 50 on our weekend retreats, and those of us who have been fortunate enough to join groups of many hundreds at times, know, from personal experience, that the potential exists to create the state of group consciousness that Maharishi called "Heaven on Earth", a state of sublime, blissful peace, harmony, creativity and freedom from problems.
We would like to think that over the next 15-20 years we could establish an eco-village/co-housing project where meditators could come to live and experience this beautiful leap in quality of life. With a meditation hall for maybe 500 or so it would also be a retreat centre for other meditators to visit for a few days, a month or a year to relieve home or work pressures and to have a taste of what life can be like as a result of extended group meditation.
This would be a separately-funded charitable project from the teaching and anyone who feels able to help either financially or with expertise or enthusiasm would be most welcome.