Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Taddy Blecher has given students chance to succeed

By Jim Turner | Jul 27, 2017

To the editor:

Success is defined in countless ways. Success in Western cultures often refers to material gain and prestige of some kind. In some Eastern cultures, a more spiritual definition prevails: the search for meaning, enlightenment, to know God.

It might seem impossible to reconcile the two, and the East and West are by no means mutually exclusive. There are many people in both cultures who would subscribe to either definition or a combination of the two. I would like to offer another definition.

Success is bringing success to others, both in achieving spiritual enlightenment and in material success and prestige. And I can offer an example from the people I have come to know in my teaching career.

Taddy Blecher has twice now succeeded in establishing educational institutions that have brought success of both kinds to countless students in Johannesburg, South Africa. The important distinction I must make between Taddy’s success and the success of other social entrepreneurs is that Taddy has given the most underprivileged students of his community an opportunity to succeed in a material sense through business degrees and technical training, and in a spiritual sense by practicing the technique of Transcendental Meditation.

Transcendental Meditation makes achieving material success easier while at the same time giving the meditator the experience of higher states of consciousness: a deeper and more profound understanding of the nature of life, which is to experience peace and happiness from within. The kind of happiness that neither derives from material success or is influenced by it. It just is. And it is available every time you practice the technique.

There is nothing inherently wrong with material success-as long as selfishness and greed are not what motivates it and the results bring material benefits to others. The problem with material success is the hard work and stress that comes with it often lead to serious illness and an inability to enjoy the fruits of success. Transcendental Meditation allows one to both achieve the benefits of material success and enjoy them through a long, happy and healthy life. Why? Well, for one reason the source of the meditator’s happiness is not based on something as ephemeral as material success.

Now back to Taddy Blecher. What exactly did he do? He founded The Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2007. Teaching underprivileged students Transcendental Meditation and giving them opportunities to earn BBA and MBA degrees. The success of the institute by any traditional standards of measurement would astonish educators in the US: Hundreds of jobs, thousands of dollars earned, careers established, families created, communities improved and uplifted.

But each of these students also lead happy lives. Happy and healthy lives that provide an extraordinary example of both to others. Countless young people yearn to join the Maharishi Institute and share in this success.

We need more Maharishi Institutes. Not just in South Africa but here in the U.S. and around the world.

(Taddy Blecher lives in Fairfield with his family each summer.)


– Jim Turner, Fairfield

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