How the MERU Course Office team has stayed grounded during 2020

by | Dec 1, 2020 | Blog, Courses

2020 has been quite unusual to say the least!

Throughout the year, we’ve had to adapt a lot, whether it’s the way we shop, spend time with friends, or how we work.

That’s why we wanted to take this opportunity not only to introduce you to some of the people working in the communications and course office team, but also let them share with you how they have adapted and stayed calm this year.

Let’s start with me!

Taking morning walks and hiking at the weekends has really helped me to stay calm and connected to nature.’

What’s your name?

My name is Declan.

What do you do at MERU? 

I am a content writer at MERU. That means I am one of the people responsible for promoting MERU courses. Emails you read marketing our courses, Facebook posts you’ve seen, content on the website — I was involved in making those. As well as that, just like everyone at MERU, I enjoy doing the TM programme at MERU in a community of meditators. 

How did you find adapting to working from home?

Adapting to working from home was a strange one. I had only been working at MERU for less than a month before the first lockdown came into place. I found it difficult at first, but it was made easier by being part of such a supportive team and community. Now I feel I am working as well as I would in the office at home; it’s become the new normal.

What have you done to stay grounded this year?

We’re fortunate enough here at MERU that we’re nestled in the woods in De Meinweg National Park. This is great as we have many nature walks right on our doorstep. Taking morning walks and hiking at the weekends has really helped me to stay calm and connected to nature. Talking to friends and family, mostly virtually, but also in-person when possible, has really helped to stay social during this unusual time. Of course, meditating has helped a lot with all the changes that have taken place this year. 

Do you have any goals for the new year? 

In general, to go out more. Spend time with others, meet new people and explore places. This year has made me realise that I am not as much of an introvert as I thought I was.

‘Lots of programme, knowledge, and helping in the community have kept me happy, sane and grounded this year.’

What’s your name? 
My name is Lewis.

What do you do at MERU? 

I work at MERU in the Course Office as an Administration Assistant. I’m the first port of call when you are looking to join a course, or if you need assistance whilst you are taking one. I make sure everyone has all the information they require before the course, and collect and collate all feedback on the course afterwards. I also edit the online videos and upload them to the online platform. There’s a bit more to it, but that will do for now.

How did you find adapting to working from home?

I joined the Course Office in September, so it’s my first taste of working from home these past couple of weeks. I enjoy working on campus as there is a focus, and tasks tend to flow seamlessly into each other. However, I have been able to set up a lovely workstation looking out into the forest at home, and the forest is where I tend to be when it comes to lunch time.

What have you done to stay grounded this year?

This year, when lockdown came in I was busy working in television in Scotland, so it was a big change. I immediately joined an online group programme with other Sidhas in the UK, which felt as if I was doing programme in a large group. I took a few courses, Total Knowledge Part 1 and 2, Maharishi Yoga Asana Instructor Training, and the Introduction to Maharishi Ayurveda where they suggested Amrit Kalash and Ashwagandha as possible supplements for balance in these times. I found they worked remarkably well, and they complemented my programme, so it was a very timely addition to my routine. I was also involved with my local foodbank as a stock coordinator, negotiating deliveries and pick ups with major supermarkets. This was challenging with the food shortages at the time. So lots of programme, knowledge, and helping in the community have kept me happy, sane and grounded this year.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

I would like to get out and explore a bit next year, and meet some new people as I’ve felt a bit cooped up this year! I am working towards the TM Teacher Training Course, but I would like to spend some time in India in Rishikesh and the Himalayas, as well as joining a Purusha group at the Brahmasthan, if someone is smiling kindly on me.

I was able take to the Maharishi Yoga Course online, which was like a mini retreat, and in addition I also try to run regularly so that I can stay in shape and get some fresh air outside and be in nature, which has been a good way for me to stay settled and healthy this year.

What’s your name?

My name is Rebekah Mays. 

What do you do at MERU? 

I am a content writer at MERU, and I also work for Maharishi Foundation International. I’ve been working for MERU for a little more than three years now. I’ve been working on all the communications coming out of the course office, to digitise them and to bring the message to more people.

How did you find adapting to working from home?

In a way, working from home has been a good fit for me, because I am a bit of an introvert by nature so I don’t mind staying out of busy places, but definitely after several months a little more of a change of scenery would be nice!

What have you done to stay grounded this year?

For me, the most challenging thing about this year has been not being able to travel much, and definitely not being able to see my family as they live in the U.S. I would also normally go in the fall to the International Young Meditators’ Course, which is a rounding course. I haven’t been able to do those things this year, so I’ve been trying to be as regular as I can with my TM programme, and the TM-Sidhi programme as well which I also do. On top of that, I was able to take the Maharishi Yoga Course online, which was like a mini retreat, and in addition I also try to run regularly so that I can stay in shape and get some fresh air outside and be in nature, which has been a good way for me to stay settled and healthy this year.

Do you have any goals for the New Year? 

I have a lot of goals in the New Year. One of them is that I have been inspired to get back to my creative writing projects so I’m working on a book and I would love to finish that by the end of next year. I’m also hoping to go to the TM Teacher Training course in Thailand if they have that as usual next year. And I’m also working on becoming a Dutch citizen, as I live here in the Netherlands. So a lot of goals in the New Year – you can check back with me in a year to see if I accomplished everything.

This year was clear proof that some times things are not in our hands, irrespective of our effort or desire to make them happen.

What’s your name?

My name is Dajana.

What do you do at MERU?

I am currently working as an event manager for all our online events. I was also involved in organising some in-residence events here at MERU over the last few months. Apart from organising events, I have also been working closely with the team to improve our existing systems.

How did you find adapting to working from home?

Challenging. I graduated from TTC in February 2020 and came for a couple of weeks to visit MERU and translate some materials to Albanian. My plans to teach in my home country were washed away because of the Covid-19 situation. Luckily, I got involved again with the course office where work is constant. I immediately had things to do, but being in isolation after 6 months of TTC was extremely difficult for me. As the situation became more permanent, I had to let go of what I had planned and make the best out of what 2020 came to be. I have to say that I might even like working from home now! I have got into a good rhythm of coordinating my life at home with work, and with the winter around the corner it is becoming quite comfortable.

What have you done to stay grounded this year?

Regular programme (including Yoga asanas). Regular breaks (even 5 minutes long) from the screen. Long walks after lunch, or in the evening. A good support system at home has also helped.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

To let go of expectations. This year was clear proof that some times things are not in our hands, irrespective of our effort or desire to make them happen.

Portrait picture of Miryam Lopez, in Rishikesh

‘Appreciating all I have and every little thing makes my life easier, better, and enjoyable in so many ways. It has really helped to go through the pandemic with a smile on my face and much love in my heart.’

 What’s your name?

My name is Miryam López.

What do you do at MERU? 

Outreach.

How did you find adapting to working from home?

I was used to working from home before, but combining it with a lot of international travel and attending various events. But then the lockdown came! It was very hard for a while: 50 days in Spain of strict confinement without even been able to go out for a walk; just sitting for hours on the computer, and seeing your colleagues only through a video conference from time to time … After things softened a little bit it became easier, but I am still a people person, and I can’t wait to be able to travel and meet my new coworkers in person.

What have you done to stay grounded this year?

Besides, of course, practising the TM-Sidhi programme regularly, long walks in nature have helped a lot, and also spending more time with my closest relatives, especially my mum and dad. It may sound like a cliché, but appreciating all I have and every little thing makes my life easier, better, and enjoyable in so many ways. It has really helped to go through the pandemic with a smile on my face and much love in my heart. 

Do you have any goals for the new year? 

As soon as things get better I am planning to go to MERU and stay there for a few weeks so I can interact with my colleagues in person. Plus, do some group programme!

I am also planning some travelling to the USA to visit my sister and niece, and stay a few weeks in Fairfield to round in the Dome; also a long awaited trip to Bali. Antoher goal: planting the seeds to build a Vastu home in the countryside (or the beach) in Spain. Exciting!

Portrait picture of Miryam Lopez, in Rishikesh

Frequent visits to Berlin’s beautiful parks and lakes also really helped in the beginning, while taking the decision to spend the summer in Greece (where I’m from), and work from there definitely recharged me, as the sun and the sea always do!’

What’s your name?

My name is Odysseus.

What do you do at MERU?

I am a graphic designer at MERU, but I work remotely from Berlin where I live. I am basically responsible for making things look pretty, and in this way help promote MERU and its courses. New landing pages on the website, newsletters and emails, Facebook posts – I was involved in designing all of these!

How did you find adapting to working from home? 

I’ve been working from home before the pandemic, so luckily I didn’t really have to adapt to that. I’ve always enjoyed working like this and I’m glad others are also seeing some of the benefits of home office!

What have you done to stay grounded this year? 

Being consistent with my daily meditation has definitely been key to keeping it together, as well being lucky enough to share these interesting times with my lovely partner, and so avoiding being too lonely. Frequent visits to Berlin’s beautiful parks and lakes also really helped in the beginning, while taking the decision to spend the summer in Greece (where I’m from), and work from there definitely recharged me, as the sun and the sea always do! Finally, I’ve been organising creative home activities and small friend gatherings throughout, which have also been very helpful.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

I would say to make more time for being creative in a more personal way, by making more art, music, and beautiful useless things that make me happy, sharing them with the people I love!

Start 2021 calmly

Join us online for our Virual Winter Retreat 30 December – 3 January, to start the New Year with deep rest and inspiring knowledge.

As well as that, MERU has a whole host of events and courses to dive deep into Maharishi’s knowledge in 2021. Don’t forget to sign up to receive more information here.

About the Author

Declan Godfrey is originally from Grimsby, England, and currently lives in The Netherlands. He is delighted to now be joining the communications team at MERU as a content writer. His goal is to raise awareness of Maharishi’s extended knowledge to everyone.

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