Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Golden Dome 1981
…to a field of dreams. How Michael Blitz found himself in Fairfield, IA when all was lost.
By The National Business Post Staff
November 14, 2021
Michael Blitz was lost. Overthinking everything. Always trying to figure out what to do, feeling stuck. Everything was a challenge. Life had lost its innocence. Nothing happened spontaneously. It was the worst feeling he had known. Life wasn’t fun.
It was the fall of 1970, and the twenty-year-old University of Colorado dropout, was visiting Ft. Collins and found himself uncomfortable with everything, trying to figure what next to do with his life. His relationship with his girlfriend seemed to be ending. School was no more. And life was without a next step.
David Hakan, a co-counselor from a Camp in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri was in nearby Estes Park, CO participating in a week-long Transcendental Meditation™ (TM) Residence Course. Both had worked as camp counselors the previous summer. Until then, Michael had never met anyone who practiced TM, nor did he know anything about the practice. Curious to learn more, Blitz headed up to nearby Estes Park. And it was there he first heard the calling of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM, sharing his insights on how to live in tune with oneself and the world.
“Expansion of happiness is the purpose of life, and evolution is the process through which it is fulfilled.” Maharishi explained.
Michael remembers.
“It sure made sense. The secret to being happy is to grow from the inside, to be more awake, to use more of your capacity. TM renews you mentally and physically. I knew full well how tough it was to do well in school when you’re tired and uncomfortable on the inside. Like everyone, I wanted to be happy. Maharishi made it clear, happiness is a dynamic state. Grow from the inside. Get rid of the stress and fatigue. Experience the deep rest of TM, and you wake up from the inside. The clearer your mind, the better your choices, the more enjoyment and success you have.”
Maharishi’s formula is quite simple. Practice TM twice a day, for twenty minutes. Let your mind settle down and transcend the “normal” thinking process and allow the body to fall into a deep state of rest. Maharishi says this allows the body and mind to be more awake and alert.

After the weekend, Blitz returned back to Boulder and learned TM in the four day course. After a couple of months of practice, he noticed he was smiling a lot more, and life seemed easier. He decided that he would attend a TM retreat and immerse himself in the extra TM sessions. So in February 1971, Blitz attended his first weekend retreat. There he meditated daily – six or seven times on Saturday, then four times on Sunday, practicing Yoga along with pranayama breathing exercises. Several hours during the day were spent watching videos of Maharishi and discussing how one’s consciousness develops and expands. That weekend would change his life forever.
Marishi Mahesh Yogi
He wasn’t sure what was happening, but he knew it was good. Wanting to accelerate his growth, he applied to the TM Teacher Training Course which consisted of two, back-to-back, ten-week intensive trainings where participants would share extensive long periods of TM as well as nightly sessions with Maharishi to discuss and understand those experiences.
“When you practice TM over a number of years”, Blitz clarifies, “the mind goes into a settled state…It’s the ability for the mind to operate in that quiet settled state is what makes it special. It’s also called soft thinking.”
Accepted to the course, Blitz headed to Mallorca, Spain on January 1, 1972 and found over 2,000 other eager students from all over the world, much like himself, ready to learn more.
“We learned not only how to teach others to transcend, but the value of the experience, and the language to share it. I was beginning to understand why my life was changing so radically. I learned, perhaps realized, a lot about myself. I was growing in inner comfort, a lot of stress was going out, and I was seeing and understanding from a clearer and deeper perspective.”
First stop, St. Louis
Upon completing the TM Teacher Training Course, Blitz returned to his native St. Louis. Working with about half-a-dozen other new teachers, a home was rented that they called a Center. Four of the teachers lived there. The bedrooms were used for teaching personal instruction every Saturday while the living room became the lecture hall five nights a week.
They began going out into the community and giving introductory talks at libraries, schools, community centers, churches and anywhere they could find an audience. Gradually more and more were learning. Over time, four different locations were opened. By early 1975, approximately 5000 St. Louisians had been taught.
Tim Barklage, a highly successful entrepreneur, co-founder of Better Life Natural Cleaning Products, was taught TM by Blitz in St. Louis.
“Michael takes his teaching to a different level. He actually gets more out of teaching than his students. His passion is to share his knowledge and to grow as a person.”
Blitz continued his training, attending Advanced Traiing sessions in France with Maharishi. It allowed for deep rest, contemplation, and indepth discussions with Maharishi. He recalls it was here, during an extended six month session at the ski resort in La Plagne – high in the French Alps – that Maharishi summoned his teachers, telling them that more than twenty one countries were presently “not breathing” and that they needed TM teachers. Blitz signed up.
Next stop, Lagos, Nigeria
Assigned to Nigeria, Blitz headed off to Lagos, simply with visitor visa’s. Through donation of service, and the help of local TM’ers, they established The Nigerian Association of the Science of Creative Intelligence.
In constant contact with Maharishi, Blitz updated his progress weekly, until the day, he recalled, everything changed. June 16, 1975, Blitz was arrested and detained by the Nigerian government for spying.
“They just locked me up in an unoccupied office and would not let me go. It lasted 18 days. For four days, I slept on a table, which terribly injured my hip. It taught me why homeless people always have cardboard around.”
That same year, the TM movement across the United States was beginning to take hold. Maharishi had been invited as a guest on to The Merv Griffin Show, the most recognized daily talk show host at the time in America. Celebrities, well known through out Hollywood were starting to practice. Griffin himself, along with Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Mary Tyler Moore, and magician Doug Henning, were all practicing TM. Joining in on the discussion, they all shared their experiences about their individual practice, and how easy and valuable it was to do TM.
It was not long after the program aired, that more than a quarter of a million viewers reached out to the regional TM offices, inquiring about the practice. America was on board.
Meanwhile in Fairfield, IA – a small farm town of no more than 1,200, filled with silos and corn fields in the southeast corner of the state, about 240 miles from St Louis, MO – Maharishi and his followers of TM were quickly establishing the region as a mecca for the practice.
Maharishi International University (MIU) (formerly Maharishi University of Management [MUM]) was established in 1971 in Goleta, CA. Then in 1973, Maharishi International University moved to Fairfield, IA, purchasing the former bankrupt campus of Parsons College, as it continued to build out their accreditation and curriculum (through to the PhD level). Then shortly after their national TM conference in 1979, at the urging of Maharishi, more than 800 followers would move to Fairfield. The “townies” as they were called (the locals of Fairfield) began to see a shift, as more “rus” (from the term “gurus”) moved in.
Blitz Family crop
L to R: Michael Blitz, Casey Blitz, Sophia Blitz, Natasha Blitz-Jones, Jeremy Blitz-Jones
In 1983, Blitz made his move to Fairfield to participate in the group practice of TM and TM-Sidhi programs inside the newly built Golden Domes – completed in 1981 and 1982. The domes had been built to house large meditation gatherings for men and women respectively.
Soon after his move to Fairfield, Blitz married his wife, Casey in 1984 and had their first daughter Tasha in 1987, and then Sofie in 1993.
Like most families that moved to Fairfield to practice TM, all members had strong ties to the practice and university. Both of his daughters attended The Maharishi School and over the years would go on to win several academic decathlon competitions locally as well as nationally. As rural Iowa didn’t offer Blitz an opportunity to earn a living teaching TM, he built on his experience and successes with business leaders to develop the Center for Small Business Success … training programs, leadership development and world class customer service . Over the next 25 years he clocked over 10,000 hours teaching in the adult classroom, acting as a consultant and trainer to more than 125 businesses around the world.
Dubbed “Silicorn Valley” – due to the amount of entrepreneurial tech and programming companies within its small confines – Fairfield, IA, today, is touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America, as the region continues to implement and adopt new ideas. Maharishi International University has implemented a curriculum founded in the ideas of Creative Consciousness®, a learning process meant to put a person more in touch with his/her/gender non-conforming most authentic self.
MIU has one of the most intensive and successful programs in the world in sustainable energy development. The school also offers many highly touted art graduate degrees, including a Masters in Film fully funded by prominent TMer David Lynch. (other TMers and followers of Maharishi included the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Howard Stern, Yukio Hatoyama (former prime minister of Japan).
Fairfield has been transformed, just as Michael Blitz was transformed. Today, the small town’s population is a little more than 9,500 and is filled with well-heeled urban professionals who have settled down into the area seeking enlightenment. While small-town Iowa has generally lost population in recent decades, Fairfield’s population rose by 14 percent between 1970 and 2015. (A 2009 study from the University of Iowa’s Community Vitality Center found that $250 million had been invested in 50 different Fairfield companies since 1990, including communications, manufacturing, and tech businesses.)
Blitz is part of this movement and has been instrumental creating courses on Developing World Class Customer Service, Marketing without Money, and Building a Team, among others.
“What I love to do most in life is to discover, learn, integrate and share fundamental truths of life. I really want to understand what are the underlying rules on how to be happy and how to be great. “
Michael Blitz’s insights from Maharishi…
* “Expansion of happiness is the purpose of life, and evolution is the process by which it is fulfilled.” Happiness is a dynamic state of ever-growing appreciation of life and effectiveness in responding to its ever-changing reality. No one thing or achievement or person, can make us permanently happy. What does? Evolution. Evolution in this case means the growth of consciousness – refining the nervous system, which enhances the ability to perceive, understand, participate in, and enjoy, beauty and order in the universe.
* “The nature of life is to grow.” Growth is fundamental to life. Growth adds life to life. Growth is the ability to adapt to greater demands. Progress is the basis of both existence and security.
* “Profit is the by-product of fulfillment.” The highest purpose of business is to improve the quality of life, to bring fulfillment to customers, employees, owners and communities. Profit is the by-product of making life better for everyone, of adding value to the whole of life.
* “Intelligence is the invisible connection between the parts.” When you understand the relationship between the parts, you naturally begin to act more intelligently. When the mind transcends during TM, the attention goes to the quieter, non-verbal or cognitive levels of thinking. This facilitates the mind seeing and appreciating how the various elements work together.
* “Free will is the ability to evaluate the environment.” The more stressed we are, the more limited our perspective. To make intelligent choices, we need to make a proper evaluation. The process of transcending, of going beyond one’s past boundaries and releasing deep stress, spontaneously enables clearer evaluations and wiser choices.

The passing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
On February 8, 2008, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away. It was a difficult day for the more than five million followers of TM. On that day, Blitz packed his bags and headed to the airport, ticket in hand for Allahabad, India. Over the next eleven days, Blitz paid homage to his mentor and friend. Thousands were on hand for the burial.
“I am so deeply grateful to Maharishi for making TM available to the world, and especially to me.” Blitz emphasizes, “I am so deeply grateful for having a Master, someone of unimaginable wisdom that I could always trust to have my best interests in mind, even when I didn’t want to hear it. That is a connection, a blessing so rare and so special.”
Thirteen years since the passing of Maharishi, Blitz has continued to develop as a teacher, consultant and student of the practice. The last eighteen months, Covid-19 and the pandemic has minimized the “group like” meditation sessions under the Golden Domes of Fairfield, where thousands would gather in one sitting. Like the rest of the country, Blitz is slowly working his way back to the “new normal”. He has retired from active teaching and is enjoying doing his meditation program back in The Golden Domes and taking care of his health. He is spending more time with his family which now includes his first grandchild, sending him into a new path of life that will create even more joy for his family.

Little did Blitz realize that when he snuck into that TM seminar in Estes Park in 1970, he would walk out with a compass that would guide him for the rest of his life.
“I am grateful for having been able to teach TM for over 50 years, enlivening in others this simple process of awakening consciousness and growing in happiness…what great karma. I am grateful to know what it’s like to feel grateful. To know that unique and wonderful feeling of saying to yourself and to the universe, “Oh God, thank you.“
Today, there are more than 10 million practicing transcendental meditation worldwide.
Health Benefits of Transcendental Meditation™
• Reduced stress and anxiety
• Improved sleep
• Lower blood pressure
• Reduced cortisol
• Lower risk of heart attack or stroke
• Improved brain function and memory
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