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.
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.
“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.”