“Now that I’m teaching the TM technique fulltime, I wouldn’t want to do anything else, because nothing else comes close to truly changing someone’s life for the better.” —Kristi Pohlman
by Linda Egnes at Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine, Issue 11
When Kristi Pohlman quit her successful career as a financial manager, she didn’t know what she wanted to do, except help others. She studied to become a life coach—but still felt unfulfilled. Then at age 40, she started the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and two years later, completed the training to become a TM teacher. She now teaches with her husband, David, in the San Fernando Valley.
“I look back on my life and see that before I started TM, I was always seeking for more happiness, more contentment,” she says. “Now that I’m teaching the TM technique fulltime, I wouldn’t want to do anything else, because nothing else comes close to truly changing someone’s life for the better.”
For Kristi’s husband David (they met at the TM Center when he gave her introductory lecture), becoming a TM teacher was a natural progression after earning a Ph.D. at Maharishi University of Management and serving as Dean of Students there.
“It was a desire for many years,” he says. “I always felt that teaching someone to transcend was the highest profession—and I admired those who had been trained to do that. It was the fulfillment of my education and a clear next step in my own evolution to gain the ability to teach someone to transcend.”
Whatever a person’s background, becoming a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique is a life-transforming experience, both personally and professionally.
The TM teacher training course (TTC) is a five-and-a-half-month in-residence program especially designed by Maharishi to give the most profound value of knowledge in a short time. TTC teaches how to lead a student through the seven steps of learning TM—the introductory lecture, preparatory lecture, personal instruction, and three days of validation and verification of experience. The course also teaches how to provide personal checking of meditation, to give advanced lectures and TM Weekend Retreats, and to organize and run a Transcendental Meditation Center.
Of course, the highlight is learning to teach someone to transcend. “The purpose of TTC is to train the teacher to ‘whisper infinity’ to the people in their area,” says Linda Brittingham, a TM teacher of 35 years who recently co-taught a TTC for women. “And we know that the teacher always gains more than the student. By teaching someone to transcend, the teacher stabilizes that transcendence in her own life and quickly hastens her own growth towards enlightenment.”
Graduates agree that the structure of the TTC program is in itself transforming. For Krystle Liggins, 26, who completed TTC in 2010 right after graduate school, following the course routine changed her life.
“On TTC I felt like I was moving in the rhythm of nature,” says Krystle. “We fell asleep early, woke up before the sun rose. After a while I realized I wasn’t thinking about what to do next. I understood effortlessness in a whole new way. Because you put aside all other obligations while on the course, you don’t have to worry about a lot of things. You can just focus on this beautiful knowledge.”
Says David Pohlman, “The course is structured so perfectly by Maharishi to purify and restructure your nervous system. I felt that what I got was a more refined physiology.”
Increased confidence and leadership skills are other results cited by students. “When I left TTC, I felt like I could take on the world,” adds Krystle. “There was a feeling of empowerment, and people can sense that in the way you speak and present yourself. It cultivated the leader in me. It also cultivated my integrity—to do the job properly, to the best of my ability. Leadership, integrity, kindness, caring, and being patient with others—these are all qualities that were cultivated on TTC, and are huge for professional life.”
The main purpose of TTC is to gain the ability to enlighten others. As Kristi says, “So many women come to the TM Center distraught and troubled, and are looking to me to give them some tool to help ease what they’re feeling. I feel confident I can help them because the teaching of TM is systematic and will work every single time. To see their relief and simple stories of enjoying their day or feeling more happy is so rewarding.”
Krystle was hired by the David Lynch Foundation to teach at-risk children at the John O’Connell High School in San Francisco’s Mission District right after her TTC. “Behavior would change, there were less fights in school and compassion grew. One student came off parole early because he practiced the technique consistently, and others discovered that TM made them feel clear and settled, without any side effects.”
When Krystle helped teach the first public school residence course to 33 students, she experienced firsthand how the students became more harmonious. “At the beginning of the weekend course, the students sat in their cliques—the sports group, the dance group, the music group. After the first day, we heard this huge noise in the dining hall. It was the sound of the students moving the tables and chairs so they could sit as one.”
Krystle now teaches at the Palo Alto TM Center, and in her spare time attends acting classes at the Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco. At the Center she heads outreach programs for doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in high-stress jobs who are looking for a way to calm their anxiety.
“You see the need for people to have something like this in their lives,” she says. “As a TM teacher, I feel like my life is so worth living. I wake up knowing I’m going to help others.”
David, who taught A-list celebrities, musicians, and business executives in Beverly Hills for four years, says, “People have such amazing results—it’s consistent and profound. They come for all kinds of reasons—stress and anxiety usually—and immediately we see how much brighter they look, how much more rested, how there’s a sparkle in their eye. Because transcending is the core of all progress and happiness in life, to be able to open the door for others is incredibly fulfilling. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
For information on requirements and dates for the next Teacher Training Course, contact your local TMCenter.
Linda Egenes is a writer, blogger, and author of five books, including Super Healthy Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Maharishi Ayurveda, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, M.D.
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