INTERVIEW: Javier Ortiz Cabrejos, teaching Transcendental Meditation in Peru
November 17, 2015
After learning Transcendental Meditation, Javier Ortiz Cabrejos’ creativity and energy levels soared. The positive personal experience sparked his wish to share the benefits of TM with others, an aim which he has more than fulfilled having so far taught more than 18 000 students across Peru to meditate.
How did you find out about TM?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: I learned TM when I was 16 years old and had just been admitted to the University of Lima. I found an announcement in the newspaper and went to the introductory lecture on Transcendental Meditation. I saved up for a few weeks and then had the opportunity to experience this wonderful deep fullness, bliss and self-realization right away as I meditated for the first time.
What impact did learning TM have on your life?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: At the time when I learned TM, I was at university studying architecture. When I started practicing Transcendental Meditation, things changed immediately.
At university I became more resourceful and creative, capable of doing well at many tasks at the same time. I was able to finish university in less time because I took more courses than required each semester.
In 1983 Maharishi came to Peru to have a meeting with the president of the country. That chance to meet Maharishi was the most important moment of my life. It spurred my desire to become a TM Teacher. At the end of that year, that opportunity arose and I went to the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course. That’s how the story started to roll.
I know you have taught many students TM since then. How many exactly?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: In Peru, we had our first school project in 1997–1998, when we taught several hundred students at two schools in Puno. At that time a severe drought was creating many problems in the region, which is mainly an agricultural zone that depends on rain for proper crops. The first day we started teaching, rains started. The newspapers were saying that meditation brought the end of the drought.
In 2007, Maharishi asked that the program of teaching TM in schools be started again, and since then we have introduced TM to around 43,000 students. Personally, I have taught around 18,000 students to meditate in more than 48 schools, orphanages and universities in Peru.
Extensive research has shown that large groups of people practicing TM together can create a measurable influence of positivity throughout society. We saw this effect in Peru as well. Just a decade ago, Perú was in bankruptcy, in a kind of civil war with terrorists and without much hope, and therefore many youngsters were migrating to other countries.
Since we started teaching TM to large numbers of people, Peru has become a country free of terrorism and one of the success stories of economic growth in the world. The country has become stable and reliable, and young people are returning to Peru rather than leaving it. Peru is now listed as one of the happiest and most optimistic countries in the world.
How easy has it been to popularize TM in Peru? What are the advantages and challenges of teaching TM there?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: When we first began teaching in schools at Puno, a city 12,000 feet high, we could feel the positive results right away. I’m sure the purity of the environment, the purity of the people because they are closer to nature, and the quality of this sacred place all made it possible for just few hundred students meditating to achieve such extraordinary results.
When you are focusing on the right thing, everything becomes easy. The right people come along; the right places and the right circumstances occur. We had contacts with people at the regional ministries of education who could make agreements with us. So, when we went to the schools, the doors were already open.
The main challenge has been that more students are sent to us than our TM teachers can teach. But our team of meditation teachers, even though very small in number, is amazingly efficient and devoted.
It’s also wonderful to see TM spreading rapidly in other Latin American countries. In Colombia the Claret Foundation created by Father Gabriel Mejía has enabled more than 15,000 boys living under the influence of drugs and guerrilla conditions to learn TM. In Brazil, México and Ecuador, military schools have introduced TM programs.
What have been some of the most extraordinary results for your students that they have reported to you?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: We have many beautiful stories. For example, students practicing TM have become three-time winners of the National Science Fair and champions in sports like Taekwondo and swimming; two have become national champions of Mathematics; and so forth.
Also, perhaps not as outstanding but nevertheless just as important, there are students who had poor records whose academic achievements started improving drastically after only one month of meditating.
What would you say to encourage people to learn TM?
JAVIER ORTIZ CABREJOS: If you feel for some reason that something is missing in your life, then you are not feeling the fullness of your own great being. Then it’s essential to be able to fill that gap—to feel at home wherever you go, whatever you do.
TM enables you to do that. It is the tool that allows us to go home, to go deep into the source of our infinite and blissful essence, one unbounded ocean of consciousness, fully awake within itself, the source of our thoughts, emotions and actions, the source of our life.
We need to be linked to that source within in order to feed our life with its only goal: fullness and bliss.
Of course if you want to improve your level of energy, creativity, health and all-around success, practicing TM will be of great help! As Maharishi said, we get the highest — enlightenment — first and it is easy to achieve, because the Self is already in yourself. And then all-around success is secured. We water the root…. then we enjoy the fruit!