“TM provided an anchor in turbulent times”

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“myhotel”entrepreneur, Andy Thrasyvoulou, describes how Transcendental Meditation has helped him.

I first heard about Transcendental Meditation back in the early 1990s. I had recently qualified as an architect, and the whole industry was going through a period of doom and gloom. I was working from morning to midnight in London and still couldn’t get on top of things. I was young, I had the energy, but there weren’t enough hours in the day.

One day I was with the man who mentored me at that time. We got into the back of his car, and he said: “I’m going to close my eyes — don’t disturb me.” When I asked him what he was doing, he pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down a name and telephone number, and said: “Go and see this lady.”

I knew nothing about TM or Maharishi. After the personal instruction, my teacher put me in a rocking chair with a blanket over me, and I disappeared. I knew instantly that it was right for me. It was amazing. I knew from the first day I sat in that chair it was going to save my life.

I had just started a family with young kids and I felt that, left unchecked, my health was going to suffer. I saw an immediate improvement to my breathing, to my heart rate.

TM has turned out to be a really effective managerial tool for me. I realised at one point that it wasn’t about doing more, it was about doing less, but doing it more strategically, more effectively. If I start the day with 10 action points, I usually find that five or six have already been handled in some way while I’ve been meditating. That leaves only a few things requiring my attention.

The “myhotel” concept came from two things. First, the “my” brand means “I’ll do it my way.” When I started, hotels were designed by men for men. It was a cookie-cutter approach, and I didn’t want to do it that way. Research showed that we were moving into a lifestyle decade, and that women were going to contribute more at the executive level. Also, we wanted to meet people at the human level, not just deal with corporate transactions. So “my” also means an individual experience for each guest.

Where we still pioneer is with the distinct local flavour of our hotels. We look at each market we’re in, separately, and tailor products and services to that market. The culture and values are the same, but the expression of those values differs from location to location. That definitely came from TM, specifically Maharishi’s idea of unity in diversity.”

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