: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Transcendental Meditation
to John, The Beatles first became aware of things Indian during the
filming of the movie 'Help!', which
coincidentally was also when George Harrison first tried playing a sitar.
Their experiences with drugs ushered in a period of intense
questioning, and The Beatles became increasingly mystical,
deeper within themselves and out at the world around them. The Beatles
ceased to be a performing group, and whilst making 'Rubber
Soul', 'Revolver' and 'Sergeant
John, Paul, George and Ringo emerged as four distinct individual
artists and thinkers, creating new sounds through creative
experimentation; making music that stirs both head and heart.
The Beatles met with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in August 1967, and learned about Transcendental Meditation, a simple exercise practised for about twenty minutes or so, twice daily. Almost immediately they renounced the use of drugs and became ambassadors for Transcendental Meditation. Although The Beatles didn't make a record promoting meditation, they recorded a song entitled 'Across the Universe' which includes a reference to 'Guru Dev', Maharishi's guru, who revived the teaching of meditation, not just to monks but to everyday folks too.
The Beatles flew out to India to attend a teacher-training course with
Maharishi, at a retreat near the ancient holy town of Rishikesh in a
forested area of the Himalayan foothills by the River Ganges. John,
Paul, George and Ringo were accompanied by their womenfolk, Cynthia
Lennon, Jane Asher, Pattie Boyd, Jenny Boyd and Maureen Starkey, and
their road manager, Mal Evans; all of them spent their time in
India, meditating, listening to Maharishi, and socialising with other
students, some of whom were musicians, such as flautist Paul Horn,
singer Mike Love of The Beach Boys, and singer/songwriter
The musicians would often get together to play and write, and George
would play his sitar for his fellow students.
Whilst in India, The Beatles wrote many notable songs, some of which
appeared on the 'White Album', such as 'Back
in the USSR', 'Dear Prudence', 'Julia'
and 'The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill', to
name but a few, and Donovan also wrote new material, including one about Maharishi called 'Hurdy Gurdy Man'.
John, Paul, George and Ringo all found great inspiration in the spiritual teachings of India, and though John Lennon's attention shifted to his newfound relationship with Yoko Ono, his interest in meditation endured. The break up of The Beatles took its toll on each of them, but come what may, they all seem to have continued to value the practice of meditation, and George, Paul and Ringo all performed at benefit concerts in order to raise awareness of the value of meditation. The Beatles' musical heritage will most likely endure for centuries; hopefully their idealist quest for Peace, Love & Understanding will ultimately prevail and governments will 'Give Peace a Chance'!
A4 format (8.27ins × 11.7ins - 210mm x 297mm)
180 illustrations appx. (Colour & B/W)
Weight: 2.2lbs ~1kgISBN-13: 978-0956222893
Publication date: 15th May 2017 *
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