Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beast meets West, Part 1

The Journey to the East in search of truth had been around since Herman Hesse. But the high profile Beatles gave tens of thousands of hippies the dream that their answers were to be found in the East – just follow the nearest Indian with a long beard and funny mantra.

~ Roadjunky: The Beatles Travel To India

What a difference a span of four decades fails to make.

At roughly the same time the Summer Of Love was morphing into an endless summer and heading out (so to speak) from San Francisco into the culture at large, The Beatles were bringing a little bit of India to the West. In the late 1960s they discovered Transcendental Meditation, or TM, and briefly became followers of TM’s great popularizer, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. While isolated Western thinkers and writers have long turned to the East for enlightenment or inspiration, it took the Fab Four, those huge influencers of the baby-boomer generation, to ignite the spark that really spread India fever to the masses in the West. (Coincidentally – or is it a coincidence? – Newsweek has recently published a story about this very topic.)

The Beatles’ love affair with India, or at least with TM, was short-lived, as they soon grew disillusioned with the Maharishi**. Their disenchantment had much to do with what they perceived as his hypocrisy; it seemed that this alleged celibate, this altruistic man of peace, was in truth a horny guy who acted on his lustful impulses, and he was a money-grubber to boot. And it also seemed that he was using The Beatles’ fame to promote himself. But their momentary infatuation did help spawn some silly fashions (think Nehru jackets and endless strands of beads) and, more significantly, some really cool music. "Across The Universe" remains one of my favorite songs of all time, as may be evident on the tag line to my blog, and John Lennon himself said the lyrics were the perhaps the best and most poetic he’d ever written. Whatever poetic, spiritual, or mystical significance the song may have, I like it because it seems infused with the ambience of a prolonged blissed-out (or perpetually stoned) state that I have never actually experienced, and don't particularly want to, but have often wondered about. Jai guru deva om!

Even more importantly, and relevant to this post, the Beatles’ and other influential celebrities’ fascination with India planted seeds that sprouted all over the cultural landscape and now are everywhere. Forty years later, aging hippies, as well as fresh new generations of Western seekers, are still looking Eastward, ever Eastward, to find the keys to enlightenment that Western philosophy and religion – at least in and of themselves – don’t seem to offer. Those who can’t afford to or don’t want to make the physical journey to distant shores simply glom onto the guru-of-choice’s teachings via the Internet. Or they’ll set their starry eyes on a Stateside New-Wager who has trained with that guru, or merely claims to be certified or trained in the guru’s techniques, or even just has a passing familiarity with Eastern/Hindu concepts and practices.

Not that I’m dismissing the value of Eastern thinking, or even of meditation in its various forms, transcendental or not. I can well understand the appeal, and I think that for me to categorically trash all things Eastern would make me as closed-minded as the Secretrons have accused me of being. But I cannot help being amused by the many ways that Eastern thought, particularly in its simplistic and sometimes vulgar Western incarnations, has contributed to New-Wage thinking (or lack thereof). And I suppose I still find it somewhat amazing that allegedly sophisticated, educated Westerners are just as easy to dupe as the poorest and most under-educated Easterner.

Before I go any further with this, let me tell you I am acutely aware of being quite a bit out of my league with this entire topic, having only a superficial understanding of Eastern philosophy and culture (though I do have a fair working knowledge of Indian cuisine, which I LOVE). I leave the informed criticism to people such as Jody Radzik and his delightful Guruphiliac blog. As evidenced by the very name of his blog, the subject of gurus is much more Jody’s bailiwick than it is mine.* Also useful in this area are John Knapps’ TranceNet and TM-Free Blog. And then there’s always the Rick Ross Institute.

But if you want a shallow, smart-alecky, and fairly ignorant treatment of these topics – and an exploration that (with apologies to my friend Gregory) doesn’t go much beyond the cult of personality – then by golly, you’ve come to the right blog. So stick around till you get bored, or until I do.

One Eastern practice that has taken a bit of a hold in the West in recent years is the yagya, a Hindu prayer ritual. This isn’t some sort of simple deal where you get together in your living room with some friends and pray about something, or you ask your church group to pray for you or with you, or you request that everyone on your email list say a prayer on your behalf. No, a yagya must be performed by professionals, and apparently it’s very rarely free; it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The Maharishi himself has had his own yagya scam business for years and years.

Actually the Maharishi is a man of many enterprises, and at one time New-Wage writer / speaker / healer Deepak Chopra was one of his business partners. I still remember the stir that Chopra created more than fifteen years ago, when the Journal of the American Medical Association (!) published an article of Chopra’s that was favorable to the Indian healing system of Ayurveda. At that time, Chopra had a few fingers in the Maharishi Ayurveda pie, a fact he conveniently failed to disclose to the JAMA. You can still read about "The Maharishi Caper" here.

As the linked article explains, JAMA was not the only mainstream medical publication to be duped by the Maharishi:

In August [1991], Johns Hopkins Magazine published an uncritical profile on Nancy Lonsdorf, MD, medical director of the Maharishi Ayur-Veda Medical Center in Washington, DC. Lonsdorf is the physician who, in a fund-raising letter distributed to members of the TM community, is described as having recommended a $11,500 yagya for a patient with a serious health problem. The Maharishi's yagyas are Hindu ceremonies to appease the gods and beseech their help for ailing followers.

Despite the extraordinary costs of these ceremonies, patients do not take part or even get to see them performed. (Chopra and Lonsdorf both deny that they recommend yagyas. Chopra insists that yagyas are not part of the Maharishi Ayur-Veda program. Nevertheless, I have a copy of another patient's health analysis from Chopra's center in Lancaster, Mass. that recommends the performance of not one but two different yagyas.)

In more recent years, New-Wage author and entrepreneur Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale has become a yagya true believer as well. He credits a yagya performed on his behalf for the breakthrough that led to the publication of his book, The Attractor Factor (released in hardcover in the spring of 2005, and in paperback in October of the following year). He tells the story of this miracle in The Attractor Factor. The book actually began life as Spiritual Marketing, which outlined five powerful steps anyone can take to create the life of his or her dreams. The steps were: (1) Know what you don’t want; (2) Select what you would like to have, do, or be; (3) Get clear; (4) Feel how exciting it would be to have, do, or be what you want; and (5) Let go. Simple, huh?

Self-published as a print book and an e-book, Spiritual Marketing was widely distributed and widely read, but it never reached the level of success that Joe had hoped for. A physician friend of his, Dr. Marcus Gitterle, was a big believer in yagyas and apparently got Joe excited about them. Joe contacted http://www.jyotish-yagya.com, had them do a yagya on behalf of his book, and voila! As Joe tells it, in short order a senior editor at Wiley, a respectable and influential trade publisher, sent an email to him, and before he knew it Spiritual Marketing was being revamped and expanded and sent out into the world again as The Attractor Factor. The five powerful steps were reworked a bit and a lot of filler material was added…oops, I mean the book was "greatly enriched." And so was Joe, for, as the legend goes, The Attractor Factor became a bestseller, even outselling Harry Potter on Amazon for a few bright shining moments. (Here's good news: Your book can be an Amazon bestseller too!) Later Rhonda Byrne got hold of The Attractor Factor and decided Joe should be in The Secret. And that, arguably, is what propelled Joe to his current lofty heights in the New-Wage stratosphere.

Although it is not his newest book, Joe is still getting a lot of mileage out of The Attractor Factor, as indicated on a recent appearance on CNBC’s showcase for the aggressively motivated crowd, The Big Idea.

Now, I realize some of you might have been operating under the belief that Joe’s success was due to Ho’oponopono. And some of you probably thought it was the Law Of Attraction, as outlined in The Secret. Some may have believed that the secret to Joe's success was The Missing Secret, or even that it might have been a tapping teleseminar with master tapper Brad Yates. But I ask you to consider the possibility, Dear Ones, that it was a yagya that really started the success ball rolling. (Early this year, there was an interesting discussion about The Attractor Factor on one of Steve Pavlina's discussion forums. On one thread, a commenter named Velvet expressed the opinion that there was too much promo and marketing hype in the book, and in a subsequent comment added, "I find it off-putting to be told 'here's the Law of Attraction, but if that doesn't work, go to this website and pay this acquaintance of mine $4,000 to do some vedic chanting for you.'")

Joe also credits a yagya for saving a close friend of his from death a few years ago. One version of that story, written some time in 2004, appears on the testimonials page of the Jyotish Yagya web site. A slightly expanded version of this story is in The Attractor Factor, although in the book the friend is not named. Entrepreneur and investment adviser Gary Scott published an article on his web site that quoted the relevant passage from the book at length (scroll down to the section titled, "Saved From Death").

What the passage does not mention is that the friend in the anecdote passed away in October of 2004. What it also doesn’t mention is that this is the same friend Joe wrote about in another chapter in The Attractor Factor, "The Shocking True Story Of Jonathan." He had only briefly mentioned Jonathan’s fate at the end of Spiritual Marketing, saying only, "The thing is, Jonathan is no longer available. He has taken time off to do personal things." He did not mention that "Jonathan" was not even the guy’s real name, though he does mention this in The Attractor Factor, where he goes into painful detail about Jonathan's shenanigans.

Perhaps the editors at Wiley failed to notice this, or perhaps they just figured that Joe’s readers wouldn’t be able to put two and two together and discern that the best friend who’d been "healed" by the yagya was the same deceased friend who had been sexually abused by the great healer "Jonathan Jacobs." That really wouldn’t make for a very happy story.

Even if one is willing to consider the possibility that the yagya did extend this woman’s life by a few months, it seems disingenuous at best to present this case as a "happy-ever-after" tale, when, judging from the "Jonathan" story, it seems clear that it was anything but that.

But forget that. It’s old news. And Joe’s adventures continue, as he remarks at the conclusion of the shocking Jonathan story in The Attractor Factor.

Meditation also plays a starring role in The Attractor Factor – specifically, something Joe calls Intentional Meditation, or IM, which is an idea that apparently came to him as he was writing The Attractor Factor. If IM seems to be merely a rip-off of TM, perhaps that is because Joe drew his inspiration from a book called Permanent Peace: How to Stop Terrorism and War – Now and Forever. The author is Robert Oates, a senior policy fellow with Maharishi University of Management's Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in Fairfield, Iowa.

On The Attractor Factor web site is a bulleted list of some of the topics discussed in the book, and several of these mention meditation. One item in particular caught my eye: "The Beatles meditated – and look how rich they are! Why not you?"

Never mind that The Beatles were rich several years before they discovered meditation. Never mind that it was arguably the influence of meditating and the Maharishi that helped lead to the Beatles’ breakup. (Here’s another article that echoes that opinion.) And never mind that the Fab Four were supposedly meditating for peace and nonviolence, not wealth, since they were, as I just noted, already wealthy.

For those are just details, and perhaps not very important ones at that. Many of Joe’s younger readers may have only a dim awareness of who The Beatles were, and to heck with that old boomer music anyway; just bring on the money and the cars and the hot babes! Besides (for those who care about such things) Joe claims that IM, like TM, can be used to create peace as well as wealth.

Even so, there seems to be a big emphasis in The Attractor Factor on creating riches for yourself (and maybe, as an afterthought, for the world). According to the promo page, The Attractor Factor explores:

  • The amazing moneymaking and peace producing IM technique. Page 205
  • How to meditate yourself rich. Page 206
  • The 3 easy steps to meditate yourself rich. Page 208

At the time The Attractor Factor was released, Joe also announced his decision to create a global set of "wealth hubs" where people would learn how to mediate to intentionally attract wealth. "The idea is simple," he wrote. "The more you help yourself the more you help those around you. And as you help those around you — you help the planet."

He added, "That’s the noble purpose of the Intentional Meditation Foundation. It is a non-profit organization designed to teach a specific meditation technique to people all over the globe. The purpose of this meditation is to lower violence and increase wealth wherever it is practiced." As Joe explains on The Attractor Factor web site:

In the last chapter of The Attractor Factor I reveal my colossal plan to change the world. People will become wealthy. Crime will reduce. Violence will go down. Prosperity will come not only to those who join but also to people around the planet.

I announced my plan on a radio show one night not long ago. To my amazement people from Africa, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and all over the United States volunteered to help.

He also mentioned this mission in a 2005 article that came out before The Attractor Factor was published.

Whenever I read of someone’s noble plans to make the world wealthy, I always wonder, What would it be like to live in a world where everyone was wealthy – or, for that matter, if everyone who signed up for some hustler’s how-to-be-a-millionaire course actually became a millionaire? I get a kick out of seeing how other average everyday folks have explored this question. I found an interesting link discussing this very matter. On another related discussion one contributor wrote this:

In a way, this has already happened in the west. Although most of us are not rich by the new standards being set, most medieval peasants would consider the average American worker to be wealthy. In fact, a medieval lord might even envy the average working Joe's diet.

So poverty, once you get past a certain comfort line appears to be a relative question. If all were wealthy, we would still be envious of the one person more wealthy than we are. This is how contemporary capitalism seems to work: Basic needs have been filled a long time ago. Now the art of producing more seems to be based on creating envy, on making sure people are dissatisfied with what they have.

I’m getting off topic again (or maybe not, come to think of it). At any rate, maybe Mr. Fire’s plan to change the world is not quite as scary as the "Invincible Germany" plot that we just discussed here the other day, but it does sound a lot like the Maharishi’s shtick. Curiously enough, I haven’t really heard anything else about those "wealth hubs," nor can I find a web site for the Intentional Meditation Foundation. But if any of y’all have any information, feel free to share it with me!

As for that old coot the Maharishi, who is ninety years old, he is still going strong, or at least his organization is, with its tentacles spread far and wide all over the world. Unlike his imitators and wannabes, the Maharishi does have an amazing network of "hubs," or spiritual terrorist cells, or whatever you want to call them. However noble the idea of spreading world peace may be, and however sincere and well-meaning most of his followers might be, I am left with the feeling that there is something rotten at the very core of the Maharishi’s cult of bliss. But don’t take my word for it. Ask someone such as Jody at Guruphiliac, who has written scads of posts about the Maharishi.

On my own blog, I’ve been getting some interesting comments in response to my post about the recent Berlin debacle with David Lynch and the Maharishi minion who calls himself the "Raja of Germany." Gregory, for example, quoted the late French essayist and poet Charles Péguy: "Everything begins in mysticism, and ends in politics." And then there’s this, from another one of my favorite commenters, "hohahe":

This [the Berlin spectacle] is a great example of how things can go wrong, how genuine bliss is not a replacement for common sense. Lynch is totally sincere about the bliss he has found, and is naturally grateful to those who helped show him. It is a very strange thing that those who are the best at helping plug people back into their own bliss are often highly manipulative or drivel talkers.

It’s obvious that for a very long time the Maharishi has been interested in much more than just teaching people to meditate (duh). And there are many reasons that the idea of a world government based on the Maharishi’s ideas (or even a Maharishi-inspired political party, with a quantum physicist as "president") are somewhat frightening to me. For those same reasons, I find the legions of copycats who "want to change the world" to be a little bit scary as well.

But mostly, I find them all amusing.

So that’s it for now. If I haven’t completely bored you to tears with this, or even if I have, I’ll conclude my journey East in my next post.

PS ~ I recently found out about a free e-book called Stripping The Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment, by Gregory D. Falk. You can download it here. I have, and I can’t wait to read it.

PPS ~ If you like "Across The Universe" as much as I do, you’ll enjoy these two videos. The first one is Fiona Apple’s cover of the song, which was featured in the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies, Pleasantville.

And here’s Rufus Wainwright’s version (yes, he’s the son of Loudon "Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" Wainwright III).

One You-Tuber suggests you play both videos at the same time, for kind of a yin-and-yang experience. Nothing’s gonna change my world!

* And for any of you Jody-detractors out there who wish to ply me with "shocking facts" about him, save your energy. I’ve heard it all. I don’t care if he has indulged in recreational substances. So have most of the people I know. I don’t care if he is a devotee of Kali. I have a dog named Kali; whom do you think she’s named after? I don’t even care if Jody claims to be "self-realized" when, in your opinion, he’s really not. To me the value of his blog is that he is documenting and offering opinions about the bad behavior of folks who claim to be spiritual leaders.
** [Added November 2009:] Opinions differ about whether it was the Beatles who grew disillusioned with the Maharishi or vice-versa. Here's Deepak Chopra, the Maharishi's former JV partner, in a February 2008 piece that 'splains things from another p.o.v.

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Anonymous Lana said...

Hi Connie,
Enjoyed your mishmash!

A couple of comments before I leave for my "moving meditation" class:

* Is there anything left that Joe V hasn't sullied?! A couple of years ago I bought the Attractor Factor and started reading it with high expectations. Instead, the more I read the more disgusted I became. I couldn't believe that people loved this merde.

* I really like The Big Idea and watch it all the time. But when JV came on last night, I left the room. I want to continue liking the show, ya know?

* Meditation is good (as RevRon commented on another post here). To use it as a means to transcendence doesn't make sense to me -- but what else is new.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 7:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Lana!

I have never watched "The Big Idea" (don't have cable right now) but it really looks as if it might be an entertaining show. But between Donny Deutsch *and* Joe, there was just a little bit too much frantic "energy" on that clip and I was left wishing I had a Xanax or something. :-)

I have nothing against meditation and have even had many positive experiences with it myself (even some...dare I say it...spiritual experiences).

And I know there is credible evidence that meditation can be beneficial to physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It's just the "cult" of meditation -- and the idea of using it to make wealthy hustledorks even wealthier -- that I find distasteful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:43:00 PM  
Blogger gregory said...

thanks for linking to sharon begely's article in newsweek... she was my favorite writer at the wall street journal, consistently sneaking stories about mind and consciousness into the boardrooms of america... i hadn't been able to find her there... looks like she got a gig at newsweek...

i could say a lot about the subject matter of your post, but i doubt it would be heard

enjoy, gregory

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 2:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Ha! I was about to tell you about Stripping the Gurus, which I *stumbled upon* yesterday. I didn't remember that you had mentioned it in this post.

The funny thing is that I wasn't searching for information about gurus. I found it by googling "Christianity AND triune brain theory", and wound up on a guy's blog who doesn't like Ken Wilber (apparently Wilber messes up the triune brain theory in his books). The guy has a link to Stripping the Gurus.

I love the Internet!

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"I love the Internet!" says Lana. You and me both, Lana.

I don't know very much about Ken Wilber; about the only thing I remember reading from him was a moving essay, years and years ago, about the death of his wife Treya. (He eventually turned this essay into a book.) I really don't know much about his work beyond that, other than to be aware that there are some folks who think he hung the moon, and some folks who think he's full of crap.

Which is pretty much the way it is with anyone in this field... So what do you think of him, Lana?

Friday, November 23, 2007 3:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

A brilliant guy who seems to be manipulative and misguided.

Friday, November 23, 2007 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"A brilliant guy who seems to be manipulative and misguided."

That's the general impression I get, from what little I know about him. Interesting...

Friday, November 23, 2007 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

We're getting pretty good at spotting such teachers, gurus and enlightened ones. :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007 4:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

A dirty job, as they say... but someone's gotta do it!

Friday, November 23, 2007 4:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Hey Connie, Here I am reading Geoff Falk's blog (the author of Stripping the Gurus). Guess what he says?

"If I were ever to give this blog an actual name, it would probably be "The Place for a Snark."

Sometimes I worry about the "birds of feather" thing. LOL!

Saturday, November 24, 2007 8:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Sounds like he's snarking up the right tree! :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"Ha! I was about to tell you about Stripping the Gurus, which I *stumbled upon* yesterday."

"Stripping the gurus," eh? Lana, I must thank you for what has to be the most nauseating visual since the old hippie in the hot tub! Blechhh! :-)

And from what I've seen of The Big Idea's Ode to Silly Joe, I am again gladdened that we chose to cancel our cable subscription.

Sunday, November 25, 2007 6:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Well, we aims to please!

Yeah, what I want to know is why nearly all these gurus are... um... not the most glamorous of our species.

My husband noticed that JV seems to have gained weight. Doesn't he follow his own expensive program anymore?

Monday, November 26, 2007 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I think that's his ego that has gained weight, and the camera just picked it up.

Okay, my apologies for that. However, I must say your husband is not the first person to make this observation.

As for me, I've actually been supportive of Joe's weight-loss efforts over the years, and, with the exception of my remark above, I've always taken care not to make fun of people's appearance if it's something over which they don't have that much control. Hairstyles and makeup and clothes, I might make fun of. General "scary" appearance -- maybe, if it's due to hairstyle, makeup, clothes, etc. But usually I leave weight alone.

Especially after Ron and I did research for an obesity book we ghostwrote a few years ago, I KNOW how difficult it can be for people to deal with obesity.

However, I cannot help but observe that on at least two occasions since I have known him, Joe has claimed to have lost a lot of weight using one thing or another that he is selling or promoting. And on both of those occasions he has also claimed to have found a "permanent" solution to the problem, such that he would no longer have to exert any effort to keep the weight off.

Alas, his "easy and effortless" claims didn't seem to hold up a few years ago, and they don't seem to be holding up now.

I applaud him for whatever he is doing that works to get weight off and keep it off -- I really do. But I think he does a disservice to himself and other people with weight problems when he implies there's a permanent and easy solution. For many people, it's a lifelong battle. Period.

That concept doesn't sell books and workshops and DVDs, though...

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Exactly my point for mentioning the weight gain.

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

And of course, the weight-loss things are like everything else he promotes: the "discovery" du jour is THE answer to wealth, health, happiness, etc.... until the next big "discovery." A neverending story....an unending stream of income.

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Exactly again!

How long will it take for people catch on to his game?

Monday, November 26, 2007 6:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I'm thinking, Lana, that there will always be people who "catch on," but there will be more suckers...er...seekers to take their place. I don't think the numbers of disillusioned souls will reach "critical mass" for a long time to come, if ever. Then again, I could be wrong.

Monday, November 26, 2007 7:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

The incidents in Rishikesh were fabricated...

"It's based on a tabloid story. I know Mia Farrow's sister Prudence (muse of Dear Prudence) and she said the whole thing never happened. The real story is the Beatles were kicked out of Maharishi's ashram for taking drugs. John made up the part about Mia Farrow and the tabloids ran with it. George admitted it all in 1997. Still the story lives on."

By the way Paul & Ringo just did a benefit concert for teaching 1 million at risk kids Transcendental Meditation... :)


Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your comments, Asher. In a much more recent blog post than this one, I not only have a link to a story offering another perspective about the Beatles' "divorce" from the Maharishi, but I also mention Paul and Ringo's performance in the benefit concert for the Lynch Foundation, which wants to spread TM to the schools.

IMO, the fact that a 40-year-old story was distorted or completely fabricated is of course important. But my basic points about TM and Maharishi worship being cultish still stand. There is a mound of evidence that the late Maharishi's organization is more concerned about wealth and power and influence than with making the world a better place. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that they ARE interested in making the world a better place -- for the Maharishi's organization.

Teaching kids meditation sounds harmless enough in and of itself. But the TM advocates insist on teaching THEIR brand of meditation, which, no matter what TM's soothing PR copy says, comes with a whole lot of silly and (in some cases) potentially destructive baggage that I think most parents wouldn't be too pleased about.

BTW, in case you haven't seen the more recent blog post to which I alluded above, here is a link:


Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Nov. 2009 note: I finally decided to add the link to Deepak Chopra's story about the Beatles v. the Maharishi to the main post. It is the second footnote.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 11:37:00 AM  

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