Posts Tagged ‘John Lennon’

Billy Collins interviews Sir Paul McCartney about writing songs, poems, Beatles music, and more

March 21, 2016

On October 23, 2014, Sir Paul McCartney visited Rollins College at the invitation of Rollins Winter Park Institute Senior Distinguished Fellow Billy Collins. In this interview Paul shares some interesting stories from his life as a Beatle, how he wrote songs with John Lennon and by himself. He answered students’s questions and concluded by singing Blackbird.

Nancy Shevell’s son, Arlen, Paul’s stepson, was a student at Rollins at the time. The following year, at Arlen’s private graduation party in May 2015, Paul had asked to sing with the local band Nancy had hired. Josh Walther and The Phase5 Band shared their amazement online!

I discovered some surprising connections between Nancy Shevell and Barbara Walters, and with Paul McCartney’s first wife, Linda McCartney. See Who Is Nancy Shevell, Paul McCartney’s New Wife?

You may be interested to read The Story Behind Paul McCartney’s Song: “Let It Be.” See other posts about Paul McCartney on The Uncarved Blog, and poems by Billy Collins, including video interviews and readings.

Cynthia Lennon, dead at 75 (1939-2015) R.I.P.

April 1, 2015

Cynthia Lennon, dead at 75 of Cancer
Julian Lennon’s Beautiful Memorial Tribute
http://www.cynthialennon.memorial

Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

December 21, 2014

See the full article with more photos and quotes featured in the 21st issue of Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine: The “Dear Prudence” Story by Rolf Erickson. Reprinted here with permission including the video: Dear Prudence: A Portrait Of Prudence Farrow Bruns.

The “Dear Prudence” Story

BY ROLF ERICKSON

photo_prudence01Prudence Farrow Bruns, PhD, is the daughter of actress Maureen O’Sullivan and award-winning writer/director, John Farrow. She has been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for 48 years, and has been a teacher of the TM program for 46 years.

It all started so simply. It was 1966, and 18-year-old Prudence Farrow was sitting on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean at her brother’s home in Los Angeles. She was reading a book on meditation when she heard a voice say, “If you’re interested in meditation, I know just the meditation for you.”

The voice was that of Peter Wallace, a friend of her brother. Peter had spent six months traveling through India, where he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and began the Transcendental Meditation technique. He told her how simple and effortless the technique was, and yet how profound the experience and benefits could be.

“It was the simplicity of the practice that struck me most,” Prudence said. “I’d been trying different methods of meditation for some time, but they had all been complicated and difficult. When Peter described a simple, natural practice of diving deep within, I knew he was truly onto something.”

So Prudence learned the TM technique at UCLA. After experiencing the positive effects of TM for herself, Prudence wanted more. She wanted to meet Maharishi and to study with him. “At that time Maharishi had courses in India,” says Prudence. “He brought people there, and they studied for three or four months with him. You meditated for long periods under his guidance.”

On January 23, 1968, three days after her 20th birthday, Prudence traveled with Maharishi from New York to Rishikesh, India to attend her TM teacher training course. And that’s when the “Dear Prudence” story really began.

The Beatles Make the Scene

One month after Prudence arrived in Rishikesh, The Beatles showed up to study with Maharishi. While they all spent some time there, John Lennon and George Harrison stayed the longest.

“The Beatles were all very nice, humble, modest, kind, and down-to-earth people,” Prudence remembers. “I was closest to John and George, since they were my ‘course buddies’ during our studies with Maharishi. We were supposed to look out for each other during the course.”

photo_prudence02

Prudence (left) sat next to Ringo in course photo.

Prudence soon became known for her tendency to keep to herself in her room, focused on her meditation practice. “I was deeply immersed in my studies and meditation, locked away in my quarters. John, as my course buddy, was concerned and wanted to bring me out of my room to enjoy the experience more.”

John and George would come over to her room and play their guitars, encouraging her to come out and sing with them. It was this experience that became the inspiration for their song “Dear Prudence” in which John sings, “Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?”

Before he left Rishikesh, George mentioned to Prudence that they had written a song about her, but she had no idea what it was. She didn’t hear the song until it came out on their 1968 album The Beatles, commonly known as the “White Album.”

Prudence’s dedication to her meditation practice did pay off. After four months, she graduated from the course and became one of the first and youngest teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique at that time.

But that was just the beginning of the “Dear Prudence” story.

Prudence Comes out to Play

Once she completed her teacher training course in India, Prudence definitely did come out to play. Over the past 46 years, she’s instructed thousands of people in the TM technique throughout the United States and Canada. She married TM teacher Al Bruns in 1969, and they have three children and four grandchildren.

She’s produced Hollywood feature films and a play in Manhattan. She was an assistant to the curator of the “Theatre Collection” of the Museum of the City of New York. She has been a magazine writer. She’s written two books.

Prudence earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She received her doctoral degree in 2007, with a major in South Asian Studies and Sanskrit. She has made presentations to conferences at numerous universities, including Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Hawaii. She’s taught courses at UC Berkeley and Rutgers University.

TM and Yoga

Prudence continues to teach the TM program in Florida. In fact, she’s the most successful teacher in the U.S. at setting up Affiliate Programs in yoga studios. Maybe that’s not so surprising, considering that she’s a lifelong yoga practitioner, and she opened a yoga institute in Boston back in 1967.

photo_prudence03

Prudence attended India’s Kumbh Mela last year.

Maharishi Foundation created the Affiliate Program to bring TM to yoga studios and fitness centers. When a studio becomes an Affiliate, their members can learn TM at a reduced course fee, and the studio receives a share of the income. Everyone benefits—the new TM student, the yoga studio, and the local TM teachers.

Today most people think of yoga as a series of physical postures. But Maharishi has explained that in the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali identifies eight limbs of yoga, and the eighth limb is Samadhi or transcendental consciousness. Maharishi said that with the practice of TM, Samadhi is actually the easiest limb of yoga to achieve, since no effort is required. We simply tap into the natural tendency of the mind to go within, to transcend, and that transcendence nourishes and supports all the other limbs.

“I do think that Transcendental Meditation is—of the meditations that are available to us—the most direct, and the simplest,” says Prudence. “When you meditate, when you transcend, it allows your heart and mind to balance. And when they’re balanced, that’s when you are really healthy. You are happy. You’re happy mentally, happy emotionally, and happy spiritually. Those three are all components of what make a human being, so that connection to transcendence is absolutely necessary for health.”

Creating a Better World

Fortunately for us all, Prudence did come out to play.

“The years of meditating have enriched my life so much,” Prudence says. “And that’s why at this point in my life, I’m giving back. We need a better world. We need people to be more conscious, to be more evolved. And expanding the mind, like TM does, is absolutely vital to bring about stronger people. If you can strengthen people inside, you’ve changed the world.”

So even today, 48 years later, the “Dear Prudence” story continues.

[In July 2018, this article was updated and published in Enjoy TM News.]

###

Last year, Prudence Farrow Bruns participated in a series of Consciousness Talks at Maharishi University of Management, called Our Conscious Future. Here is a clip from her talk where she discusses a conversation she had with George Harrison about his spiritual awakening. Prudence, George and John Lennon said they felt it was happening to many in their generation, and that it would continue long after they were gone. Listen to Prudence describe The “Dear Prudence” Story. For other fascinating presentations, visit ConsciousnessTalks.org.

Years later, The Beatles released many versions of their songs on the 50th Anniversary of The White Album, now out on Spotify, which include The Esher Tapes. There are 3 versions of Dear Prudence there: the Esher version of John Lennon singing on guitar; one of just vocal, guitar, and drums; and the 2018 mix.

Another beautiful song that John Lennon wrote about his experience with Transcendental Meditation was, Across the Universe. Spotify included John Lennon on guitar singing Across The Universe–Take 6.

This article was also published in GGN: World Peace News. Here are some related videos and interviews with Prudence Farrow Bruns: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM and Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi and Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela.

Prudence’s memoir is now out: Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song. Listen to an interview with Prudence about the book online at Spirit Matters with Dennis Raimondi and Philip Goldberg. Read an interview about the book in Rolling Stone: The Real ‘Dear Prudence’ on Meeting Beatles in India. Read this excellent article in the Pensacola News Journal: Woman behind Beatles ‘Dear Prudence’ reads at Open Books. Here is another interview: In Conversation With: Prudence F. Bruns, Transcendental Meditation Teacher and Inspiration Behind “Dear Prudence”. Prudence Farrow Bruns | Conversations with Jeff Weeks | WSRE Pensacola PBS.

Watch the A&E biographical film, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007) and the earlier CBC documentary of Maharishi at Lake Louise. TMhome also posted the International History Channel documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: How it was made: The story behind the film.

Watch this November 8, 2018 Lyndsey Parker interview for Yahoo Music: Mike Love remembers ‘beautiful, spiritual’ beginnings of the Beatles’ ‘White Album’ in India.

Read The Story Behind ‘Dear Prudence’ by Jennie McKeon, Dec 23, 2018, for wuwf 88.1, NPR for Florida’s Great Northwest.

Howard Stern interviews Donovan about his hits and time with The Beatles and Maharishi in India

February 11, 2014

Howard Stern Show – Donovan Interview 02/05/14

2-5-14-donovan-on-air-3.vault

Howard tells Donovan that he’s going to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame before he even knew, and today it’s news: Donovan, Kinks’ Ray Davies lead Songwriters Hall inductees. Check this description of the interview on the Howard Stern Show – SONG BY SONG WITH DONOVAN. Around 40 minutes into the interview Donovan talks about how they got into meditation. Some fascinating stories!

David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace

August 8, 2013

banner-colmesLegendary Filmmaker David Lynch

Award-winning filmmaker David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour, teaching millions of struggling people how to achieve peace through Transcendental Meditation. Click on the title to go to the website and listen to this dynamic and inspiring interview: [Video] Alan’s FASCINATING interview with legendary filmmaker David Lynch! and here: David Lynch On The Value Of Transcendental Meditation.

Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace” | Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary | Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary | Enlightenment, The TM Magazine: Meditation Creativity Peace: How the David Lynch Foundation Brings Change from Within.

Visit the new website, Meditation Creativity Peace, for a list of upcoming and previous screenings: http://meditationcreativitypeace.com.

You may also enjoy this earlier article David Lynch wrote for Jane Magazine’s celeb issue: Celeb Spiritual Report: One significant day in my life by David Lynch for Jane Magazine (May 2004).

Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi

June 9, 2013

This wonderful interview is also available from on Vimeo. Retired TV journalist Ted Henry conducts interviews with spiritual people for Souljourns. Last month he interviewed Prudence Bruns Farrow. You can also see the interview on their Vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/67166559. Here is their introduction to the video:

From the very beginning Prudence Farrow Bruns recognized an added layer or texture to her life, a spiritual dimension that would take her deep within.

She was among the first in the West to become initiated into Transcendental Meditation and in the mid sixties she traveled to Rishikesh, India to learn to become a TM teacher. Her own teacher in India, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who is credited for bringing TM to the world.

In India with her at this time, her sister and acclaimed actress, Mia Farrow, The Beatles, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Donovan and others.

Prudence and her husband, Albert Bruns who is also a TM instructor, live in Seagrove along the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida.

The interview was recorded in Seagrove, Florida in May, 2013.

See this related BBC news item: Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela. And this video: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM.

Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela

February 23, 2013

Beatles song muse visits India’s Kumbh Mela
By Amitava Sanyal, Allahabad, for BBC News India
February 21, 2013 | Last updated at 06:37 ET

Prudence Farrow at Kumbh Mela
Prudence Farrow says the Beatles were “real people”

The subject of a Beatles song is among the many foreign pilgrims visiting India’s Kumbh Mela festival.

Prudence Farrow, about whom John Lennon wrote the song Dear Prudence, is also sister of Hollywood actor Mia Farrow.

The Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years, is billed as the world’s biggest gathering of humanity.

Millions of Hindu ascetics and pilgrims take a dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in Allahabad city.

Ms Farrow says she waited for four decades to come to the Kumbh Mela.

She had first visited India in 1968 as a student of meditation and met the Beatles at Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s retreat in Rishikesh.

“I wanted to come to the Kumbh with the Maharishi, but that never happened,” she told the BBC. Her guru died in 2008.

This year Ms Farrow finally made it to the Kumbh Mela with her husband Albert Bruns.

‘Exotic’

“India has changed so much since I first came here,” says Ms Farrow, 65, sitting in the brightly-painted porch of her rented flat in Allahabad.

“Back then it was exotic. We were staying in the forest outside Rishikesh. Life was quite agricultural even in the cities.

“There were animals on the road, there were very few telephones and there was hardly any electricity where we were staying.”

Ms Farrow says she was in for a shock when she first arrived at the festival ground last month.

At first, she insisted on staying in one of the tens of thousands of tents that have been put up on the banks of the river.

Ms Farrow, who has a doctoral degree in South Asian studies and runs foundations to promote meditation, says she was in search of “an inner silence”.

But, ironically, the blare of three loudspeakers every morning at the festival grounds shattered her peace and she shifted into the city.

This was, she says, in sharp contrast to the peaceful times she spent with her sister Mia at her guru’s retreat in Rishikesh in 1968.

At the retreat, the Farrow sisters met the Beatles.

“Because of Mia there were too many people coming in and out of our block,” says Ms Farrow.

“And then in the evenings George Harrison would jam with John Lennon and others would join in. I wasn’t getting the silence.

“People said: ‘You are being too fanatical, you should come out.’ Yes, I was extreme because I thought it was a privileged time. I still think it was the most important time in my life.”

So while the rest of the students partied, Ms Farrow says she locked herself up in her room and practised meditation.

That is when, she says, Lennon, wrote the song Dear Prudence, which appears on the band’s White Album.

DEAR PRUDENCE

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play

Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day

The sun is up, the sky is blue

It’s beautiful and so are you

Opening verses of Dear Prudence, written by John Lennon

The song’s hand-written lyrics, lined with doodles, sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 1987 for $19,500 (£12,800).

“The reason he wrote I was beautiful – and there were much more beautiful people around – was because I was so much like George,” says Ms Farrow.

“George and I were there for very much the same reasons – we were both very spiritual and we wanted to find a solution for ourselves and the world. George would say that through his music he wanted to help people become more settled, more quiet and more sensitive.”

Ms Farrow says she did not want to meet the Beatles as “great people never lived up to their image”.

Did they disappoint her?

“What didn’t disappoint me was that they were still real people. They weren’t more important than anybody else,” says Ms Farrow.

“Fame has that quality – it corrupts you. You begin to feel that you’re separate from other people, you’re more powerful. But they didn’t have that.

“They were going through the same things as we were. That’s why they were the voice of the times.”

Article URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21530477

See the Dear Prudence Foundation http://dearprudencefoundation.org

For information on Maharishi and his Transcendental Meditation technique visit: http://www.tm.org/maharishi

Also see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007)

See: Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

Here is a related post: Varanasi by Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings.

See Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi, and an interview with PRUDENCE FARROW BRUNS by MicCameraAction after her return from the Kumbh Mela. She talks about her time with Maharishi and the Beatles in India and her new Dear Prudence Foundation to make Transcendental Meditation available to those who want it but need a scholarship to help pay for it. And this video: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM.

This is a funny video of Prudence’s sister, Mia Farrow: Dear Prudence.

Prudence’s memoir is now out: Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song.

Here’s a photo of Prudence and Albert getting ready to bathe in the Ganges at the Kumbh Mela. I’ve never seen them looking so happy!

Prudence and Albert getting ready to bathe in the Ganges at the Kumbh Mela

Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Boyd, and the Beatles

November 15, 2009

the armenian reporter

Cynthia, Pattie, and the Beatles

Former wives of John Lennon and George Harrison in Yerevan

Cynthia Lennon-Pattie BoydPattie Boyd and Cynthia Lennon during their live interview at the Special Events Auditorium. German Avagyan

by Maria Titizian

Published: Saturday November 14, 2009 in Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Yerevan – John Lennon and George Harrison were two of the four Beatles, one of the most iconic rock groups in history. Their former wives, Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd, were in Yerevan for the grand opening of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts last week. They took part in a live interview with Michael De Marsche, the museum’s executive director, in the brand-new and beautifully appointed Special Events Auditorium, located at the top floor of the complex.

The first-time-ever joint appearance of Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd, took place in Yerevan. Arranging for that to happen was no small feat, according to De Marsche, who recounted the many telephone calls and arrangements that the museum made to ensure their participation at the opening. Watching the interaction of these two phenomenal women on stage was like taking a trip down memory lane.

Those in attendance at the live interview at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts cut across a large swath of Armenian society, including Armenia’s deputy foreign minister Arman Kirakossian who was there with his family. Their nostalgia for the Beatles has a deeper meaning.

The music of the Beatles was repressed during the Soviet era but an underground culture was able to smuggle in and disseminate their music in innovative ways. Their influence was immense; some like the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, would say that the cultural, social, and musical revolution they inspired manifested itself years down the road. “More than any ideology, more than any religion, more than Vietnam or any war or nuclear bomb, the single most important reason for the diffusion of the Cold War was the Beatles,” Mr. Gorbachev has said.

For over an hour, Cynthia and Pattie disclosed intimate moments they shared with their husbands and each other, from fame to drug abuse, to alcoholism, and eventually to break-ups both marital and musical. Those turbulent early years when the Beatles were on the road to becoming one of the most legendary music groups of all times, the wives were along for the ride. However, as they recounted, the ride wasn’t always smooth. Pattie Boyd was very honest when recalling that tumultuous time of her life, “With a lot of help from a psychotherapist I have learned and am a much stronger person now. I am thankful to be free.”

“We have survived,” Cynthia Lennon said. “We have lost so many people along the way.” Indeed, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are the sole surviving members of the Beatles. John Lennon was shot and killed in front of his apartment building on December 8, 1980, by Mark David Chapman. George Harrison died of lung cancer in his Hollywood Hills mansion on November 29, 2001.

Cynthia Lennon, nee Powell, met John Lennon at the Liverpool Art College in 1957. “We were young and very much in love,” she recalled. The two married in 1962, after Cynthia became pregnant with their son, Julian. Lennon left her shortly after their return from India in 1968 to be with Yoko Ono. In 1978, Cynthia wrote A Twist of Lennon, which included her own illustrations and poetry, and a later biography on the famous Beatle titled simply, John in 2005.

Pattie Boyd was a model and photographer. In the 60s she modeled in London, New York, and Paris and appeared on the UK and Italian covers of Vogue. She met George Harrison in 1964 when she was cast in The Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night.” She said at the time that Harrison was “the most beautiful man I had ever seen.” They were married in 1966; Paul McCartney was the best man. They divorced in 1974, after which Boyd married Eric Clapton. One of the audience members asked her how she came to be with Clapton. “Eric kept coming over [to the house she shared with Harrison] and began declaring his love and passion for me,” she said. “Because I was being ignored by my husband and being young, I found it irresistible. Maybe if we weren’t so young, maybe we could have made it work.”

Boyd’s book, Wonderful Today: George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me, which came out in 2007, was on the New York Times bestseller list.

For both Cynthia and Pattie, their fondest memories go back to the time they were all in India in 1968, after the Beatles renounced drugs and became followers of Indian mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. “It was an idyllic, positive situation at the foothills of the Himalayas,” said Ms. Boyd. “I loved it there.”

“The holidays, the times we went away together” is what Cynthia Lennon remembers as the best times.

“When George, John, Cynthia, and I went to Tahiti and sailed on a boat” is what Pattie Boyd said was her fondest memory.

They were hard-pressed to reveal which Beatle song they liked most. “They’re all so different. It’s here, there, and everywhere,” said Cynthia. “But I think that Sergeant Pepper was the most unbelievable album.”

Pressed to say which Beatles song she liked most, Boyd – who is known to be the inspiration for some of George Harrison’s songs – said, “It’s difficult to say which one is my favorite, but ‘All You Need is Love,’ is so strong and profound.”

Someone from the audience wanted to know if there were any hidden messages in the Beatles’ songs. “No, people wanted there to be messages, but there weren’t any,” Cynthia assured the audience.

Questions were asked about what Cynthia’s son, Julian Lennon, was doing musically. Cynthia explained that he completed an album about a year ago, but is still trying to get the best deal, “hopefully by next year.”

Following the live interview, the two women were available for book signings and Pattie’s exhibition of photographs was opened to the public. Ms. Boyd spent a few minutes speaking with the Armenian Reporter, in between signing her books.

She said that this was her first visit to Armenia and to the region in general. “After this book signing, I can’t wait to go out and explore the city,” she smiled. “I want to go to Vernissage and the museum at Republic Square.”

About the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, she said: “I am so blown away; I think this is the most exciting building I have ever seen architecturally; it is so wonderful. I want to bring my friends from London here next year.” She went on to explain that the design of the museum, the different installations on each floor and the gardens were “absolutely beautiful. It’s so beautifully done and the attention to detail is exquisite.”

Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd both seem to have have found peace and happiness. “I am very, very happy,” Cynthia explained. “The one person who has given me strength and hope is my son and my new husband…. It’s important to still have a sense of humor.”

(c) 2009 Armenian Reporter

Also see The Morton Report, by Jaan Uhelszki, Contributor, September 7, 2011: Pattie Boyd: Rock’s Most Beautiful Muse.

I remember you were the one who introduced everyone to the Maharishi. Tell me about that, and do you still do some kind of spiritual practice now?

Yeah, I still meditate. I was meditating. Along with a girlfriend I learned Transcendental Meditation and I told George about it. Then the Maharishi was coming to England and I wanted to see him. And I wanted George to meet him. At that time, Paul wanted to meet him as well. That’s why we all went and listened to his lecture, and he was obviously very happy when he heard that they were in the audience, and he wanted to meet them. When he did he suggested that we all go to Wales for a few days to learn more about meditation: he wanted to initiate them. It was really awful because while we were up there, their manager Brian Epstein died. It was just awful. One can think how extraordinary that the one person who had been guiding them throughout their career, from the beginning of their career, died, just as this spiritual leader is taking over.

Did it feel like a baton had been passed?

Yes. Well, no, it didn’t last for very long for some of them, but it did for George, for the rest of his life.

Also see Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela and The former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunion for David Lynch’s benefit concert airs on New York’s THIRTEEN, Sunday, April 29

In this Prime Time Russia Today news spot, uploaded on Jul 17, 2011, a reporter asks Pattie Boyd about her trip to India with the Beatles in the context of a her photography exhibit.

Q: A section of this exhibit is dedicated to the Beatles and your trip with them to India, particularly George Harrison. How important was that time spent in India for you?

A: It was a very very special time. I loved being in India and I loved everything that we learned from Maharishi, which was an extended course on meditation. And it was very, it was wonderful being there at that time because the Beatles were particularly prolific. They wrote most of the songs for the White Album while we were in India.

Time Out Abu Dhabi: Transcendental Meditation

September 3, 2009

Transcendental meditation
Dismissed by cynics, applauded by medics, transcendental meditation is nothing if not controversial

‘It was a great gift,’ said Sir Paul McCartney earlier this year. ‘For me it came at a time when we were looking for some stability towards the end of the crazy ’60s. It’s a lifelong gift that we can call on any time.’

At a press conference for Change Begins Within (an initiative that hopes to get one million children involved in transcendental meditation, or TM, put together by Twin Peaks director David Lynch), Macca’s fond enthusiasm was somewhat at odds with the general malaise that soured the Beatles’ meditation retreat back in 1968. After the fab four followed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the man credited with introducing the Indian-Himalayan meditation technique to the West) to Rishikesh, India, John Lennon dismissed him as a charlatan. Though he apologised for his youthful outbursts later, it seemed impossible that a Beatle-tarnished reputation could ever be wiped clean.

Not so. By the mid-’70s some 40,000 Americans per month were reportedly signing up for classes, many of whom found the simple, schedule-friendly techniques so beneficial that they practise it to this day. David Lynch, a practitioner since 1973, has said that a mere fortnight of twice-daily practice was all it took to reduce the angers and anxieties that controlled his life at the time. ‘Those negative things started lifting,’ he said recently. ‘It sounds strange, but I appreciated and enjoyed the doing of things more.’ It’s not just the ageing hippies who talk it up, either. Empirical evaluations have shown that the technique can have an effect on human physiology, reducing stress levels significantly and even having some positive effect on heart diseases. Even the science bods are recommending it now.

‘It’s practised by people of all levels of intelligence, of all ages, cultures and religions,’ explains Surendra Kumar, a teacher at the Creative Intelligence Consultancy in Dubai. ‘There are many reasons they come to us. Some just want to learn, others come for health reasons and many just want to be happy in life.’ Surendra is willing to travel to teach keen students – a kind of TM delivery service, if you will. In fact, he recently finished a TM course in Abu Dhabi, which was hailed a success by its participants.

A misconception commonly held is that TM has religious connotations – possibly cultish in nature. Again, this was an unfortunate by-product of the Maharishi’s association with The Beatles: George Harrison, in particular, was an enthusiastic advocate of Indian religions, and many observers jumped to conclusions. ‘It has nothing to do with religion,’ says Surendra with the air of a man who has had to deal with this line of questioning before. ‘It’s a peaceful mental activity that takes the mind to deeper levels of the thinking process. Though it was only introduced to the Western world 50 years ago, it’s as old as life itself.’ It is estimated that six million students have studied TM in that short space of time, a number that puts it slightly beyond the realms of cult status.

But, why TM rather than other forms of meditation? Put simply: people seem to find it easier. Whereas other techniques require you to blank the mind (often the largest hurdle for many students), or focus on a single aspect, TM uses a repetitive technique – a series of vocal vibrations or sounds, often with no meaning – to lull the mind into a peaceful state, ‘transcending’ the regular thoughts and conundrums that bombard us from minute to minute.

Unfortunately, the mumbo jumbo associated with TM is hard to avoid. Wondering what the effects of ‘bliss consciousness’ and ‘self-referral intelligence’ might be, we spoke to Arif Dawood, a participant on the recent Abu Dhabi course. ‘I’ve done several types of meditation and heard about TM a long time ago,’ he explains. ‘I would say it’s one of the easiest to practise and, although it’s too early to notice any major benefits, it certainly makes me feel very relaxed.’

If it’s so easy, why bother finding a teacher? Well, just as you might benefit from instruction in the gym, an experienced teacher can help shape the techniques to suit your situation. Whether you come to it as a student of relaxation, for health reasons, or even via an out-of-control Beatles obsession, one thing quickly becomes apparent: transcendental meditation may be as old as the hills, but in this frenetic modern world where instant results are imperative, you might find it’s a lifelong gift you wouldn’t wish to return.

For more information on arranging a TM course in Abu Dhabi, call the Creative Intelligence Consultancy on 050 207 0347 or email info@tm.ae. A website will soon be up and running at http://www.tm.ae

Time Out Abu Dhabi 30 August 2009

http://tinyurl.com/kupav7

3 Comments:
Posted by: Dr. Jean Tobin on 01 Sep ‘ 09 at 03:54
Thank you for this article highlighting the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. I’ve read quite a few articles on the subject and your treatment is more precise and fair than most. I wanted to share with your readers a summary of the research on TM. TM distinguishes itself not only in how easy it is to practice, when learned from a qualified teacher, (TM.org) but also in how effective it is when compared with other mental techniques. There has been so much rigorous research validating the benefits of TM in all areas of life. The majority of these studies compared TM to other practices or control groups. 350 peer-reviewed research studies were conducted on over 10,000 subjects who were practicing the TM technique. These studies included numerous randomized controlled trials, along with eight meta-analyses of 597 separate studies on the effects of meditation. The studies were conducted at Harvard Medical School, Yale Medical School, Stanford Medical School, University of PA, University of Kentucky, and more than 200 other independent institutions, and were done by 360 scientists from 29 countries. Learning TM was the best decision I ever made. It has improved my life in every possible way. Thanks again for bringing your readers attention to an important topic.

Posted by: kennyji on 31 Aug ‘ 09 at 18:37
This has to be the most intelligently written article so far assessing the value of the Transcendental Meditation technique for the average individual that I’ve come across. It sifts out the misunderstandings of a confused past and enlightens its readers to the practical benefits of this simple but effective technique for living a less stressed and more productive fulfilling lifestyle. Thank you.

Posted by: Archie on 31 Aug ‘ 09 at 15:21
I love TM and have been practicing it twice a day for over 35 years. It has enriched my life in ways that I never could have expected but would never want to have had to do without. Yes, it has been a lifelong gift that I wouldn’t return for anything in the world. Thank you, Maharishi.


%d bloggers like this: