One month ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the one-time spiritual guru of the Beatles, announced his retirement. At that time, he said, “Invincibility is irreversibly established in the world. My work is done. My designated duty to Guru Dev is fulfilled.” Today, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is dead. Somewhat fittingly, he died yesterday, on the same day that NASA beamed the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” into space. I’ve been intrigued by the man since I was a young Beatles fan, but I confess to not knowing much about him apart from the fact that he created Transcendental Meditation (TM), and John Lenno wrote the song “Sexy Sadie” with him in mind. (“What have you done? You made a fool of everyone.”) I’ve been searching the web tonight to see what David Lynch, a well known follower of Maharishi, had to say about his passing, but so far I can’t find anything.

Speaking of Lynch, if you get a chance, go to his website and check out his daily weather report. I’ve come to rely on it a great deal. Also nice, if you’re not afraid to delve into the Lynch universe, is this new piece of work called Rabbits. I know that TM gets a bad rap from some, and perhaps it’s deserved, but it’s hard for me to work up much anger about it, or hold it against Lynch. Maybe it’s just that Scientology has raised the crazy bar so high that everything else looks sane in comparison, but when David Lynch talks about “Peace Factories” full of meditating men and women pumping out positive thoughts capable of solving all of the world’s problems, I can’t help but kind of hope that he’s on to something. (Lynch has put $400,000 of his own money into the initiative, which he says will cost $7 billion to complete.) He’s incredibly sincere about this stuff, and passionate. It’s almost as if he really thinks he has the key to saving the world… OK, I’m going up to bed to read his book, “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.” Linette got it for me for my birthday… I’m liking it so far. I’m just hoping I don’t begin to like it too much. The going rate for a TM introduction course is $2,500.

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  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    All of the world’s best religions come from the deep waters of pop stars… with an introductory fee.

  2. Tommy
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Video must have been shot during the filming of Inland Empire – Lynch’s most recent and, in my opionion, worst movie he’s done. Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive were brilliant. This one was too far out in left field. He did state in an interview that his scenes come to him in dreams and in meditation. We used to call it dropping acid back in the day!

  3. Meta
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Intro to TM:

  4. Brian
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Rabbits is from 2002.

  5. Kevin Dole 2
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    TM alumni with a more egalitarian agenda have begun offering Mahareshi’s techniques for $47.

  6. Chelsea
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Anything with an introductory rate of $2500 is doing more for others than it is for you.

  7. Lisa
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s not as crazy as it might seem. In 1993, 4,000 TM practitioners spent 8 weeks meditating twice daily on reduction of violent crime in the DC area, and showed a remarkable 23% reduction in crime that they couldn’t attribute to anything else. Here’s one article that describes the study:

    I suspect that an experiment using just-plain-old-meditation instead of TM would have similar effects, and I’ve seen reference to a bunch of other studies that also show this effect. Sadly, I’m supposed to be doing this thing called ‘work’ so I can’t look for them right now.

  8. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Clearly, Lisa’s experiment shows that TM practitioners are criminals, and 8 weeks of meditation just kept them off the streets… same reason crime drops on Sunday mornings.

  9. egpenet
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I’ll give you 5 … that’s right, only five … half-an-hour lessons for $50 per lesson. Afterwards, I guarantee you’ll be able to consciously meditate anywhere, anytime, including on a NYC subway going through the Bronx at 2AM.

  10. Chelsea
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Then *you* deserve $2500, Egpenet! ;-P

  11. mark
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about getting back into the practice of meditation. I’ve found in the past that it’s helped me with my anxiety. So, thanks for all the comments and links. I doubt that I’d go the TM route, as it’s way out of my price range, but I think, all things considered, it’s a positive thing. I’d like to think that I know a cult when I see one, and I don’t think TM meets the criteria.

    And cutting crime is great, Lisa, but I want to see it levitate the Pentagon.

  12. Chelsea
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Meditation is a good idea; I encourage you to get back to it. It’s just that you should be able to find classes at a reasonable price. You can probably even learn the basics for free by borrowing a book or DVD about it f/the library.

  13. Paw
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The Yogi’s mastu-bation tutorials, however, were well worth the $5,000 asking price.

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