Gold Leaf
Automatic Writing

Transcendental Meditation

So, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. You have passsed on. I have to say I had mixed feelings about you. Like lots of people I have used meditation to help raise concentration and deal with stress. I did the TM course thing back in the 1980s, not too costly - around £50, if I remember - and learned to repeat the special Indian mantra that I had to swear never to reveal to anyone else (I think because I wasn't supposed to find out that lots of other people had been given the same one). This rigour wore off long ago, and now I just listen to the clock ticking, or any other rhythmic sound, which works just as well.

But the whole TM thing quickly turned into a cult, with the Maharishi making utterly unrealistic promises about creating a new world order, while accumulating vast sums of money. There were the usual accusations of brainwashing and manipulation. And then that business about flying.  It's not surprising that disgruntled TM students took advantage - twenty years ago in the US, apparently, a certain Robert Kropinski sued for $9 million in punitive damages for the "psychological and emotional devastation" that resulted when he found the TM course he had signed up for had not after all taught him to fly. The judge actually awarded him $140,000 - nice going, Bob!

A shame that something so practical and helpful should be wrapped in nonsensical new agery. It just puts people off.

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