February 6, 2008

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Did He Pave the Way?

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM, was a controversial man, to say the least...beloved of and reviled by many. He wasn't the first yogi from India to make a splash in the Western world (that was probably Swami Vivekananda), but he was, undeniably, one of the greatest influences on the Boomer generation and those that followed, as he did much to bring to light the benefits of a regular centering practice. The Beatles' adherence to him and rejection of him made Transcendental Meditation a concept known, if not understood, to billions of people worldwide. Many if not most of the people I met during my years of spiritual seeking had begun their inner journeys with TM.

Here's my connection to the Maharishi, seemingly small as it is: I tried TM for about five minutes at at 15—albeit without the costly "personal" mantra—when I read about it in a teen magazine. Clearly, it wasn't my path. However, fifteen years later, I was chanting and meditating in an ashram in upstate New York, and meditating every morning at home. I did that for eight years, until my guru was no longer my guru and this school of yoga wasn't my path any longer.

Even more short, and long, and windy roads led me to other doors, with secret passages to many others. I seem to be a lifelong learner; I look forward to following the road that presents itself to me. I've never had to make a decision about any of them. What fun!

We can't know that we'll be asking "Is it true?" on our deathbeds. We can know that whatever we're doing, it will be exactly the right thing. So I, for one, am grateful that Maharishi paved the way for me, and so many others, to find our own way. I love knowing that each of us does that. Om shanti.

"Don't fight darkness. Bring the light, and darkness will disappear." —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, d. Feb. 5, 2008

©2008 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.

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