Self-Help Advice Books The Science of Being and Art of Living Part 1

About the self-help book The Science of Being and Art of Living by Maharishi Yogi, history and advice from the book.



The Head Man: "I have no pockets," says Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the huge, worldwide organization that teaches Transcendental Meditation; "I deal in wisdom, not in money." He is a tiny man, with a scraggly beard, long messy hair, and a voice that has been described as a 33 1/3-rpm record played at 78 rpm. "Everyone's best friend," he is a vegetarian, takes no drugs, is celibate.

Because he is a monk, he feels he is "not expected" to think of his past. But he has one. Born the son of an Indian forest ranger, he graduated in 1942 at the age of 24 from Allahabad University, but instead of pursuing a career in his major (physics), he became a disciple of religious leader Swami Brahmananda Sarawati (Guru Dev) and was with the guru until he died 13 1/2 years later. The maharishi was left, according to legend, with the job of developing a form of meditation for the common person. The result, which he announced after two years of seclusion in the Himalayas, was Transcendental Meditation (or T.M.). The maharishi first taught T.M. in India, then brought it to the West, where there were "people who are in the habit of accepting things quickly" and where he soon hooked into Western technology and the mass media. In 1963 the maharishi's book The Science of Being and Art of Living was published. (It is available only through The Age of Enlightenment Press in Livingston Manor, N.Y.) Since then a large number of T.M. books have appeared. Among those recommended by the maharishi is The TM Book: How to Enjoy the Rest of Your Life (1975) by Denise Denniston and Peter McWilliams.

His adherents have included Stevie Wonder, Peggy Lee, the Beach Boys, and Joe Namath. Between 1961 and 1972, more than 100,000 people became mediators. By 1975 the organization had branches in 89 countries, with nearly 400 centers in the U.S. It had become a respected discipline, researched by the armed services, used in schools and colleges (where it eased drug problems), and taught by business organizations (including AT&T and General Foods). In June, 1977, the maharishi, realizing he had convinced the scientific community of the physiological and mental benefits of T.M., began to explore other aspects of mediation and Eastern disciplines, like levitation. At his Swiss headquarters, during an initial session, 90% of the 900 teachers who were there allegedly were able to learn to levitate, some landing rather smartly on the foam rubber mats which had been thoughtfully laid on the floor.

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