By Joseph Weber
The Indian religious entrepreneur Maharishi Mahesh Yogi took the West through typhoon within the Sixties and ’70s, fascinating child Boomers uninterested with battle and social upheaval together with his message of meditation and peace. Heeding his name, thousand fans moved to tiny Fairfield, Iowa, to establish their very own collage at the campus of a failed denominational collage. quickly, they all started a faculty for prekindergarten via highschool, permitting fans to immerse themselves in Transcendental Meditation from toddlerhood via PhDs.
Although Fairfield’s longtime citizens have been relieved to determine that their new friends have been clean-cut and respectably dressed—not the wild-haired, drug-using hippies they'd feared—the rookies however fast started to remake the city. shops promoting unique items popped up, TM fans outfitted odd-looking houses that modeled the guru’s ideas for peace-inspiring structure, and the recent college knocked down a ancient chapel, whilst it erected big golden-domed constructions for meditators. a few newbies acquired elected—and others have been defeated—when they ran for neighborhood and statewide places of work. every now and then, hundreds of thousands from around the globe visited the small town.
Yet Transcendental Meditation didn't constantly in attaining its goals of private and social tranquility. Suicides and a homicide unsettled the meditating group through the years, and a few fans have been fleeced by means of con males from their very own ranks. a few battled an area farmer over land use and each other over doctrine. particularly, the realm has now not gotten extra peaceful.
Today the guru is lifeless. His fans are graying, and few in their childrens are stepping into management roles. The circulate turns out rudderless, its monetary muscle withering, regardless of the efforts of high-profile supporters similar to filmmaker David Lynch and media wealthy person Oprah Winfrey. Can TM reinvent itself? And what is going to be the way forward for Fairfield itself? by means of having a look heavily on the transformation of this small Iowa city, writer Joseph Weber assesses the movement’s unusually powerful impression on Western tradition, sketches out its odd prior, and explores its attainable future.
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Transcendental Meditation in America: How a New Age Movement Remade a Small Town in Iowa (Iowa and the Midwest Experience) by Joseph Weber