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(generated from captions) at the very pinnacle of that movement. She represented Australia that was at the time the most enlightened, the most dramatic country in the world. She fought her guts out for that and yet everybody at the time said she was dignified, she had a beautiful speaking voice, she was intelligent, she was graceful and Vida had to make decisions I would never have to make in my lifetime. She chose not to marry so that she could devote herself to public life, to political life, to work for the benefit of all women and children. These are the sorts of choices that I don't have to make because women like that came before me.Clare Wright, it has been a great pleasure. Thank you for speaking with One Plus One.Thanks for having me here. One Plus One is available on iView. You can browse the archive or contact us through the website. Stay in touch and leave comments via Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter. I look forward to your company next time. From me, goodbye.

This program is not captioned. (Theme music)

Thank you for joining me for this fascinating look at the controversial Indian guru
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who introduced Transcendental
Meditation - TM - to the world and brought his meditation technique
to Australia in the 1960s. His most famous followers
were The Beatles, who went to India to study
with the spiritual guru. And some Australian practitioners of this ancient Indian
meditation technique were there at the beginning too. Compass explores what drew them
to the Maharishi, how their lives have changed and the legacy of this giggling guru.

REPORTER: John Lennon says, 'You don't have to be
some sort of freak to meditate - it's all like one big jelly,
we're all in the big jelly.' (Sitar plays) GERALDINE DOOGUE: In the 1960s
the Beatles surprised the world by befriending a guru, following him to India
to learn how to meditate. No, it's not a religion,
it's a technique. It's a technique
to bring our awareness deep within ourselves
to the source of thought.

There was this Indian saint sitting
cross-legged, holding a rose, and he was just talking about life. And I think the main thing
that swayed me was just his bliss.

He said the purpose of life
was the expansion of happiness, and so all around him
was this quality of happiness.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
popularised meditation in the West, helped along
by four very famous faces. Are The Beatles really going
to find happiness here in Rishikesh? Experience the bliss consciousness
of being? Discover the kingdom of heaven
within themselves?

With the world watching, The Beatles
went to Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh in the Indian Himalayas
to learn Transcendental Meditation. (Whistles tune) They'll beat better. (Laughs)

More than 30 songs
were written during their stay, one of the band's
most productive periods ever. REPORTER: What have you done
for The Beatles in this... The same thing as I do to all
of the people all over the world, and that is teach them
Transcendental Meditation, let their mind be trained
to go deep within themselves and fathom that reservoir of energy,
intelligence and happiness.

So what is Transcendental Meditation? Why did it take off when it did?
And who was the Maharishi?

In the early 1960s,
the youth revolution was exploding as young people broke away
from traditions of old and experimented
with new ways of living. # FOLK

Maharishi,
who'd embarked on global mission to take Transcendental Meditation
to the West, had arrived at just the right time. It increase efficiency in man,
and gives fulfilment in life due to inner happiness.

Maharishi's quest for happiness
began in central India.

In 1918 he was born
into a middle-class Hindu family.

He studied physics at university.

At 23, he became
a disciple of spiritual man Swami Brahmananda Saraswati,
better known as Guru Dev.

He taught the young Maharishi
how to meditate and instructed him to teach others.

Maharishi gave lectures
in Britain, Europe and America...

..and toured Australia three times.

REPORTER: And the Maharishi's
off to Canberra.

John Price,
who'd just moved to Canberra, was contacted because he was
already dabbling in meditation.

I received a telegram that Maharishi
was arriving in three weeks, and could I organise
a lecture for him.

So I drove to the airport. If I'd had it all over again,
I would've hired a limousine, but being a little bit sort of
ill-prepared for these things, I drove in my Ford Cortina,
I remember very clearly, and Maharishi sat in the front seat.

It was the summer of 1967
in the nation's capital.

Bureaucrats and intellectuals gathered in the newly opened
Canberra Theatre.

I think there was quite
a deal of excitement actually, because we got three or four
articles in the newspaper when people learnt
that Maharishi was coming.

Almost 800 people packed the theatre
to hear Maharishi speak. Yes, this is exactly
how I remember it. The couch was here - a white couch -
and there were flowers either side.

And then Maharishi came in from
this side and then walked across, and then sat on the couch,
and he sat cross-legged, and then looked out to the audience. And so the whole theatre was full. Maharishi described meditation that it wasn't just
for recluses and monks - it was for people in the world. (Men chanting)

Transcendental Meditation
has its roots in ancient India.

Maharishi adapted his technique
from the Hindu Vedas, one of the world's
oldest sacred texts.

(Chanting) Transcendental Meditation
is the experience of the whole thinking level
at quieter and quieter levels.

Transcendental Meditation,
or 'TM' as it's called, is practised twice a day
for 20 minutes.

The aim is to transcend,
to go beyond thought.

Normally our thoughts
are jumping from thought to thought, and we don't have that much control
over those thoughts.

An experience of meditation
is turning the mind inwards and then quite spontaneously,
it begins to settle down so that the pulse rate
slows right down.

There's even
big pauses in breathing, that the whole metabolic rate
seems to come to a pause. But you're not asleep. It's a question
of diving into wakefulness...

..a feeling of peacefulness... the greater feeling of stability,
greater resilience.

# SIXTIES ROCK

In 1967 Maharishi was on tour
in swinging London.

REPORTER: The weekend hedonists
hang around here in groups throughout the day,
passing on the gossip of the moment and generally posturing
for the benefit of everyone else.

Australian schoolteacher
Cathy Knowles heard about Maharishi's
meditation course and went along.

As I learnt TM, I noticed it was
a very big transformation, actually. Experiencing inner happiness
and fulfilment that I hadn't known before.

Cathy was quickly hooked, and in 1970 followed Maharishi
to his ashram in northern India. So I then was so fascinated
by the whole process that I thought,
'I want to know who the person is who's taught that person', so I went to India and did a teacher
training course with Maharishi.

Hundreds of young meditators were
drawn to his centre in Rishikesh, a holy city where there the
River Ganges exits the Himalayas.

We did some yoga.

And every day Maharishi met
with us in the morning before lunch, in the afternoon and the evening
we'd have meetings, and he'd talk about
different aspects of knowledge - great knowledge came out
about the nature of life, all the philosophical questions. Well, you've changed very little,
Maharishi, since we last met. But I've changed the world
quite a lot. (Chuckles) In an era of free love
and psychedelic drugs, Maharishi was a celibate monk.

He was against drugs, but outside of his ashram didn't ask anyone
to renounce anything. Because of the benefits that the people get
from Transcendental Meditation. As Maharishi's popularity grew,
he courted many celebrities and attracted wealthy benefactors. Lots of money is needed, and if some millionaire
comes out to an academy here, he will be the man
who will sponsor peace and happiness and progress in society.

He announced plans to establish
3,500 centres across the world, including one Down Under. REPORTER: The spiritual centre, which will be established
in Melbourne, will be established
by Brahmachari Dhirendra, seen here with the Maharishi.

But inner peace
came with a price tag. The course fee was the equivalent
of one week's wages, considered exorbitant
by some at the time. There were also questions
about where the money was going. Will this money remain in Australia
or will it go outside? Half goes to the international fund
that is in Geneva, and half remains in the country.

After finishing her training
in India, Cathy came home and started teaching
Transcendental Meditation in Sydney.

In her first year,
she taught 650 people. Hi Cathy.
Hi Kristen, nice to meet you. Good. So we'll go inside
and have the introductory talk. Welcome everybody, it's very nice
to have you here today for the introductory talk
on Transcendental Meditation. Cathy became the first national
director of TM in Australia, and kept in touch with Maharishi.

Over those years,
the Maharishi would regularly ask that I'd go back
and report on what was happening, and that was always a lot of fun
and interesting. In the past 45 years, Cathy
has taught thousands of students.

And there are now 18 TM centres
across the country. 20 minutes in the morning
and 20 minutes in the evening, and we see this technique
as a preparation for action. It's the most fulfilling experience
available to the human nervous system,
the human mind. And it's actually... This is freedom -
this is freedom of mind.

Robert Johnson became a devotee
as a young pilot in the early '70s.

I thought one day
as I was flying along, you know, 'This is good',
but when I looked inside myself, I was feeling as though
there must be more... ..and that
I could be a better person.

Robert read about Transcendental
Meditation in a newspaper...

..and studied the technique in one
of the new TM centres in Melbourne.

After about a month, I looked back
and I realised I'd changed a lot, that it was really doing me good...

..infusing a lot of warmth into
my heart and I felt more stable.

When things get very busy in a jet,
you're moving along at 480 knots, things happening
all over the place... MAN ON RADIO: 500m report to ADC.

..I wasn't actually
overwhelmed by it and I was able
to just stay in the moment.

Robert went to Europe
to become a meditation teacher. There, he met Maharishi
who was looking for a pilot.

Robert was recruited and flew Maharishi
around the world in a DC-3 similar to this one. Flying this plane for Maharishi
was a really great feeling. I started flying it in the US, and we flew it across to Europe
and refitted it and then took it out to India. And I recall on one occasion,
Maharishi asked his secretary to come up and see if I could
make the plane fly faster.

Convinced about the benefits
of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi invited scientists
to research his technique.

In 1974 he conducted
some of his own research, establishing the Maharishi University
in IOWA, USA.

Studies have shown Transcendental
Meditation increases activity across the brain and reduces anxiety.

There was a drop
in different chemicals and biochemical markers
in the blood, showing that the person
was much less stressful during meditation.

It's also claimed
that when 1% of the population practises Transcendental Meditation, accident and crime rates
appear to drop.

This has been dubbed
the 'Maharishi Effect', and is still debated. As you have more and more people
genuinely at peace with themselves, in some sense they're influencing
the collective consciousness of that whole society.

# ABC TV NEWS THEME But one aspect
of Transcendental Meditation has always aroused controversy,
indeed, outright scepticism.

While Ronald Reagan
and Mikhail Gorbachev manoeuvre towards another summit, attempts are being made to get another peace campaign
off the ground. It involves an appeal
for $100 million to train - so the organisers say -
10,000 people to fly. It's really fulfilling today...

..to inaugurate...

..an effective program
for lasting world peace. REPORTER: The solution is to fly. For when the mind is without stress,
the body levitates.

Yogic flying
is an advanced form of meditation for experienced practitioners only.

So you maintain
that level of deep silence, deep, coherent brainwave patterns, but at the same time
in physical activity. The whole body
just wants to lift up and take off. And so, from the outside, it
certainly looks like just hopping, but from the inside, it's
an experience of unboundedness, a welling up of bliss of happiness which almost has to be
expressed in terms of activity.

In the 1980s Maharishi
sent yogic flyers to conflict zones around the world.

They claim to have helped
reduce hostilities in Lebanon and bring the Berlin Wall down. REPORTER: The chant went up,
'The wall must go.'

In 1983 an Australian group declared they'd being rain
to drought-stricken Goulburn in country New South Wales.

We put out a press release
saying we'd break the drought. (Giggles) It was very brave. And, um,
when the group all came together... ..and for the first time sat
to meditate together, it rained. There was rain on the roof.
(Chuckles)

You know,
we felt we'd achieved our goal.

COMMENTATOR: Hawthorn with
the numbers. Bunn takes the mark. He came on to replace Lawrence. Former AFL player Mark Bunn
is a more recent recruit. Former Fitzroy player. He discovered TM
when he was 19 years old. And goes straight down the middle.

It was the early mid-'90s,
so you didn't generally go and tell all your friends
that you were meditating, unless you wanted to be laughed out
of the football change rooms. So I still remember before games, and the typical scenario back then
was, you could imagine, that Pat Benatar's
blaring on the CD player and people are kicking footballs
into the walls and it's rah-rah and it's noisy, and I would sneak off
into the toilets and actually meditate for 20 minutes to sort of just
try and be calm and settled, so it was quite a contrast
to what my teammates were doing.

Mark was raised a Catholic
but found no conflict with his belief and newfound Eastern philosophy.

I went to church most Sundays
until 16 or 17 or 18, and I really enjoyed
the Christian values and, I think, the communal aspect
of being a Catholic, but there was always
something missing for me, it had this sort of...
a dryness that there was no...

..experience of everything
they were speaking about.

I think over time
with the meditation, the relationship
with that inner part of myself, the non-physical part, has grown, and to me that's that spiritual...
spirituality, you know, that grows. The most important thing about
health is our state of health, how we feel. Mark is now a motivational speaker
on the corporate circuit... Let's be honest, maybe you feel
a little bit older than you used to. Anyone feel like that? ..talking to professionals
about managing stress and finding work-life balance. TM will help because
it's taking stress out of the system and, as we know, the less stress
we have, the happier we are, the more broad-thinking we are. Now let's close our eyes
and meditate for 20 minutes. It's this idea
of understanding the Western basis that we're all familiar with, but then bring
in the Eastern wisdom that gives us that real ultimate
work-life balance and health that I think we all desire.

By 1992 Maharishi had moved
his headquarters to The Netherlands.

He saw politics as a way
to spread the transcendental message and established
his Natural Law Party in the UK. REPORTER: Transcendental Meditation is pivotal
to Natural Law Party policies. In Australia, Cathy stood
in the Sydney seat of Warringah against Tony Abbott. Good evening from
the national tally room in Canberra. I'm Kerry O'Brien.
Welcome to The Verdict. The Natural Law Party was an
initiative to bring this knowledge onto the level
of the political life of the nation. It was such a way left-field thing
to be asked to do. Um, it was really fun.

Today in Australia,
Transcendental Meditation is a not-for-profit organisation
with a registered trademark. It even has its own Maharishi School
which opened in Melbourne in 1997.

It's for primary school students, and features daily meditation
as part of the curriculum. Good morning, Eagles.
CLASS: Good morning, Mrs Clarke. So, I'm going to join you
for the morning meditation, but Miss Macquarie will lead it. That has a very beneficial effect
on the children, teachers notice they're more settled
and more focused in class, and more harmonious in their
relationships with each other. OK, you guys,
let's close our eyes and meditate.

We notice children improving in
their performance in all subjects, but particularly those that they may have struggled with
a little bit in the past. And I think that's because
of that creativity and intelligence that's unfolded throughout the day. They become better able to
comprehend what they're reading, analyse what they're studying, and very deep, profound thinkers
as a result of this technique.

Tam You decided to send her children
to the Maharishi School after Transcendental Meditation helped her through
a difficult patch in her marriage.

Give me a kiss, Hudson.

See you, have a great day.

Today Tam, and her husband Tim
run an entertainment business. Before learning TM,
our family life was pretty crazy. Um, I'd cram
lots and lots of importance on getting things done,
getting through the days, and mostly manic and stressed. We were seeing a counsellor who suggested
that I learn some meditation, and I was just, like...
'Alright. Yeah.' And, um... And he just said,
'Look, it will just help you, and you're so fast
at rushing through life, and this will help you slow down.'

While adults adopt a seated pose, children under ten are encouraged
to walk while meditating.

It was like having a defrag
on your computer system and just starting afresh, and being able to do that twice
a day gives you a new perspective.

So that makes life more peaceful
for both the kids and Tim
to really interact with as well.

Former footballer
Mark Bunn's meditation practice came into its own
at a crisis in his life. I got married about seven years ago, and my wife Karen, just even a couple of months
after we got married, diagnosed with breast cancer and,
not long after that, bone cancer basically right throughout her body.

TM helped me an incredible amount, and I think what it did
was it just allowed me to, um, witness, I think, the whole process
on a deeper level.

Mark's wife, who also practised
Transcendental Meditation, died. I never thought TM itself
would save her - it was just a great complement to help her deal with
what she was going through, and, most importantly,
to give both of us that experience of the eternal part of life.

In 2008, from his headquarters
in The Netherlands, Maharishi announced his retirement
and went into silence. He died three weeks later
at the age of 90.

His body was returned to India
and cremated in a state funeral on the banks of the Ganges, outside Allahabad in northern India.

It was an absolutely
amazing experience, a large number of people
came from all over the world and, um, it was just
a remarkable proceeding. People ask me if I miss him,
but really, every time you meditate, you have the experience
of what he was which was kind
and very powerful individual. Pretty good, eh? And the only reason
he won is because he meditates. Robert still teaches Transcendental
Meditation and leads a weekly group.

Let's close our eyes
and start to meditate. I don't claim to be enlightened,
but I'm certainly - having practised TM
for over 40 years - I feel I've made
significant progress, I feel increasingly happy
as the years go by.

Since Maharishi first visited
the West more than 50 years ago, five million people the world over
have learnt TM.

Now 'meditation' is a household word, an accepted and respected
part of health and healing practises.

Centres offering all kinds
of meditation techniques, from Zen to mindfulness, can be found across Australia.

I think Maharishi's legacy, in time,
will be a much better world. I think his world plan
many, many decades ago was basically peace in the world, and I think
it's definitely possible. Just before Maharishi passed away,
he said, 'The future of the world is bright
and that is my delight.'

And that is his legacy, and I'm
planning to see it in my lifetime. (Giggles)

GERALDINE: Next on Compass... Have you ever heard of
the Country Women's Association?Yes. I don't think our members realise
what a powerful force they are. A lot of people think
we're not political, but we are. 'Chick With Attitude'. Whatever happened to the CWA? Next on Compass. Captions by CSI Australia

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