Baby boomers are likely familiar with Donovan, singer of "Mellow Yellow" and other tripped-out songs of the late 1960s.
Now Donovan Leitch's on a new trip. He plans to open Invincible Donovan University in Scotland, which will promote transcendental meditation.
"I know it sounds like an airy-fairy hippie dream to go on about '60s peace and love," Leitch, who later spoke strongly against drug use, said. "But the world is ready for this now, it is clear this is the time."
Donovan's working with movie/television producer David Lynch (remember "Twin Peaks"?), whose foundation is taking TM to some of America's schools.
TM basically involves sitting quietly for 20 minutes twice a day with eyes closed. As if someone needs to be told how to do that, although I'll admit quite a few people have trouble sitting still with no distractions for that long. Try telling a single parent with two jobs to do that.
Fair enough, to this point.
But does TM go against Christianity?
TM, an ancient tradition in India, has been promoted for the past 50 years or so by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It gained attention in the West when English rock stars, such as the Beatles and Donovan, and one of the Beach Boys "studied" under the Maharishi during the turbulent ‘60s.
The Maharishi's teachings are based on the Hindu religion.
Hinduism isn't Christianity, folks. And the "god" worshipped by Hindus isn't the one true God taught in Christian churches.
So I contend that TM doesn't need to be widely taught. Maybe no religious teaching's going on during meditation times, but the origins of TM are based too much on teachings to which many Americans would object.
Supposedly some of those deeply into TM claim in the future they'll be able to fly and possess supernatural powers. Ever met anyone who had those? I didn't think so.
"You can be 100 percent skeptical and the TM technique will work just fine," stressfreeschools.org, a Lynch website, claims. "This is because the technique makes use of a natural mechanism within the mind and body -- long forgotten by most people -- to settle down and take profoundly deep rest."
Spending time in quiet thought, and finding moments to relax, certainly can help individuals become more aware and open to knowledge. The Bible and common sense tell us that. It doesn't take TM instructors to teach us how.
I consider myself open minded, but I'm not a big fan of modern or ancient "philosophers" because many of their teachings are based on so-called "wisdom" from false, so-called "gods." Study their backgrounds.
Lynch stresses that TM is not "a philosophy or a religion."
Donovan and Lynch have good intentions. But the background behind those intentions is flawed.
Of course, we could go further and discuss the origins of Halloween...
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