Transcendental Meditation

The momentous retreat: The Beatles in India

Beatles And Maharishi in rishikesh retreat 1968

The Beatles and their wives at the Rishikesh in India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi , 1968. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The Beatles visiting India…

45 years ago in February, the Beatles travelled to India to stay and study Transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh. In its effect on Western spirituality, this was probably ‘the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness.’

This, at least, is the assessment by Philip Goldberg, interfaith minister and author of books on cultural change.

… bridges a gap of worlds

In a recent article published in the Huffington Post, Goldberg describes how the retreat shifted whole cultural norms. In the West, meditation went from an esoteric and elitist practice to something as common as aerobics or vitamins.

“It was as though the Earth tilted on its axis in February, 1968, making ancient Eastern teachings flow more easily and quickly to the West,” Goldberg says. “The result would impact healthcare, psychology, neuroscience, and especially the way we understand and engage our spirituality.”

Read Goldberg’s article “Beatles in India: The Retreat That Reverberates Across the Universe”, published by The Huffington Post on February 17.