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The Beatles were instrumental in introducing a lot of Eastern culture into the mainstream. They had discovered the music and spiritual philosophy of India while filming their second movie, Help in 1965, and began including traditional Indian instruments in an increasing number of recordings. It wasn’t until 1967 when the Fab Four were introduced to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian master of what is now called Meditation, though then known as Transcendental Meditation, or TM, as it was called for many decades. During their years of closely following, practicing and being friends with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it would be the Beatles who were responsible for the widespread worldwide knowledge–and subsequent popularity of Eastern philosophies, and particularly yoga and meditation. These practices became huge trends among Beatles devotees, and much of this went on to fuel a significant direction of what would become and define the hippie movement.
From Beatles Beginnings to Now
From the early Western practitioners of Indian-style meditation till now, the benefits that come from regular meditation have been responsible for the trend taking more form as a highly respectable healing art. Today, you will find vast numbers (maybe almost all,) of the first Westerners to practice meditation still actively engaged in the tool for supreme mental peace and clarity, with obvious connections to improved health resulting from its mental benefits. Referring to it as “a lifelong gift–something you can call on anytime,” Paul McCartney, Beatles’ wide-eyed heartthrob frontman continues to meditate regularly still, now going on over 50 years of practicing. Does this tell you anything about the awesome effects of meditating? It should!
During meditation, a word or phrase (the mantra,) a central meditation component, is repeated over and over. Considered as sacred in their nature, they are chosen by the individual based on their power to elevate his or her spirit and hold their focus while meditating. Much more than a repetitive, mindless chant–a mantra is designed to transform the meditator. Through repetition of the mantra, the individual purposefully directs his or her mind into a different level of consciousness. This can be done with the intent being specific, or more generally voiced with the acknowledgement that does not become identified with the mantra as any sort of goal.
Meditation Comes in Many Forms
There are many different meditation techniques designed to promote specific attributes, with a shared foundation of internal self-regulation of one’s mind. By clearing the mind, the health benefits include improvements in blood pressure issues, depression and anxiety. While the majority of people sit down to meditate–in a variety of poses–there are other practitioners, including ancient forms where the meditation is performed while conducting daily activities. Some use beads to keep track of different meditation aspects. Meditation done while the eyes are closed is often regarded as being more effective, though it’s not completely necessary. The effects of meditating have been frequently described by individuals as having produced a sense of being awake on the inside, with the only awareness being awareness itself.
Is Meditation for You?
You won’t know until you try, but you’ll experience benefits from meditation right from the start. You probably won’t experience some over the top euphoria, but your body will get some deep rest, thereby letting go of pent-up stress, which will both physically and mentally heal.