Friday 23 November 2018

Maharishi & Me by Susan Shumsky
Release Date: 13th February 2018
Publisher: Sky Horse Publishing
Genres:  Non Fiction / Biography

Susan Shumsky is a successful author in the human potential field. But in the 1970s, in India, the Swiss Alps, and elsewhere, she served on the personal staff of the most famous guru of the 20th century—Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. 

Maharishi died in 2008 at age ninety, but his influence endures through the spiritual movement he founded: TM (Transcendental Meditation). Other books have been written about him, but this spellbinding page-turner offers a rare insider's view of life with the guru, including the time the Beatles studied at his feet in Rishikesh, India, and wrote dozens of songs under his influence.

Both inspirational and disturbing, Maharishi and Me illuminates Susan's two decades living in Maharishi's ashrams, where she grew from a painfully shy teenage seeker into a spiritually aware teacher and author. It features behind-the-scenes, myth-busting stories, and over 100 photos of Maharishi and his celebrity disciples (the Beatles, Deepak Chopra, Mia Farrow, Beach Boys, and many more).

Susan's candid, honest portrayal draws back the curtain on her shattering, extreme emotional seesaws of heaven and hell at her guru's hands. This compelling, haunting memoir will continue to challenge readers long after they turn its last page. It dismantles all previous beliefs about the spiritual path and how spiritual masters are supposed to behave.

Susan shares: “Merely by being in his presence, we disciples entered an utterly timeless place and rapturous feeling, and, at the same time, realized the utter futility and insanity of the mundane world.”

Susan's heartfelt masterwork blends her experiences, exacting research, artistically descriptive and humorous writing, emotional intelligence, and intensely personal inner exploration into a feast for thought and contemplation. Neither starry-eyed nor antagonistic, it captures, from a balanced viewpoint, the essence of life in an ashram.

Being married to a Beatles mad man who over the last 16 years has helped me develop an appreciation of the Beatles music and being a lover of yoga and meditation and all things spiritual, I was never not going to read this book! And, I'm so glad I did. My husband is now currently engrossed in this book and I don't expect much conversation out of him for the next few days while he's reading.
It's often been suggested that "If you remember the ’60s, you really weren’t there".  That's certainly not the case with Susan Shumsky as she gives a rounded account of her amazingly interesting life with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, one time spiritual guru to the Beatles in this book "Maharishi & Me".  But it's not only the '60s, but rather the almost quarter century of her association with Maharishi's Trancendental Meditation (TM) organisation that she recalls throughout this book.  I found the explanations of the principles of TM to be both simple and informative, although the almost evangelical glee with which it is expounded can stray into the cloying at times.  

The cast-list of TM disciples she references throughout is a who's who of popular culture and the snippets of stories involving these superstars make the book very enjoyable to dip into.  But as is often the case, it is the Beatles' interations with Maharishi that form the back bone of this story, and was my main reason for picking it up.  That period in spring 1968 when the Beatles, fresh from the critical acclaim of Sgt Pepper, and the absolute roasting of Magical Mystery Tour headed off on retreat to Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills on the banks of the Ganges loom large in their legend.  During this time they wrote the best part of the "White Album" and built up a store of songs that they continued to dip into for years.  But songs aside, we haven't heard much of what they did and who they did it with for the duration of their stay in India.  Shumsky, as an insider in the Maharishi's TM organisation, tells all and while there is nothing earth-shattering revealed, lifting that curtain of privacy from this time away from the madness of the Beatles' real life is fascinating at times.  

Maybe not a book for the casual reader, but anyone with an interest in either Eastern philosophy, or particularly the way the Beatles were influenced by it, will enjoy this book a lot. It certainly piqued my interest in TM - maybe a first step on MY road to enlightenment! 
Dr. Susan Shumsky has dedicated her life to helping people take command of their lives in highly effective, powerful, positive ways. She is the best-selling author of 14 books, published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, and New Page. A pioneer in the human potential field, she has spent 50 years teaching thousands of people meditation, prayer, affirmation, and intuition. Her book titles include Miracle Prayer, Divine Revelation, Exploring Meditation, Exploring Auras, Exploring Chakras, How to Hear the Voice of God, Ascension, Instant Healing, The Power of Auras, The Power of Chakras, Awaken Your Third Eye, Awaken Your Divine Intuition, Color Your Chakras, and Maharishi & Me.

Dr. Shumsky is a highly respected spiritual teacher, award-winning author, and founder of Divine Revelation®—a unique field-proven technology for contacting the divine presence, hearing and testing the inner voice, and receiving clear divine guidance. For 22 years, her mentor was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was guru of the Beatles and guru of Deepak Chopra. Dr. Shumsky served on Maharishi's personal staff for 6 years.

A sought-after media guest and highly acclaimed professional speaker, Dr. Shumsky has done over 600 speaking engagements and over 900 media appearances since her first book was published, including Woman's World, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, nationally syndicated TV and radio, Alan Colmes on FOX news, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, and William Shatner's TV show. She is featured in the movie Three Magic Words.

Her websites are and

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