"..was in Malibu, on the beach."  -James Powell His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh 
Yogi 1911*-2008 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008 By James Powell

 The first time I met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was in Malibu, on the beach.
 It was a typical summer day in Southern California. Not much was happening. 
There was a south swell. From time to time a sun worshiper atop a towel would 
flip over, a seagull would sail off into the fog, or a large set of waves would 
come crashing in.
 As I recall, I stood on the beach with some of my surfing buddies. We were 
probably dressed in the surfer’s uniform of the era: corduroy pants and white 
Penney’s T-shirts covered by Pendeltons, not tucked in. Unlike most surfers on 
most beaches that day, however, we each held in our hands a bouquet of flowers.
 Suddenly cars arrived. Doors were flung open. A cameraman emerged, and next 
some guys in suits. A brown, sandaled foot from within the car could be seen 
feeling for the ground, and then-bearded and wearing a long, flowing, white 
dhoti-an Indian man stepped out onto the dirt road. He seemed enveloped in a 
nimbus of such serenity and light that, seeing him, the effect was similar to 
what one feels deep in a canyon before dawn, when suddenly the sun bursts over 
the rim.
 With the camera now trained on us-the surfer-boy extras in a documentary film- 
Maharishi approached, clearly enjoying the eternity in each step as he floated 
across the sand. As he drew near, something happened that I was not at all 
prepared for. My soul began to swoon. In place of the crashing of the waves, 
which now seemed far in the distance, was an immensely beautiful sea of silent 
consciousness. It was, to put it mildly, simply adorable. Lost in it, I could 
neither speak nor move. When Maharishi tugged on my flowers, I was unable to 
release my grip. He looked into my eyes, touched my hand, and my fingers opened.
 It would be impossible to forget the blithe beauty of those eyes. He looked 
into each of ours, playfully. After accepting our flowers he looked out to sea, 
and then, regarding us again and smiling like the happiest man on earth, he 
asked, “Are you enjoying the ocean?”
 Thus began my transcendental studies-lessons such as I had never known. The 
classroom was the Heart; the assignment was to locate the point within where 
the soul loses its boundaries and becomes absorbed in something infinite.
 Typically, by the time Maharishi arrived at his seat in any of the countless 
lecture halls he spoke in around the world, he would be hugging to his chest 
hundreds of flowers accepted from students greeting him on his way in. And in 
each one of those exchanges was a moment as spiritually transforming as the one 
I had known on the beach. Yet, Maharishi’s aim was not to establish a 
personality cult. Each and every flower he accepted in each and every lecture 
hall he would place reverently before the image of his beloved teacher, Guru 
Dev, to whom he dedicated every instant of his life. And he tirelessly 
encouraged each of us to dive into the ocean of consciousness his Guru Dev 
embodied, by diving deep within our hearts during meditation.
 Maharishi, in speaking of his teacher, always emphasized that the events in a 
spiritually illumined life are not so important. What is important is the state 
of his or her enlightenment. So I will not list all Maharishi’s many 
accomplishments throughout the world. Perhaps something of his level of 
presence can be felt through these few words.
 Maharishi visited Santa Barbara on several occasions because some of his 
dearest friends lived here: Walter and Rae Koch, the family of Tom and Susan 
Headley, and Arthur and Christina Granville. Over the past few decades, 
teachers at Santa Barbara’s Transcendental Meditation center instructed more 
than 10,000 Santa Barbarans in meditation. In addition, Santa Barbara was at 
one time the home of the fledgling Maharishi International University, now 
located in Fairfield, Iowa.
 “Are you enjoying the ocean?” Although those were the first words I had ever 
heard him speak, through the years I realized that they contained his entire 
teaching. For Maharishi was absolutely certain of one fact: His soul was 
forever floating within an ocean of unbounded bliss. He was well aware that the 
state of life he was living was adorable, and that anyone could begin to live 

 314283If you ever loved Maharishi you will love this  

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