Paul McCartney remembers his first meditation with Maharishi

by Heather Hartnett on April 29, 2010

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(Interview series with David Lynch, Part II)

In this second part of an historic interview between David Lynch and Paul McCartney, the former member of the Beatles reflected on his first experience with Transcendental Meditation over 40 years ago, when he was taught personally by Maharishi.

Paul recalled: “It was great. We [the four Beatles] all went into a room one by one, while Maharishi was there.” Paul said Maharishi then gave him his personal mantra, to facilitate the meditation process. “It’s yours, you don’t need to verbalize it; you want to keep it inside,” Maharishi told Paul.

About a month after learning to meditate, Paul, John, George, and Ringo traveled to Rishikesh, India, to meditate and study with Maharishi. “We had little chalets, little rooms, which were very simple but adequate. And you would just sit and you would meditate.”

Paul described a typical day in Rishikesh, which included meditation, meals, and regular meetings with Maharishi. It also included some good songwriting sessions.


“The times when we weren’t meditating we had our guitars with us, so we did quite a bit of writing. It was inspirational. It wasn’t all about meditation, it’s just you were focused—but yeah, there were very blissful moments,” Paul said.


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  3. “The Beatles may have been on to something after all” –The Telegraph (UK)
  4. Paul Horn: The Music of Meditation
  5. Howard Stern and David Letterman discuss TM
  • rick levy

    i am honored to be working w foundation here in fla. The only thing I have been doing longer than TM is playing music..and I humbly that Sir Paul for being a driving force in my getting involved in both! I was at press conference and Change Begins Within concert last April, and I have been blessed to tour with many classic pop/rock artists for past 35 years.
    Thank you Maharishi, Paul, Beatles, andDavid Lynch
    RICK LEVY/St Augustine Florida

    • bob roth

      and thank you, rick, for all you do! bobby

  • George A.

    What seems great is that it’s like going back to that time and allowing us to experience Maharishi’s personal interview with Paul which David revived as if we were invited into the talk. Thanks David and Paul.
    Jai Guru Dev
    George A.

  • Bjørn

    I really thank both The Beatles and David Lynch – and of course Guru Dev and Maharishi – for bringing TM to a lot of people! Here in Norway we experienced the “Maharishi-effect” for several years ago, and today Norway has been the richest country in the world! This year we are celebrating 50 years with TM in Norway – and it would be a great honour if Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and David Lynch with several more people would join us in this celebration in Norway! Please give your comments on this!

  • Vasiliy

    The Inhabitants to Russia want to get the good news TM.

    • Geke

      Dear Vasiliy,
      Yes, TM is going strong in Russia too! Look in YouTube for users “FondDevidaLincha” and “flyingroom1″, or generally on

  • Maggie Clarke

    I too started TM in Florida – 1973, already a photographer and musician, in part because the Beatles had done so, but in part after seeing Maharishi on the Edwin Newman Sunday show that spring. I’m now part of the best public Beatles cover band in New York City (the Meetles play 15+ hours a weekend in the Caverns of the subway) and experienced concert photographer, having a large portfolio of Paul and many others. I really value these interviews as it uncovers details of a time I always wanted to know more about, and I hope they go into even more depth about the meditation and the songwriting that happened in Rishikesh.

  • Greg Polakow

    I began meditating in 1973. To me, looking back on it now, it seems as if my life after beginning TM was altogether a different life than the one I was living before TM. Almost as if the two were not connected. In many ways it seems now as if I was not even living life before TM.
    The changes in me and my life since then are incalculable. It would be a gross understatement to say that I appreciate what Maharishi and Guru Dev provided for me and my family. There are really no words to adequately express it. Except, of course, Jai Guru Dev.

  • Psychicjim

    This is a great post. I wonder if the meditation program did in fact assist the creativity of the Beatles? hmmmmm… it gives me something to think about. This is an entertaining post, informative too, thank you.

  • Paul McCartney

    Paul McCartney, believe us!
    We always like you,
    Whether watch your concerts,
    Or only a video.
    Your music is so intense!
    Wish to see you,
    In any concert that take place,
    Our love is that of Romeo.
    However how pricy are tickets!

  • Joni Kimberlin

    This is a wonderful blog — informative and inspirational. Thanks, Joni K

  • Randy Meltzer

    It was so nice of Paul to share his experieince of Maharishi and TM.
    The Beatles helped many to discover the benefits of TM

  • paresh

    Dear Sir,

    I’m a hospitality student in India and I’m learning the English language but I don’t have enough self confidence. So how do I develop self confidence and how do I remove phobia of the English language. How will meditation benefit me.
    Please help me
    paresh ahir- 9898413007

  • jan apslett

    great to hear this interview .

  • Jim Walters

    I just watched the McCartney and Lynch interview and enjoyed the expressions that Paul conveyed. As a TM teacher myself, having learned in the mid 70s, I find the similarities remarkable as to the routine of the day during the training. This simple routine is very likely employed today with the addition of the TM-Sidhi Program and yoga asanas which Paul didn’t mention but became a regular fixture of the training.

    Earlier, I had read an article about Prudence Farrow entitled Dear Prudence after the Beatles song that was one of the many inspired at Rishikesh. It was fun to learn about how she had continued her education and is now a PhD teaching TM in Florida. Of course the reason she gave for not “coming” out to play was that she preferred to meditate and was more focused on that than the celebrity hub bub. That too was a very good article. Thanks to the editors of Maharishi inspired TM Blog who tirelessly work year after year, decade after decade to bring this eternal knowledge to the world.

  • Stephanie Rivera

    My husband and I took the TM course back in the early 70′s and later became TM teachers. We met at a residence course in Massachusetts and got married the year of the Celebration of the American Centennial 1976. From that point on, our lives took off and we have never looked back. We are very fortunate to be living in this most fortuitous and momentous time when the full knowledge of the Vedas is blossoming once again. Jai Guru Dev.

  • John ODonovan

    This video brings me back. What a feeling of being “at home” we had back in those days. I started meditation as a student at Princeton in December of ’71. I became a teacher in ’76. What a gift it has been for me. Thank you Maharishi. Jai Guru Dev

  • Frank W. Lotz

    It were the Beatles & Donovan who introduced through their Interviews I was reading that dear Maharishi came to my mind & heart. Unfortunately it took me 4 more years; with the age of 17 finally I found a TM Teacher and the journey began….

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