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David Lynch Interviews Paul McCartney About Transcendental Meditation (Part 1)

What a night! A little more than a year ago, on April 4, 2009, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney headlined a historic, one-night-only benefit concert promoting the Transcendental Meditation technique for the David Lynch Foundation at Radio City Music Hall in New York, entitled “Change Begins Within.” Paul McCartney was joined onstage by his former band-mate Ringo Starr and several other amazing musicians, including Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, and Moby. Six-thousand energized music fans, foundation well-wishers, and meditation supporters packed the hall for what several press reports called “the musical event of a lifetime.”

Before the concert, before the hubbub and the crazy excitement and the buzz, before it all, David Lynch sat down, individually, with Paul and with Ringo for a quiet talk on camera. They candidly discussed their 40-plus year Transcendental Meditation practice, their meetings with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and how Maharishi and meditation have influenced their lives. It was the first time in decades that Paul and Ringo had spoken of those days that historians have said helped to transform the music, the culture, and the future of the world.

In this first episode in an ongoing series of short clips from those historic interviews, David asks Paul what he first thought of when he heard the word “meditation.”

“It was actually George Harrison’s wife, Patti, who had heard Maharishi was coming to town.” Paul said, “And she said we should all go…[I was] just overdoing it in the ‘60s. I was just not very centered and I was looking for something. I think we all were. So we heard that Maharishi was going to have a meeting and give a lecture. So that was the first time I’d heard about meditation.”

Paul paused for a moment as he recalled those transformative days four decades ago when he first heard about the Transcendental Meditation technique and met Maharishi: “It was very interesting. It was very calming and it seemed like something that was worth trying. [Maharishi] put it very well. He made it seem simple; he made it seem very attractive.”

Next week: Paul talks about when Maharishi first taught him to meditate.