Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru
About the Book:
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.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I am a child of the hippie generation of the 60s. We were at the forefront of a spiritual revolution that changed the world. I spent 22 years in the ashrams and 6 years on the personal staff of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of TM (Transcendental Meditation) and guru of the Beatles and guru of Deepak Chopra. At that time I stayed in the Himalayas, the Swiss Alps, and other secluded areas in Europe and the USA. After over 2 decades enjoying great experiences practicing Transcendental Meditation, I found another method of meditation that I found was even more powerful. I began to teach that and decided to write a book about it. So in 1990 I began writing my first book, Divine Revelation, which was published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster. Now I have 14 books in print.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
When I’m writing a book, I just sit at my desk and write day and night with no interruptions or distractions. Hours go by and suddenly I realize I’ve forgotten to eat all day!
3: Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from my higher self, which some people might call the soul or the divine presence within. However, I often also do quite a bit of research when writing a book.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
I write non-fiction books, so usually there isn’t any story. But the Contents and the Chapter Outline that I’ve written in the Book Proposal create the plan. I can’t really deviate from that, because the publisher has contracted me to write what I’ve set forth in the Outline.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
Nearly all my books are spiritual self-help books, because my main mission is to bring people to higher consciousness and self-realization.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
My latest book is my memoir: Maharishi & Me: Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru. Many people who’ve read it think it should be a movie. I imagine someone like Saoirse Ronan playing me. Beatles’ impersonators would play the Beatles. And for Maharishi, maybe Aziz Ansari, a very short charismatic actor with large dark eyes and a high voice who sort of resembles Maharishi. But more ideal would be a Hindu from India rather than a Moslem from America.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Much of what I read is ancient scriptural sources and other books as research for the books I write.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m reading a book about the Beatles movie Yellow Submarine because I’ll be appearing and speaking about the film at a movie theater in a couple of weeks.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
The Upanishads because of its profound wisdom.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Live your life to the fullest. Discover your true purpose and divine destiny and do your best to fulfill it. Be your authentic self and do what you love. Even if you fear the unknown, leap before you look. Don’t pass up any chances to make the most of every day. When you live a passionate, purposeful life, then you’ll have something to write about.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
About the Author:
Dr. Susan Shumsky has dedicated her life to helping people take command of their lives in highly effective, powerful, positive ways. She is the multiple award-winning, best-selling author of 14 books, published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, Red Wheel, and Skyhorse. 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 7 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 Weird or What? She is featured in the movie Three Magic Words.