Monday, July 9, 2007

More ways to commemorate the Summer of Love

The first thing I tend to think about when the phrase "Summer of Love" is uttered is music. Swirling, psychedelic, jammed out, fuzzed out, hippie-fied music. Then comes the tie-dye, the funny dancing, nudity, San Francisco... there will be plenty of TV specials, print and online columns (such as the San Francisco Chronicle series that ran in late May), and outdoor music festivals commemorating the 40th anniversary of the year that launched the youth of America into a downward spiral of risky sex, rampant drug abuse, bone-headed politics... um, I mean a spiritual awakening that gifted Western culture with an enlightened approach to the way we treat our environment and our souls.

So, one of the ways I will be commemorating the Summer of Love (along with attending the free Summer of Love 40th Anniversary concert in Golden Gate Park) is... (drum roll, please):

I will begin practicing yoga.

Actually, the truth is I've been feeling like my brain needs a different sort of workout than what it's currently getting, and I have a girlfriend who is a big proponent of the benefits of yoga. I was ready to do it, the right person convinced me, and what do you know, it also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the beginning of America's fascination with the spiritual exports of India.

The fascination really took hold when the Beatles made their famous trip to Rishikesh in early 1968 to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beach Boys' Mike Love was one of the other big rock stars on this trip, and he turned out to be one of the longest-lasting, most vocal practitioners of the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation.

I remember reading many years ago about a marathon levitation session, or some other such activity that may have involved fasting and very little sleep, that Mike Love embarked upon back in 1988. He made this speech at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony afterwards, preaching about love and harmony at the beginning and end. Something went kinda wrong in the middle though:

Dig Elton John at the end! He obviously knows how to levitate.

Mike Love still practices TM to this day, and still preaches the virtues of love. Or rather, he'd like us all to unleash the love.

I recommend that whatever you choose to unleash, please do so in the privacy of your own home. In the meantime, I'll content myself with some beginners Ashtanga yoga.


1 comment:

Doug M. said...

As long as you don't start doing coffee house shows as a one-man tribute band to Mike Love featuring a set consisting of "Looking Back with Love" in its entirety, followed up with an encore of Sumahama and Santa's Goin' To Kokomo.

Seriously, good luck with it and let me know how it goes.