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This is the second in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson.
For the first part, see here.

While the 1950s saw the emergence of a few meditation pioneers such as Alan Watts, who only published his bestseller Psychology East and West in 1961, until the early 1960s, meditation in the West continued to remain largely the domain of spiritual seekers.

Most meditation was being taught and practised within the context of either a Hindu yogic, Sufi, Buddhist or Taoist framework.

Then came the Age of Aquarius. The Beatles went to India, met the Maharishi and brought Transcendental Meditation (TM) back to the West. Psychedelic drugs burst out of the experimental laboratories of psychiatrists and the CIA, and flooded the streets. Vietnam galvanised a generation, the counterculture flourished, and people were intent on expanding their minds. Very quickly meditation in the West was popularised, and perhaps even stigmatised to a degree, as the domain of the hippies.

Published in Meditation Blog