Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In Memory of our Departed Transcendental Meditation Friends

One of the readers of TM-Free Blog, Karina, wrote this a day ago in one of her comments:

"...Recently, there seem to be so many deaths of family and friends in the loose knit TM and ex-TM circles, that sometimes I think we should also have an "In Memory Of..." website, both for the TBers and us TM-free types. We may not agree on the worth of MMY, the TMO, or even TM yet we still feel the connection with one another...."

While I don't want to start a new website, I am offering this post as an opportunity for readers to write about TMers we loved and lost.

Please feel free to write anything that your heart moves you to write: recent losses, long-ago losses, list of people lost, feelings, reflections, memories, stories, anything. You needn't be politically correct, or be pro-TM or anti-TM or anything. Just a place to write what you wish.

Thank you, Karina, for this excellent suggestion.


Ole Timer said...

---- Rest In Peace -----

*********** Alan Scherr ************

Killed by terrorists at the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India. November, 2008

Alan taught TM in the 1970s, and was on the first six-month Governor Training course in Switzerland, which is where I first met him. He was elected the leader of the group, and, as I recall, he served well for the entire six months. Alan was very friendly, yet seemingly able to function well in a practical down-to-earth sense, even after many hours of rounding each day.

Later Alan left the TM world and joined another spiritual meditation group called Synchronicity, which was based in Virginia. It was with this group that Alan functioned as a tour guide and traveled with his young daughter to Mumbai India in November of 2008. What unfolded in that city for four bloody days was seen around the world. A small band of terrorists managed to virtually shut down the city and murdered many Indian nationals and foreigners who were staying at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels.

There are many references on the web to Alan's death, and that of his 13-year-old daughter Naomi, who also was gunned down in the cafe moments after her father. Alan was 58 years old.

There is a website for Alan and Naomi, with some pictures and video. (The thousands of condolences messages that were once posted have been taken down.)
and a tribute page:

And perhaps the best tribute of all is Kia Sheer's (Alan's wife) non-violent response to the political massacre. Mainstream media has been astonished by her continuing opposition to the death penalty, despite the brutal murder of her husband and only daughter. She talks about forgiveness.


Alan's wife Kia now, and Brother Charles (new guru who Alan followed) now speak publicly about the Mumbai massacre experience. The Synchronicity website is filled with many links to outside media stories about Alan and Naomi Scherr. http://www.synchronicity.org/videopages/MumbiaMediaCoverage.html

It is a most unlikely ending for Alan, but yet, despite the shocking horror, Alan's noble spirit is still being carried forth by his wife and spiritual family.

Alan.....You certainly will not be forgotten. You have left a legacy to be long remembered.

jmknapp53 said...

What a beautiful idea, Laurie!


Sudarsha said...

Thanks, Laurie and Karina - we should remember. I only know of, but don't know anyone directly who committed suicide within the TM community. While I suspect that all religions, cults (beneficial as well as usurious) have this phenomenon. That hardly less makes it less difficult or less traumatic for survivors.

1annwk1 said...

Ruth Nixon (Brad Nixon's former wife) - They came to Fairfield from Alaska, and soon after they divorced. Brad Nixon began dating Jamie immediately after their divorce, and just as quickly there was a child on the way. Ruth moved to Los Angeles. She was fragile, and it is probable that her woeful financial situation made her lose heart. Ruth and I communicated a few times by phone after she moved to L. A., then I lost contact with her. I found out only many years after the fact that she committed suicide. Ruth was a delightful person, but she was afflicted with what I believe is known as obsessive/compulsive disorder: She wiped off salt shakers in restaurants before salting her food, and as I recall, used a handkerchief to open doors to public places. I don't know where or when her psychological problems developed, whether before or after the inception of beginning the TM Technique.

Ruth was a wonderful conversationalist and a very loving, giving human being. I shall always regret her loss.

1annwk1 said...

Sharon - Suicide in Fairfield, approximately 1990 - from New York, probably Jewish. She was in a neighboring apartment to mine, one of 3 apartments upstairs above the Sidha owned print shop, but I can’t recall her last name. If someone gave me last names of "Sharons" they knew in the TM Movement, I would recognize the correct one. We spoke a few times, but weren’t close.

From what I knew of Sharon, she was a very nice person, but she said she always chose the wrong man - chose an abusive relationship. After the fact, I was told that she was known to be unstable.

What is the problem in the TMO that there are so many suicides? Why has no one undermined the pain? How could this happen in a movement that made so many promises to followers - but then the promises were not kept - were they?

Betty_Betty said...

Sharon Decoretz Brown. I knew her very well. Whatever problems she had began long before TM. She was wild and she was crazy and she was sad.


Deborah1900 said...

Billy Goodbar, who introduced me to TM. Died of a sudden heart attack, aged 60, a few years ago. Well-known around the Cambridge centre.

Deborah1900 said...

Also Kathryn Alderisio, who was across the hall from me at the Karina at the TTC in Mallorca. She was a beautiful woman in every way, and died at the age of 59.

LGMarshall said...

Sharon West, MIU, class of 1978, died of bone cancer 3 years ago in Santa Monica, CA.

Seth Cohen, MIU Class of 1978, died about 2 years ago of acute intestinal infection, in Boulder, CO.

Bob Dee, MIU class of 1978, died about 3 years ago.[east coast]

Jeff Lederman, former TM teacher, died of cancer a few years ago...Santa Monica, CA

May they all rest in peace.

eptfnj said...

I can't resist.

These stories are sad in that families, loved ones and friends
have lost someone near and dear.

I recall Swami Muktananda and others always saying that in the realm of perfected beings, Siddhaloka, the MahaSiddha's are always alert to the pure of heart and will bless any practice borne of sincerity and love.

It is not improbable that after a difficult life and a puzzling end, these people found the Peace, Joy and Delight that they might have missed in this life.

An old Sufi Poem goes something like this.

"Come one, Come all
Ours is not a Journey of Despair
Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times
Ours is a forgiving God."

Within the cold mechanism of analytical thinking and
rational thought there is the sparkle of something quite
other than the product of mind. In hushed tones to the select few, the Jnani whisper the Truth that there is only Love without limit enveloping all.

Even now, those that been on this Journey with us and
left unexpectedly have already landed on the shore in the land of Eternal Joy.

Hari OM

mdoc said...

Pat. C.

TM teacher in the 70s. Committed suicide, I don't recall when. Wife's name was Polly, also a teacher. At some point they had divorced.

RayKay said...

I personally knew Sharon, Seth & Bob. Miss them all much.

jmknapp53 said...

This has been—and continues to be—a fantastic thread started by Laurie.

What would you guys think if I used this thread to start a TMFB page dedicated to a memorials?

I think it would be powerful.


Sudarsha said...

I think that that would be a wonderful thing, John.

A lot of people worked very hard to spread the word, to get Mahesh's message out there, to let others know that Mahesh promised a solution to the world's problems.

Their efforts and their lives should be respected. Few have worked so hard for a cause.

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