Wearing white flowers, a loose-fitting white robe and a long white beard, the maharishi looked quite healthy for his age, which is . . . well, a bit hard to pin down. He claims he has "forgotten" when he was born. Sam Katz, director of the Bethesda center, estimates that the Indian-born monk is somewhere in his eighties. The maharishi's still active -- running his four-decade-old Transcendental Meditation empire, plus founding a new global nation and ending war and violence forever.
His plan goes like this: He will build 3,000 "Peace Palaces" around the world, including one somewhere near Washington. In each palace, hundreds of his followers will be engaged full time in "yogic flying" -- an advanced version of Transcendental Meditation in which the meditators sort of hop around the room while sitting cross-legged. This practice, he says, sends out powerful positive vibrations that reduce stress, crime and violence. With hundreds of people doing yogic flying in 3,000 different places, peace will break out all over.
He was a bit vague about how Global Country would make a profit from yogic flying and world peace. "It's a program to buy -- ah, what do you call it?" He paused for a moment, and reporters could hear the bump, bump, bump of yogic fliers hopping in the room upstairs. Then the maharishi finished his thought: "Agricultural lands."
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