Fleeing the country in its headlong rush to war in Vietnam, a young American drops out of school and goes to Paris to write. After a year and a half, he realizes that if you have to work to live there, Paris is a lot like any other city, except that it’s full of Americans who came there to write. One night he and a friend go to the Paris Hilton to attend a lecture on a “great new movement that is sweeping the world.” A month later the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi invites him to India to attend a three-month teacher-training course on Transcendental Meditation. Based on journals Blakely kept at the time, the second half of this book is an eye-witness account of that gathering on the banks of the Ganges in the spring of 1968, which Blakely describes as “a lot like Woodstock but without all the people and the noise, and lasting a lot longer.” While this book is primarily a personal journey, coming to terms with a crucial period in the author’s life, it also provides a close-up portrait of the Maharishi, from someone who caught a glimpse of the wizard behind the curtain. In addition, it contains vignettes of other people who also happened to attend that course in Rishikesh---including George Harrison, John Lennon, Mia Farrow, and Mike Love---that readers will find entertaining and informative.