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'Trying transcendental meditation... not that easy to get started': Rupert Murdoch goes in search of his inner hippie

  • @johnhenrywalsh

Holy media moguls! Has Rupert Murdoch discovered his spiritual side? Will the global maestro of plain dealing, pragmatism and unfettered capitalism reveal a mystical side to his thunderstruck associates?

The news came out of the blue on (appropriately) Sunday night, posted on Twitter at 7pm GMT: “Trying to learn transcendental meditation. Everyone recommends, not that easy to get started, but said to improve everything!” 

I love that “not that easy to get started”, as if meditation were a tricky technical exercise or skill, like baking tarts or water-skiing. Has someone been giving Rupert a meditation manual and assuring him he must learn the contents, as one learns the Highway Code? Perhaps it was the only way to keep his attention. It’s hard to imagine Murdoch responding eagerly to classic TM requirements that you clear your mind of intrusive thoughts about success and failure, riches and poverty, and concentrate on small things, like the colours of birds or the time ticking away on a clock.

I’m sure Rupert is as capable of transcendence as anyone, but I suspect his meditation on birds would quickly inspire a 12-part Fox docu-series called Fine Feathers introduced by Bill Bailey and his inspection of time engender a new Robert Zemeckis movie called Back From the Past….

If he keeps up his interest, Rupert will join a long line of worldly materialists (John Lennon, Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, David Lynch) who have looked to transcendental meditation to release them from being overwhelmed by the material world. But how dull life would be if Murdoch’s bracing tweets were suddenly all about his “inner calm”, the “stillness” and “balance” of his “inner vision”. It would be a significant rip in the fabric of 21st-century certainty if he found any use for a mantra except as an advertising jingle.