News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch is trying to learn Transcendental Meditation, the technique developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the spiritual mentor to The Beatles.
The media billionaire, who works hard at keeping fit, announced his startling new personal improvement project in a tweet this morning:
Trying to learn transcendental meditation. Everyone recommends, not that easy to get started, but said to improve everything!
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) April 21, 2013
Murdoch joined Twitter at the start of 2012 and uses it to share his schedule but also his views on global economics, politics and occasionally defend his publications.
After the phone hacking scandal came to a head in 2011 and the Leveson inquiry last year, Murdoch, now 82, is in the throes of another challenging year with the scheduled breakup of News Corporation into a publishing division which will hold the newspapers, and an entertainment company to be called 21st Century Fox.
Meditation is increasingly popular in business circles as a way to enhance problem-solving skills and manage stress. Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, is reported to have built many of Transcendental Meditation’s tenets into Bridgewater’s culture.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, a Buddhist, was a practitioner of Zen meditation. Former Monsanto chief executive Bob Shapiro even introduced meditation rooms at the company after he discovered the practice.
What’s fascinating about Murdoch’s experiment with meditation is how it flies in the face of the high-energy, take-no-prisoners persona attributed to him in popular culture.
Transcendental Meditation involves the repeating of a mantra, usually given to the practitioner by a teacher, while sitting still with eyes closed. The specific mantra is intended to help that individual move to a quieter, more harmonious way of thinking.
Late last year this rather meditative photo was posted to Murdoch’s Twitter feed while he was on a visit to Australia:
With elder son Lachlan in Australia last month. pic.twitter.com/J1yqgPUg
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 25, 2012
And this month during his visit he talked about his “spiritual home”:
Having two days off with some colleagues and family in Australian bush. Feels like spiritual home. Peace and rest.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) April 6, 2013
So the question everyone will want to know: What will Rupert’s mantra be?
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