Richard Blakely, an American living in Paris during the Vietnam War, attended the “teacher-training course” conducted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his ashram in Rishikesh in the spring of 1968. This was the same three-month course attended by the Beatles and a number of other celebrities.
Blakely was keeping a daily journal at the time and later wrote The Secret of the Mantras, based extensively on notes from those journals and containing several glimpses of the wizard behind the curtain. After the course in India, Blakely returned to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a PhD in French in 1974. He went on to teach at Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and two universities in France. He is now retired and lives in Providence and Cap Ferret.
He has recently completed a novel called Trishula Man which is awaiting publication. He met Jenny Boyd in Rishikesh and they remain friends to this day. Richard will join Jenny on the main stage on Saturday to reminisce about their time in Rishikesh with The Beatles. He will also have a book-reading session in the FABoratory.