Click here to view the embedded video.

There is a new Martin Scorsese documentary out about the Beatle, George Harrison, called “Living In The Material World.” It’s wonderful; if you were a Beatles fan or if you like good films about interesting people, you’ll want to make time for this one. Aside from being the soundtrack to our life, the Beatles had a cultural influence that is hard to describe to anyone who didn’t know what the world was like before they changed everything.

George, the lead guitarist, was the “quiet one” and the youngest Beatle. Scorsese’s film portrays a human and fragile man who was kind, a little surprised by his fame and above all, loving. What struck me, besides Harrison’s musical genius, his endless desire to create and his front and center role in pop culture was his pursuit of consciousness. Harrison has been described as a “cafeteria Buddhist,” he spent his life fascinated by Indian culture and selectively practiced different aspects of the religion. We have George to thank for the sitar on Norwegian Wood and for much of the awareness that my generation has of Eastern spirituality. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that our acceptance of things like Yoga, Incense and Meditation are due to George Harrison’s journey into the East.

Click here to view the embedded video.

In the spirit of openness, I am a Christian who has adopted a Buddhist style practice and Harrison has always been the Beatle who interests me the most. I meditate and practice yoga, I’ve been to a Buddhist Temple to study and have found that there are many comparable beliefs in the two religions (as in all religions). I wonder how much awareness we in the west would have of Indian culture if George had not drug the rest of the Beatles to camp with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Ravi Shankar.

To his death, George saw himself as a spiritual being in a material body and prepared himself for leaving his body with no fear or hesitation. He left behind friends and fans who remember his music, but more importantly he proved in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

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