Lilian Darr’s autobiography Memoirs of a 90-year-old hippie offers a precious glimpse into how life can be lived to its fullest and how practicing Transcendental Meditation can nudge you in that direction.
Lilian Darr grew up in a well-to-do family and spent her youth in 1930s in New York. Her first husband, Bob Busch, worked in show business and thus exposed Lilian to the world of entertainment in New York and Los Angeles. In her 40’s she embodied the counter-culture of Berkley, taking her stand against the Vietnam War and working tirelessly to promote civil and women’s rights.
Lilian has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for more than 40 years. In her late 60s she moved to Fairfield, Iowa, to live in a community of like-minded people and be close to her son and daughter, who are both teachers of TM. There she met the love of her life, Bill Darr, to whom she got married at the age of 70. Bill and Lilian enjoyed a blissful union and traveled extensively both at home and abroad in a Volkswagen minivan.
Like all humans, Lilian has experienced both blessings and challenges. Her first husband suffered from manic-depression. Her son, whose health had been poor ever since he was a baby, died suddenly when he was just 38-years-old. Lilian also had to bear the passing of her third husband, losing an inseparable companion of fifteen years.
Yet, the way she recounts even those memories testifies to her ability to feel no bitterness and embrace all that life brings. What’s more, the extent to which her writing communicates joy and gratitude is the same regardless whether she describes meeting the big names in show business or watching the little birds who visit the feeder in her garden.
As Lilian writes in Memoirs of a 90-year-old hippie: “One of my favorite arguments in favor of Transcendental Meditation has been “retardation of the aging process.”
She adds: “I had determined long ago that if anyone inquired about my years I would respond: “Do you want my biological or chronological age?” The disparity between the two has been quite apparent in many cases with those practicing TM.”
Lilian’s book is a witness that her dedication to the meditation practice has not only halted her physical aging, but also retained her joy of living.
The book is a must-read for those who want to be inspired to embrace and appreciate all that comes their way–from lucky finds in a thrift store to meeting the loves of your lives. And it really does not matter how old you are when these things happen.