Lotus flower.

Memoirs of
Charlie Lutes:

See You Tube Video: A Tribute to Charlie Lutes

Memoirs of
Charlie Lutes

Charles F. Lutes with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Charlie Lutes with Maharish Mahesh Yogi

From The Himalayas to Hollywood
A Personal Account of Maharishi’s Early Days

By Charles F. Lutes
As Told to Martin Zucker
© 2006 Martin Zucker

A Personal Note

For many years, Charles F. Lutes was closely involved in the efforts of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to spread Transcendental Meditation around the world. As Maharishi’s personal representative in the United States, and his first World Governor, “Charlie,” as we all knew him, handled much of the TM movement’s business affairs and was a close advisor to the Indian master in organizational and practical matters.

Charlie was one of Maharishi’s first meditators in the United States and helped establish the country's first major TM center—in Los Angeles—in 1959. It was the meditators of Los Angeles who provided the funding to keep Maharishi going in the early days of the movement.

A close personal friendship was formed and the two traveled together many times as Maharishi brought his meditation crusade to the far corners of the world.

Soon after starting TM in 1975 my wife and I gravitated to Charlie’s Friday night lectures in the big hall on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles. We soon formed fast friendships among the hundreds of meditators who regularly attended.

As a journalist, I became interested in the TM story and Charlie’s droll accounts of his “adventures” with Maharishi. One day I approached Charlie about collaborating on a book that would revolve around Maharishi’s one man mission to end suffering in the world through meditation. The book was to be written in Charlie’s voice as a personalized and intimate account of Maharishi’s historically unprecedented and audacious mission.

Charlie obtained permission from Maharishi and we embarked on our project. I spent hours taping conversations with Charlie, and going over clippings and documents that he had collected.

The project, unfortunately, was never completed. But we wrote and edited four chapters. For many years the manuscript collected dust in a box along with other notes and studies I used when I wrote magazine articles about TM.

After Charlie and his wife Helen passed away in 2001 I remembered the chapters written twenty five years before. As I read them I felt a great surge of love for Charlie and Helen, who served as surrogate father and mother to so many of us, who handheld us, who advised us in times of personal difficulties, and who, above all, inspired us to recognize the towering majesty of Maharishi’s knowledge and mission on Earth.

“Don’t be a frog jumping from one thing to another. Stay on the path because it is the highest teaching,” Charlie would remind us all over and over.

I know the Lutes’ would wish that this narrative, although incomplete, should find its way out to their legion of friends. It’s sweet and endearing and personal. And so I share it—with love and gratitude to Charlie and Helen. I hope you enjoy it.

Martin Zucker
Canoga Park CA Fall 2006

Martin Zucker is a professional writer who has written or co-authored more than fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles, many of them in the field of health and medicine. "Reverse Heart Disease Now," his latest book, was co-authored with two holistic cardiologists and published by Wiley (New York) in the fall of 2006. Martin was formerly an Associated Press newsman in Europe and the Middle East. He and his wife Rosita live in the San Fernando Valley. They learned TM in 1975 after seeing Maharishi on the Merv Griffin show. Martin can be contacted at canogamarty@yahoo.com

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