Abandoned by her alcoholic dad when she was five, out of cash and evicted from their NYC apartment, Claire Hoffman, her mom and seven-year-old brother found themselves dropped into a small town in Iowa.
But, not just any old town, this was a sacred enclave, Heaven on Earth, established by Transcendental Meditation founder, Maharishi Mahesh. For Claire’s mother, Transcendental Meditation and the cloistered culture around it became a source of salvation and calm. But, over time, Claire began questioning the teachings and traditions. She eventually fled the town, the practice and community and moved back in with her father.
Decades later, a now established journalist and teacher and parent, and looking for answers, Claire found herself drawn back to Iowa, to reexamine her spiritual upbringing in an attempt to resolve unanswered questions rediscover a bit of lost magic.
In today’s episode, we sit down with Claire and dive into this powerful, raw and revelatory journey, detailed in her memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood.
photo credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
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