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All You Need Is Love: An Eyewitness Account of When Spirituality Spread from the East to the West
by Nancy Cooke de Herrera
2003

By the time socialite Nancy Cooke de Herrera met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1962, she had already led an extraordinary life. During World War II she was married to the son of a famous missionary family and was hostess to Admirals Nimitz, Halsey and Towers, who were leaders on the Pacific front. The marriage didn't last, and her next husband was a member of the American racing team at LeMans. Luis de Herrera took his new bride to live in his home country of Argentina. He died just a few years later and Nancy became a renowned fashion leader, presenting American couture around the world. She hobnobbed with movie stars and political figures, but there was something more she was searching for. When she encountered Transcendental Meditation it opened up a new world for her, her family and the celebrities she befriended.

Nancy Cooke de Herrera's story is fascinating on many levels. Not only was she there when the Beatles came to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, she had been working for the Maharishi as his publicist and was one of his closest confidants. He was not the only spiritual figure she met - she also relates her encounters with holy figures such as the Dalai Lama, the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa and Satya Sai Baba at exotic locations in India and Tibet. Her famous friends got caught up in her search, too - she brought Doris Duke to the Maharishi and introduced Greta Garbo to TM. In the midst of all these adventures is the tale of a woman's spiritual coming of age, even as her personal life falls apart. Nancy Cooke de Herrera's book also relates the turmoil behind the scenes of the Maharishi's organization - events that could have disillusioned her, but instead strengthened her own path as an instructor of meditation.

At 500 pages, All You Need Is Love is something more than a casual read, but the author's conversational writing style always makes it interesting and entertaining. She's also an inspiration - after living several lifetimes in one, Nancy Cooke de Herrera isn't ready to call it a day. "As the decades roll by, I don't think much about aging and death," says this vital octogenarian. This is a full book about a very full life.

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