Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Ross, 63

Ross, 63

Transcendental meditator was guided by the Beatles guru.
Photo: Andrew Nawrocki
By Jake Malooley |

Couch Place and State Street

At first glance, I thought you were wearing an Obi-Wan Kenobi costume. [Laughs] I’ve noticed a lot of wandering eyes, but no bad vibes.

No disturbances in the Force? Nope. This is just how they dress where I live, in rural India. 

What are you up to? I’m here to get a return visa to India, where I’ve been living for ten years. Before that, I spent a year in Chicago in the ’90s at the Blackstone Hotel, the very old, classic hotel on Michigan Avenue, doing graphic design.

What do you do in India? Transcendental meditation. I’m with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Society. He was the guru of the Beatles. He was my guide, too. He told me and 100 other single men to go to India, and do the full thing the way the ancient yogis used to do it. Now I live in the Himalayas. Very beautiful, simple villages.

Is it overwhelming then to be in a big, loud city again? No. If you have quiet mind, then wherever you are, whatever is going on outside is not penetrating you.

Do you feel younger than when you started meditating? In many ways. I was 24 when I started. I was a musician trying to make it. I wasn’t happy. I had a lot of stress. When I started meditating, I played better. Many creative people go through stages where they are very creative, everything is flowing, then they encounter a block. Usually, that just means some stress is creating noise in the system, and they’re not able to get to the wellspring of creativity.

Do you have a quick fix? The main technique is just sitting for 15 to 20 minutes with your eyes closed. That provides the most powerful condition for healing.

More to explore