NPR recently did a three part series on a spiritual community from the 60s called The Source. The Source originated as one of the first natural foods restaurant and grew into a spiritual commune with an ex-marine turned charismatic leader called Father Yod.
Founded by ex-Marine Jim Baker nearly four decades ago, the restaurant quickly drew Hollywood’s creative elite; John Lennon, Warren Beatty and Paul Mazursky were regulars. Other young men and women from across the country flocked there in search of something “cosmic,” and many never left.
Before and after hours, in meditation classes, Source employees were becoming a spiritual family.
Eventually, around 30 staff members and regulars moved into a mansion together in Griffith Park. In their first year at the “Mother House,” the family expanded to nearly 200.
Baker, too, was transforming, from his old self to spiritual leader Father Yod. It was the dawn of a new way of life.
The three part series includes over 20 minutes of audio as well as a slideshow and some interesting notes from the reporter who got swept up in the Source reunion:
Even after the Source reunion I’d attended was over, I couldn’t wake up after sunrise. Alone at home, I took up the predawn meditation routine Father Yod developed in the ’70s: breathing exercises, followed by chanting and a carefully brewed cup of coffee. After a few weeks, I started noticing a shift in my mental state. Father Yod’s teachings unexpectedly began to resonate. Suddenly, it felt like the most natural thing in the world to stop eating meat. So I did.
All in all a fascinating look at communal history.
Listen and read the NPR story on the historic commune The Source.