Gandalf’s Garden
A British experimental community of the sixties situated in
Chelsea, London, embracing popular mysticism, yoga, meditation,
gurus, and occultism. It was a meeting place for young
people interested in such topics, with a craft shop and free
food. The center was founded by Muz Murray, an art student
who spent seven years hitchhiking in Europe, the Middle East,
and Africa. He claims that while in Cyprus during 1964 he experienced
mystical awareness, which he later compared with
the LSD experience, finding the latter inferior. He developed
Gandalf’s Garden (named after author Tolkien’s white wizard
in Lord of the Rings) to create a spiritual and mystical lifestyle
for young people. Their journal, Gandalf’s Garden, included articles
on new and old systems of developing changes in consciousness
presented in the somewhat sensationalist pop style
of the sixties.
Gandalf’s Garden was dispersed in 1971 into various ‘‘seed
centers’’ in different parts of the world, and the journal ceased
publication. The ‘‘Friends of the Garden’’ described their centers
as ‘‘gatherings of people who are not restricted by or to any
one spiritual viewpoint, religion, sect or path, and who are
open to the totality of things to be discovered in this incredible
state of existence, whether it be from the intuitive mystical experience
or the aware scientific investigation of the Cosmos.’’
There is a Friends of the Garden Central Seed Centre at 24
St. Margaret’s Close, Norstead, Norwich, England.

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