Henry David Thoreau retires to a cabin in the woods with a copy of the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad Gita and later publishes Walden.
Buzz Factor: 7
The young Indian philosopher Krishnamurti sets up shop near Santa Barbara, California, attracting groupies such as Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo.
Buzz Factor: 3
Poet Allen Ginsberg and novelist Jack Kerouac inspire the Beat wing of American Buddhism, giving cred to the San Francisco Zen Center.
Buzz Factor: 5
The Beatles, Donovan, and Mia Farrow visit TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Indian ashram.
Buzz Factor: 9
Maharishi appears on an episode of The Merv Griffin Show that's devoted to TM. Later that year, Time's cover says, "Meditation: The Answer to all Your Problems?"
Buzz Factor: 10
In Annie Hall, Jeff Goldblum confesses on the phone that he's forgotten his mantra.
Buzz Factor: 6
Richard Gere co-founds the Tibet House US to bring attention to the Dalai Lama's cause and the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Later the Dalai Lama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
Leonard Cohen is ordained a Zen monk at the Mount Baldy Zen Monastery.
Buzz Factor: 1
Orlando Bloom joins the Soka Gakkai wing of Buddhism, aligning himself with Herbie Hancock and Tina Turner.
Buzz Factor: 4
David Lynch creates his TM foundation and lures in celebrity pals.