Initiator Training

Vedic Meditation Initiator Training

Become a Vedic Meditation Teacher and Bring Vedic Meditation to the World

Experience the Gold Standard of Vedic Meditation Initiator Training in our transformational 12-week residential program.


If you are an practitioner of Vedic Meditation, you may feel the pull to move beyond your personal Vedic Meditation practice and explore teaching Vedic Meditation to others. Fortunately, Thom Knoles has created his incredible Vedic Meditation teacher training program, best known as Initiator Training.

Learn from the purest source of Vedic knowledge by training with Thom and his team, in the same way Maharishi Mahesh Yogi trained Thom. You will quickly find that teaching Vedic Meditation is profoundly rewarding.

When you become a teacher in the Vedic tradition, you experience life in tidal waves of bliss.

Welcome to the journey of a lifetime.


Initiators of Vedic Meditation join the great service of helping others begin their inward journey and release stress effortlessly.

You’ll create rewarding relationships with students and guide their transformation.

Thom Knoles with fellow Initiator Angela Braun


Teach, speak, and live from a place of full and unbounded awareness.

Gain perspective and deep introspection alongside other like-minded Initiator trainees.


Meditation has become a trend in the West, but few people are taught to meditate effectively.

With Thom Knoles’ Initiator Training, you will become an expert teacher and serve the need of the time.

Thom Knoles with arm around teacher
Thom Knoles teaching class

receive the highest, most comprehensive level of training

This is the only program that takes you through the training in which Maharishi trained Thom; away from life’s demands and fully immersed in Vedic teaching and knowledge for 12 weeks.

Thom with Mahara-ji, Supreme Authority of Vedic Knowledge

Be recognized as an Initiator of Vedic Meditation

All new graduates of Vedic Meditation Initiator Training as taught by Thom Knoles are given special recognition by His Holiness, Shri Shri 1008 Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Kailashanand Giri Ji Maharaj, Supreme Authority of the Vedic Tradition.

Vedic Meditation INITIATOR TRAINING 2025

January 30 – April 24, 2025 • Rudraprayag, India Himalayas


Initiator Training is conducted in residence at a beautiful river sanctuary nestled in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the birthplace of Vedic knowledge.


Course participants will stay in well-appointed rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms and full Western-style amenities.


Healthy food supports transformation. The sanctuary’s kitchen provides Ayurvedic vegetarian meals with local farm-sourced ingredients.


  • Practice Vedic Meditation consistently for at least two years
  • Complete the following Exploring the Veda, Parts 1-6, as taught by Thom Knoles
  • Complete at least one residential weekend-long Rounding Retreat, during which you practiced a minimum of 7 rounds on one day
  • Receive at least one meditation Advanced Technique
  • Complete the following Mastering the Siddhis, Parts 1-5, as taught by Thom Knoles
  • All prerequisites must be facilitated by a qualified Initiator of Vedic Meditation in good standing.
Vedic Meditation Teacher Directory


1—Submit Your

Complete our online application. Be sure to review the prerequisites and requirements of the program. We’ll review your application and reach out with the next steps.

2—Interview and

This is the time for Thom’s team to get to know you better. They will begin to mentor you and help you complete the prerequisites.

3—Join Us
in India

Immerse yourself in study and expand your consciousness as you prepare to teach Vedic Meditation and give your highest service to the world.


Cindy Wu, Portland

When was the most transformational moment of your training?

“One morning I understood that though Thom was training us to be teachers of Vedic Meditation, he was also —perhaps more importantly— training us to be fearless in the face of change and great unknowns.

The program is designed to showcase our inner resilience, our capacity to be loving and of service to one another in all scenarios. That morning I realized: for weeks now, I have lived in quiet possession of inner strength. I did not notice the tide had come in until suddenly I found myself on higher ground. ”

What is life like now, as a Vedic Meditation Initiator?

“Life is much easier and “happier” while I am achieving more than I ever did before. I am not needy of the world to fulfill me and am guided by my inner compass rather than the ever-changing whims of relative life.

Teaching meditation fills me with joy and astonishment; each new student is akin to a new puzzle and the process of teaching ever- invigorating. When I have questions about teaching, I reach out to my wonderful colleagues and mentors, including the ever-generous Thom.”


When was the most transformational moment of your training?

“The singular most empowering thing I’ve ever done in my life was leave my job, my home, and everything familiar with me to live on the other side of the world and fully dedicate every moment to become the best version of myself. Initiator training was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.

Having gone through it, I cannot imagine any better way of becoming an Initiator than by fully dedicating yourself to the experience of learning with a true Master in the foothills of the Himalayas. Through all of the challenges and rigorous structure of Thom’s Initiator Training, I feel fully equipped to handle and combat the challenges of the great needs of our time.

I could not imagine learning how to be an Initiator while still working during the day and having all of my creature comforts at home. When it comes to Initiator Training, the greater the surrender, the greater the reward. “

What is life like now, as a Vedic Meditation Initiator?

“Life after Initiator Training is a ball! I remember being concerned that by going through IT I was going to lose who I was. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I feel more fully realized, more grounded, and way more adaptive. It’s been wonderful to have such an effect on people and communities. It’s also been amazing to find my own flavor of teaching and sharing knowledge. That’s what it’s all about.

There is a reason you’re feeling charmed to become an Initiator. It’s because the world needs your flavor of teaching and sharing this ancient, transformative tradition. If you’re looking to change the world in true, substantive ways; become an Initiator and learn from the best.

rachel gross, pittsburgh

When was the most transformational moment of your training?

“The most transformational moment of my training was when I realized that being an Initiator of Vedic Meditation is who I am and not something that I do.

That it isn’t about being any certain way but is simply about Being. And, at that moment, I knew that I was prepared for embracing Being as my new way of life because Thom prepared me for this.

This is not only what he teaches, but it is what he is — Thom is a Master of Being — and the most transformational moment of my IT was when I realized that this is what I was being trained to be as well.”

What is life like now, as a Vedic Meditation Initiator?

“Life continues to unfold in all its excitement, and I never know what’s just around the corner, which is how I like it these days. I have said yes to so many things that I never would have said yes to before, and no to so many things that I never would have said no to before. I fearlessly embrace the unknown, I joyfully meet the demands of the moment, and I laugh unlike I’ve ever laughed before.

And is life still challenging sometimes? Of course, it is. And meeting life’s demands with a smile makes all the difference. This is what life is like after completing IT with Thom.

Not simply knowing to have an umbrella with me when rain might come, but kicking off my shoes and having a good, fun boogie in the puddles when it does.

This is life now, for me. And, for me, life is bliss.”

Vedic Meditation INITIATOR TRAINING Course Leaders


Thom spent more than 25 years training directly under his guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Now in his sixth decade of initiating, Thom has taught nearly 50,000 students how to meditate. In his Initiator Training programs, Thom uses the exact methods in which Maharishi trained him. In India, Thom is honored with the name Maharishi Vyasanand Saraswati.


Susan trained as an Initiator in 2017 and teaches full-time in Los Angeles and New York City. Before teaching meditation, she enjoyed a successful 14-year career as a Wall Street executive and Senior Managing Director. This is Susan’s seventh year working with Thom and her fourth year supporting Thom on his Initiator Training programs.


Dr Lana has been teaching Vedic Meditation since 2018. A Chiropractor of 15 years, she has two studios in her hometown of Perth, where she offers meditation, Vedic knowledge, and nervous system-based Chiropractic care. This is the second year Lana has supported Thom on his Initiator Training programs. 

Let me train you to do what I do. Allow me to show you how you can be a master of Vedic knowledge. Accept and claim your heritage: to have the best, to be the best, and to do the best for yourself and for the world.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites of Vedic Meditation teacher training?

To qualify for Initiator Training, you will need to:

– Practice Vedic Meditation consistently for at least two years

– Receive at least one meditation Advanced Technique

– Complete the following Advanced Knowledge Courses by Thom Knoles: 

  • Exploring the Veda, Parts 1-6
  • Mastering the Siddhis, Parts 1-5 

– Complete at least one residential weekend-long Rounding Retreat, during which you practiced a minimum of 7 rounds on one day

All prerequisites must be facilitated by a qualified Vedic Meditation Initiator in good standing.

I have not completed all of the prerequisites yet, can I still apply?

Yes. We encourage you to apply as soon as you feel the pull to attend Initiator Training. By doing so, we can get to know you and mentor you through completing your prerequisite work to prepare you for Initiator Training.

Course participants must complete all prerequisites by December 21, 2024.

What’s the application deadline for IT 2025?

We have a rolling admission process. Our application process is different compared to applying to university or graduate schools. We encourage all applicants to apply early, so we can begin the “get to know you better” phase and support you in becoming an Initiator of Vedic Meditation.

Many Initiators apply 12-18 months before joining our program. However, all applications received up to the submission deadline are given full consideration. The earlier you start the conversation with us, the more shared success we can enjoy in preparing you to become an Initiator.

The official deadline to apply for Initiator Training is October 21, 2024.

Do all applicants get accepted onto Initiator Training?

Once you submit the application, a dynamic selection process begins, where we begin learning more about you and your reasons for wanting to attend our training.  

As you continue with your prerequisite coursework, we start the open dialogue on whether or not embarking on Initiator Training is right for you at this time.  

If you are not accepted this time, you are encouraged to apply again for a subsequent Initiator Training Program and to keep in touch with us.

What is the tuition?

The course fee is USD 26,500.

What your course fee covers: 

  • 12-weeks of full room and board
  • Training and course materials
  • A post-Initiator Training course with Thom

What your course fee does not include:

  1. Travel to and from your home country to Rishikesh, India
  2. Miscellaneous Initiator Training materials (puja kit, notebooks, pens, etc.)

Is there a payment plan?

Once you have been accepted onto Initiator Training, a deposit payment of USD 5,000 is required to secure your spot. The deposit should be made no later than October 31, 2024.

The remainder of your course fee is due by December 31, 2024.

How quickly do spots fill up?

While we do not have a set number of spaces for our program, we typically have most of our acceptances communicated by the end of September 2023. Since we accept participants on a rolling basis, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Why is it important to embark on Initiator Training in a dedicated residential retreat Setting?

It’s important to step away from your daily responsibilities and fully immerse yourself in the experience of learning to teach Vedic Meditation. There is simply no substitute for the experience. By attending Initiator Training in a dedicated retreat setting, you commit to giving the learning experience your full attention. In doing so, you will be rewarded with an expanded state of consciousness and be inspired to teach – only after a few short months away from your daily life.

Another significant benefit of attending Initiator Training in a residential, 12-week setting is the ability to experience the entire spectrum of meditation experiences. Through the high rounding program, which one can only properly experience in residential training, you will gain a full appreciation of every possible meditation experience through direct experience. This will powerfully expand your state of consciousness and enable you to teach from a level of unparalleled mastery.

Once I complete Initiator Training, how will Thom and his team continue to support me?

After graduation, Thom and his team are available to support you in your success as an Initiator of Vedic Meditation. Mentoring opportunities are available to all Thom’s Initiator Training Program graduates, in both group and private formats.

Thom also hosts quarterly gatherings for Initiators, as well as an annual 5-Day Advanced Training and Refresher (“ATR”) retreat in Rishikesh, India, which is open to all graduates of Thom’s program.

What is a typical day like in Initiator Training?

Aside from mealtimes, each day of Initiator Training is different. Every day consists of a mix of lectures, learning the process of teaching, deep meditation, and time with your fellow course participants.

May family members (children, partners) join me on initiator training?

Family members such as children, spouses, and partners are precluded from attending Initiator Training.

Can I correspond with home or work while I’m on Initiator Training in India?

While you will have access to telephones, internet connectivity is unstable and unreliable. You may contact your family in your limited free time, but we strongly advise you to clear your schedules to have as few worldly responsibilities as possible during your time away.

Will I have free time or Time off during the 12-week program?

Initiator Training is a fully immersive program. As such, there is no time off for personal errands or outings. You may use your time off between classes, meditation, and meals to make quick phone calls and respond to emails if you are charmed to do so.

What are some other guidelines on IT I should know about?

The extensive Rounding program of Thom’s Initiator Training course has been designed to guarantee the ultimate de-excitation of the body so that even the deepest-seated stresses will not be able to resist their release. Toward that end, there are a few simple guidelines we will be following:

  • We will be avoiding physical exercise beyond Vedic Yoga as practiced in the Rounding Program and some short, leisurely walking
  • There will also be no outside visitors for the duration of the program
  • We will be eating an exclusively vegetarian diet
  • To best support your health and physiology during the program, no coffee will be allowed during Initiator Training. There will be herbal and lightly caffeinated teas available
  • All participants will observe celibacy for the entirety of the program

What are some amenities?

Initiator Training is located in Rudraprayag in the Indian Himalayas. In addition to its serene environment, our remote location allows for daily walks along a mountain stream and outside gardens for enjoyable meditation programs.

What dietary modifications are provided for?

We can provide meal options that are gluten and dairy-free and meal options for people with specific food allergies. The staff is extremely accommodating and will gladly support your dietary requirements during your stay.

what is the vaccination policy for this training?

There is no requirement for vaccinations to attend Initiator Training. However, we will have testing requirements before and during the training to ensure a healthy environment for all attendees.

Will there be time to travel within India as a tourist?

Yes, many course participants plan trips in India after Initiator Training. Many choose to attend Thom’s 10-Day India Retreat as a nourishing way to integrate into the environment in Rishikesh.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, you will be required to purchase travel insurance for the duration of your time in India.

Register Your Interest