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 program.

ARE YOU READY TO SHARE THE JOYS OF Vedic MEDITATION?

Learn from the purest source of Vedic knowledge by training with Thom and his team, in the same way Maharishi Mahesh Yogi trained Thom.

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

Welcome to the journey of a lifetime.

GIVE YOUR HIGHEST SERVICE

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.

EXPERIENCE PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

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

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

BECOME AN EXPERT Vedic Meditation TEACHER AND DEVELOP A SKILL THAT IS IN HIGH DEMAND

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

With Thom’s training, you will become an expert teacher and serve the need of the time.

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 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, Supreme Authority of the Vedic Tradition.

Vedic Meditation INITIATOR TRAINING 2023

January 26 – April 19, 2023 • Rishikesh, India

VENUE

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

ACCOMMODATION

Course participants may choose between single or double-occupancy rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms and full Western-style amenities.

MEALS

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

INITIATOR TRAINING PREREQUISITES

  • 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 1-4, as taught by Thom Knoles
  • All of the prerequisites must be facilitated by a qualified Initiator of Vedic Meditation in good standing.
Thom Knoles at Vedic Meditation Initiator Training

NEXT STEPS IN BECOMING A Vedic Meditation INITIATOR

1—Submit Your
Application

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

2—Interview and
Prepare

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.

HEAR FROM THE GRADUATES

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.”

HARDY WEAVER, NEW ORLEANS

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, in 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.”

caroline birch, sydney

When was the most transformational moment of your training?

“It’s hard to pick one, there were so many transformational moments, both in terms of my own development and bearing witness to those of my friends and classmates.

If I had to pick one, it would be receiving the mantras with which we teach Vedic Meditation, at the end of Initiator Training. It’s hard to describe how it felt in words, but there was a deep, felt sense that it was the start of something very profound and that I was exactly where I was meant to be.” 

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

“Life as an Initiator is bliss! I can’t think of a greater honour than being a teacher of the technique and wisdom that has revolutionised my life so completely.

There is no feeling like teaching Vedic Meditation and supporting students on their journey as daily meditators. It’s the best.” 

course leaders

THOM KNOLES


Thom spent more than 25 years training directly under his guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Now into 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.

LIMOR BABAI


Limor worked as an investment banker and subsequently as Thom’s manager before becoming a Vedic Meditation teacher in 2005.  Limor has helped Thom conduct 8 Initiator Training programs. She teaches full-time in Sydney, Australia.

CHRISTIAN BEVACQUA


Christian served as a consultant to Wall Street firms while also nurturing a successful music career. In 2007, he began teaching meditation within 18 months of learning to meditate. Christian has helped Thom conduct 6 Initiator Training programs and teaches full-time in Los Angeles, California.

JAMEY HOOD

Jamey learned to meditate in New York City and trained as an Initiator in 2018. She assisted Thom on Initiator Training in 2019. A theatre artist of over twenty years, Jamey is the founder of VVBC, the international book club devoted to developing consciousness through Vedic literature.

“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.”

THOM KNOLES

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites of IniTiator 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, and Mastering the Siddhis, Parts 1-4
– Complete at least one residential weekend-long Rounding Retreat, during which you practiced a minimum of 7 rounds on one day.

All of the prerequisites must be facilitated by a qualified teacher of Vedic Meditation in good standing.

I HAVE NOT COMPLETED ALL 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 in order to prepare you for Initiator Training.

Course participants must complete all prerequisites by December 22, 2022.

What’s the application deadline for IT 2023?

We have a rolling admission process. Our application process is different when compared to applying for 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 getting you prepared to become an Initiator.

The official deadline to apply for Initiator Training is October 22, 2022.

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 behind wanting to attend our training.  

As you continue on 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 for double occupancy is USD 20,000. For single occupancy, the course fee is USD 25,000. 

What your course fee covers:
– 12-weeks of full room and board at Sattva Centre
– Training and course materials

What your course fee does not include:
– Travel to and from Sattva Centre
– 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 22, 2022.

The remainder of your course fee is due by December 22, 2022.

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 2022. 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 will 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 a residential training, you will gain a full appreciation of every possible meditation experience, through direct experience. This will expand your state of consciousness powerfully 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 graduates of Thom’s Initiator Training Program, 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 on Initiator Training?

Aside from mealtimes, each day on 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 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, there will be no coffee allowed on 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 at the Sattva Centre?

Sattva Centre is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. In addition to its serene environment, Sattva’s remote location allows for daily walks along a mountain stream and outside gardens for enjoyable meditation programs. Sattva also has an Ayurvedic Spa and a pool to enjoy during the tail end of Initiator Training.

What dietary modifications are provided for at Sattva Centre?

Sattva 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?

All Course Participants will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated prior to the start of Initiator Training.

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

Yes, many course participants plan trips in India before and 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.