How To Learn Vedic Meditation
New York, New York!
Thank you for listening to my podcast and welcome. I’m Thom Knoles. In this instalment of our podcast, my team and I thought it might be good for you to hear me talk about what it’s like to learn Vedic Meditation. I’m very pleased to announce to you that in New York City, starting in late September, I’ll be offering a series of introductory talks on the subject of learning Vedic Meditation with me.
[00:01:14] If you have a look at my website, www. thomknoles.com, you’ll see all of the details of how to attend certain introductory talks, some of them done live, some of them done over Zoom, to make yourself comfortable about going ahead with the course and registering to learn with me when I begin teaching in early October.
[00:01:41] I very much look forward to you attending. I hope that I get to meet all of you who are interested in learning this meditation and it’s going to be a great joy for me to return to New York City and for it to be possible for me to meet all of you, in person face-to-face, for the first time now in more than 18 months. Jai Guru Deva.
Your Vedic Meditation Mantra
[00:02:07] Vedic Meditation, a simple technique, is learned over a period of about four consecutive days. Often I’m asked, “Why does it take four consecutive days, each session about 90 minutes, to learn Vedic Meditation?” And it’s a very interesting thing. This is a practice that you have to integrate into your home life, into your home routine, into your daily life.
[00:02:33] I like you to learn one of the most basic elements of practicing Vedic Meditation on the first day, That is the assignment of a particular personalized mantra, or sound, that you use to meditate with, and then I teach you some of the basics of how to make use of that, how to activate the practice for yourself.
[00:02:55] We meditate together in that first lesson in a specialized environment that we create, and then I send you home with some going-home instructions, how to do it, when to do it, how to integrate it into your next morning’s routine. And then you have one, or perhaps even two, sessions in your own home environment, to see how that works.
In-Home Practice, Refinement Together
[00:03:17] When you do it in your own home environment, any interruptions or other kinds of things that may come into play are going to be noted by you, and then when you come back to see me the next day, we’ll have some discussion about those experiences, some comments, where you found it easy, what were the obstacles to meditating correctly?
[00:03:38] And then once we’ve addressed all of those, and some other useful considerations for correct practice, then I’m going to enhance your understanding of the technique and meditate with you and let you see what it’s like to meditate in that environment, where I guide you into the process and then let you practice it.
[00:03:59] Then once again, going-home instructions, you go home, you practice at least one more time in your own home environment, and then you come back.
More Practice, Deeper Understanding
[00:04:08] And on the following day, more questions and comments and more deep understanding of what the mechanics of the technique are, the way in which stress can start unwinding during meditation, what kinds of experiences we might have as a result of that, and what the overall effect of taking a very consistent approach to practice may be.
[00:04:31] Then you go home again with some going-home instructions. You practice again in your own home environment and you return on the fourth day and we get into more questions, more comments, and a deeper understanding of how to maintain your practice day to day.
[00:04:48] You’ve graduated now, and on the fourth day from your initial instruction from your basic training, but I give you a format whereby you can sense, “How do I know when I’m doing it correctly? How do I know when I’m doing it incorrectly?” And you have a very good idea of how to integrate it into your program at home, because you’ve done it for four days and I’ve checked in on you each one of those four days.
Developing Your Vedic Meditation Skill
[00:05:13] So the four days is really the end of the most basic training in an ancient technique, which, once installed into your life, is going to create revolutionary change. And since we’re going to be investing about 20 minutes each morning, and about 20 minutes each evening, in our home life, in the practice of Vedic Meditation, we want to be absolutely sure, right from the outset, that we’re getting it right and we understand what it is we’re doing.
[00:05:41] And it takes about 90 minutes on each of four days to really install and instill that depth of knowledge and understanding, and practice and experience. It’s a delightful experience, actually.
[00:05:55] We get to know each other quite well over those first four days. And I’m able to guide you straight into your practice in a very practical way so that by the time the four days is finished, you’re able very efficiently to practice the technique of Vedic Meditation on your own at home.
[00:06:12] This is the goal and a prerequisite for joining is an introductory talk. And I’d like to just tell you a little bit about what happens at an introductory talk so you can see why it’s a very good idea prior to coming and learning to meditate.
[00:06:29] First of all, it’s very important for us to have a very good idea of all of the effects that Vedic Meditation is intended to produce, something about the person who’s going to be teaching you, that’s me.
[00:06:44] So you get to see a little bit of me first, before you commit to taking the course. You have a bit of an idea as to what the range of effects will be from learning Vedic Meditation. It’s very important for us to have an understanding of the course, and how it’s going to function, on the first day of the course.
[00:07:05] You learn some basic elements on the next day of the course. You’ve had some practice at home, and you’re going to learn a little bit more about the mechanics of the practice, the operating principles. On the second day, after your initiation into meditation, you’re going to find an understanding of the phenomenology of stress release. And on the last day, a vision of possibilities. It’s very important to get some understanding of how the course is delineated.
A Commitment to Yourself
[00:07:37] And then if you have an interest in continuing from that point, then you can make your commitment. I’m interested in teaching people who really understand what they’re embarking on. And so I’ve made it a prerequisite that people attend in person, an introductory talk given by me prior to learning, to meditate.
[00:07:58] And I promise it won’t be boring. It’ll be a very fascinating tale of who I am, why it is I’m qualified to teach you, and what it is about this practice and this course that is going to be so promising for you. Plus it costs you absolutely nothing prior to making your commitment.
[00:08:17] So please do come to my introductory talk. I think you’ll enjoy it very much. There’s plenty of time for questions and answers and we’ll get into all of that, and I hope then, at the end of that, you’ll be enthusiastic about embarking on the completely new body of knowledge that will revolutionize your life.
[00:08:35] And if you have a little bit of curiosity, and the willingness to follow a few simple instructions, then, on the basis of those two simple criteria, you’re qualified to take a course in Vedic Meditation with me.
Why Can’t I Learn Vedic Meditation Online?
[00:08:49] Many people ask me,”Thom, why can’t I learn Vedic Meditation online?” The idea of learning Vedic Meditation online is a little bit like getting married online and having a relationship online, and anything else that normally we would put into the category of, "this has to be done face to face, person to person."
[00:09:11] Online is very helpful during the times when we can’t get together in person, but there’s absolutely no doubt that being able to learn in an in-person environment, live, face-to-face, molecule-to-molecule, as we say, is, by far, the most effective way of doing this.
[00:09:33] And if you’re not able to come and join my course, in person, I can make arrangements for one of the people that I’ve trained, trained professionals who are experts in teaching Vedic Meditation, to meet you at times and in places that would suit you better.
[00:09:50] But for me to be able to teach you, it’s a requirement that we have that interactive quality, and that interactive quality shouldn’t be simply electronically reproduced.
The Most Effective Way of Learning to Meditate
[00:10:02] One of the things about the online format is that there’s none of us who would actually prefer it, if in fact we could meet face to face, person to person, and my ability to sense what it is you need, my ability to respond to your needs, is going to be far more effective in a face-to-face person-to-person format.
[00:10:28] So I don’t recommend people try to learn anything like Vedic Meditation online. More importantly, I don’t recommend that anyone who teaches it attempts to teach it online. It rather crucifies the effectiveness of the teaching, and we want to have the most effective way of learning to meditate like this, and it’s best then if we meet in person and I’m able to show you what I’ve learned from my tradition.
[00:10:55] I don’t just tell you about it. I like to show you how to meditate and we can do that very effectively face to face.