How to Prepare for the Year Ahead

“We have been watching change grind along for the last few years. Be prepared for more of it.
What kind of change is going to occur, perhaps, is going to be slightly more radical than the kinds of change that we’ve become used to.”

Thom Knoles

The holiday season can be an emotional roller coaster for many. 

December celebrations can bring highs and lows, even for those who aren’t part of the Judeo-Christian community, but then New Year comes around, marking a line in the sand where we can start afresh. 

At least in theory, anyway. 

The reality is that most folks set themselves heightened expectations for the year, inevitably leading to frustration and disappointment within a pretty short time.

Thom invites us in this episode to reevaluate our approach to New Years, looking at it from a more evolutionary perspective, setting ourselves up to be in sync with Nature’s expectations, rather than pushing against them. 

He gives us the opportunity to be active participants in the unfolding of the year ahead, rather than being reluctant victims, battling circumstances and struggling to keep ourselves afloat.

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Episode Highlights


An Arbitrary Decision



More of the Same in 2024



The Five Fundamentals of Progress






Infinite Organizing Power of Knowledge



Our Constant Resolution






Interacting Successfully with the Need of the Time



Let’s be Designers of Change


Jai Guru Deva


How to Prepare for the Year Ahead

[00:45] An Arbitrary Decision

Jai Guru Deva.

Here we are in December of 2023, and naturally, this is the time of year when, culturally, we have been indoctrinated to think that everything’s going to change because we’re adding an additional number to the number of years since the life of a particular rabbi who lived in Nazareth 2023 years ago, and now about to become 2024 years ago.

And winter in the northern hemisphere, and roundabout or just after the winter solstice, summer in the southern hemisphere, just after the peak of the summer solstice, here we have it, New Year’s Eve.

The eve on which most people, in celebrating, are not a hundred percent sure what they’re celebrating. Very often, they’re celebrating what appears to be the granting by the civilization to become inebriated, and have a party, and to do almost anything they wish to do to their nervous system, because they’ve earned it because they got through yet another number of the years that have elapsed since the life of the rabbi from Nazareth.

When you think about it, it’s a little bit on the comical side that we have given this time of the year such status when there’s no particular change in nature that really warrants our great celebration. The decision that we made, that it happens on the 1st of January every year is really rather an arbitrary decision, yet, nonetheless, as a society, we all subscribe to it.

[03:00] More of the Same in 2024

So let’s continue with our view, whatever that may be, of this being a terribly important pivotal time. And let’s say that entering into 2024, we want to be prepared for what’s coming.

From my perspective, what’s coming is more of the same. And that is change. Change has been the reality of life since time immemorial, and more change is coming. Will it be more change than the changes of previous years? Well, this is all a matter of perspective.

Perhaps if you are a member of, as I suspect very few of my listeners are, of an uncontacted tribe in either Africa or in the Amazon, probably there won’t be that much change for you.

If you are a member of the New York Stock Exchange and a member of a Western political party in Europe, United States, or Australia, probably, there’ll be a fair bit of change.

We have been watching change grind along for the last few years. Be prepared for more of it.

What kind of change is going to occur, perhaps, is going to be slightly more radical than the kinds of change that we’ve become used to, and most of this kind of change will be political. In almost every Western country, political change has become more and more radicalized with each passing year, and so we can see a trend.

[04:58] The Five Fundamentals of Progress

And what do we have to do, as Vedic meditators, to be certain of one thing that we have the capacity, effectively, to interact with change.

There are two elements of the five fundamentals of progress that we need particularly to pay attention to. These five fundamentals of progress are: First, stability. Second, adaptability. Third, integration. Fourth, purification. And fifth, a willingness to grow.

Let’s look first at stability and adaptability because these are the two items of the five fundamentals of progress that we should really be paying attention to during a time of change, which means all the time. Time of change means all the time.

[06:00] Stability

Stability, the capacity for knowledge of and expansion of capability. What is my staying power? What is my capability? How many capabilities do I have? Can I increase my capability? Can I maintain my capability? These fundamental questions are as against the depredations of time.

As time marches on, we have challenges to our stability, challenges to our baseline happiness, challenges to our inner state.

And as meditators, we meet these challenges by being absolutely stable. The proper psychiatric term is stabile. S-T-A-B-I-L-E. To be a member of the stabile population who don’t vacillate all the time in their routines simply because change is occurring.

No matter what the conditions are that are dished out by social mores going through change, by society changing its mind about what it thinks is right, which is what basically political activity means, we, the stabile ones, are the ones who, on a daily basis, continue to draw upon the ever-reliable, consistent, and constant underlying Unified Field of Consciousness.

The Unified Field of Consciousness is that delicious, quiet inner state that we touch upon each time we go deep during our practice of Vedic Meditation.

Those of you who have not yet had an opportunity to learn Vedic Meditation, it’s time for you to get on with that. From this quarter, that is the directive and the advice in the strongest possible terms. Be sure that you reach out to my team on my website,

Thom is spelled strangely, T-H-O-M. Knoles is spelled strangely, K-N-O-L-E-S. No W, that’s Beyonce’s family, the W’s. And make an inquiry about how you can be in contact with a qualified instructor in Vedic Meditation to learn the technique.

For those of you who have already learned, you don’t need to do that. You need to simply be sure that you cleave to your practice of Vedic Meditation twice each day for 20 minutes so that you have a regular, consistent access to that home of all the laws of Nature.

The laws of Nature all emerge from that Unified Field of Consciousness that we touch upon every time we practice Vedic Meditation. That deep inner quiet place may seem like just a nice, restful little place that you go to when you meditate, but it’s far more than that.

[09:28] Infinite Organizing Power of Knowledge

That deep inner quiet place that we touch on, when we practice Vedic Meditation is, in fact, the home of all the laws of Nature. It’s also the home of all knowledge.

A fundamental tenet of information theory is that knowledge has organizing power. Therefore, knowledge of That by which all other things are known. Knowledge of That by which all other things are known must have infinite organizing power. Knowledge of the consciousness field, which is the Knower of all things, must have infinite organizing power.

And provided that no matter what the world is dishing out, we manage to get to a chair twice a day. And how difficult can it be to get to a chair? I mean, there’s a chair almost anywhere you look.

And you don’t even need silence. There can be TVs going in the background. You could be in a subway, sitting on a moving chair. You could be in almost any kind of environment, and the whole world could even be shaking.

And those of us who practice Vedic Meditation know that we can settle down into that least-excited consciousness state absolutely anywhere where we’re not being physically provoked by anybody. If somebody was poking at you and trying to talk to you while you’re practicing Vedic Meditation, that might be a little bit beyond the pale.

But in the absence of any overt disruptions like that, one can practice Vedic Meditation in virtually any environment where you can sit easily, and comfortably, and safely with your eyes closed.

[11:17] Our Constant Resolution

So, we don’t want to come up with any lame excuses as to why I missed a session of Vedic Meditation. If you’re planning to engage in all of the revelry that normally appends the New Year’s Eve phenomenon, then be sure you practice Vedic Meditation first before you engage in the revelry.

And if you have engaged in the revelry, and it’s time for recovery from revelry, be sure you practice Vedic Meditation the morning after so that you have regular, stable access.

During these times of year, in the Christian world, we have Christmas, rapidly followed by New Year, and we very often have family, and family can be a mixed bag of joys and misery, as we all know.

So, enjoy the joys, and if the misery comes, be sure that you don’t let the misery of it cause you to miss your practice of Vedic Meditation twice every day. This is our constant resolution, not just a New Year’s resolution.

And here we’re talking about maintaining stable access to The Absolute. The Absolute. The field of non-change. That which lies inside of us. That from which all of the change, all of the evolution process constantly is issuing forth.

So, we want to identify with that field, which is the home of all the change, the source of all the change, but in itself a field of non-change. This will give us the ever-refreshing experience of deep and profound rest, which will allow us to naturally release and relieve any stress that accumulates as a result of all the change.

[13:32] Adaptability

So, we’ve touched on stability. Let’s look at adaptability.

First of all, we expect change. We welcome change. We enthusiastically embrace change. We are capable of doing so, because of our stability, capable of being adaptive.

The opposite of stress reactivity, which is known as “fight or flight” response or reaction, the opposite of it is what I refer to as “stay and play” chemistry. The consciousness cycle brain neuro-electrochemical adaptability that a meditator has is absolutely remarkable and well documented.

We need to be embracers of progressive change. We need to interact with change successfully, not just fight it or flee from it, but to find ways of adapting to it, which will create new forms, new functions in our brain to make us a relevant citizen of the Age of Enlightenment.

We are indeed, though it may not seem so sometimes, in a completely new age.

One only has to go back to a hundred years ago to see that the level of world poverty was on an order of a hundred times greater than what it is today. The illiteracy, hundreds of times greater a hundred years ago to what it is today.The existence of slavery and indentured servitude a hundred years ago, hundreds of times more common than what it is today.

The active practices of racism, of the suppression of populations and cultures, the destruction of populations and cultures, hundreds of times worse a hundred years ago to what it is today.

Though there is still work to be done, we do have to acknowledge that we’ve entered a new age, and it’s from this position of having enough light that we can cast light on what more needs to be done.

We can see the messes that have been created, at least now, whereas before, the shadow of darkness of ignorance was so great that we couldn’t even see the extent to which the destruction had occurred.

[16:38] Interacting Successfully with the Need of the Time

Now, we have the ability to be those who interact successfully with the need of the time.

We want to be and are willing to be, we’re enthusiastic about being interactive with the need of the time and with full awareness that the need of the time is something that changes from year to year.

Once upon a time, a wise person taught people to pray and said something like in one of the phrases, “Let Thy will be done.” The Vedic way of matching that and taking it a step further is, “Let Thy will be done, and I’m here to do it.”

Not just, “Let Thy will be done as Thy will, not mine. It’s up to you. I don’t have anything to do. Let thy will be done,” which is what’s going to be happening anyway if that’s what you believed in as the source of that will. Pretty much making a rhetorical statement.

We want to add the part, “I’m here to do it. I’m actually available.” We’re enthusiastic greeters of progressive change.

[17:59] Let’s be Designers of Change

When we create change, we satisfy the demand that Nature has on us for being agents of progressive change. When we create change, rather than our feeling as though, “Well, if change comes, I’ll deal with it,” let’s actually create the change.

If we’re the creators of the change, the creators of progressive change, then we have satisfied the demand on us to go through evolution. If we don’t embrace change in a prospective fashion like this, change is coming anyway.

Change is coming anyway, and if we don’t design it by being prospectively willing to cause change to occur, if we don’t design it, then we won’t get to have any say in the nature of the change when it comes.

Change is going to come, irrespective of whether you design it or not. When you don’t design change, then you get swept up in the phenomenon of change, and you’re forced to have to be adaptive.

When you design change, when you design, consciously, evolutionary change, then, in advance, you’ve satisfied that demand for change, and Nature will not expose you to undesigned change.

So, let’s be designers of change. Let’s be super adaptive, meaning beyond adaptive, super means beyond, to be super adaptive means to satisfy the demand in advance of it even coming to us, we satisfy it. This is our adaptability on display as Vedic meditators.

Adaptability comes from stability. And stability comes from regular transcendence. Transcendence means stepping beyond the regular boundaries of everyday thinking and experiencing oneness with the home of all change, with the source of all change. Oneness with the Unified Field of Consciousness.

Jai Guru Deva. Enjoy your year. And I’ll be talking to you throughout it. All the best to you for the New Year.

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