The Story of Sophie

“From the mouths of the youth, we have the pearls of wisdom. Jai Guru Deva

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

After 50 plus years of instructing Vedic Meditation, and 50,000 plus students, Thom Knoles has accumulated thousands of shared memories with these students.

In this episode Thom shares a delightful anecdote about Sophie, who learned Vedic Meditation with Thom when she was only eight years old, and how Sophie’s wisdom helped Thom teach the concept of Cosmic Consciousness to a roomful of adults.

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Episode Highlights


Sophie from New York



What will come into your consciousness state?



Cosmic Consciousness



Deep Diving



A Simple Explanation


Jai Guru Deva


the story of sophie

Sophie from New York

[00:00:00] I’ve been told that people who are listening to these podcasts have developed a deep interest in stories that have come out of my, what now seems like many, decades of teaching activity, teaching Vedic Meditation to tens of thousands of people all over the world.

[00:01:05] One interesting story that really stands out for me is the story of Sophie. Sophie was a girl of about eight years who learned to meditate with me in Manhattan, New York City, and her father had also come and learned with her.

[00:01:27] On the days of instruction we first teach people, on the very beginning day, they learn their individual mantra or sound with which they practice their Vedic Meditation, and they get a few going-home instructions.

[00:01:41] Then they go home and practice and then come back on the first day, and on the first day we go into useful considerations for correct practice. Why do we do it for as long as we do? How many times a day should we do it? What’s the best approach to it? What are the mechanics? What do you do if noise comes? What if you get an itch on your nose? And all of that. All these little practical details, and then we meditate together and then people go home again and then they come back again on the next day.

What will come into your consciousness state?

[00:02:09] And on that day, we began talking about how it’s natural that stress begins to unwind in the body while you’re practicing your meditation. And that part of that process of stress release, which is a physiological process, is that the brain gets slightly provoked by the release of stress while we’re meditating.

[00:02:30] And in that quiet state, sometimes when stresses are unwinding, it causes the mind, due to this provocation of the brain from stress release, it causes the mind to get thoughts that bubble up.

[00:02:44] And so meditators at about this stage of their practice, now they’ve been practicing for about three days, need to know that when you get thoughts that occur while you’re meditating, and you might get upstrokes of thought, that you don’t mind about that. Take it, as it comes, come back to the mantra innocently and then you’ll go deep again and don’t worry. This is a natural purification and normalization process.

[00:03:09] Then finally, on the fourth day of instruction, they began to hear about a vision of possibilities. What will come into their consciousness state if they continue practicing Vedic Meditation?

Cosmic Consciousness

[00:03:25] And one of the ways of describing this is to talk about a state called Cosmic Consciousness. And Cosmic Consciousness is that state that naturally dawns gently over a period of time. 

[00:03:40] It’s a graded arrival of the state where that inner, quiet state of Being, which we can touch upon for seconds at a time when we are new meditators, in which we might experience with greater clarity and for longer periods of time, as our practice continues, that deep inner silence begins to coexist with the act of thinking mind.

[00:04:04] That is to say, that which was once transcendental, the word transcendental means beyond, so that which was once beyond thought, begins to be experienced along with thinking.

[00:04:18] One starts to experience that deep inner silence with greater and greater regularity, even in the eyes-open state outside of meditation. Not that you have to stop thinking, it’s going on simultaneously with the thinking. 

[00:04:35] So instead of alternating back and forth, between going into the silence in meditation and then coming out of it and coming out of meditation, one can find that, with a few years of practice, you’re beginning to experience that deep inner silence along with thinking, at the same time as thinking, and we refer to this process as all-inclusive awareness.

Deep Diving

[00:04:58] And so I was describing this to my group of New York meditators who were on their fourth day of instruction, and Sophie, who was there with her father, was listening with great interest. And a few of the people asked questions that indicated that they couldn’t really quite comprehend what I was talking about.

[00:05:19] And Sophie, just, as you might imagine, an excited school child sitting in their chair raising their hand with alacrity wanted to ask me something.

[00:05:29] And I said, “Yes, Sophie.” And she said, “I think I understand what it is.” And I said, “Oh.” She said, “You see my daddy,” and her daddy was sitting right next to her,” Daddy took me swimming in a swimming pool. And so I learned how to dive down and when I would have my goggles on, I could dive down.

[00:05:50] “One day I was able to dive all the way to the bottom of the water and he was standing in the water with me. I was able to dive down to the bottom of the water in the, about the, the kind of five feet deep area of the pool.

[00:06:04] And I was able to touch the bottom and swim back up, holding my breath. And I came back up and I said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, I, I touched the bottom.’ And I said to him, ‘Daddy would you like to come down with me and touch the bottom?’

A Simple Explanation

[00:06:19] “And Daddy said, ‘Darling, I’m already touching the bottom.” And she said, “What do you mean? You’re up here on the surface talking to me?” He said, “No, I’m touching the bottom now, while I’m talking to you.”

[00:06:30] She said, “I have to see this for myself. So I swam down and swam down and there, I saw his feet standing on the bottom of the pool and I touched the bottom again and came swimming back up to him.

[00:06:42] “And I said, ‘I get it. You’re standing on the bottom and on the top and everywhere else in between all at the same time.'” And she said, “That’s it, isn’t it Thom? That’s the consciousness that you’re going to get to when you meditate. You can be on the bottom and in the middle, and on the top, all at the same time, just like Daddy standing on the bottom while he was talking to me.”

[00:07:05] And I said, “Yes Sophie, that’s it. That’s exactly it. Does everyone understand now?” And the whole group of about 80 people all nodded their heads with enthusiasm at Sophie’s wonderful analogy that helped to explain Cosmic Consciousness. From the mouths of the youth, we have the pearls of wisdom.

[00:07:27] Jai Guru Deva.

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