How is Vedic Meditation different from other forms of meditation?
All practices of meditation can have varying degrees of effectiveness in eliciting their intended outcomes. While many techniques practiced today require intense discipline, concentration, focus, contemplation or the use of outside stimuli, Vedic Meditation is an essentially effortless practice that requires no concentration or focus. The technique is designed to de-excite the physiology by utilizing the natural tendencies of the mind. Seated comfortably with back supported and eyes closed, practice of the silent, internal technique allows the mind to be inexorably drawn inward to the most subtle layers of consciousness.
Does it require a belief system?
No. As the technique triggers a physiological effect in the brain and body, it requires absolutely no faith or belief system to work. The practice elicits a mechanical and autonomic response -- if you'e a human being and can think a thought, you can meditate.
Isn't meditation clearing your mind of all thoughts? And why do I want to do that anyway?
The mind can't be consciously instructed to have no thoughts. But it can be given a simple technique whereby it can ultimately arrive at a content-free state (one of several legitimate outcomes of correct practice). This least excited stratum of consciousness or "wakeful hypo-metabolism" is experienced by meditators as a supremely blissful and inner-contented state. One becomes aware of simply being aware -- a direct and emperical experience of one's truest nature beyond thought. We refer to this state as "Being."
Wakeful hypo-metabolism or Being also happens to be the most restful state that the body can experience. Studies have consistently measured it to be two to five times deeper rest than sleep. It's in these deeper levels of rest that stress is released from the nervous system and many of the benefits of meditation are found.
Have there been other scientific studies on the effects of meditation?
Yes. Hundreds of research studies in the last several decades have demonstrated the innumerable benefits of a meditation practice. Please contact us directly for a handful of recent studies as well as meditation in the news.
Why isn't everyone doing this?
Millions of people around the world practice meditation daily. For some, ancient traditions are often dismissed before they're fully understood or a cacophony of mis-information becomes a turn-off. The potential to reject practices that are good for us also exists. "Without my stress and problems in life, who am I?" some may ask. Or, "I need my stress in order to be productive and successful, to keep my edge -- stress fuels my creativity." In reality, deadlines and pressure may fuel our creativity but stress becomes the biggest hindrance to our natural state of creativity, health, equanimity, and highest potential.
How is this good for the world?
A peaceful planet requires peaceful individuals just as a green forest requires individual trees that are green. One person's capacity to inspire friends, family, communities and nations arises by virtue of their own individual state of consciousness. The presence alone of one whose consciousness is expanded has the potential to uplift and enliven anyone with whom they come into contact just as the darkness in a room can't help but be illuminated by the light of a single candle. More importantly, as capability and sophistication in the individual increases, the world directly benefits from a higher output of one's energy, attention, and productivity.
How long does it take to learn?
The course in Vedic Meditation consists of four 90 minute sessions over four consecutive days either in a group setting or privately. A sequential amount of knowledge is offered over four days so it's important to attend all four sessions to complete the course. Afterwards, students can expect to be completely self-suficient in the practice.
How much does it cost?
In a Group Course setting, each student determines his or her own course fee based on a few guidelines and on their highest integrity. The system is commensurate with a thousand-year-old tradition in India of equitable exchange. It not only allows everyone who wants to learn the opportunity to do so, but also sets up a powerful and reciprocal relationship between teacher and student -- something of great value is offered in exchange for something of great value.
The guideline for one's course fee is traditionally based on income and because the honor system is in place, there's no need to provide proof of earnings before learning. The integrity of each individual allows students of higher means to subsidize students of lesser means so that everyone can learn to meditate and no one is turned away.
For simplicity, three course fees from which to choose are listed below along with a yearly income breakdown to help students determine their offering. The breakdown is provided as a guideline for equitable exchange and the minimum to learn is $500:
Private four session courses are available for a course fee of $3k ($4k for couples) and can be structured based on the needs and schedule of the course participant(s). As well as the full course in Vedic Meditation, private students have the opportunity to explore in-depth personal goals, obstacles, and life path.
Students + Children
Children (ages four - ten) and full-time students (elementary school through undergrad) can learn for a reduced rate of $300. Students under ten years of age learn a simple eyes-opened, walking technique, although they require a parent or guardian to learn at the same time or who is already an existing Vedic Meditator.