What is Vedic Meditation?
Vedic Meditation is an ancient yet simple and powerful technique for stress release. It is approximately 6,000 years old, originating in the northern regions of India, and comes from a body of knowledge known as the Vedas.
"Veda" is a sanskrit term which translates to "knowledge." It is the same source from which we have yoga, Indian philosophy, and the ancient healing practices of Ayurveda (translation: knowledge of longevity). The Vedic style of meditation is referred to throughout the ancient Indian texts which sprouted from the Vedas, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. The lineage of Vedic Masters who have carried and shared the knowledge of this practice has gone unbroken since.
Unlike other forms of meditation popularly available today, Vedic Meditation is not monastic in it's roots. Vedic Meditation is meant for "householders" - i.e. people like you and me - who prefer to live in society and function with families, friends, and jobs. It is, therefore, meant to give you the most "bang for your buck," meaning that you get the most benefit from your practice in the least amount of time. I like to think of all types of meditation as different cars on the same Audubon travelling from the land of "Doing" to the land of "Being." Of all the cars on the highway, Vedic Meditation is the sleekest, sexiest Tesla.
Learning this style of meditation means that you still get to live your life the way you want to AND enjoy the benefits of the great rest and stress management this tool brings. Not to mention, you'll be able to enjoy life even more, once your stress is reduced! OH and P.S. you will be able to meditate anywhere! No special spots or props necessary. This is a fully self-sufficient technique.
What does the Vedic Meditation technique entail?
Vedic Meditation is a silent practice, where you sit easily and comfortably with the eyes closed. It utilizes a specific sound, or "Mantra," (translation: mind-vehicle) to take the mind from "Doing," through subtler states of consciousness and thought, to "Being." The technique requires no concentration or "trying," but instead allows your body to dive into deep rest through proper use of your Mantra.
Some refer to this state of being as "Transcendence," which means "moving beyond." We do move beyond thought at times during this meditation, however I like to think of the space we access as: "Meditation State," which describes it more accurately. The state of mind during this meditation is accepting of an all-inclusive nature of "Thoughts - Mantra - Transcendence."
The "Meditation State" can be described as inner contentedness or a deep feeling of relaxation. For many of my clients who are used to having to "try" or "work," this style of meditation is a respite from their day, where they have to analyze and make tons of decisions. Post mediation, clients report a feeling of increased focus and productivity, in addition to longer term health benefits (listed below). The full program involves meditating for 20 minutes, twice per day, and the course is designed to help you make this a non-negotiable, daily habit that works with your life rather than against it.
I see you offer the Meditation Intensive + Coaching, but what if I just want to do one of them?
We can chat about that, for sure! I have seen the most transformation from clients who do both, however individually the Meditation Intensive and the Transformational Coaching can be separated into two offerings. Most clients who have chosen to do only one of the two eventually end up doing both.
If I'm already a Meditator, and I learned from another Vedic Meditation Teacher, what's the deal?
AH-MAZING! I *love* to work with Meditators on continued coaching. You would simply sign up with me to work on Transformational Coaching. Please note, that advanced Vedic Meditation Techniques (advanced Mantras, the Vedas Series, and the SIDDHIS series are not included in coaching).
What if I don't live in Chicago?
No worries! Vedic Meditation has to be learned in-person, but I travel the world to teach, and have a network of fellow Vedic Meditation Teachers to refer you to in a pinch, before we start transformational coaching. Lets figure it out together so you can access your best you!
Is Vedic Meditation Religious?
Nope! That's one of my favorite things about this particular practice. It is based in an ancient philosophy, and does not ask you to buy into any new religious nor spiritual practice. Whatever your beliefs, it will make you an overall more blissful person so you'll be a better version of who you already are.
Do you ever hold retreats?
Yes, I do! The next one is slated for Puerto Rico in early 2018. There will be meditation, there will be advanced techniques, there will be yoga, there will be coaching! Stay tuned!
What sorts of clients have you worked with in the past?
I've worked with a wide variety of professionals and creatives including: clinical psychologists, musicians, lawyers, restaurateurs, bartender/servers, actors, farmers, photographers, consultants, financiers, tech-startups, doctors/nurses and more.
My clients have been dealing with all sorts of health complaints including: Chrones, Hashimotos, and other auto-immune diseases, acne, excess weight, chronic migraines, IBS/digestive irregularities, panic attacks, insomnia, chronic fatigue/adrenal fatigue, and more. I also have a large number of clients who are already feeling good but they know they can feel better and achieve more!
No matter where you're at, we'll be able to increase your health and productivity.
What kind of training have you done?
My Vedic meditation teacher training was a 15-month study in NYC with Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation, which also included a portion of study in Rishikesh, India. Vedic Meditation has an unbroken lineage of Master Teachers including the Maharishi Vyasananda (Thom Knoles), who is currently one of the the pre-eminent Master Teachers of Vedic Philosophy in the world.
I studied holistic nutrition mainly at the Academy of Healing Nutrition, and then was mentored by the acclaimed Nikki Ostrower at NAO Nutrition in NYC for several years, where I specialized in cases of food sensitivities / autoimmune diseases and emotional eating support.
My business / life coaching experience has been with multiple experts, most notably with Arriane Alexander and Dallas Travers. Over the years, I've helped to build and run several successful startups from restaurants, and theater companies to large-scale events, founded my own wildly successful coaching/teaching practice, created my own positions when working for other companies, and been able to grow every business I can get my hands on!
What is your Teaching Philosophy?
I believe in balance over extremes. I believe that a glass of wine and tiramisu have a place in a balanced lifestyle just like working out and kale do. It's all about mindFULLness versus mindLESSness. When we are mindful and conscious about our choices, we can grow. There is no good or bad, there only IS, and when we understand what we're doing and how it makes us feel, we can see what is serving us and what isn't. From this perspective we can shed limiting beliefs and behaviors by way of having data to support the new habits.
Thought patterns and behaviors that are not serving us, are habits that can be re-wired. Our mind has the ability to change itself if we put the attention on it. If all the things we've ever thought or experienced were like lessons written on a chalkboard, and sleep allowed us to "erase" some of them each day, we'd still have a little bit of last month's math lesson or a faint idea of the slogan from ten years ago, lying underneath layers of smeared chalk dust. Vedic Meditation is like washing the chalkboard so our work together in coaching allows us to have mindFULLness around what the new lessons on the chalkboard get to be.
(By the way, if you hate metaphors, I'm probably not the teacher for you! I use them extensively to demonstrate scientific points because they're more fun!)
Overall I think we have the capacity for more than what we're currently allowing for ourselves. We can achieve anything we want to, if only we can get out of our own way to do it. The Universe (or Nature or the Collective Consciousness or God or whatever you want to call it) is on our side, and looking to support us. We just need to know how to ask for what we want, and it's my mission to help you dance your badass self all way there!
What are the benefits of Meditation?
According to my clients, they've experienced....
-Increased ability to handle day-to-day demands easily and gracefully
-Significant decrease in physical pain from Chrones Disease, heel spurs, and knee replacements
-Better sleep & decrease/curing of insomnia
-Increased creativity and idea generation
-Less dependence and tolerance for addictive substances
-Reversal/decrease of grey hair & wrinkles
-Inspiration to improve eating habits and work out regularly
-Alleviation of chronic migraines
-Improved immune system - no more winter colds
-Ability to wean off anti-depressant medications with more ease
-Calming the ADD / ADHD mind during the waking state without use of medication
-Check out testimonials here.
What is the relationship between "Vedic Meditation," and “Transcendental Meditation,” as taught and promoted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a revered spiritual teacher from the Shankaracharya lineage of the Vedic tradition. I teach Vedic Meditation and was trained to teach this form of meditation through Emily Fletcher, as taught by an Initiator trained by Thom Knoles, who continues to teach Vedic Meditation. Thom was trained as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (“Maharishi”), and taught it for over 25 years with organizations affiliated with Maharishi. Since 1997, Thom has continued to teach meditation as he learned it from Maharishi, and has done so independently and separately from the TM organizations. I am not affiliated with the TM organizations or their current services, processes or programs, which may differ from my services.
You keep mentioning Scientific Studies. WTF is that all about?
The form of meditation that Thom Knoles taught for over 25 years with the TM organizations as “Transcendental Meditation,” has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies showing a wide range of benefits from regular practice. These studies, which refer to this form of meditation using the name “Transcendental Meditation” or “TM”, support the benefits obtainable from regular practice of Vedic Meditation. These benefits include:
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety
- Decreased Depression
- Reduced Insomnia
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Decreased Cholesterol
- Reduced Congestive Heart Failure
- Reduced Atherosclerosis/Stroke
- Decreased Free Radicals
- Reduced Metabolic Syndrome/Pre-Diabetes
- Reduced Cardiovascular Risk Factors
- Reduction in Pain
- Decreased Health Care Costs and Utilization
- Higher Levels of Brain Functioning
- Improved Intelligence, Creativity and Learning Ability
- Improved Academics
- Improved School Behavior
- Benefits for Special and Remedial Education
- Improved Integration of Personality
- Increased Longevity
- Reduced Substance Abuse
CLICK HERE to access the references for the above data.