I’ve dabbled in meditation over the years. It was one of my intentions for 2016 to meditate more, and well I kind of left that to the last minute, but here I am. I’ve done an introduction to meditation course, I’ve subscribed to “Calm” on my android, but none of them really hit the mark to engage me to practice regularly. After hearing about the Vedic method through word of mouth, the Ginger Hunk and I took a weekend course in November. I’d never really heard of it before, but I’m all for self improvement. Anything that can enhance my creativity, lift my mood (drug free) and help me to be a better all round human being then I’m automatically in. Sign me up.
What is Vedic Meditation?
Vedic meditation is the use of a word or “mantra” repeated in the mind to bring you to a calm relaxed state. To receive the benefits, you must practice for two twenty minute sessions a day. (Before I hear you say you have no time, keep reading to the end of this post.) Evidence has likened the benefits of this method are as restful as a few hours sleep. After regular practice, you are meant to be able to move to a place beyond thought (more on that later.) The method originated in India over 5000 years ago. “The Vedas” is the term used to describe ancient Indian knowledge the source of all Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, developed the method also known as “Transcendental Deep Meditation” sharing it to the world in the 1950’s. He is most famous for teaching the Beatles how to meditate. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded the Transcendental Meditation Movement, but a line of teachers, seperate to the TM movement have continued teaching the “Vedic method”. The method is passed down through an unbroken line of teachers, and teachers to student.
There is a bunch of teachers around Sydney if you have a google. We were privileged to learn from Corey Snell, at Inner Space Meditation after meeting for an introductory talk. What I liked about Corey, is that not only could he tell us the line of teachers from him all the way back to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is that he is your regular guy. He’s not a monk living in a tree. He’s got a busy executive job, and a full, busy life raising a young family and hobbies. My immediate thought was that “if he can make time for this, then I can.” He meditates as a passenger in the car, in a work break, or after driving to work. Corey teaches this method because of the benefits that it has brought to his own life, he doesn’t do it for a living. Again, I’m sold. To learn this method, a mantra is passed from teacher to student, before practising the technique and discussions in a small group over two relaxing days. It’s very practical and flexible. You are straight in there meditating in the morning on the first day. You can’t learn it online, and I will do my best to describe it to you.
Once the “mantra” was passed to everyone on the course individually, we got straight into practise. This isn’t a go to sleep meditation method by the way, it is about doing it and getting back out there into the world as your best you. We sat in a comfortable position, and repeated the mantra over and over (in our minds). Of course sometimes this is easy and sometimes it is difficult. At the beginning I was stressed about repeating my mantra correctly, forgetting it, and all sorts of silly things. Thoughts are not to be quietened or fought with using this method, but when the mind wanders, Corey reminds us to go back to the mantra. It is by following the mantra, effortlessly and gently, that will calm the mind. It’s kind of like you’re alert to sounds around you, but your mind is somewhere else. Straight off the back I was impressed with how repeating the mantra got me into that deep space quickly (that usually takes me an hour of yoga). I felt a sense of deep calm, falling and quietening down. Sometimes I would feel shapes or colours, thoughts flashing through my head like a movie and sometimes, only a few times so far, have I gotten to that space where I’m not sure where I was, or how long time has passed. While the course was relaxing, I experienced a range of emotions after the two days. Anger. Headaches. Tiredness. This all passed within a week to realise the benefits below. As Corey said, my mind was “sorting out the trash.”
Regular practice, one month in
Meditating with Corey’s gentle soothing voice in his airy house was one thing, but how was I going to go in the real world? I asked this question during the course, and Corey said he does it everywhere. In the car with kids. In the car after driving to work. I was skeptical, but he was right. Anyway, I’ve been figuring out the best way to “do it”, and while I have not been perfect, I think I have fit in two sessions about 80 per cent over the last month. When I’ve got to be somewhere I set an alarm and when not, I just let myself come out of it, and weirdly enough it is always between 18 and 23 minutes. Some days are hard and I’m repeating the mantra over and over, and sometimes, it slips away and I’m off into my conscious magical dream land.
I’ve meditated on the bus, in the bath, in the lounge room and on the beach.
I’d like to do another post updating you all in another month or two, because it is still early days. (We also know I’m on a major health kick) but here is what I have noticed so far, (other than the fact that once you have done your two day course you have a tool to use for life.)
- Successful reduction of anti-depressant medication with no side effects (4 weeks now)
- Energy boost after sessions while other methods made me sleepy
- Fall to sleep easier at night, no more tossing around
- More clarity and creative ideas.
Research has also proven that this method:
- Reduces Insomnia
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Decreases Cholesterol
- Reduced Congestive Heart Failure.
I’m looking forward to updating you all in another few months on my progress.
Corey offers evening and weekend courses. You can learn more about Inner Space Meditation here.