There is so much confusion surrounding meditation. Most people think that all styles of meditation involve sitting cross-legged on the floor of a dark room, trying to stop the mind from thinking or clear the mind of thoughts. Whilst it’s true, there are some techniques based on these principles – Vedic Meditation isn’t one of them. I normally hear a sigh of relief when I share this with people! I believe it’s one of the main reasons why people are drawn to the technique.
Vedic Meditation (VM) is a mantra-based, transcendent style of meditation originating from India. It comes from a body of knowledge that’s over 5000 years old, called the Veda (the same body of knowledge that brought us Yoga and Ayurveda). The technique itself has been designed for people living in the modern world – people like you or I who live busy, fast-paced lives.
When sitting a comprehensive Vedic Meditation training course, the student is given a personal mantra and then taught how to use the mantra effectively. The mantra (mind vehicle) is designed to help guide the mind effortlessly away from active thinking and into the part of the mind that’s still and quiet – known as transcendence. Thoughts aren’t the enemy, and are in fact a welcome part of the technique and quite often an indicator that stress is leaving the body.
When we dive down into these subtler layers of the mind, we are inducing a very deep state of rest – rest that’s said to be 2-5 times deeper than sleep itself. In fact, scientists often refer to transcendence as, restful alertness – the body is resting in a very deep state, yet the meditator is wide awake. I liken it to charging your smartphone – just like your phone can be switched on and charging to full battery, your body can be awake and yet resting in a very deep state. This is where the magic lies. When we dive down into this deep and subtle state of awareness, our body is able to heal itself and one of the main things it heals itself from is stress.
The technique is actually designed to launder the body of stress, tension and fatigue – it’s basically like doing a big wardrobe clean-out. We are ridding the body of all of the junk we have accumulated over the years and after 20 minutes, we open our eyes and re-engage with the world with a cleaner nervous system and a new-found clarity and sense of peace.
Vedic Meditation is incredibly popular with men and women alike and that’s largely due to three reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, it works! There hasn’t been a single student I’ve trained who hasn’t reported some kind of benefit since implementing the practice. Secondly, it’s simple. There is nothing complicated about VM – it’s an incredibly simple and effortless practice that anyone can learn and implement – there’s no fluff, no pretzel positions, no complicated instructions. And thirdly, it’s flexible. The technique can be practiced anywhere and at any time – on a bus, train, plane, at your work desk, while the Wiggles plays in the background. This makes it incredibly versatile and flexible for anyone and everyone – shift workers, parents, business executives and those who have a very full plate (which let’s face it, is basically everyone)!
When I implemented the technique over four years ago, largely due to a decade long struggle with anxiety – I couldn’t believe the difference it made. It completely changed my life for the better.M
Elise Catchlove is the founder and driving force behind meditation school, By Catchlove. To find out more about Elise, visit her website at www.bycatchlove.com and follower her on Instagram at @bycatchlove.