FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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I can’t seem to stop thinking. Will I be able to meditate successfully?
Anyone can learn to meditate–it’s a simple, natural process. You don’t have to “clear your mind” or try to “be present.” In fact there’s no effort required at all.
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Does this technique conflict with my religious or spiritual beliefs?
No, people of all faiths and spiritual traditions practice Vedic Meditation. It comes from the same ancient body of knowledge from India that gave us yoga. Like taking a yoga class, this type of meditation does not require you to change your belief system. It is simply a practical technique that provides immediate and observable benefits to one’s health, state of mind, and relationships. You do not need to adopt a particular lifestyle, take on any beliefs or wear different clothing.
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Do I have to sit with my legs crossed or practice chanting?
No, Vedic Meditation is practiced in silence in a comfortable seated position with your eyes closed. You can sit however you like, including legs crossed if you prefer, so long as your back is supported.
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Do I need a designated meditation space?
No, you can meditate anywhere–on a bus, during a flight, in a parked car, at your desk. It doesn’t even need to be a quiet space, just so long as you have a comfortable place to sit.
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How long before I start feeling any benefits?
Many people feel a shift after their first meditation, with most experiencing some increased energy or clarity of mind within the duration of the course. Often, your friends and family start noticing certain differences in your mood and behavior even before you do.
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Does Vedic Meditation take years to master?
Not at all. By the end of the initial course, you will be meditating on your own. The technique is designed to be practiced for a lifetime. There are other advanced courses and practices, but they are supplemental. Group meditations are provided to help guide you as your practice progresses.
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What is the difference between Vedic Meditation and other forms of meditation?
Most other forms of meditation rely on concentration or contemplation which keep the mind active and on the surface level of thought. A contemplative technique might involve some kind of memory or visualization. A concentrative technique might involve directing your focus or awareness at something, like the breath. Forcing the mind to be silent by working against thoughts as they come to mind falls into this category.
What we are doing in Vedic Meditation is an effortless technique that de-excites the mind in order to experience such deep relaxation, your body naturally can unwind layers of stress. We don’t try to settle the mind, in fact we don’t try to do anything. We are all-inclusive, allowing for any thoughts, sounds, sensations to happen while effortlessly thinking a mantra.
Mantra in Sanskrit means mind vehicle: Man (mind) and Tra (vehicle). They are literally sounds with no intended meaning that act as vehicles for your awareness. There are many kinds of mantras in the Vedic tradition. The kind of mantra we use, called a bija mantra (or seed mantra), takes the mind from the choppy, surface layer of thinking towards the calm, quiet layer of being.
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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 by Thom Knoles. 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 this meditation as he learned it from Maharishi, and has done so independently and separately from the TM organizations, using the terms “Vedic Meditation". Thom Knoles trained me to teach meditation as Thom was trained to teach meditation by Maharishi. I teach Vedic Meditation independently and separately from TM organizations, and am not affiliated with those organizations.
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What does the scientific research say about this form of meditation?
The form of meditation that Thom Knoles teaches, and 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:
• Increased resistance to stress
• Increased levels of energy
• Relief from depression and anxiety
• Rest 2-5 times deeper than sleep
• Relief from insomnia
• Improved relationships with other people
• Improved integration of personality
• Improved, memory, concentration and learning ability
• Improved intelligence and creativity
• Improved efficiency and productivity
• Higher levels of brain functioning
• Reduced risk of heart disease and tumors
• Improved immune function
• Reduction in pain
• Decreased free radicals
• Relief from migraines, headaches and asthma
• Normalization of blood pressure
• Reduced cholesterol levels
• Normalization of weight
• Reversal of the effects of aging
• Increased longevity
• Increased self esteem
• Faster reaction times
• Improved sports performance
• Reduced use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me here