Your Guide To Vedic Meditation With Judy Wilson
The modern world is fast and busy and our stressful lives leave us feeling constantly tired and run-down. It's very easy to look outside of ourselves to find ways to feel better. It could be in the form of a miracle drug or supplement, alcohol or the perfect partner who can provide us with everything we need. However, what we really need to do is begin to look within because that's where all the answers truly lie.
Below I chatted with Judy Wilson, an independent teacher of Vedic meditation. She advises how this simple and natural technique works and ways you can apply it daily into your life. The benefits are experienced immediately and when practiced regularly, you will remove stress and fatigue at a faster rate than you can accumulate leaving you to feel healthy, happy and more in-tune with yourself and with life.
How is this technique different to other types of meditation?
Vedic meditation is known as a householder technique. What this means is that it is very suitable for people who have families, busy social lives, or people that go to work or study. Practiced for just 20 minutes, morning and evening, you can easily integrate this style of meditation into a regular day of your life. It does not require you to concentrate, use effort, wear any particular style of clothing, light candles etc. Vedic meditation is a self sufficient practice and anyone that learns will also be trained how to maintain the practice once the course is completed. There are many different styles of meditation and every style does have its own set of unique benefits, but if we are living the life of a householder, then it’s very important that we practice a householder’s technique so we are able to maintain a simple practice and enjoy ongoing daily benefits.
What are the benefits of this meditation?
With a regular daily practice of Vedic meditation you can remove stress and fatigue at a faster rate that you can accumulate. This give us the opportunity to restore a natural state of balance to the mind and body. You will start to notice an improvement in your health and well-being, also increased energy, creativity, happiness, clarity and confidence. Meditation can also bring relief from many issues such as sleep disorders, depression and anxiety.
Will it take long before I start to see benefits?
The benefits are noticeable right from the start. Its like switching on a light. The way that students experience the benefits depends on the individual, however what starts to reveal itself over the first couple of days is that people tend to have more clarity and feel more relaxed than they did beforehand.
How does sitting quietly and doing nothing bring the extraordinary results you’re describing? Can I not get the same results simply by relaxing?
In meditation it may seem as if we are doing nothing but actually many things are happening. The deep rest gained during the practice gives rise to experiences that are going to bring incredible benefit to our life. Scientific research has proven that 20 minutes of practicing this meditation technique is equivalent to relaxing anywhere between 2-5 times deeper than you do during sleep at night. When you return to daily activity after meditating you will feel more energized and dynamic yet with a sense of calm and stillness gained in the practice.
Does that mean we don’t need to sleep as long overnight?
Over time meditators do start to experience a need for less sleep. Because you now have a practice to release stress and fatigue from your system twice a day, you’re not relying on sleep at night to be able to gain rest and relaxation. This will also improve the quality of your sleep.
Where is the best place to meditate to achieve the maximum results?
The beauty of this technique is that it is fully portable. It is a silent technique so that means that you can do it on the bus if you want to, on the train, on the plane, at home or whenever you can arrange a situation so that you can sit quietly with the eyes closed, you can meditate.
Should it be at the same time every day?
It’s good to have a regular practice; however we’re not dependent on it being at the same time every day. As busy people, we may be able to maintain a similar time in the morning, but the afternoon is always at a different time depending on our work demands and that kind of thing. Like anything, it’s good when you have a practice to build some sort of routine and regularity around it. To gain maximum benefits you do need to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. However, you can adjust the times of the day to suit your busy schedule.
What if I’m constantly being interrupted by external distractions such as young children?
On the first few days that you are trained on how to meditate properly, we will also train you on how to meet those demands and still be able to fit in meditation practice around them. The most important thing is that this is a householder technique so it has to be flexible to the changes of your daily life. For people that have small children, there is a special program designed to specifically suits their needs.
Can anyone learn to meditate?
Anyone can learn this technique. Meditation is for everyone. Children from the age of 5 have their own version of it called 'A Word of Wisdom'. As they rise up into their teenage years, they can take on a adult practice and from then on anyone at any age can learn to meditate. The reason that we meditate is not to be good meditators, we are meditating to have a richer experience of life. You need only to have the desire to learn.
Are the goals of meditation and yoga the same? If so, why meditate instead of doing yoga and why do yoga instead of meditation?
It’s really a personal thing. They are both tools for coming at the same thing at a different angle. It really is an individual experience, but if somebody has a natural desire to be doing yoga, then you should go to yoga. If someone has a natural desire to learn to meditate, then they need to move towards that. There’s no conflict if you wish to do both. Anything you feel is going to bring benefit to you. We meditate to settle everything down and get a better feeling of what it is that we need to be interacting with. If someone is stressed and tired and they’re physically pushing their way through a yoga class, then they might actually feel a bit fatigued afterward, but if you learn to meditate and you’re able to release that fatigue, and then you go to a yoga class, it’s going to improve the experience. They can work together like that.
Will I be required to study or can I teach myself?
You need to learn from a teacher of Vedic Meditation. The purity of this teaching has been maintained for thousands of years and all teachers of this knowledge go through very precise training themselves in order to teach the student correctly. Each of the course days are significant and designed to give the right experience and bring maximum benefits so that once the course is completed the student will be able to easily maintain a simple daily practice at home. Meditation is a tool, and we do need to learn how to use that properly if we wish to have good results.
Why is it so expensive?
Its all a matter of perspective. On a practical level you will receive personal training and course of instruction over four days. Once learnt the technique is life long and will completely transform your life. Its hard to put a price ticket on that. Like Yoga teachers and practitioners in other specialty fields, meditation teachers have all the standard costs of running a studio and providing an ideal environment for people to come and learn. It does seem to be a misconception that spiritual knowledge should come for free and I'm not sure where this train of thought came from. In my experience of India, there is no spiritual teacher than simply gives away knowledge. There is always an exchange which is relevant to the situation. The exchange is part of the flow between the student and teacher. Vedic meditation is a valuable technique and people that tend to get drawn to it have a genuine interest in making a conscious investment on many levels into their evolution and wellbeing.
Teachers of Vedic meditation do also run regular free group meditations for anyone who has taken the course and wishes to continue to refine their practice and enjoy a group experience.
Will having a relaxed and stress-free state of mind be compatible with the modern, fast-paced lifestyle? I’m worried I will become so relaxed that I won’t be motivated for success?
Is this compatible with modern life? Absolutely! Through meditation we discover an inner silence and calmness that makes us more able to adapt to a fast paced lifestyle and meet its demands successfully. Meditation reveals more of who we actually are, minus the worries. What we find is that we start engaging with the world on this level and from here we can make more conscious decisions about what areas of life we wish to experience success in. The simple and natural approach that we have to the meditation practice begins to flow over into all aspects of our life. You will be able to move with great ease and grace through a fast paced environment. If we use stress as motivational tool, it will begin to negatively impact our mind and body in time. Its best that drive comes from a more grounded and sustainable place.
Are there any harmful side effects?
Only good side effects. Anything that starts to feel irrelevant in your life, it’s going to start to fall away and that can only be good. It clears the path for more of what feels evolutionary and productive to you. One thing that’s for sure is that when you do start to meditate, things do start to spontaneously change in life. No one has ever learnt to meditate and said nothing has changed. I always say to people if you don’t want things to change, then don’t start to meditate. Things will change but they will always change for the better and the meditation teaches us how to embrace that with enthusiasm.