What is Vedic meditation?
Vedic meditation is a methodology that arose in ancient north India around 10,000 years ago. It is the oldest technique still alive in the world today and stems from the incredibly advanced Vedic civilisation that gave birth to so much knowledge and wisdom in India and beyond.
This is the culture that gave us Mathematics, Surgery, Yoga, the wonderful body of knowledge known as Ayurveda, the amazing language of Sanskrit, which forms the basis of 60% of all Indo-European languages, and of course Star Wars! (We jest, Star Wars was simply based on Vedic knowledge).
Vedic insights into Physics were also incredibly profound and way ahead of their time. And their understanding of Neuroscience was remarkable. In fact, we in the West are only just catching up now!
Alas, like all great civilisations it came to an end, just over 5,000 years ago. As time went on, the ancient knowledge base became somewhat distorted, diluted and fragmented.
In reaction to the losses and distortions of ancient knowledge, many of the world’s religions began forming around 3,000 years ago. Zoroastrianism sprang up in Persia, Buddhism came into being in India, Jainism, an ancient knowledge base from India, became more codified, Taoism popped up in China (later followed by Confucianism), and what’s known as the Hindu synthesis also came into being in India.
All of these have their roots in the Vedic knowledge base, but all developed their own flavours, and with time, some of the original teachings that underpinned them, were lost.
Of all these, what we call Hinduism (ironically a cockney term referring to the people of the Indus river culture), appears to borrow most heavily from the Vedic culture. Hinduism itself is defined as a broad range of philosophies that share common concepts, rituals, textual resources and the questioning of authority.
However, despite there being many shared reference points, what has been practised in India for the last three thousand years, and particularly in the last few hundred years, has generally been a very watered down, and quite superficial derivation of Vedic knowledge.
Fortunately, the ancient sages of India had anticipated this and came up with incredibly sophisticated ways to preserve the most powerful techniques and knowledge. They even took measures to invent the concept of monasticism (it never existed in the world before this time) and set up communities hidden high in the Himalayas and deep in the jungles of central India.
In this way, the knowledge could be passed on faithfully, without external interference, and could be cross-referenced between the different communities to ensure that distortions didn’t creep in.
These measures proved to be essential as foreign powers began invading India about 3,000 years ago, furthering the loss of knowledge, and in many cases, these foreign powers – whether Huns, Mughals, British or others – proved to be very effective at destroying the knowledge that remained in the towns and cities.
With time, the aforementioned degradations of India’s ancient knowledge took hold, and by the 20th century, what was left, was a very superficial understanding of this ancient knowledge base.
Eventually, in 1947, India gained its independence, and it was considered an appropriate time to get this knowledge back into the towns and cities of India again, and indeed the wider world.
The whole purpose of the meditation practice and all associated knowledge is to empower the individual to ever-greater connectivity with themselves, with others and the universe. It’s about helping each individual connect with their own unique purpose in life, and to help them live it to the fullest.
There is no exclusivity. There is no ‘we are going to heaven, and you’re not’, or ‘your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.’ It is universal knowledge that is available to all humans who wish to access it. There are no rules. There is no ownership of the pathway. There is no set of beliefs one must adopt. There is no subjugating yourself to any person or entity. It precedes all religion and indeed transcends all religious notions of tribalism.
It isn’t even considered Vedic knowledge by those who contributed to this vast and profound knowledge base. It is simply universal knowledge that has been articulated by humans who happened to be geographically located in India at a certain epoch of human history. It is completely universal in approach, and in outlook.
Be whatever you wish to be. Do whatever you feel you need to do to fulfil your purpose in life. And if you feel so inspired, use a simple technique that gives you access to your own innate resources so that you can do what you do need to do in the most profound way.
We, like the ancient sages who preceded us, simply see ourselves as custodians of this very rich knowledge base and are here to help share it with those who wish to access it. If you feel thus inspired, we’re available anytime, and regularly hold intro talks and group meditation sessions in London.
And if anyone is curious, neither Jess nor Will consider themselves religious in any way. They are merely spiritual beings who love to live a full and fun life.
I can't get over how user friendly this is, it's so easy to do.
Linda, Retiree, London
How is it practised?
You sit comfortably, with eyes closed, and begin gently repeating a mantra that has been selected for you by a qualified teacher. The mantra is a sound that will resonate with your nervous system and will help de-excite it into a powerfully restful state. Physiologically, it helps you achieve a hypometabolic state, and neurologically, this resonance causes your brain function to go into a highly coherent state.
It’s a very simple technique that covers all requirements: by allowing your mind and body to go into the deepest possible state, known as ‘turiya‘, your mind, body and nervous system can auto self-correct and develop, without us having to invest effort into trying to achieve anything. It just happens.
If you wish to advance more quickly, there are breathing techniques, and ancient yoga techniques that can be bolted on to your practice to make it even more powerful. There are also sounds (mantra upgrades) that have even more powerful impacts on your neurophysiology. We are privy to a wide range of techniques that can achieve a variety of outcomes if people want to take it further.
That was the best investment I've ever made, and I've been an investment banker for 25 years!
Mark, Investment Banker, Brighton
How does Vedic meditation compare with other techniques?
The reason why Jess and Will chose to teach this particular technique is that it compares very favourably in all of the areas we consider important.
It’s easy to do, it’s very enjoyable, you can do it anywhere, and it’s the most comprehensively beneficial technique of all we tried. Furthermore, when you live in a big city, like London, the fact that you can practise meditation everywhere from a bus stop to a coffee shop comes in really useful.
We really like the fact that you don’t have to sit in awkward positions, that you can do it in just 15 to 20 minutes, and that it’s free of any dogma or religion. We’re not really into following anyone’s rules, we wish to be free, and wish others to feel free to be everything they wish to be, without being chained to ideas that don’t feel relevant to us. At the same time, the fact that Vedic meditation continues to offer the most comprehensive knowledge base leads us to feel this is the most helpful system for helping people really tap into their essence and really advance in life.
We also love the fact that because it is so incredibly restful, you get much better sleep, you wake up earlier, raring to go, and you are so much more efficient with all your stuff. Not only does it make you feel great, but it pays for itself time-wise. It’s a total no-brainer!
It’s also the only technique we’ve encountered which seems to work for everybody.
But rather than take our word for it, all you need do is read all the reviews of all the people who’ve tried all the different techniques out there. It consistently gets credited with being the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective technique people have tried.
Other points people have made, is that the personal teaching aspect, the fact that it is customised to them, and that the follow-up support is so strong has also been very helpful for them.
However, we appreciate it’s a personal choice, and all we wish is that everybody who feels inspired to learn meditation tries something, and continues searching until they find the technique for them. If you can find something that uplifts your soul and gives strength, vitality and energy to your everyday experience, then we are truly delighted. There is such a rich tapestry of offerings out there that having a wee graze is no bad thing.
When you’ve found what you’ve been looking for (even if you didn’t know that you were looking!), your life will be enriched beyond compare.
I've been reading all these spiritual books and I cannot believe it: I have just experienced what I have been reading about all this time.
Mathilda, Publisher, Tunbridge Wells