Vedic Meditation is derived from the Veda, the 5,000 year old body of wisdom from India. It is the source of yoga and Ayurvedic medicine as well as many other branches of knowledge. The Vedic tradition is the root source of most methods of meditation, including Zen and Vipassana as well as other mantra based meditation practices but unlike these techniques, Vedic Meditation was never a monastic practice. It doesn’t require superhuman willpower or hours per day sitting without moving. You can practice Vedic Meditation even if you think a lot and have a high-speed mind.
During Vedic meditation, one experiences inner wakefulness beyond thought. Meditators describe this state as supreme inner contentment. The restfulness accompanying meditation is considerably deeper than that gained by sleeping. This profound rest allows deep-rooted stresses to dissolve naturally, bringing innumerable health benefits to the individual.
The integration of bliss consciousness and deeper levels of rest with one’s dynamic daily activity allows the meditator to becomes less stressed, more creative, more productive, and more adaptable to the demands of life.
The course in Vedic Meditation consists of four consecutive classes. These four classes will be held over a single weekend, like a mini-retreat. You must attend all four classes in order to learn the technique.
Vedic meditation is a non-religious practice that does not require a practitioner to adopt any lifestyle changes. This course may be different to some of the other meditation workshops that you have intended. I don’t teach guided meditation or try to set you up as our devotee. We train you to become a self sufficient meditator who doesn’t need to subscribe to apps, go to a studio, sit by waterfalls, or bow down to monks in order to meditate.
When and where:
This course will be hosted at a private home on Mount Sutro in San Francisco on the weekend of March 9 and 10. Address will given after registration. The course will consist of a two hour morning session and a 2 hour afternoon session on both days with a break for lunch.
Anyone can meditate, no matter what their current state of mind or body may be. Everyone is welcome to attend this course and everyone will benefit. These recommendations are not requirements.
For those who wish to optimize their meditation experience, we recommend the following:
1) Abstain from alcohol, marijuana, or other mind altering substances for at least a week prior to the course. One desirable effect of meditation is to train the brain to produce endogenous bliss chemicals, including endogenous cannabinoids and endogenous opioids and the usage of drugs that have a similar effect can inhibit this process. If abstaining is not possible for you then you should still come. Just let us know and we’ll give you some additional instructions to adjust for it.
2) Try to get some good sleep in the week leading up to the course. Meditation has the effect of relaxing your body and turning off your stress response. If you have a lot of underlying fatigue or sleep debt then you will fall asleep as soon as your adrenaline is down-regulated. Sleeping deeply is one of the good outcomes of meditation but if it happens during class you might miss out on some of the other good outcomes.
3) Don’t drink coffee, tea, guarana, yerba mate or other stimulants within two hours prior to the meditation sessions on the days of the course. Stimulants will prevent you from going deep in meditation and/or experiencing transcendence. You are welcome to drink coffee and tea after meditation.
What to bring and wear
Comfortable, normal clothes. You don’t need to wear robes or yoga pants unless that’s normal for you. Some people like to bring a notebook or an audio recording device but it’s not essential.
Hi, I’m Charlie Knoles
Charlie Knoles is a Vedic Meditation teacher, the director of The Veda Center, and cofounder of The Path.
After learning to meditate at age 4, Charlie devoted his life to teaching meditation. His work as a meditation teacher has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Well and Good, and MindBodyGreen. He is the lead teacher for MindBodyGreen’s online meditation program and has been a featured speaker and workshop leader on meditation at Cannes Lions, MBG Revitalize, Wanderlust festivals, Art Basel, and the Las Vegas Downtown Project.
Charlie has taught over 10,000 people to meditate from all walks of life including convicts, CEOs, celebrities, monks, and stay-at-home-dads. He has yet to find a person who is incapable of meditating.