Michael Miller, founder of London and New York Meditation Centers and one of the world’s leading experts on Vedic Meditation in conversation with Ananda about this ancient medication technique.
What is Vedic Meditation?
Vedic Meditation is the oldest technique in the world. It comes from the Vedas, the ancient body of knowledge from India. The Vedas, of course, is the source of yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic medicine and is the basis for most of Eastern philosophy. In Vedic Meditation when you learn to meditate you learn a personalized mantra that you repeat silently. The mantra naturally quiets the mind and takes you to a settled state. As your mind settles, your body begins to rest very deeply. Practicing it is effortless and natural. You simply sit in a chair with your eyes closed for about 20 minutes in the morning and again in the early evening.
You do not need to concentrate or put in effort to try and silence the mind. Rather than setting up a battle with the mind, we work with the nature of the mind – the mantra pulls the mind into quieter, deeper levels automatically and easily. This is why Vedic Meditation is one of the most efficient and powerful ways to rest the nervous system. I recommend Vedic Meditation to anyone who is open and interested — this is a universal technique that works for everyone. I always say: if you can think, you can meditate.
Can you share with us some of the benefits of Vedic Meditation?
The benefits of Vedic Meditation are all encompassing — every aspect of mind, body and behaviour are positively impacted.
Meditation cuts back your stress chemistry (like cortisol and adrenaline) and replaces it with natural bliss chemistry (like dopamine and serotonin), bringing clarity and focus which reduces stress and anxiety. In this state of existence, you get sick less often and you stay youthful.
Meditation develops full-brain functioning, your prefrontal cortex is activated, alpha waves increase and the neurophysiology changes. So, you think clearly and make good decisions, and when you’re happier and thinking clearly, you’re nicer to be around! All your relationships improve. The very deep rest of meditation does two things: gives you lots of energy and calms your system so you can fall asleep and stay asleep!
We’ve heard you say before that ‘rest is the antidote to stress.
It’s true. People have lost the ability to rest properly, to switch off, and simply Be. We live in a world where people are “on” all the time. One only needs to sit on a train and look at what people are doing. When was the last time people simply sat, took in their surroundings, and weren’t looking at their phones, reading the news, etc.?
The pace of change in society is phenomenal, and it’s not slowing down. We need ways to de-excite our mind and body to counter-balance this relentless, hectic life. Rest is the antidote to stress. Vedic Meditation provides very deep rest (many times deeper than sleep). It’s essential in maintaining balance in our modern, hectic world, and will lead to living a happier, healthier and longer life.
Watch the complete episode of ‘In conversation with Michael Miller’
Join the Vedic Meditation Retreat at Ananda from 4th October to 9th October