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The Benefits Of Vedic Meditation

It’s the practice favoured by everyone from The Beatles to Kendall Jenner to our favourite podcast host Pru Chapman, and those who practice it are evangelical about its power. But what makes Vedic Meditation different, and why should we explore it? We’re not experts, so we decided to ask somebody who is: lawyer turned Meditation Teacher Kimberley Chan.

The practice itself involves sitting in stillness for twenty minutes twice a day, internally repeating a unique mantra bestowed upon you by a teacher. After learning the practice herself, Kimberley decided to graduate as a teacher upon the encouragement of her own teacher. When you speak with Vedic Meditators, the organic flow into your dharma or personal path is a prominent theme – the idea that, once you allow your mind the space to process your thoughts and thought patterns, you achieve an easeful connection to the natural flow of life.

We spoke with Kimberley about her experience of discovering Vedic Meditation and becoming a teacher, and the benefits of the practice.

 

I grew up in a Buddhist family, and before I found Vedic Meditation I experimented with lots of different techniques. I often say to people that meditation is like exercise: you’ve got to figure out what works for you. Some people love the gym, some people love to run, some people love F45…they all work to varying degrees, in different ways for different people. 

The thing that resonated most with me about Vedic Meditation was the simplicity. It wasn’t rigid, and from the very first meditation I did, when I was first given my mantra, it was just different. It’s a cliche to say, but it felt like returning home to myself. I remember thinking in that first Vedic meditation: this is what meditation really feels like. All of the other techniques I’d tried up until then felt like work, but Vedic meditation felt so comfortable, so effortless.

I continued mediating, and then about six months down the track, people started saying to me: you seem different, what’s changed? That’s when I realised that it had had this subtle, incremental effect. It was only when other people noticed a change in the way I was interacting with them, interacting with life, in the way I was responding to what would typically be a stressful situation, that I realised the practice had this broad impact on me, and had changed the way I viewed everything. There was a new lens through which I experienced the world.

People started asking me to teach them, and I sent them to my teacher, explaining that it wasn’t something I could teach. Eventually, my teacher said: why don’t you train to be a teacher? And so I did… and I’ve been teaching ever since. I’ll teach for as long as people want to learn, and so far they keep coming. I still work as a lawyer too, but the work I do there is now almost exclusively with charities and not-for-profits, it feels right for all of my work to be well aligned.

It was really the sense of ease that attracted me to Vedic Meditation, and I think that’s a perfect reflection of the mindset that it generates. Initially you get this sense of relief, when you’re meditating there’s this sense of relief that it’s a simple technique, and that it’s okay to have thoughts. I know for a lot of people, when they first learn to meditate there’s this idea that you’ve got to clear your mind of thoughts, and there’s so much pressure to empty your mind, which is impossible. And although in Vedic Meditation there isn’t an expectation or instruction to clear your mind of thoughts, because you’re allowing your mind the space to process, you will glimpse those moments of stillness every now and again through your practice.

What people find with regular practice over time is that eventually you develop a broader perspective of life, so even if you’re faced with stressful situations, you have the ability to pause and respond rather than just react. 

That broader, more naturally measured perspective allows people to navigate relationships better, with less friction. Because you’re not responding from a reactive place, you have the chance to really consider which action will ultimately be best for everyone involved, and that includes you as well as the people you’re interacting with.

Often when you’re looking into the benefits of meditation, you’re told: you get relaxation, you get peace of mind, you get increased wellbeing. You do get all of those things, but they come together – it’s an overall shift that impacts everything.

 

If you’re interested in learning the practice of Vedic Meditation, you can contact Kimberley via her website kimberleychanmeditation.com.au to arrange a meditation course, through which you’ll receive your own unique mantra and a lifetime of support. To tap into Kimberley’s wisdom for free, you can listen to her guided meditations via the incredible free app Insight Timer App, and for a digital dose of calm you can follow Kimberley on Instagram @ms_kimberley

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