Vedic Meditation: The Effortless Mind
Author Will Williams on the benefits of Vedic Meditation.
In a world where even meditation has become super accessible via apps, Instagram, YouTube – somehow there remains a search for the authentic and personalised. Perhaps it’s something about our virtual world which is inspiring many to seek out Vedic meditation, an ancient, simple yet profound mantra based technique which is taught one to one, face to face.
With its roots in ancient north India around 10,000 years ago, it stems from the advanced Vedic civilisation that gave birth to so much knowledge and wisdom in India and beyond. This culture gave us wonderful systems such as Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Mathematics and much more.
This authenticity is reassuring in today’s socio political climate of shift and change, yet it is also relevant now that old systems and hierarchies are crumbling, because in Vedic meditation 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 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.
The whole purpose of this meditation practise and its associated knowledge is to empower the individual to ever greater connectivity with themselves, 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. Plus it significantly reduces stress and activates the body’s innate healing intelligence. There is solid scientific and anecdotal evidence to suggest that this technique offers the quickest and easiest route to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and development. By enabling us to access a state that is so physiologically and neurologically profound, all systems within mind, body and nervous system can begin repairing themselves from the straining effects of modern living.
Perhaps most importantly, Vedic Meditation is very easy to do, it’s enjoyable, and can be practised anywhere – in the back of a taxi, on a bus or in a coffee shop. No particular posture is required; just sit comfortably for 20 minutes, with eyes closed, and begin gently repeating a mantra individually selected by a qualified teacher. The mantra is a sound which helps de-excite the nervous system into a powerfully restful state. Physiologically, it helps lower the metabolic state, and neurologically, this resonance catalyses the brain to go into a highly coherent state.
It’s a very simple technique that covers all requirements by allowing mind and body to go into the deepest possible state, known in Sanskrit as ‘turiya’, allowing for self-healing and development without the need to invest effort into trying to achieve anything. It just happens.
The soon to be published book The Effortless Mind by Will Williams, founding teacher at Will Williams Meditation contains extraordinary case studies of students from all backgrounds and ages whose lives have become enriched beyond compare with this practise. To find out more in person, come to an introductory talk or beginners meditation course in Soho, London.
About the author: Will Williams is a wellbeing advisor to the OECD working group on Education, a contributing editor to Psychologies magazine and the founder of World Meditation Day (on Tuesday 15th May this year). Will also contributes to several research programmes exploring the wide ranging benefits of meditation. As part of his coaching work, Will has worked with Sony, Spotify, HSBC, Virgin, NBCUniversal, Goldman Sachs, American Express, the BBC, Tripadvisor and Channel 4. Will’s retreats are beloved by students who return year after year for the life changing benefits. The Will Williams Meditation Timer app is fast becoming the go-to tool for modern meditators.