Why would I pay for a meditation teacher, rather than using an app?
The argument for having a meditation teacher is much the same as having personal coaching of any kind; think personal trainer, a tutor or executive coaching. A teacher gives one-on-one personalized training in technique while providing motivation and support.
I’m very busy. How will I practice VM twice a day for 20 minutes?
Forty minutes is less than most gym sessions, and 10 minutes less* than the average person is spending on social media each day. Also, Vedic Meditation can be practised virtually anywhere you can sit down with your back supported; such as on public transport, in a cab or on an airplane. Many people meditate in their parked car while they wait to pick up their kids from school.
Most find that as the benefits from meditation accrue it is easier to find the time to meditate. As you become less stressed, you become better organised and more efficient in the way you spend your time.
Why does the course take four sessions over four days? Can’t I learn it more quickly?
The 4 days 4 life course is specifically designed to be taught over four 60-90 sessions on four consecutive days to ensure you have mastered the correct technique which you then have for life.
In the first session you receive your mantra, or sound, and learn the technique. The next three sessions are spent refining what you have learned, cementing your understanding of how the mantra works and learning how to incorporate meditation into your daily life. As well as meditating during each of the four sessions, you will meditate on your own at home before class. By the end of the course you will have meditated for at least 140 minutes, which is a big step towards developing a habit for life.
What is the difference between Vedic Meditation learned in the 4 Days 4 Life course and meditation offered in any number of apps?
Vedic Meditation uses a personal mantra, or sound, which is provided by a teacher who trains you in the subtle technique required. The mantra has qualities that encourages the mind to relax. Little effort or concentration is needed. Mindfulness meditation is generally more difficult. Both techniques are beneficial but students often report finding Vedic Meditation easier to learn and practice.
Once you have completed the 4 Days 4 life course you will have a life-long skill. And yes, you can check in with your teacher for support and encouragement, but essentially you will be fully self sufficient and able to practise the technique without any teacher or aid from an app.
I watched the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, is Vedic Meditation leading me down the path of the followers of Baghwan Shree Rajneesh?
Definitely not. Vedic Meditation does not require you to believe in anything, join any group, wear any particular clothing or follow a guru. You are simply learning a technique that you can practise for life.
There is though, a ceremony at the beginning of the 4 Days 4 Life course which the teacher performs and you just watch. The ceremony is derived from ancient practices in the Vedic tradition from which this meditation originates. The short ceremony is a key part of learning the Vedic Meditation technique because it provides a transition from the pressures of your daily life into the right mind-set to learn an important new skill.
* The NYT reported on May 5, 2016, that Facebook says users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.