You may have noticed that the more you meditate the more your experience of your meditation changes: it becomes more subtle and more refined.
This refinement and increasingly subtle experience can often be mistaken for the effects of meditation weakening or that you are not doing it correctly.
Some people have asked me if meditation is only good for a month or two!
People new to meditation often think that the goal is to stop all thoughts and rest their minds in thoughtless peace and quiet.
Therefore it is quite common for beginners to question whether or not they are meditating correctly because they cannot stop thoughts from arising in their minds.
However, they need to understand and appreciate that having thoughts is perfectly normal, it’s what is supposed to happen – Vedic Meditation requires one to experience the natural and un-restricted flow of thoughts for it to work.
This is one reason why I recommend that meditators, regardless of their level of experience (or technique), get their meditation ‘checked’ every now and again. How often depends on the individual. I know quite a few people who have been meditating for more than twenty years who have their meditation checked every year – they see it like a warrant of fitness.
I have been involved in teaching meditation for over twenty years and I know from experience that, while we cover everything you need to know during the course of instruction, you will only retain a small fraction of that information, which is quite natural. To get the best benefit, I suggest everyone gets their meditation checked at least once in the first year and at least every second year after that, whether they feel they need to or not.
Additionally, and regardless of how long you have been meditating, if you have become irregular in your meditating or have let it slip and you want to get back into it then you should definitely arrange to have your meditation checked and / or refreshed. See more on the difference between Checking and Refreshing below.
How do we check your meditation
Obviously we can’t flip the lid and get in between your ears to see what’s going on in that mind of yours, but we can check the performance of the mind during meditation.
A qualified teacher will ask a specific series of questions and take you through a systematic process to establish if you are meditating correctly. A checking session focuses on the ‘Experience of Meditation’ not so much the intellectual understanding, which can be gained in other ways.
Typically a ‘Checking’ session should only take 20-30 minutes if you are in a daily routine of meditation. If you have become irregular or are trying to get back into your meditation then you may require a refresher course.
There is no fee for a checking session for those I have personally taught, others are encouraged to make a donation – whatever they feel its worth.
What is a refresher course
Checking focuses on the experience during meditation and the technique of correct meditation. Whereas a ‘Refresher’ is more about the intellectual understanding of the technique – if we don’t intellectually understand what or why we are doing something a specific way how can we possibly get it right and meditate correctly.
A Refresher is particularly useful if you are wanting to get back into regular meditation, because you maybe “trying to meditate” and “trying” is not allowed – no matter how hard you try not to try! However, if you have been irregular or skipped your meditation this can be very hard to overcome.
So the intellectual understanding reminds you of what to do and expect during meditation and we follow this up with a checking of your technique.
A typical Refresher session is 90 minutes. The fresher course fee is $75.00