are you ready to meditate?

Posted on July 12th, 2011

The best thing I ever did was to learn to meditate. As in properly meditate.

For years I flim-flammed around trying different techniques. They gave me the shits. I never “got” it. I then bit a bullet and tried Vedic meditation. I’ve talked about this style before here and here.

When I first met Tim I was wary. I was in a fug at the time – no job, sick, broke, lost. He told me things would turn around in a few weeks of meditating. Within six weeks they did – I got the MasterChef gig out of the blue. I asked him why he was so confident. He replied:

“Sarah, you are trying to go forward with your life with the handbrake pulled full on. Don’t keep trying to put your foot on the accelerator to go forward – it’s a pointless exercise. You’ll just keep burning yourself out.  You need to learn how to take the hand break off. Meditation will help you do that. The rest will start to happen after that. “

So I thought I’d share that Tim my teacher is holding a weekend course up here in Byron Bay this coming weekend.

One thing that comes up with the vedic style: why’s it cost more than other styles. I asked the same. The answer is a good one (it was given to me at the time).

First, meditation teachers are often committed full-time practitioners. They don’t just teach ‘n run. They offer a community and support. When I need advice I’ll often drop in to see Tim and get his thoughts.

Second, Tim – and other vedic practitioners – hold free meditation and “philosophy” evenings weekly. Tim posts his lectures on his site so you can download them if you’re not in town.

Thirdly, I do think when you commit (with cash) you commit (by sitting twice daily with focus and deliberateness). It’s how we work. I’ve paid $5 in the past to sit in a meditation class. And I’ve never gone back or used that technique again.

As many people who Get Things Done say, show up. Do something properly. Commit.

There’s an intro talk on the Friday evening. Then the course runs over Saturday and Sunday. See the details below. You might like the excuse to come visit the Bay if you don’t live locally. I’m doing an advanced retreat with him at the same time, so I might see you there. I don’t like to push meditation (or Tim) at all…but I do like to dangle the invitation because it so very much changed my life.

If you’re interested, come along to an intro chat first: Friday 15th: 5:30pm at the venue (see below). The talk will run for one hour and Tim will discuss the technique, the course and the structure, the benefits you can expect, and answer any questions you may have. Attending the Introductory Talk is a prerequisite to undertaking a course of instruction. Please register via email to attend the introductory talk.

The course itself…

Saturday 16th:  10 – 12pm
4 – 6pm

Sunday 17th:  10 – 12pm
4 – 6pm

The fee is $1,100. The course will be held at Sangsurya, 95 Old Bangalow Road, Byron Bay.
If you could like more information, please contact us via email.

Feel free to ask questions below…Tim or I will answer…

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  • James

    $1,100? Someone is having a laugh.

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    Jas Reply:

    Yeah, Tim..all the way to the bank!

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I did the course when I was at my most broke. In debt. Wasn’t working. I found the money to do it and it was very much worth it for me and for many others. So many people I know were in the same position when they attended and had the same concerns about the cost.
    I totally understand if it’s not something you can justify given your financial position…totally cool and fair.
    But the cost is fair. How much would you charge to run a 3-day course and then provide a life-time of one-hour Monday night teachings?

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    James Reply:

    Fair call but what if you don’t go to any Monday night teachings? Like, what if you don’t dig the weekend? It’s too much. Plain and simple.

    James Reply:

    Actually, I’ve done some research. It’s cheap. Sorry.

    joe Reply:

    Hello Sara. You were broke but you found the money to pay the TM fee? You must
    have found a bag full of money on the side of the road? Is this because you have such
    good kharma?
    I would like to find a bag full of money!

    joe Reply:

    Please do not leave us in suspense! Where and how did you find the money to pay the

    TM fee? Was it manna from heaven?

    karen van Druten Reply:

    The cost, the cost…..how about the result. I was with Sarah over the weekend. Not sure what would be the deal or whether I’d turn into a ferral Cheryl. It turned out to be the most life affirming & life changing circumstance of my life. I learnt & was energised truly deeply from the inside out. Priceless. Sarah, I still owe you – have to tell you what happened there and here today down in Kiama.

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    joe Reply:

    is any one familiar w/ the Primordial Sound Meditation? or Natural Stress Relief? these
    are less expensive!

    [Reply]

    dave surge Reply:

    I also am curious as to how exactly Sara found the money, and where she found it.

    Will she respond?

    [Reply]

  • Sian

    $1,100! How is someone poor like me meant to afford something like that! More like meditation for the elite! Shame I’m going to have to miss out on something possibly life changing just because it’s priced so ridiculousy high!

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    Janie Reply:

    Trancendental Meditation (TM) is an evidence based practice with reams of research to support it’s practice – check it out. There are countless links to its profound improvements in quality of life for the many people of all ages and financial backgrounds. There are many types of meditation, but none that provide the life-long support of practice. You can return and be set back on track at any time.

    If, for example, you were to present to your GP complaining of feelings of ongoing helplessness, hopelessness, despair, sadness, low motivation, anxiety and lethargy you’d most likely be diagnosed as depressed, prescribed antidepressants, referred to a specialist and recommended to see a psychologist for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), or what-have-you.

    In a year this will work out to:
    Medications: 12 x about $30 = $360
    Specialist (Initial Contact Plus Follow Up x1 after rebate): about $300
    Weekly Psychologist for 6 months/ 1 year (out of pocket after rebate) = about $1860 / $3720

    Grand total for 1 year of Medications, Specialist Appointments and Therapy : $4380.
    Even 6 months of (rebated) therapy is more that a lifetime of TM.

    This is for the non-elite members of society who depend heavily on Medicare rebates, and if you are like me scrimp on the therapy because it’s just too expensive – and therefore short change or even risk your progress due to untimely follow up. I was financially crippled by therapy – which was really bad for my head!

    Or you can save up your pennies, might take a while – but never mind – set your mind to something and invest your money and your mind and full intention into something that will arm you with a life-long, life changing tool. A tool that is YOURS. You needn’t attend a specialist – you are your own specialist. I strongly believe that the individual is their own best specialist.

    I know what I would do, wait – have done – and I know what has helped me most profoundly. Thank goodness.

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    Sarah Reply:

    A very sound way to look at things. Thanks Janie.

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  • Shalome

    Thanks Sarah, I love the accelerator and handbrake analogy – it describes exactly how I am feeling at the moment. Wheels are burning, going nowhere, utterly draining. As always your posts are very timely. I made a commitment to myself yesterday that I would stop faffing around the edges of meditation and really embrace and commit to it. I think I’ve just been putting it off in the hope that my casual attempts to ‘get’ it myself will ultimately work. Time for some guidance, me thinks.

    I will be in Melbourne this weekend, not Byron, and would welcome any recommendations for local TM teachers. Thank you x

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Go to Tim’s site…he recommends some Melbourne teachers. x

    [Reply]

    Shalome Reply:

    Thanks – I clicked on the ‘Tim’ link above but no joy. Would you please post the full website? Thx muchly x

    [Reply]

    Jo Foster Reply:

    Hi Shalome, I’ve fixed the link. Thanks for the heads up
    Jo x

    Paul Reply:

    For us Melbournians I can highly recommend Matthew Young at The Melboune Meditation Centre (website is the same name).

    I did his course a few years ago and like Sarah can attest to meditation making a measurable improvement in my day to day living. I think its so valuable for A-type personalities, those who find it hard to switch off their racing minds each day.

    I liked Matts course as all the workshop notes are available online after the session so you only need to sit & listen. It’s more science than spiritually based too with lots of just nuts & bolts explanations. It’s a real layman course which I prefer.

    Plenty of practice on the day too. He also suggest 2-3min “spot meditations” which is a neat concept, eg; when on the loo, waiting in line at the bank, or on the train to work.

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    Shalome Reply:

    Thanks Paul – much appreciated. I have just checked out the website and found a venue in the next suburb. Happy days!

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  • Mia

    Am I the only one who DOESNT think the price is unreasonable? I would spend that on gym memberships or daily coffees in a year… if I still did either of those things. Most education does cost money, and if it something you will be doing daily for the rest of your life, I would have thought it is worth spending the money to do it right.

    Guess thats just me though. Must admit I havent done it yet as money always does seem to get in the way.

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    Alejandra Reply:

    I don’t think think it’s unreasonable either for a workshop like this. And I’m sure there are other alternative available at different price points elsewhere. As someone who teaches classes and provides services I understand the value of my time and what I provide and so I respect when other people expect the same for their services. The responsibility is with the provider to provide a service worthy of the amount of money he’s charging; as long as he does that and the people leave feeling that, the actual numbers don’t matter. (And even more than the gym or coffee…think how much people pay for haircuts or highlights or teeth whitening or other services of that ilk! People shell out hundreds and say “oh but it’s worth it.”)

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    Mia Reply:

    It probably deters the people who arent serious about it too.

    You are right about the hair, etc also. I wonder how many people wouldnt blink at the idea of spending thousands on a new car or furniture, but get angry at this? Your soul is the only thing you will take with you when you pass over, might as well cherish and enrich it here.

    Says the woman who owns hardly anything, drives a 1989-model car and is spending all her money on plane tickets to Austria instead of buying a house… not sure that you’d want to take my advice! Ha!

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Ha ha – Mia, your comment made me laugh. I think we’re sisters! I still have the same furniture as when I was a student, mostly, and I spend all of my money on plane tickets to Italy to study art. I also think this price is reasonable for a meditation workshop. As Sarah wrote in the other entry, the teacher has to support a family. Why should spirituality teaching be free?

    Mel Reply:

    Teeth whitening is totally worth it.

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  • Sam

    Just to understand the timetable – there is an intro chat at 5.30pm on Friday, then 4 x 2 hr sessions on Saturday & Sunday? Does seem a bit overpriced for 9 hrs. Works out to $122ph.

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  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I think the price is fair. It’s not like a gym membership, where they slowly suck you dry for a year minimum (and that’s only for using their equipment – you have to pay EXTRA for personal advice and training), even if you’ve lost your drive and don’t want to go anymore. Then when the year’s over and you haven’t gone in months, you cancel your membership… only to realise that you should really go to the gym and rejoin, with the membership fees and the administration fees all over again. (Or is that just me?)

    Here you make a commitment – BAM! – and you have lifelong tuition and counsel available to you. If you lose your drive after a year or so, you can go back two years later for no extra cost. And it’s a lot for Tim to take on and commit to as well. I think it’s very reasonable, particularly since he provides a “life-changing” service.

    That said, I live all the way over in Perth so won’t be able to make it. Have fun!

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  • Clare

    Tim B, is amazing, changed my life – now i need to get back into it!

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  • Penny

    I practice vedic meditation too and at first I was a bit offended by the cost but now feel that it is totally worth it. I agree that when you spend that much you are more likely to stick with it than if you pay $100 or $200 for a one off course.

    Prior to learning vedic meditation I had done other meditation courses that didn’t cost that much but then had to pay $10 each time i wanted to attend a group meditation…..so if you think about it, even though you pay more up front you can then attend vedic group sessions (with any teacher) without having to pay anything for the rest of your life, i think that’s a pretty good deal!

    Jonni Pollard & Kay Dyson run vedic courses in Melbourne.

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  • Trish

    I know cost is a motivating factor for alot of people but why is it the only thing being discussed on this forum?

    How much is too much to change your life? We spend so much money on junk we don’t need / use or really even want sometimes that if we were to really commit to our lives and pare down then the money should be easy to save up.

    Everyone’s journey is different and everything is not always about instant gratification. If it is something you are interested in you’ll find a way. Maybe not this weekend but when it is right for you.

    For me, I am not at a point mentally where I could attend (anxiety and agoraphobia so I’d not get on the plane – am in Melbourne!) but I am invested in making changes to my life so I can knock down these barriers. So I will look up the recommended practicioners in Melbourne, save up my pennies and go.

    And I am sure, if it is lifechangng as most people have attested too, that it will be money not only well spent but also life well lived :)

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  • Anthony Porter

    Meditation really provides a great foundation for your well being. I can’t speak highly enough of it!

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  • http://miss-amy-lou.blogspot.com/ Amy Lou

    I find it interesting that so many people seem to be actually offended by the price. If you as a person don’t want to pay the price being asked for a particular service, then don’t. Nobody’s forcing your arm. Maybe it’s that you for some reason feel (whether consciously or not) *entitled* to a particular service, and are feeling offended as a result of that?
    Maybe an interesting point to ponder.

    Personally, though, I’d want to think about why I valued my mental & spiritual well-being at so little.

    Perhaps some people are finding it hard to mesh the price with something they may think of as intangible.

    As a further note – I found Janie’s point about saving for a goal quite interesting. There were things I never thought I could afford – turned out I just didn’t want them enough. A couple of years ago I saved well over $10k in one year without really sacrificing my standard of living that much. My goal? To move to London. Seems like I wanted it badly enough!! (ps, it was an awesome, hugely worthwhile spend, too!)

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  • Trish

    Sarah: do you have an opinion on stillness meditation?

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    Sarah Reply:

    Hmmm, not sure that I know of it as separate discipline…all meditation is about stilling the mind…but it’s the how that differs…

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  • Claire

    Hi Sarah, I’ve been meditating and chanelling for most of my life.. but there is something really pulling me to fly up for this weekend. Is this retreat for someone who is just starting out? Much love Sarah xxx

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Well, I’d done the same…done diff meditations for ages. Are you in Sydney normally? Either way I’d recommend flying up (to be in a beautiful enviro) and then if you’re in Syd, going to Tim’s Monday night sessions. They ground me unbeleivably. And the community that attends are “my kind of people”…smart, business-minded, lively etc. It’s not that it will take your practice “further”…it’s just diff. It’s part of the ritual of the TM style.

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  • Arie

    Hi Sarah, have no doubt that TM is really effective – and really works

    However I went to TIm’s intro talk, and something seemed a bit phony about the whole pitch… perhaps it was the fact that he mentioned the Beatles were advocates. Am a bit of a beatles geek and thought this was a bit weird – as the truth is that they famously fell out with – and publicly denounced the Maharishi after travelling to India with him, questioning his ethics. John Lennon famously wrote a song about him. Nothing was mentioned of that. So I thought that was a bit odd – and misleading. Possibly why the talk didn’t strike a chord with me and made me doubt other claims?

    The proof is in the pudding though, and it seems to have really helped you, so that speaks volumes.

    You make a good point about the $ investment – it’s definitely one way to reinforce commitment to practicing

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  • http://www.ecomilf.com ecoMILF

    Awesome post and discussion. Will be looking into it. xo m.

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  • Caroline

    Sarah can you recommend anyone in Melbourne or have you heard of anyone that teaches this kind of meditation here? I’m wary to try without a recommendation.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Yep, on Tim’s website he recommends a few practitioners…! one of the commenters above has also mentioned someone.

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    Caroline Reply:

    Thank you so much, will have a look :)

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  • daisy

    Yep, sure is an amount of money, I agree. I spent what felt at the time to be a lot of money 20 years ago learning T.M. From then until now, all of the clothes, furniture, entertainment, houses and cars that I spent money on are gone, long forgotten. T.M is the one thing that has remained with me.

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  • Sealspeak

    Tim is worth his weight in gold. This skill is priceless and has changed my life immeasurably. And Byron is the most beautiful place in the world. Total no-brainer if you’re even mildly interested in meditation. Say hi to Tim for me Sarah!!

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  • viola

    For me, it was a case of just letting the money go. And it was worth every cent and way more. Now that I’ve done it and feel the benefits, I think there is no price you could put upon it. I feel immeasurably lifted, lighter, calmer. And I’m just at the beginning.

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    Anthony Porter Reply:

    Viola, just imagine if you do that every day for the rest of your life! Anything is possible. Good luck.

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  • Teresa

    Hi Sarah – quick(ish) question:

    Do you think ANYONE can do meditation – and do it well and maintain the practice ongoing in order to get lasting benefits?

    I ask this because I know I need to try something like this to help with my anxiety issues, but I don’t trust my brain and will power to be able to make the most of it! Perhaps it’s as you mention, that it’s not me, it’s the type of ‘cheap’ meditation I’ve tried previously that’s the problem. But I do think that things like meditation, yoga and other ‘Eastern’ type things, seem to come easier to those who (appear to me) to be more open to and connected to the spiritual side of themselves. It doesn’t come easy to me and I’ve found myself getting distracted and bored very quickly in the past. And I just really can’t imagine my brain ever slowing down – I’m thinking about anything and everything all the time.
    What do you think?

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    Karly Reply:

    As a sufferer of depression and anxiety I totally understand where you are coming from. My therapist kept suggesting meditation but I just couldn’t go there… I knew I’d find myself wondering how long this was going to take, twiddling my thumbs and not being able to shut down. It was all fear. Fear of being alone with my thoughts. What would i discover about myself? I also really disliked myself and my own company… Always looking for distractions. Now, I meditate regularly and it’s been a great tool for getting passed the anxiety. It provides such clarity and focus. I’m not scared to be with my thought, or without them, now. I couldn’t recommend it more. And it’s a case of practise. Showing up. You’ll get there.

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks Karly, that makes sense. I can relate a lot to your situation, so hopefully meditation will be as useful for me as it has been for you.

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  • http://venusianglow.blogspot.com Eternal*Voyageur (Venusian*Glow)

    I also think the price is unreasonable — especially because I have lived in India and I know that the Indian tradition holds it unethical to sell spiritual knowledge for ANY price. (Traditionally this used to extend to non-spritual teaching as well, thou that is not widely practiced anymore. I have had the experience of recieving private classes from University professors who didn’t want a cent in return.) So the ancient teachers of this method of meditation would roll over in their graves if they knew of this, and also if they had been buried instead of burnt.
    The thing is, in the West people tend to think that things that are more expensive are more valuable. Probably TM would not get the attention it got if it were for free.

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  • tracey

    Does anyone have any particular recommendations for Perth? Or should most TM classes be quite equal?
    Thanks

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  • Bettina

    I have just finished a ten-day course in Vipassana meditation in the Blue Mountains. There are centres in other states (and all over the world).
    This course is free – and even the accommodation and (great!) food are provided – all because of the generosity of previous students who have donated so that others may benefit.
    It is not religious in any way, it is non-sectarian. Take from it what suits you. I did, and I’m so glad for it. I really feel that it’s been worthwhile.
    Details here:
    http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/anz/

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  • joe

    To those who can not afford or refuse to pay the extravagant TM fees (yogic “flying”,
    herbs, yagyas/prayer type sessions, contributions to the late Maharishi’s relatives, the
    Shrivastavas, “peace palaces”, etc.) please investigate:

    Primordial Sound Meditation

    Conscious Mental Rest

    Natural Stress Relief
    I have read that the TM Organization owns several hotels here in the U.S.A. It attempted to purchase hundreds of acres in Costa Rica at the cost of many millions of dollars U.S.A. The Costa Rican government evicted the TM Org. I read this in the “Tico Times”.

    The meditation is ok but I do not like the TM Org. For an alternative per-
    spective investigate “TM-Free Blog”.
    Mrs. Wilson claims to have been “…sick, broke,
    lost…” so I marvel that she was able to pay the TM fee. ($1500 USA)

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  • http://www.meditationforwomen.org.au/ Lauren Kaplan

    We are certified teachers of Transcendental Mediation for Women in Perth. For more information, please email Lauren at: laurenkaplan@tm.org or call 0413 957 287

    [Reply]

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  • Joe

    Amazing how so many are caught up in the price debate.

    If one truly cannot afford it, then so be it.

    But too often I have observed that the same people make choices to spend their money on fancy clothes, trips overseas, a new car or a bigger house. Or pokies, cigarettes and booze.

    Of course, its all about our own perceptions of value. Perhaps the cost benefit of $1000 or so on a lifetime of meditation practice is money well spent. Also, I have personally found that the financial commitment tends to encourage sticking to the practice and taking it seriously when other distractions arise.

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