+ Who is this training for?
Vedic Meditation is a live training for anyone interested in learning how to meditate with ease (without having to rely on apps, guidance, or drop-in studios).
+ How do I start?
You start by attending the complementary Intro to Meditation orientation, where you meet the teacher (Light Watkins or one of his colleagues) in person, and learn how Vedic Meditation works and how it's taught. You will get all of your questions answered and then decide whether you want to move forward with the training.
+ When does the actual meditation training start?
If you are accepted into the training, the next one usually starts on the day after the free intro session, and continues over four days for 90 minutes each day. In order to complete the training, you will be required to attend one 90-minute session a day on each of the four days. The sessions are usually scheduled before or after standard work and school hours.
+ Where can I find exact times and dates for the trainings?
You can find the schedule for upcoming trainings at the bottom of their respective event pages on the calendar.
+ What benefit will I get from this training versus using my meditation app?
Step-by-step, you will learn with a live teacher, who will show you the key principles for meditating in the easiest, most effortless way. You will learn that there is nothing arbitrary about meditation—from the way you sit, to the time of day you practice, to the way you treat your thoughts. You will also have plenty of home practice, group practice, and Q&A with the teacher. By the end of your training, you will be an expert meditator, able to meditate successfully almost anywhere, even if you have a busy mind. At the conclusion of the course, you will also remain in contact with the teacher in case you have future meditation-related questions. You will also receive an open invitation to return and audit the course whenever it takes place again. None of those options exist with a meditation app.
+ If I can't make it to an Intro to Meditation, can I still take the training?
Although there are rare exceptions (mostly in the case of referrals), it's not likely that you can take the training without some sort of prior contact with the teacher. For best results, it's good for you to experience the Intro Session, which is essentially an orientation to the training. If you can't make the Intro Session, you can arrange a phone conversation with the teacher, or schedule a private Intro Session for a fee.
+ What if I can't attend all of the training sessions?
If you have to miss one or two of the training sessions, you may be able to schedule an alternative time to meet with the teacher, or we can supply you with a recording of your missed session so you stay caught up with everyone else. Then, the next time Light is teaching, you'll be invited to come and sit in on the session you missed at no additional cost.
+ This sounds a lot like TM. What's the difference?
Light Watkins and his colleagues are independent teachers of Vedic Meditation, which means they're not affiliated with the Transcendental Meditation organization, or any organization for that matter. However, people who've learned TM note that the format of learning Vedic Meditation is comparable to what Transcendental Meditation offers, in that you receive a mantra along with 3 days of follow-up, plus a lifetime of ongoing support.
+ How much does the training cost?
Each participant determines her own tuition on a scale from $700 USD to $1500 USD (the student rate is $500 USD). In exchange for your tuition, you will receive:
There are also couples discounts and payment plans available to meet most budgets and help you get started in the quickest amount of time. Semi-private courses for 1-4 people are ($2500 USD pp) and local one-on-one courses start at $3500 USD.
+ Are there any hidden costs?
No. You make just one payment, and that covers your full instruction and lifetime of support. After your initial training, you are encouraged to return as often as you can, and get as much support as you need in order to remain a self-sufficient meditator. As you'll quickly see, the most essential component for success in meditation is learning properly the first time, and having access to the same teacher who taught you months and even years down the line whenever you have questions.
+ What if I'm not going to need a lifetime of support, can I just pay for the 4-day course?
Lifetime support is a necessary component for your success. Anyone who thinks they won't ever need ongoing support has unrealistic expectations of what it takes to succeed at meditation. In our experience of teaching thousands of people to meditate, just about everyone requires at least a minimal level of support and/or inspiration after their initial course ends.
Having access to the teacher whenever you have questions about your practice is the time-tested path to mastery, and by far the most valuable aspect of this training (think of it like having a "Genius Bar" for meditation). Not having ongoing support with meditation can become extremely confusing and expensive—especially if you have to pay someone or subscribe to a paid service to get your questions answered by people other than your teacher, who aren't familiar with your meditation history.
+ Why is this technique so expensive?
When you compare what you're getting to other available offerings, this course is actually the least expensive way to properly learn how to meditate. You get personal instruction from an expert teacher with over ten years of real-world experience with teaching beginners how to meditate (and not just guiding meditations), you get a lifetime of free support from that teacher (with no monthly subscription fees), as well as the ability to audit any of the teacher's future courses for free, plus free access to weekly group meditations as well as to the larger meditation community. After conducting deeper research on other meditation offerings, you'll see that the value of learning Vedic Meditation far exceeds the cost (make sure to ask the other offerings you're considering what their ongoing support options look like).
+ How do you have time to support everyone you teach?
We make sure we do a very thorough job in the beginning, and provide lots of resources throughout your first few years of meditating, so we're not inundated with meditation questions down the line. You may also repeat the training, which helps to refine your understanding of the technique and commitment to practicing it.
+ Are there scholarships or payment plans?
Yes, there are payment plans, which mainly consists of bringing post-dated checks to your first day of instruction. Although there is no formal scholarship program, every now and again a generous student will contribute more to help someone who can't afford to learn. You can always ask.
+ Where do you mostly teach?
Light and his colleagues teach mostly in the U.S.A. (Santa Monica, New York City, Chicago, and other areas). Light also offers international meditation retreats, where you can learn to meditate in a tropical environment for a fraction of the cost (not including your accommodations). Click here for upcoming courses and retreats.
+ How big are your classes?
Our class sizes range from a few people to a dozen. We purposefully cap the number of participants to insure that we can provide a generous amount of personal attention to each participant.
+ Is the meditation training on your retreats the same as the one you teach in your regular trainings?
Yes. But when you take the meditation training on one of our retreats, you usually end up paying less than what it would cost to learn in Los Angeles, New York or Chicago. However, the meditation training cost doesn't include the cost of the actual retreat. They are separate.
+ Why do I have to pay extra for the meditation training on your retreat?
The retreat is geared towards the study and practice of Vedic Meditation. To get the most out of the retreat, you will have to learn the technique if you haven't done so already. There is a cost associated with learning the technique in your city, but if you take the course on the retreat, the cost is significantly reduced.
+ Have you ever worked with someone who couldn't learn the technique?
No. By the end, everyone gets it. Usually, people who think they are going to be tough cases are pleasantly surprised by how easy meditation feels when they learn and practice the counterintuitive mechanics for moving beyond their busy mind. It's much easier than you think. However, it's up to you to stick with it. And if you fall of the wagon, it's also reassuring to know that you can come back at any time for a free reboot, either with Light or with any of his colleagues—even years later.
+ Do you offer private or corporate courses?
Yes. It's strongly recommended that the decision-maker attend the Intro to Meditation orientation before discussing private or corporate training options. Tuition for private and corporate courses varies on the number of people. Contact us for details.
+ Do I have to take the training right away?
No. Once you have attended the Intro to Meditation orientation you may register for any future training. You do receive a $300 discount if you register for a future course on the same night of your Intro. Either way, you don't have to repeat the orientation.
+ How long before I feel the benefits?
The fastest benefit we've seen in the overwhelming majority of the course participants is better sleep, which happens almost immediately (this includes insomniacs and people who take sleep medication). The other benefits, such as less anxiety, more happiness, and better health, occur more gradually.
It's best not to wait until you're in a crisis to begin meditating. If you start meditating daily while everything's fine, then when a life emergency occurs, you'll deal with it far better than someone with no history of consistent meditation. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about trying to learn a new skill in the midst of all the drama.
+ How do I know this is going to work?
Since there's no way for any meditation training to show you what your life will be like after a week or a year of meditation, without you first going through the process, the best way to see how it might help you is to read our reviews. Here's the link to our Yelp reviews. Full disclosure: we ask people to leave reviews with their honest assessment of their experience, good or bad. Unfortunately, Yelp's algorithm has filtered out most of those positive reviews that were solicited, and now all that's left are the things Light's students organically had to say about learning meditation with him and receiving his support.
+ How does this compare to meditation apps and drop-in meditation studios?
Meditation apps are generally devoid of personalized instruction, which is a pre-requisite for mastery, and drop-in studios are the most expensive way to meditate where you're paying by the hour, with no free support. Most apps and meditation classes offer guided meditation, which is a starter technique. What we teach you is how to meditate successfully on your own (without needing guidance).
+ How do I become a Vedic Meditation teacher?
Becoming a meditation teacher is about a 2-3 year long process. It starts with taking the basic training, then practicing in the Vedic Meditation style for a minimum of two years. During this time, you must attend a meditation retreat and take a series of advanced knowledge courses. Finally, you must attend a 3-month meditation teacher training in India. After satisfying all of those requirements, you will graduate as a Vedic Meditation teacher. There is no faster way to become a Vedic Meditation teacher. To get more detailed info on teacher training, please click here.