I teach and practice mindfulness meditation. I only practice Vedic meditation. It’s interesting to see some people with meditation practice go about what’s good and bad or right and wrong. And I get why to some points. But really any meditation is good meditation I think.
I got interested in Vedic meditation because of the teacher training to be a mindfulness meditation teacher. My peers are all lovely people but even then when it came to Vedic meditation I felt the room went a bit defensive or skeptical. Some of my good friends in theater community practiced Vedic meditation so I just wondered why. I am in the business now and people I would start to teach were going to be those in theater community. I just wanted to be clear for people about any techniques even though not to teach, because mindfulness and Vedic meditations are two techniques that are coming to be more popular these days.
One reason some people have strong opinions about Vedic meditation is the money part. Sometimes transcendental meditation (TM) and Vedic meditation has image of taking lots of money, a week of your salary, so basically sliding scale. It’s for this 4-day course where you get initiated to the practice and get the “secret” mantra from your teacher. The amount of money you spend on the short course and the secrecy of mantra may give some people their skepticism.
But if you practice mindfulness to some extent, you start going to retreats which cost a few hundreds dollars at least (usually sliding scale available). You keep going then you could spend enough money to cover the week worth of salary. Also once you do the 4-day course, you can go back to group sitting or refresher classes for free even with different teachers. My teacher explained to me about the secrecy of the mantra like this:
Vedic meditation doesn’t work if you don’t get initiated to the practice, so if you tell your friend your mantra and she tries it, then doesn’t work. She may never try Vedic meditation again. That’s taking her possibility of practice away.
Here is my teacher Lodro Rinzler and my teacher’s teacher Thom Knoles talk about this topic.