Imagine you are in a war zone. You’re squeezed, shoulder-to-shoulder, into an armored troupe carrier day after day in the arid Israeli desert with 15 other people. Mortar shells are exploding nearby. You’re sweaty and dust is everywhere. Now let me ask you a question. Would you choose to meditate at a time like this?
I didn’t think so. But my friend Igal Harmelin-Moria made the opposite decision. Igal was a war correspondent in Israel when he learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1973 at the ripe old age of 19.
He started teaching just two years later and for the next 25 years traveled the world as an emissary for the great Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the famed Beatles guru and founder of TM.
Igal has meditated nearly every day for over 40 years, and his passion for meditation practice hasn’t waned at all. In fact, he’s only more engaged and committed to this ancient art as time goes on.
Igal has taught meditation in several traditions including TM, Evolutionary Enlightenment, Advaita Vedanta, and currently in the context of Judaism. He’s spent time teaching meditation in far flung places like the Philippines, India, Ukraine, Zaire, the United States, Europe, and Isreal.
In this seventh episode of the OneMind Podcast, Igal shares his incredible story and some formative lessons he’s learned from meditation. I invited Igal onto the show because his gratitude and love for the practice is contagious. I also wanted you to hear first hand from someone who has meditated for his entire adult life.
And more than that, I wanted you to experience Igal’s humor and humanity, which is so deeply shaped by his practice of meditation.
In this episode, Igal and I discuss:
- Why he started meditating
- How meditation showed him that he was an automaton and how it helped him break free from unconscious thinking and behavior
- The meaning of the word ‘transcendental’
- How to practice a mantra-based meditation
- How to practice a free or open-awareness-based meditation
- Why it’s so value to be still
- Why your attitude towards meditation is always more important than any technique you choose
- What it’s like to meditate in the middle of a war zone
- Why it’s important to meditate with other people
- Igal’s advice for new and practicing meditators
Learn meditation in 5 easy lessons with our FREE How To Meditate Mini Course.
Photo Credits via Flickr Creative Commons: lalo Fuentes