Chandresh Bhardwaj is one of the youngest inspirational New Age teachers of our time and founder of the self-realization center Break The Norms Movement. Presently, he contributes to Huffington Post, Intent, Tathaastu Magazine, Natural Awakenings and Elephant Journal. Chandresh is also hosting the DoYouYoga column "Break the Norms with Meditation".
Meditation is one of the key strategies, that Chandresh is using to improve his own and other people's lifes.
1) How did you first get into meditation? Who inspired you and when did you start making it part of your life?
I was born into a family of meditation masters. The past 7 generations in my family were considered experts on Eastern sciences of healing and transformation. Meditation and mantra were a natural way of growing up for me. I practiced and learned many techniques throughout my childhood. Around the age of 13, I started going to sacred, far-away places of meditation with my father and Guru, His Holiness Sri Chamunda Swami. Having your Guru and father in the same soul takes your meditation practice to deep levels. In 2005, I came to NY to do my graduation in finance. It was during my college years that I decided to surrender my life to meditation and the path of self realization.
If I have to name the inspirations, it's tough to say one name. But I must admit that I truly look up to my father, Osho, Jiddu Krishnamurti and, of course, Deepak Chopra, as the deepest influences in my life.
2) How often do you personally meditate and where do you do it?
I meditate everyday. It's a way of living for me. I travel a lot, so I meditate whenever and wherever I get the opportunity. But on routine days, I like to sit comfortably, where I cannot be disturbed and I always make sure it is a clean place.
3) When many people think of meditation, they picture tailor seated people with closed eyes chanting hypnotic "Ommms". Is it really like that?
Not at all! That's a norm that we want to break with the column at DoYouYoga. Meditation happens in many ways. There are hundreds of types of meditation and all of them have different techniques. There are deep meditations with the widely know 'Om', which play a major role, but there are many others which many people don't get to experience. In reality, you can be in deep meditation while doing the common things of everyday or even going through emotions of love, anger, sadness and so on. My new column aims to shed some light upon many interesting notions about meditation.
4) What is the connection between meditation and motivation? How do you use meditation in your work as a motivator?
Motivation without meditation is half-lived. In my eye, motivation cannot last very long without some kind of meditation. If you meditate on a daily basis, you might not even need any other kinds of motivation because you are inspired from your higher self all the time. A person of deep meditation experiences guidance and insight from his or her inner self. All of my coaching and guidance always has meditation at its center. I tell people every day: "Don't ask me what a light is; rather ask me how the light can be created within." In other words, I believe in providing the tools of self-realization to the people rather than giving them standard solutions. Only meditation can provide such tools.
5) Does the way you tell people to meditate differ depending on their personal situation and lifestyle?
Yes! As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of meditations and I cannot recommend the same meditation to everyone. Suggesting a meditation technique is equal to prescribing medication to a patient. You have to choose it carefully and change it as the patient shows improvement.
6) What connection do you see between meditation and yoga? Does your meditation embrace elements of the yogic practice?
Yoga is an art of living and so is meditation. If yoga has given people a strong body and healthy lifestyle, then meditation can provide people with various ways of inner self-realization. Yoga and meditation together will invoke the body, mind and soul. The signature meditation of Break The Norms, Samadhi Meditation, comes with a few steps that are inspired by the practice of Yoga. If you read Patanjali's sutras of Yoga, meditation is given huge importance. I follow some breathing techniques and other meditation practices derived from Yoga in my personal daily practice too.
7) Many yoga instructors like to include a relaxation part at the end of each class. People are lying on the floor and the instructor talks about feeling very heavy and at ease. People regularly fall asleep next to me. Does this have anything to do with meditation?
As per my experience, people fall asleep because their body is simply too tired. The body needs that sleep. Whenever you do Yoga or meditation in the beginning, many people tend to get sleepy after the session. It's usually because we take too much work from our body and don't give it enough rest!
8) In your column at DoYouYoga you will be talking about meditation. What can our readers expect from you?
The column is called 'Break The Norms with Meditation'. I will honor the title of the column by doing my best to share my insight on meditation, breaking the old conditioned mindsets of people regarding meditation. I will be sharing my personal experiences with Sages and seers of India who blessed me with life altering words of wisdom. My vision is to make meditation an important part in the every-day-life of people. I don't know how it will happen, but it will happen for sure!
9.) Tell us something about the Break The Norms Movement?
Break The Norms Movement or affectionately known as BTN, is an initiative to break taboos in spirituality and create a transparent picture of the pure potentiality that's seeking manifestation in all of us. With sacred meditations and workshops, we aim to bring you road-maps to truth in a way that's amoral and independent in its soul. Currently, we are conducting meditation workshops and public talks in Los Angeles and New York. We are planning to spread the BTN movement as far as possible in the coming future.
10.) How can people learn from you or seek your guidance in personal, professional or spiritual matters?
Everyone is welcome to attend my public talks in LA and NY. We will soon start some one-on-one appointments for selected time periods to help people going through challenges. Ultimately, my aim is to leave them with the tools so that they always can seek the guidance from their inner self.
11.) What do you think the world needs today?
The world needs unconditional love. We need to knock down the walls of need-based relationships, geographical barriers, religious issues and simply embrace each other in pure divine love. It's not all that tough!
If you are into meditation and mind-body healing, make sure to check out Chandresh's column "Break the Norms with Meditation"!