I’ve dropped the meditation ball a bit lately. Ideally I’d like to do 20 minutes morning and night but sometimes life dictates otherwise, so I thought I’d revisit my interview with meditation guru Carolyne Gowen. Carolyne trained at the Deepak Chopra Centre in San Diego and now runs workshops through Still Your Mind. I studied with her last year and felt immediate effects from the technique she taught me. I caught up with her recently when I interviewed her for a piece I wrote for Women’s Fitness Magazine titled Get Your Om On that appeared in the May issue.
I discovered meditation when I worked on the launch of Marie Claire in Australia and we worked 24/7 non-stop. It was relentless and I was exhausted and a friend of mine told me about a meditation course that she did and all the hairs went up on my arms, I just knew that I had to do it. And it absolutely totally changed my life. In fact I did again because I loved it so much. I think I was looking for a spiritual journey as well. It really helped me to stay calm and relaxed and focused. It opened me up to spirituality as well.
Immediately I became a lot more calm and relaxed and I had a feeling of expansion. It was extraordinary. I loved it so much I became very passionate, very excited, I turned into the best version of myself.
What style of meditation do you teach?
I teach two types, I teach Deepak Chopra’s Deepak Chopra’s primordial sound meditation which is basic mantra meditation. I also teach Drunvalo Melchizedek’s Awaking the Illuminated Heart.
When I first learnt to meditate I learnt mantra meditation and I really like it because I’ve tried meditation when you focus on breath and find that really hard and I’ve tried guided meditation from a CD and it just doesn’t give me the same fulfillment. The reason I like mantra meditation is because you have something to focus on to stop that voice in your head so you can contact that stillness and get that calmness happening.
Do a lot of your clients struggle to stop the inner chatter?
Thoughts are a natural part of meditation, we will always have thoughts, we have 60 – 80 thousand thoughts a day and it’s generally the same tape going through your head. But what you’re doing through saying the mantra is having moments where there is no thoughts at all and that’s contacting the ‘stillness’ or the ‘void’ or the ‘nothingness’ and that’s when you open it up to infinite potentiality and infinite creativity. That gap between your thoughts is absolutely unlimited and has the potential for anything.
What are the benefits of tapping into that stillness?
Ninety percent of people see me because they are stressed and anxious. You will reduce stress and anxiety; you’re going to sleep better at night, you’re going to have better relationships, you’re going to be more successful, be more creative, productive, manage your emotions better, have better concentration, clarity in life, open up to spirituality and enjoy better health and wellbeing.
How long until we can see results?
Some people feel the effects immediately, others a couple of days. I know in my course from session one to session three I can see the transformation in my clients in that time. Sometimes it’s immediately.
What can people expect from Still Your Mind?
It’s three or four sessions over four weeks. You learn the theory of meditation, receive your own personal mantra, you learn what happens when you meditate because you can go through a number of experiences. I also teach affirmations in my course which is something I’ve added in because some people, when they meditate, they notice that voice in their head and if it’s negative it can have a damaging effect. Affirmations encourage more positive thoughts, change your energy and get you what you want out of life. The last lesson is about chakras and the seven higher states of consciousness.
Are you still reaching new levels in your own practice?
I do reach new levels, I have meditations which are calm, peaceful and blissful, but the next day I’ll have a thousand thoughts. The mediation you have that day is what you need to get you through that day. When I’m in a retreat situation and away for a couple of days and out of my normal routine I do reach totally new highs.
It is true meditation has anti-aging benefits?
It does have anti-aging benefits – it increases the hormone melatonin which is anti-aging and an antioxidant. Meditation also promotes DHEA, a hormone that determines physiological age. It also increases an enzyme called telomerase which is said to improve health and physiology.