5 minutes with meditation guru: Light Watkins
Meet Light, a Santa Monica–based Vedic Meditation teacher whose students have used meditation to tackle PTSD, hypertension, sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression, even cancer. Find out where you can meditate with him in London…
What first got you interested in meditation and why Vedic Meditation in particular?
I first became interested in Meditation through my yoga practice, while living in New York and working as a model. I tried to meditate and was unsuccessful for three years, but then moved to Los Angeles and found my Vedic Meditation teacher. That was when I fell in love with meditation and knew it was the path for me. I had such a powerful experience that I couldn’t ignore.
How has it transformed your life?
Meditation has given me more refined intuition and presence and a greater sense of fulfilment in my everyday life.
Why is it important to train the consciousness like we train the body?
Because everything that we see is an outpouring picturing of our consciousness. If we want to have better life experiences, then we need to sculpt our consciousness so that it becomes an asset and not a liability.
Why do you think it’s so important to build consistent daily routines?
Because if we have to rely on discipline, we’ll stay frustrated. By being consistent, we build the muscle memory for meditation.
What would you tell people who are sceptical of new-age gurus and practices?
To base everything on your direct experience. If you have a good feeling about a person or a practice, it usually indicates that you’ll have a good experience learning something from them. I found that the more connected I felt to the teacher, the more I learned.
Do you think there is an image problem with meditation?
Not as much as there used to be. It’s getting a lot better now. More and more people are considering the practice and not necessarily believers in Hinduism or religious affiliations, etc. They are seeing meditation as a functional way to live their best life.
How impactful is meditation on helping insomnia?
When people meditate, I find with most of my students are able to sleep better at night, even those who’ve been insomniacs for years and years. I can’t imagine a better way to assist one’s sleeping efforts.
Can you discuss the impact of meditation on the fight or flight response…
This is a tricky one, because meditation doesn’t eliminate the fight or flight reaction. What I have seen when people start meditating on a regular basis is the frequency of the flight or flight reaction diminishes.
What are some of your favourite things about living in LA?
My favourite things are really the access we have here to people and places that are at the forefront of the wellness industry.
What are 3 things you would tell your younger self?
1) Follow your heart.
2) Experience daily stillness and don’t ever be afraid of being uncomfortable.
3) Being uncomfortable is actually the safest place to be.
Light Watkins has recorded a meditation exclusively for Yeotown Kitchen in Marylebone, launching June 2018.