FAQs What is The Broad Place? The Broad Place is a thoughtful, modern approach to conscious living created by Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell. It is a school for creativity, clarity and innovation by providing education, experiences and products for better living. Jacqui Lewis is the powerhouse behind the transformation in so many people’s lives. She specialises in taking a regular, stressed, under the pump person and shifting them through accessible tools and practices so that they become more creative, grounded, healthier and happier. Jacqui takes ancient knowledge and makes it easy to understand and easy to employ in our modern day lives. This is taught through Vedic Meditation, Private Mentoring, Residential Weekend Retreats and International Retreats in India as well as through Workplace Programs spanning a week to 3 months. Arran Russell has been the creative force behind some of the most exciting brands in the creative industries of design and fashion globally. As Creative Director, Arran Russell designs, sources, develops and curates all The Broad Place product as well as the art direction for all collateral and graphics. Together Jacqui and Arran collaborate on The Broad Place Projects; where creativity, connectivity and community meet. What is Vedic Meditation exactly? Vedic Meditation is an ancient practice that involves sitting easily with the eyes closed, repeating a mantra in the mind for 15-20 minutes. We don’t chant out loud or sit in any strange positions to meditate and we don’t need a decade of experience to meditate with success. A mantra is just a meaningless sound, given to you by an qualified instructor that moves the mind past thought into a thoughtless state. Beyond thought is an inner contentment within each of us, and the mind bathes in this. Simultaneously the body through this practice releases and dissolves stress, tension and fatigue. No straining and trying to not think thoughts, no taming the monkey mind, no deep breathing is required. It’s incredibly easy and students after learning in 4 x 90min sessions are meditating with success. The results include increased clarity and creative thinking, a calmer and more grounded composition, less stress, fatigue and tension and much increased happiness and joy. We become more adaptable, more dynamic and far more productive when practising Vedic meditation. What does ancient mean? Is this a new meditation tool like mindfulness is? This meditation technique originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and the integrity of the tradition has been preserved by an unbroken lineage of teachers from that time. Although originating in India this is not exclusively “Indian” knowledge. Vedic meditation is an ancient technique that was developed for “householders”— people who are completely engaged in life and we still use this today for modern day living..It’s the perfect meditation technique for people with hyperactive minds who lead busy, active lives with jobs, relationships, families and more. The word Vedic comes from the ancient Sanskrit word Veda, or knowledge. The Vedas are the ancient Indian body of knowledge that is the source of Ayurvedic medicine, yoga, and Indian philosophy. The technique is universal in its nature, practised by and benefiting people all over the world, regardless of their society, profession, age, religion, or belief system. What are the outcomes of Vedic meditation? Our students report and the scientific studies behind this technique prove they include; – increased happiness and joy – increased productivity – reduction of, if not elimination of stress, tension and fatigue – assistance with physical health and wellbeing – access to greater clarity and creativity – increased vitality and better sleep – expansion of ones conscious state Do I have to become very spiritual to meditate? In short absolutely not. We teach many people from all walks of life, with many or no religious background and they all utilise Vedic Meditation as a tool for better living. Who teaches the courses from The Broad Place? Jac Lewis is our head teacher of Vedic Meditation. Jacqui has been meditating for 16 years now including 8 years of practising Vedic meditation. You can read more about Jacqui’s extensive training and knowledge here. I have practiced other types before, like guided and mindfulness and I found them hard. Why is Vedic Meditation easier? If we were to use the analogy of meditation being like exercise, most meditation practices are like taking a walk around the block. They can be an excellent place to start, but you won’t get fit long term. Vedic Meditation is the exercise equivalent of getting extremely fit, and quickly. Learning with The Broad Place is like having a personal fitness instructor guiding you through the process and correcting you with minor adjustments for the greatest results. Your success as a meditator is our success. We guarantee you can practice successfully with Vedic Meditation. Most students come to our school saying ‘oh you know I’ve never been able to meditate before and I’m just sure I’m the one who can’t do it’ and they leave with huge grins and absolute confidence in their practice after sitting our course. I can’t sit cross legged and I don’t have a special room, let alone a quiet space, can I still meditate? If you can sit in a chair with your back supported, you can meditate. No need for sitting cross legged or in any unusual positions! No chanting and no new names required. Noise doesn’t stop you from meditating, and you can meditate in a bus, taxi, or in a meeting room, in your lounge room or even whilst Peppa Pig is playing! When we say noise is no barrier, we mean it. If you can think ‘that noise is driving me crazy’ you can think your mantra. If you can think your mantra, you can meditate. Unless you are sitting on a jackhammer, you will be fine. How are your courses run? A Group Course in Vedic Meditation is 4 sessions over 4 days. Traditionally Vedic meditation has been taught over 4 sessions over 4 days and we stick to this high grade format. We host our courses over 4 days so our students experience an optimal learning experience with time in which to do their homework and meditate at home or at work in between. This results in students graduating with great experience and confidence. The first session is 60 minutes long and the following sessions are each 90 minutes. In Sydney, we have two schools, one in Paddington and one on the Northern Beaches and you can join an ‘evenings course’ during the week Tuesday through Friday, or a ‘weekend course’ that are Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday and Sundays during the day. Click here for upcoming course dates to find out more. Is there any flexibility for me within these course times? There is some flexibility absolutely. Sometimes students when traveling to study with us sit the first session not on a Thursday evening but on a Friday (for an additional fee) in order to sit the course over 3 days. Contact us if you would like some more information on this. Additionally, the fourth session (which lands on a Friday or Sunday) can be on special request moved to a private session or added to the following week’s course should that be held straight afterwards. You are up and running with your practice after the third session, and we can shift that fourth session for you should it prevent your studying. Ultimately we will help guide you on an optimal study experience should circumstances prevent you from sitting 4 consecutive days. Additionally, you might wish to consider a Private Course in Vedic Meditation, whereby the sessions and the content are tailored to your personal needs. Click here should that be of interest. I feel like the course fee is expensive, why is does it cost more than at my local yoga school? The type of meditation we teach is different than from what you learn in a drop in class format. We teach independent practice, a life long tool, that once learnt you can practice anywhere you like (you don’t need us to do it) and that you receive lifelong support for. We offer the most effective meditation technique, taught with the highest grade delivery. Our students experience the very best on every level with the purity of ancient knowledge delivered in an engaging and modern way. Do you run a 2 Day Weekend Course? We have decided where possible to always host 4 day Courses in Vedic Meditation as we only offer the very best experiences to our students. Where can I learn? We teach globally and our core teaching takes place in Sydney, Australia. We have two schools, one in the Eastern Suburbs in Paddington, and one on the Northern Beaches in Warriewood. Multiple times a year we travel around Australia as well as through Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India and America. Should you not be located where we are teaching, we travel on invitation throughout the world to teach privately. Please contact us to chat about this option in more detail. Is there anything I can do after learning to progress further and obtain more life changing knowledge? Because at The Broad Place we feel learning and creativity can always expand, there are plenty of on-going options for students who have completed our Beginners Course. Once you learn you will have an all access pass that allows you life time membership to our Library page on our site (which provides you with free readings and audio talks on various topics) as well as free attendance so our Meditation Meetings. For Alumni students (who have been meditating for at least 12 months) we offer a membership with The Broad Place which allows ongoing support and training sessions with other students, private mentoring and Advanced Technique dinners.