Beeja: The 10,000 year old practice but the new meditation
BALANCE sat down with Will Williams to discuss the benefits of the “new” meditation; Beeja
I’ve been into wellness and personal development since I bought Paul McKenna’s seminal Change Your Life in Seven Days in 2004. It would prove the perfect gateway drug. Across the many books I’ve since read, experts I’ve interviewed and pieces I’ve penned, there has been one constant: the myriad benefits of mediation. But has it been enough to see me commit to a daily practice? Has it f*ck. Which is, quite frankly, inexcusable.
Meditation is one of the few things that unites those who prefer fact-based practices (it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress) with those who are “a bit woo-woo”. If you’re like me, you happily straddle both camps: I like to feel the burn and I love Rhonda Byrne.
So I headed to a beautiful Hoxton flat, home of Will Williams (one of the leading luminaries in the world of meditation) in the hope he could wave his magic meditational wand. Could he get me to commit to a daily session?
As we sit and chat over a tea, it seems that we are kindred spirits, having got into the world of wellness in a bid to escape years of excess. Will worked in the music industry, where hell-raising was a way of life. I’m not as cool: think more drunk dialling and self-recrimination on a Sunday morning.
The Beeja practice, which is around 10,000 years old (and is said to reduce stress and anxiety, promote clarity and calm, increase focus, enhance relationships, forge better sleep and energise you), is easy. We sit on adjacent seats, whereupon Will does a full body scan and I close my eyes. He then softly repeats: “Beeja”. That’s it. Now, this is where I always come undone, with an internal monologue that goes: “Got to concentrate. Mustn’t let the mind wander. Is it wandering now? A bit, I guess. Probably should focus on him saying ‘Beeja’. It does sound a bit like ‘BJ’. Probably shouldn’t even be thinking that…”
Eventually, the mind settles and I reach that sweet spot of focus, without being too focused. And then Will is bringing me back into the room. How long did it last? Could be anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. I’m clueless. Which, as far as Will is concerned, is job done. I feel serene, there is a softness in the shoulders (which is rare) and the mind is settled.
So, was I meditating the next morning? No siree. However (and, no, I’m not being paid).