Gary Gorrow on the gift of authentic teaching.
Writer Kate O’Brien
“When we connect with our dharma, or deeper purpose, life is frictionless and more beautiful”
There is a Vedic expression that pertains to the way we conduct ourselves. It speaks of one’s ability to master and work in harmony with the laws that govern life, rather than battling against them, stating ‘Do more accomplish less, do less accomplish more, do least accomplish most, do nothing accomplish everything’. This is how Vedic Meditation Master Gary Gorrow describes his teachings. “It is completely effortless, natural and automatic to dive into a deep meditative state,” he says. Sounds easy, but for the majority of us who desperately need it, can be extremely challenging.
Sydney-based Gorrow is also a qualified Ayurvedic health coach and mindfulness expert. He is founder and director of the Conscious Club and currently developing an all-encompassing Ayurvedic retreat in Byron Bay. The 39-year-old master has been described as “the catalyst to a whole new chapter” and “a guru who makes everything applicable to modern life” amongst many other accolades. With his mesmerising tone, it is only a matter of time before his wise AsiaSpa September/October 2017 words and grounded techniques reach the wider world.
The Vedic system is believed to have originated in India, based on the 5,000-year-old body of wisdom known as Veda – the knowledge governing the unity of the laws of nature and human consciousness from which yoga, meditation and Ayurveda derived. It gained popularity in the 1960s when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Transcendental Meditation (TM) to a decidedly hip following in the West including The Beatles and Mick Jagger. Fast forward 50 years and this mantra-based technique is finding a new lease of life in our chaotic world, offering the opportunity to settle the mind as it is led inward by the mantra.
Gorrow credits his mother for opening his mind to a greater source. “As a child I was fascinated with the realm beyond what we see, always wanting to connect to a higher source. My mother exposed me to this at a very young age through the stories she read. She realised her children were unhappy and that she was not being true to her needs as a woman. She went on her own spiritual quest and fostered this desire in my brothers and I.”
During the early years, Gorrow’s journey took place through books alone. He says, “It was quite frustrating in a way as I read about these wonderful experiences, but wasn’t having any of them myself! I contemplated finding a ‘guru’ in India, as others seemed to do, but life had other plans for me.”
Though Gorrow believed that our lives become more awakened and spiritual with each year on earth, in reality he found the opposite to be true. He says, “Working as a photographer and developing a fashion label I was burning out, feeling more disconnected with a constant noise in my head. I knew I had to do something to tame this beast and the message I kept getting was ‘Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.’”
Nineteen years ago, Gorrow found his guru Thom Knoles, aka Maharishi Vyasananda Saraswati, an American living in Sydney and one of the great Vedic masters. Seven years of intense study followed before he felt worthy enough to confidently uphold the teachings and become a guru himself. “People rush into becoming teachers now and don’t do their time as students, but we need to let nature guide us. If someone is ready to receive the grace, then they are ready to teach.”
The overriding principle of Gorrow’s teachings is to provide people with tools to transcend their minds, and get in touch with their innate beings. “When we connect with our dharma, or deeper purpose, life is frictionless and more beautiful.” The technique is effortless and takes just 20 minutes, twice a day, every day. It can be practised anywhere while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
Lack of time is always top of the list of excuses for resisting change. Gorrow says, “There are 1,440 minutes in a day so 20 minutes is nothing. If you haven’t time, then you have not learnt the value of time. Look at the productivity of the average human being who wastes much of their day in brain fog and habitual patterns! When they transcend that – more can be achieved by doing less.”
The real problem, feels Gorrow, is that people have become so mentally consumed and depleted they can’t enjoy family and the relationships they work so hard to create. He says, “Some of my clients are billionaires but money hasn’t brought them peace. Meditation takes people beyond success and worries. During the process the mind settles in a very natural, spontaneous way and this deep dive rejuvenates the entire system with myriad benefits.”
According to Gorrow, the inner adult voice is too critical and limits possibility. He says, “So much of this narrative is the voice of our parents. Mine encouraged me by holding me in an amazing space and that voice still supports me. But so many children are spoilt by stress, as parents fail to be truly present in their lives. I am trying to do the opposite with my children, almost becoming a child again with the wisdom of an adult. These kids are so pure and unconditioned. I promised to foster this purity by giving my kids a strong sense of self and encouraging a wildness and spirituality in them, just as my guru taught me.”
In India, children are taught spirituality in school, while in the West there seems to be a one-dimensional approach to life, devoid of bliss. Gorrow says, “We need to bring joy back into our lives or otherwise we will have missed the point. People are finally realising that this is not why they chose to be born. Suffering is a wonderful motivator too – that’s how I found this path. Like fruit in a tree, some people are ripe and ready to fall into your hands, while others need gentle coaxing. Everyone is different and this is part of the joy.”
Gorrow’s wisdom influences the corporate world too with programmes in conjunction with Google Australia for example, showing profound increases in creativity and productivity, while reducing stress levels amongst participating employees. With results like these, his techniques have the potential to spread digitally via online courses.
“Ayurveda teaches us to think beyond our own neediness – 10,000 years ahead – which distills in each teacher the responsibility to uphold the purity of the teaching, so future generations can enjoy the fruits, the same way they did 5,000 years ago,” says Gorrow of the tradition. He feels that the wonderful part about this reconnection is that it can happen at any age, be it 16 or 70. “The choice is yours, and the pace of change will depend on how ready you are to grow.” www.garygorrow.com