How and why did you arrive from Paris to New York?
From a young age, I insisted that “I am not French”, as my true home lay in America. Despite being labeled as crazy by others, I deeply felt like an outsider in France. Growing up in a chaotic and abusive household, I quickly understood the importance of inner peace. I learned that without a calm mind, life becomes a storm of turmoil, aggression, and utter confusion.
What inspired you to develop this new way of meditation? Did you draw from any existing meditation techniques or philosophies?
In a world where people’s attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish, lasting less than 7 seconds, it becomes challenging to ask stressed individuals to focus on their breath or engage in wellness exercises. Our rapidly changing world demands a new approach to wellness. I have incorporated ancient wisdom practices, such as those from Hesychasm (contemplative Orthodox Christianity), tailored for our modern era when concentration and focus seem hard to grasp and vitality is limited.
Could you describe the basic principles or techniques involved in your method? How does it differ from traditional forms of meditation?
Typically, we associate meditation with serene environments, appreciating their beauty and seeking respite from our hectic lives. However, upon returning to our stress-filled routines, we find ourselves becoming stressed once again. Why does this happen? It occurs because we have trained our brains to be calm only in tranquil settings and to experience stress in demanding situations. Our approach is aimed at reversing this mental habit, altering the neurochemical response. In our program, we learn to calm our minds amidst the chaos of our everyday lives. There are no exercises or strenuous efforts involved. I, as a singer and a Medicine Voice, guide individuals for a few minutes, and they immediately experience a sense of tranquility. This is not merely a belief; it is a tangible sensation because every cell in our bodies is intricately connected to our brains and emotional system.
In what ways does your meditation technique help calm the mind in stressful situations? Can you provide some specific examples or scenarios where it has been effective?
In my book “Meditation for Daily Stress: 10 Practices for Immediate Wellbeing,” I introduce an effortless approach that can be practiced anywhere, even in just one minute. By simply closing your eyes and following along with the guided visualization, such as the “Meditate like a Mountain” technique inspired by the ancient Hesychasm tradition in Orthodox Christianity, you can experience a sense of groundedness and tranquility.
The power of this practice lies in the soothing quality of the voice and the potency of the mental imagery. In just one minute, we can harmonize the energy of a stressed individual, allowing them to feel a calming sensation flowing through their body. This sensation is attributed to the release of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone, which reaches every cell and helps reshape the individual’s emotional addiction from stress to tranquility. It’s a transformative process that cultivates an addiction to inner peace.
What sets my approach apart is that it is designed to be practiced in the midst of stressful situations, whether it’s at work, during conflicts, in traffic, or even in bustling places like Times Square. I offer retreats in Times Square precisely because when we experience deep calmness in such a chaotic environment, it awakens us to the realization that “Yes, we can!” It shows us that it’s possible to find serenity even in the midst of stress, reshaping our perception and cognitive processes related to these busy settings.
Have you personally experienced positive results from practicing this new meditation method? If so, could you share your own journey and any transformations you have noticed?
Coming from a background of violence and abuse within my own family, I became the first student of my unique meditation approach. It is this personal experience of stress, fear, and intense anxiety that serves as the foundation for my teachings. I firmly believe that we cannot truly help someone who is stressed unless we have personally experienced and overcome those same challenges ourselves. It’s one thing to talk about wellness, but it’s an entirely different matter when you have lived in a violent family or worked in a high-pressure corporate environment where the constant fear of immediate termination hangs over you.
It was through my own journey of transcending these difficult circumstances that I developed this new approach to meditation. I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of these practices in my own life, and it is this deep understanding that allows me to guide others in finding peace and healing. Trust me when I say that this is more than just offering tips or advice—it is about sharing a profound method born out of personal experience and aimed at transcending the challenges of life.
Is this new way of meditation suitable for everyone? Are there any limitations or considerations people should be aware of before trying it?
I embarked on my teaching journey in America, focusing specifically on parolees and lifers in Los Angeles. After a decade of dedicated work, we achieved an extraordinary outcome: zero suicides and 100% positive feedback. However, my reach extends far beyond the prison system. I also provide meditation instruction to a diverse range of individuals, including Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, first responders, police officers, yoga teachers, therapists, CEOs, executives, as well as autistic children and survivors of Auschwitz. My goal is to bring the transformative benefits of meditation to people from all walks of life, offering them solace, growth, and healing in their unique circumstances.
Tell me more about what we can expect from your concert at Carnegie Hall on June 6th, 2023.
Since 2016, I’ve graced Carnegie Hall’s stage with captivating and transformative concerts. This year promises to be extraordinary. Get ready for an unforgettable experience of music, meditation, and everything in between!
Prepare to be moved as we welcome a lineup of musical legends who will create a truly magical night. From Myron McKinley, the masterful music director of Earth Wind and Fire, to Ro Rowan, the enchanting cellist known for their remarkable performances in Avatar: The Way of Water, each artist will leave you in awe.
Join us on a breathtaking musical journey led by Ayna Ivanova, Audrey Howarth, and Tracey Dixon on strings, directed by the extraordinary Esteban Calderón. Feel the magic of Paul Pesco’s virtuoso guitar playing and Ian Martin’s pulsating bass beats. Let Stacey Lamont Sydnor, the drummer of the Jackson 5, ignite the rhythm. The heavenly voices of TèaLicon and Summer Rona, accompanied by the Carpenters United Choir, will take you to celestial heights. And for moments of transcendent tranquility, the ethereal chanting of Lama Tashi will transport you to a realm of serenity.
All of this magnificence will be presented by Yogini Jaima, who will guide you through an evening of musical wonder, inner peace, and spiritual connection that you will never forget.
Explore the Concert and Unlock Your Chance to Join Us at Carnegie Hall