IAM Meditation

The Pandemic—Creating New Opportunities for IAM® Meditation

Since 2003, Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) has been taught around the world to hundreds of thousands of people. In India alone, over two million have learned IAM, including approximately 1.5 million paramilitary personnel. In North America, over 75 thousand people have been taught IAM in its various forms—which includes the original version called IAM-35 (a 35-minute practice), Youth IAM versions for pre-teens and teenagers, and the shorter secular version, known as IAM-20.

Prior to the Covid pandemic, all IAM meditation classes were held in person. During Amma’s annual tours to the US and Canada, classes were offered in locations such as hotels and centers at Amma’s programs. Throughout the rest of the year, classes were held in a variety of locations, including instructors’ homes, yoga studios, university meeting rooms, veteran centers, and even in jails and youth detention centers.

Once Covid entered the scene, all classes came to a complete halt. For a short time, IAM instruction was at a standstill. IAM was always taught the traditional way knowledge was shared with others—in person and in a conducive setting—but all that changed in an instant.

It was March of 2020, and we were faced with the possibility of IAM instruction being put on hold for an indefinite period. There were still many people who had expressed interest in learning that were waiting for instruction, but what could we do?

In April, only one month later, Amma gave the approval to teach IAM online. We utilized online applications, like Zoom, that were well established and offered a personal connection in a virtual setting. In a short time, we developed methods for ensuring that IAM could be taught effectively online. What’s more, classes that would have been inaccessible to many people, especially those from different locations around the world, now became accessible.

Instructors and participants alike could feel the closeness, energy, and grace, permeating these online sessions. Students reported feeling Amma’s presence and a feeling of connectedness with the other students and instructors. It was almost like being there in person.

It has now been over two years that IAM is being taught online. Over 3000 people participated in classes based in North America, many of whom attended from countries around the world—England, India, Columbia, Dubai, China, Singapore, and Australia, to name a few. Instructors collaborated with each other in ways never available to them before. Follow up “refresher” classes have been scheduled more frequently, and regular guided meditation is seamlessly offered to those who would like more support and to meditate in a group.

The online approach has been so successful that instructors say that they will always see the need for virtual classes, even when they resume in person. How this will unfold over time is hard to predict, but thanks to the pandemic, we know that IAM instruction can and will succeed irrespective of the circumstances.

What might have been a roadblock instead became a catalyst to expanding our approach to teaching. As the saying goes, one door closed (due to the pandemic), but another bigger one opened for teaching IAM—presenting opportunities never imagined!

CLICK HERE for information about ongoing IAM Meditation Courses, Refresher Classes, and Guided Meditation Sessions.