This week Vancouver Real sat down with Chelsea McCooey, the director of the recently opened Transcendental Meditation center in Vancouver, Canada. Chelsea opens up about her journey to becoming a TM teacher.
Becoming a TM teacher
Chelsea McCooey says: “I was lucky to be born into a meditating family. Both of my parents were practitioners of the TM technique, so from a very young age I learned to meditate too. But being a young rebellious girl that I was, I never really started practicing it regularly until I was about 25 or so.
“I went to India to follow in the footsteps of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the technique. That was absolutely fantastic, I was doing group meditation with 40 people every day. When you’re in a group, it’s more profound and has a stronger coherence. That really deepened my practice.
“I came back [to Canada], went on a retreat a year later. It was then that I realized: ‘I want to become a meditation teacher!’ I went to Fairfield, Iowa with my friend Lucie Guest who’s now also a certified teacher of TM — besides being an actress in Toronto. So we had this incredible experience for 6 months in residence in Fairfield. We came back bright and shiny [in spring 2012], and I’ve been teaching Transcendental Meditation ever since.”
Vancouver TM Center
Chelse McCooey: “In Vancouver alone, there are about 20,000 people who are actively doing TM. Now that people like Jerry Seinfeld and Katy Perry are talking about the practice — we are actually getting a huge influx of people who learned years ago and now come back for refreshers.
“We have ‘Bliss Days’ at the center when you can come and do some yoga and breathing to go along with your meditation. So that’s available for the people who have already learned TM.
“But we also have Ayurveda experts come in every now and then to take pulse readings and give recommendations. And there are also guest speakers and experts on Sanskrit recitation and ancient Vedic texts.
“The new center itself is amazing. We opened it this February. As soon as you walk in, there’s this big glass door, and right behind it is a photo of Maharishi in Parksville. And then there’s the Tree of Knowledge [the logo of International TM Organization]. Because as Maharishi said: If we don’t water the root of our existence, we cannot enjoy its fruit.
“So that’s why we go within, settle, meditate. To then go out and enjoy life even more.”
Find out more about Transcendental Meditation