Vedic Counseling: the Yogic Counseling System
As of this month, Alba will be offering this service as part of ACEBE being now also officially certified as a Vedic Counselor after a long period of training, intense self-study, a ton of reading and writing and, of course, quite a bit of (self-)practice.
Still, for the majority of you, the words ‘Vedic Counseling’ will say near to nothing. And that’s ok. There’s not a lot of information on Vedic Counseling out there, nor many certified Vedic Counselors either. This is not your usual high-level executive, digital-nomad type of coaching, nor something entirely similar to a professional psychotherapy session... So, we thought we’d post an entry on the blog on this most antique science and methodology to let you know enough about this modality of one-on-one work to stir your curiosity.
Understanding the Self through the Science of Vedanta
You can think of it as the coaching of the good ‘ol yogis, in a way. Unlike other modalities of counseling or coaching that rely mainly on techniques of (self-)analysis grounded in intellectual forms of understanding, Vedic Counseling takes as its point of departure two main notions: the science of Vedanta and the existence of complete intuitive understanding.
The core teachings of the Vedas are the heart of Vedanta, that philosophy serving as the basis of all the other Vedic-infused disciplines such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotir... Passed from teacher to student, the secret teachings of the Vedas were mainly delivered to dedicated students of Yoga through inner listening through the spiritual heart –a communication modality attainable only through deep contemplation in deep states of meditation.
Needless to say, for the majority of us, it takes an incredible amount of effort and commitment to build up our practice enough to be able to sustain such an intense level of concentration over time. So Vedic Counseling does the trick for us. It lends us a hand in the form of a skilled Vedic Counselor and 'guide' familiar with the Vedic art of investigation, able to help us realize for ourselves the type of steps we need to take to overcome whatever obstacles or issues we’re facing at any one point through direct awareness and self-inquiry (or Jnana-Vichara). And so, what we seek to promote as Vedic Counselors, then, is a new way of thinking and learning about the 'Self' in harmony with the movement of awareness within (and without) ourselves.
Relying mainly on intuitive knowledge –that type of knowledge existing before words and concepts are even a thing and comprehending the totality of a situation– Vedic Counseling helps us determine our individual nature (or Dharma) and our patterns of action (or Kama), thus paving the ground for sincere self-knowledge through self-understanding. So, put in easier sounding words: Vedic Counseling helps us deal with psychological and spiritual issues one perceptive insight at a time.
Developing our inner listening skills
Generally speaking, our minds have a certain way of going about learning, an in-built habit or 'programming' full of things like desires, needs, requirements, agendas –information we have mainly gathered through the five senses. Vedic Counseling helps us see how this is always at best a partial way of knowing so we can go beyond the outer mind (or Manas) and its concern with external aspects and external forms of knowledge, and dare look within.
What we actually do in this type of session, then, is sit together and discuss openly the nature of the ailments of our heart. Now, that can take quite some time, because we aren’t always all that aware about our heart’s true nature –that's what we mean by 'daring to look within.' So, that’s part of the work indeed. Learning to listen to what’s truly always already inside of us, underneath all those layers of acquired or imposed social convention, is an exercise that's literally 'not for the faint of heart.' But one that's definitely worth the effort.
Listening to our own truth is a most powerful experience, the first in a series of 'steps' taking us through a process of self-remembrance and self-healing that all of us need to embark on at one point if we want to realize the true nature of reality –and the true purpose of life even. So let’s just say that there is a lot to be gained from learning to pay closer attention to the ways in which we often unconsciously choose to quarrel and resist our own reality and nature. Vedic Counseling is of many other ways of learning to do just that.
By progressively developing a real connection and relationship with the truth inside our hearts, then, we slowly unravel and let go off all types of discomforts, coping mechanisms, negative patterns, and distractions. In the process, we become more aware of our true temperament and capacities, and in acknowledging that, much more balanced, healthy, and whole.
So there you go! This is Vedic Counseling in a nutshell. If you’re curious to learn more about it and give it a go, let us know!