Effortless Mind Meditation

About Ajayan

Ajayan meditating on Ganga at Gangotri in the Himalayas.
At the source of the Ganga in Gangotri, Himalayas, India

Ajayan has been exploring and teaching meditation practices since 1970. In the early 70’s, he spent several years studying in residence under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation Program®. For the next ten years, Ajayan taught the TM Program®. Since then he has traveled the globe on an impassioned exploration of consciousness and developing human potential through the most effective meditation and yogic practices sourced in India’s Himalayas. 

From 1994 to 1998 Ajayan studied with India’s most widely revered living woman saint, Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi, the “hugging saint”), living at her main ashram in Kerala, India, and serving as the meditation teacher there. While in India, Ajayan also spent time with holy men and yogis in the Himalayas of Uttaranchal—a haven for saints throughout the ages—and researched the spiritual practices indigenous to that area. In addition, he studied under the Tantric teacher, Swami Anandakapila.

Having made a study of meditation his life, and having instructed and guided thousands in meditation in North America, Australia, Europe, and India, Ajayan has gained a reputation as a consummate meditation teacher. In 2007 he founded Effortless Mind® meditation, an integrated program of meditation instruction for all levels, from beginner through expert, accessible to anyone.

Ajayan is author of Whispers of the Himalayas (Purna Press, 2017), Effortless Mind: Meditate with Ease (New World Library, 2013), The Way of Marriage: A Journal of Spiritual Growth through Conflict, Love, and Sex (Purna Press, 1991; HarperCollins, 1993), The Sacred Fire: Love as a Spiritual Path (HarperCollins, 1994), and numerous articles on meditation and relationships as a spiritual path. In 2010, Ajayan launched Mind Matters Radio on the Healthy You Radio Network, which ran until 2018.

Ajayan's Teachers

What would I know of meditation and all the associated practices without my teachers? Nothing! I’m deeply grateful for all of my teachers. Here are the most important.

Amma, Ammachi, or Mata Amritanandamayi is more than a teacher to me. She is an amazing example of divine love. I first met Amma in 1988. For a few years, when she came to Seattle on her world tours, she and her entourage stayed in my family’s home. In 1994, my family and I moved to her ashram in Kerala, India, where we lived through 1998. Amma well knew my love for meditation and for bringing meditation to others; during those 4 years, she generously assigned me the position of ashram meditation teacher. How can I express my gratitude for that gift and the many spiritual gifts she has given me? Her grace and guidance permeates my being. She embodies the love we all are in essence and stands as a guiding example. She always resides in my heart. My adult daughters still live with her in India, and I visit her often.

I was fortunate to have Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for my first teacher. Maharishi was a meditation master par excellence. Pictured here is also his guru, Swami Bramananda Saraswati (on the left), a Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math. I have felt a profound relationship with him as well; he has invisibly guided me over the years, on the subtle. I studied with Maharishi from 1970 until the mid 1980s. During that time, I lived with him in Spain and Switzerland for a number of years, was trained to teach Transcendental Meditation, attended many advanced courses, and worked with him on his International Staff. A magical time in my life.

Swami Dineshananda was a delightful soul and an inspiration to me. While living in India (and many times since) I often went to Gangotri (the source of the Ganga) in the Himalayas to meditate in silence in a cave. Here, in 1996, I first met Dinesha. Thereafter, whenever I would go to the Himalayas, I spent time with him. Usually I was in silence, but his brief talks and powerful presence helped to guide and steady me in the midst of intensive solitary spiritual practice. See the story of my meeting with Dinesha in Whispers of the Himalaya.

I met Bhim yogi in Gangotri as well in the 1990’s. He is a widely acknowledged expert in pranayama. We spent a good deal of time together and he generously shared some wonderful secrets of the spiritual science of pranayama.

One day, as I walked along the river in Gangotri, I met a humble sadhu, Jagirdar. He lived in a cave upstream from my own and was expert in the subtler aspects of the science of Yoga. He taught me various techniques of pranayama, bandhas, mudras, and so on.

Gangotri is a haven for sadhus. One of my favorites is Swami Sunderananda, not only a great yogi, but no doubt the foremost photographer of that region of the Himalayas. His delightful presence, rich with divine love and knowledge, and our conversations on spiritual topics have inspired me.

I am grateful to Swami Anandakapila Saraswati (on the right) for his instruction in traditional Tantric techniques of meditation and all things related to Tantra. His teachings have served as a catalyst to take my personal experience to the next level, and the love he embodies has made him a dear friend. He came into my life more recently, but he is far from the bottom of this list in terms of the impact of his teachings. His first guru is on the left, Dr Swami Gitananda Giri.

My beloved Shakti, Dr. Keesha Ewers, a wonderful expression of the divine feminine. She helped open my mind and heart to the wholeness of life as divine. Isn’t that what meditation is for?

The Self. Every experience and every teacher is a reflection of my higher Self. This is true for everyone. You will resonate with a teacher who resonates with the highest within you. Thus you will go through life, experiencing teacher after teacher (who could be a child, a job, a spouse, as well as a spiritual teacher) that opens you to more of your Self–even if you don’t recognize what is happening, or even if you resist learning. At some point, though, you realize that all along the teacher has been your Self, which is the Source of all.