- International Meditation Institute
- (est. 1970s)The International Meditation Institute in Kulu, Himachal Pradesh, India, was founded by Swami Shyam (b. 1924), an Indian teacher who taught meditation in Canada in the early 1970s. There he developed a following of enthusiastic devotees who returned with him to India. They bestowed upon him the unofficial title of SWAMI, although he is a householder, with a wife and five children.When Shyam was a young man, he expe-rienced an altered spiritual state that left him forever a changed person. That space of pure consciousness, which he named Shyam Space, was described as pure existence and pristine consciousness where one drops the mortal self, becomes detached from the mundane world, and identifies with the pure Self. This perspective is usually expressed of terms of ADVAITA (non-dual) Vedanta, a form of Hindu thought that forms the infrastructure of various yoga techniques for enlightenment.Today, disciples of the institute live in inde-pendent group houses near the MEDITATION center, which they visit for meditation and teaching. Swami Shyam’s teachings have been taken to other areas of the world. Centers now exist in Taiwan, the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Israel, and Japan. The North American headquarters is in Montreal.Further reading: Anne Cushman and Jerry Jones, From Here to Nirvana: The Yoga Journal Guide to Spiritual India (New York: Riverhead Books, 1998).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.