Meditation instructor

Melanie Pandit is helping to transform others’ lives in positive ways

By Barbara Pierce


“It’s transformed my life,” said Melanie Pandit about Sahaja Meditation.

Pandit, of Cherry Valley, is a meditation instructor at Sahaja Meditation Upstate New York.

“Once I saw the impact that meditation had on my life, I wanted to offer it to friends,” she said regarding the passion she feels for Sahaja Meditation. It’s clear she loves this career she has chosen.

Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation — all share the goal of achieving inner peace.

What is Sahaja Meditation?

Perhaps the best thing to ever happen to you, say those who practice it. Pandit definitely agrees.

Sahaja Meditation, while sharing many of the fundamentals of traditional meditation techniques, is unique because of how quickly it can help you achieve self-awareness.

Instead of training your mind to focus on an object, practicing breathing, or twisting yourself into postures, Sahaja Meditation allows you the chance to do nothing, she explained. No memorization of mantras, or affirmations — Nothing. No thoughts. You get to a place where there is absence of thoughts.

“It’s hard to truly put the Sahaja experience into words,” clarifies one expert online. “Compare it to someone trying to explain to you the pleasures and thrills of deep sea exploration. Trying to understand it through an explanation can be very limited and inadequate. One has to take the plunge to experience it.”

“It’s like nothing else you’ve tried before; it’s incredibly simple,” said Pandit. “Anyone can do it.”

So convinced is she of the benefits of Sahaja Mediation and so enthusiastic about sharing those benefits that she offers it for free.

For 25 years, Pandit has offered her special gift to those in the Mohawk Valley at no charge.

“I love the fact that I do it for free,” she said. “I get payment by the benefit of watching people transform their lives. It’s most satisfying.”

She explained that the philosophy of the founder of Sahaja Meditation — Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi of India — is that life-changing tools, or energy, are within each of us. Tapping into your inner energy is the key to improving your life in every way; you will feel calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed.

We tap into this inner energy through meditation.

Since we all have this ability within us, we can create it ourselves. Why should people pay to learn it?

“How can it get better if you pay?” the founder asked. “There are no hidden costs; no surprises.”

“Wellness is a big, for-profit industry,” Pandit said. “The thinking is: ‘If you pay, you get better.’ The idea is money creates wellness. We’re trying to ‘un-teach’ that idea.”

Though she supports herself by educating school children in museums in Coopertown, Pandit’s real passion is to teach Sahaja Meditation.

This winter, she has been offering a class in Cherry Valley at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Old School Fitness Space.

The class will continue through mid-March. Those interested may join the class on any Wednesday. People with any level of experience are welcome, from those with no experience to very experienced.

This class, which began in January, has been well received by the community. She also offers it online.

Relatively easy

She said it is easy to learn and people who have never tried Sahaja Meditation will find it easier to achieve than other types of meditation.

“I’ve had lots of experience with people who come to my class and tell me they’ve tried meditation, and it’s too hard, or they didn’t feel any benefit. These people were able to benefit from Sahaja Meditation,”

Pandit became interested in Sahaja Meditation as a teenager, when her mother, searching for an answer on how to make her life more peaceful and balanced, found the answer in Sahaja Meditation and the family learned it together.

“By the end of high school, I was fully committed to the benefits; I could see the impact on my life,” said Pandit. “I could see how I gained self confidence, satisfaction, calm. When I faltered in practicing it, all these things faltered — my self confidence, my sense of self.”

“Once I found how well it worked for me, I wanted to offer it to friends. By the end of high school, I was teaching it to my friends.” Soon after, she trained to be an instructor.

She is pleased that science is finally catching up to show the many ways meditation benefits us — mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits have been clearly validated in recent years.

“What people learn in class has a ripple effect,” she said. “Not only does it keep us sane, in balance, and peaceful, it has an effect on our family and those we are close to. By giving us all the tools we need, not only are we transformed, but also our families and our communities. Transformation has incredible impact on the world around us.”

Others testify to the benefits: “Sahaja Meditation is the best thing that ever happened in my life,” said GW of Buffalo, on Pandit’s website.

“What you have brought to the community and taught me has been of such value to my life,” said GE of Johnstown. “

“Wellness is a very satisfying career! It’s wonderful!” added Pandit.

For more information about Sahaja Meditation, or for online classes, see or call 518-428-4692.