Terry is a local Meditation Coach & founder of Moon Meditation. He is also a fabulous Tarot reader and will be offering Tarot readings in front of Gaia Rising on Saturday, August 6th from 1pm-4pm! Suggested donation of $20-$30. Please enjoy our interview with the thoughtful Terry :)
Gaia: Hi Terry! Such a pleasure to be interviewing you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Terry: I’m originally from England and ethnically my background is Indian. I was raised in a Sikh household where seeking Truth, equality between all people, and serving your community was the way of life. I’m self-expressive by nature and growing up I found myself finding sanctuary in meditation as the world around me seemed too restrictive. For me it was either conform or retreat, I chose to retreat in meditation. I was introduced to meditation around 9 years old, also something I learned through my Sikh upbringing, and through meditation I discovered my love for dance, life, philosophy and curiosity for human behavior. I went on to study psychology, however after two years of study and no mention of meditation, I switched my focus to Marketing which to me seemed like a better study of human behavior, or as I understood it, ‘psychology in action’. After university I moved to Canada, started my own life coaching practice by turning marketing & management tools into personal development ones, and through coaching is how I started teaching meditation.
Gaia: In your own words, can you describe what the practice of meditation is to you?
Terry: The practice of meditation to me is to seek truth. I learned that everything we experience in mind, body and beyond is a mere creation, and the role of meditation is to enable you to observe creation and study it to seek its creator; the truth of the matter. For example, consider a problem in your life as a creation, in meditation you study it to seek the creator of it, which then enables you to understand it and create a solution.
Gaia: How did you learn about meditation? Who did you learn about meditation from?
Terry: Meditation was normal growing up, it was depicted in the artwork on the walls at home and in the temple, and I had access to the resources I needed to learn. Not everyone in my generation was into it, mostly because of the religious association to the practice, but I found a freedom in meditation like no other. My mother, who introduced me to the fundamentals of the practice, encouraged me to read and learn from all faiths and ways of life. I was taught to seek truth, to feel and experience it for myself, instead of blindly accepting what I was taught and told in the material experience of the world.
Gaia: Why do you see meditation as an essential skill to have for managing stress, anxiety and supporting us through mental health issues?
Terry: We sleep to recover from the limitations of the mind and body, we meditate to overcome the limitations of the mind and body. Meditation enables you to separate yourself from whatever experience you’re having, and creates a moment for you to change your perspective; to raise awareness. You start by conditioning the mind to not react to any state of mind, and I think these beginning practices alone can transform a person's experience of life and being. Ultimately, meditation is safer than any other mental health practice out there.
Gaia: Besides supporting us in managing our mental health, what other benefits are there in practicing meditation?
Terry: Mental health is just the beginning, meditation will help you improve focus and concentration, boost productivity, ignite creativity and will give you the confidence to live true to who you are. Beyond the benefits for life, meditation will awaken your inner-spirituality as you create room in your mind to feel and connect with the intelligence that is you and that surrounds you. Meditation can help you physically too! It teaches you to listen to your body and as you do, you will identify the changes you need to make to live healthy.
Gaia: In your book ‘Meditate-Breathe into meditation and awaken your potential’ you have a 5 step process that you recommend for beginning meditation. Without spoiling all 5, can you give us a synopsis about one of your steps you talk about in the book?
Terry: Sure, Step 3. Locking. One of the fundamental steps in Meditate is activating your meditative state, which I call locking or locking into your meditation. Locking is a subtle and gentle movement, you roll your eyes up toward the center of your mind as if to shift awareness away from life and into mind. It’s ritualistic at the beginning stages but as you develop your practice you will start to notice a shift in being, it’s quite remarkable!
Gaia: What made you decide to write a book? Why did you feel that it was important to you on your path in life?
Terry: I moved to Nelson to teach meditation full time, I had a studio in town and all was going great until COVID. When the studio closed I decided to take the time to write, I figured I came here to teach so teach I shall. I also feel it's important to immortalize this knowledge too, to leave a clue for future generations to find whenever they start seeking as it has helped me so much in my life.
Gaia: From what I understand you are also a tarot card reader. How would you say tarot and meditation compliment each other in spiritual practice?
Terry: I think tarot is a great way to express the truths felt within. Sometimes I have experiences in mind that I have no context for in life, so I reach for my tarot deck to help me form context, a narrative of sorts, to help express the experiences within. I also use Tarot with my students to help them stimulate creativity and brain activity before heading into meditation.
Gaia: What is your favourite tarot deck to work with & why?
Terry: I don’t think I ever thought about a favorite, I tend to switch up my deck every few months to challenge my mind and keep my reading skills fresh. Right now I’m using a samurai deck, the imagery is really cool and I’m watching a lot of Anime right now so they’re enjoyable to read. In the past I have found a lot of value in Celtic decks as I found them to contain a lot of hidden details that encourage you to look a little closer.
Gaia: Are there any tarot decks that you are interested in working with that you haven’t yet?
Terry: I’m hoping to explore oracle cards soon, though with Tarot I feel I just work with whatever falls in my lap. I’ve also read tarot with a regular set of playing cards too! Though I’m keeping a keen eye on a Vedic-scripture inspired deck, I think I’d do quite well with them.
Gaia: Which card in the major arcana do you find you relate to these days when you look at the big picture of your life?
Terry: The Moon. I feel like I’m experiencing some growing pains as I’m learning to integrate some internal shifts that have caused me to see life renewed.
Gaia: If you know, what are your sun, moon & ascendant zodiac signs in Western astrology and do you find that they resonate with who you are? Do you work with or believe in Vedic astrology? Same question as above regarding Vedic astrology (if applies).
Terry: Astrology is something I try not to dive into, I grew up having my palm, my forehead and my charts read by so many people that I ultimately don’t want to know any more. I am aware of my dharmic duty, and each reading I get aligns quite accurately with it. However, outside of my dharma, I want life to surprise me. I find more pleasure in being than in knowing these days, and as lovely as it is to learn of nature and my nature, I’ve consciously decided to just embrace my truth instead of trying to fulfill it.
Gaia: What other spiritual practices do you have in your life and are you open to sharing a bit about them?
Terry: A couple I am happy to share, first is Tantra. Tantra, in summary, is the fullest expression of truth. It’s often associated with sacred sexuality but that’s just one branch off of the Tantric tree. To stand up on one's tantric expression is to exist as the truest form of self unapologetically, and by doing so you enlighten every aspect of your life, everything from what you eat to who you communicate with! You’ll often see me in a Tantric expression when I dance, it’s most evident there. The second is an Islamic state of prayer called, Istikhara, you simplye pray life and learn from or seek guidance and knowledge from the thoughts, ideas and visions that conjure up. It’s a beautiful meditation.
Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies or practices that you are interested in learning more about?
Terry: I’m eager to learn more about Taoism, I think there’s a simplicity to that way of life that makes life a purer and much less complex experience.
Gaia: How would you say that you have changed over the last year?
Terry: I would say I have developed a new found confidence in myself as a teacher of meditation. Recently, I’ve had to manage a lot of new responsibilities in my life and was met with many new challenges, and delving into my meditation practice to manage it all was the thing that made me realize how developed my practice really is. It was like putting my practice to test and it made me realize even more how crucial it is to get this knowledge out there.
Gaia: Where can we find information about where to access your products & services?
Terry: Head on over to moonmeditation.io, it will connect you to all my services and resources.
Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?
Terry: Incense, a pooja bell, a deck of tarot cards and a good thought provoking book!