The Story Behind Streamline Meditation
Malcolm Fletcher is the founder of Streamline Meditation. His incredible path of self-discovery has brought to light meditation in its most natural and original form – one that is both highly efficient and effective through Streamline Meditation.
Malcolm’s journey also highlights the guidance and influential people that assisted him to illuminate Streamline Meditation.
In 1972, at the age of 18, Malcolm was initiated into Transcendental Meditation (TM) in Sydney. From the very beginning his early experiences in meditation had a profound effect on his life and he was soon motivated to travel to Switzerland to meet the head of the TM movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
After arriving in Switzerland Malcolm started working at the Headquarters of the Transcendentall Meditation movement in Seelisberg, where he also attended daily talks by Maharishi. He also prepared himself to join a full-time teacher training program in Ostende, Belgium the following year,
After completing that 3 month Teacher training intensive he graduated as a fully qualified initiator of Transcendental Meditation.
The beginning of Streamline Meditation
On Malcolm’s travel back to Australia he stopped over in India and trekked high into the Himalayan Mountains. There he met a Yogic Saint that Maharishi had spoken of called Tat Wale Baba. He lived in a secluded cave high above the holy city of Rishikesh and it was here that Malcolm had his first experience of what he would later go on to call Streamline Meditation. Upon returning to Australia, he started to teach TM full time.
In 1975, Malcolm returned to Switzerland for an advanced meditation retreat for teachers in Weggis on Lake Lucerne. He would also be given an advanced technique by Maharishi before returning to Australia. Malcolm continued to teach meditation and acquire more wisdom over the next few years.
A Chance meeting with Swami Muktananda
In August 1978 he was invited to attend a talk in Fitzroy, Melbourne, by Swami Muktananda. Muktananda was the leader of the Siddha Yoga movement and although Malcolm knew very little of him or his teachings, he went along and received a profound experience of Shaktipat directly from Muktananda – a non-verbal transmission of Kundalini energy that can occur in the presence of a meditation master. This powerful experience continued throughout the night.
A turning point
In 1979, Malcolm went on to graduate from the TM-Siddhi program that teaches an assortment of advanced techniques, althought he was starting to lose confidence in the TM technique and its ability to provide real transformation within the individual.
Meditation is experienced when the mind transcends the most refined level of the relative and enters a wordless state beyond all thought. To Malcolm, the idea of arriving at this wordless point by repeating a mantra (as taught by TM) was looking more and more like a contradiction and felt self-defeating. Furthermore, the instructions to always return to the repetition of a mantra if it slips away seemed to establish a strong habit that would always shackle the mind to the thinking process. This creates a barrier that makes it more difficult for the mind to be able to transcend thought and enter the formlessness of pure consciousness.
A new era of self-discovery was arising where Malcolm felt the need to explore and experience meditation more deeply without looking through the same TM lenses he had always used.
Malcolm is grateful to Maharishi for the wisdom he gained from him as he was an amazing man with an equally amazing destiny. Malcolm also holds the highest regard for Maharishi’s spiritual master, his Divinity, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati.
Guru Dev, as he was affectionately known, radiated the highest level of enlightenment and was asked to accept the sacred seat of the Shankaracharya of Jyoti Math. He served in that role for twelve years until he passed away in the year Malcolm was born. Although Malcolm never knew Guru Dev during his lifetime, he began to become aware of his continuing living presence and inner guidance after leaving the TM movement.
On one of Malcolm’s many trips to India he came across a small book written by Prem C Pasricha about the life of Guru Dev titled, ‘The Whole Thing, The Real Thing’. In that book, Guru Dev was asked if meditation techniques are useful when seeking illumination. He was quoted as saying that “all techniques are intended to destroy ignorance but they do not reveal the innermost self. The self is light. The self is the witness.” It was obvious that Guru Dev believed that real meditation was not the practice of a technique. It was simply a direct experience of the inner self. Guru Dev went on to elaborate that “they (the techniques) do not illuminate Brahman. Brahman itself is illumination. No other light is required to illuminate it.” Malcolm considers Guru Devs insight as a major source of inspiration in his quest to discover Streamline Meditation.
Leaving the TM movement, Malcolm began his journey to find the answers to the naturally occurring meditation that he had first experienced many years ago in the Himalayan cave with Tat Wale Baba.
A search for the true meditative state
After 10 years Malcolm abandoned the TM technique and the Siddhi Sutras and his daily meditations simply became a direct observation of his own inner space. Through the early years, Malcolm continued to meditate in this way and observed that his mental processes would gradually subside to the point where the meditation state would take over. In the beginning, Malcolm believed that the meditative state would only appear as thought slowed down, as if the meditative state was suppressed or controlled by thought. Over time, he saw clearly that the meditative state is always permanently present and available within us all. The Meditative state did not depend on thought and certainly was not suppressed by thought. It is always present and eternally accessible to us all. With this new understanding, Malcolm recognised that real meditation is a naturally occurring state.
Malcolm began looking for writings that would support his emerging insights and read many books on meditation during this period. There, he discovered the writings of one revolutionary thinker: Jiddha Krishnamurti.
Krishnamurti’s original ideas expounded a philosophy of Passive Awareness and he declared that “truth was a pathless land and our only recourse to that truth was to be passively aware.” Malcolm enjoyed Krishnamurti’s insights and found some common ground in his philosophy with his own experiences; however, Malcolm believed that the state of meditation could be easily located by everyone through proper guidance without formal tecniques.
Malcolm still holds Krishnamurti in high regard as a pure soul in the field of meditation and his philosophy of passive awareness has blended well with Malcolm’s TM background.
While in India in 1992, Malcolm read a book titled “The Nameless Experience,” It was written by Rohit Mehta who was a highly successful author of many meditation books based on the writings of Krishnamurti. Malcolm felt very inspired to contact Rohit and they finally arranged to meet at his cottage which was on the grounds of the Theosophical Society in Varanasi.
Rohit’s interest in Krishnamurti’s teachings began many years ago while he was imprisoned for supporting the Resistance movement. Krishnamurti visited Rohit in prison and discussed his philosophy with him and gave Rohit some advice that applied to his current circumstances. Just before leaving, Krishnamurti placed his hand on Rohit’s back and healed him of a long-standing complaint. Rohit was to become a lifelong devotee of Krishnamurti.
When Malcolm and Rohit met they discussed many aspects of meditation. They shared their views and Rohit was very interested in Malcolm’s approach to naturally occurring meditation and helped Malcolm realise that Streamline Meditation was not a technique to a state of meditation. It was the state of meditation itself.
Streamline Meditation: the pure state of meditation
Malcolm is grateful to all the remarkable people that have influenced the rediscovery of Streamline Meditation. In Malcolm’s own words: “I have been honoured to meet them and receive their guidance.”
Malcolm is also grateful for his best friend, soul mate and wife of more than thirty years, Tracey. She has been Malcolm’s constant companion and sounding board in refining the understanding of Streamline Meditation. Her own experiences have been inspirational and Tracey has assisted Malcolm in bringing great clarity to this teaching.
Malcolm believes that the supreme understanding of Streamline Meditation belongs to all meditators. It is the ultimate crossroads that all meditators will reach sooner or later. A beautiful point where all the meditation techniques just fall away and only the pure state of meditation remains.
He invites us to all share in this direct experience of inner stillness and to discover something truly remarkable.
This post appeared originally on Troy Drake’s LinkedIn. Troy Drake is the meditation facilitator and business mentor at Streamline Meditation.