If you’ve ever gone to a group meditation class, you may notice that most people are quiet, settling into their own minds, bodies, and spirits in preparation for intention-setting, visualization, and other mindfulness exercises that a teacher may work into his or her practice. But one meditation guru is flipping the script on what it all means. Longtime teacher (and wellness it-girl) Biet Simkin is not the type of spiritual teacher to just serenely issue neat platitudes. She takes a decidedly more blunt approach.
“Generally at my events, the audience spends half the time laughing pretty intensely,” says Simkin. “It’s just that I curse a lot and I don’t fuck around when it comes to my meditation because it’s not all flowers and we aren’t all so relaxed in real life—I speak to the bullshit of that and keep it real.”
And now, the spiritual rockstar is expanding beyond her trademark practice, called the Center of the Cyclone, with a new mind-body approach she’ll debut in Los Angeles on November 7.
Center of the Cyclone is a meditation system that “bridges the worlds of fashion, meditation, music, and art,” Simkin explains, and the new workshop—dubbed “Who Are You?”—is all about identifying and dismantling what she calls your “false personality.” And to do that, Simkin focuses on every aspect of the group experience. Expect to be “surrounded by curated art, scored by music from my own record, The Lunar, and with a fashion-forward feel,” she says.
Not only does her group meditation begin with about 30 minutes of mingling, but Simkin finds that during the practice itself, the class can get pretty boisterous, as she does, too.
The idea is that this more creative (and, let’s be honest, fun) approach may inspire an increased self-awareness. As Simkins sees it, “People are asleep to who they really are right now,” she says. “Painters are working in PR, people who have brilliant marketing minds are trapped in tech—we’re all mixed up.”
Interestingly, though, for Simkin, self-awareness is not about looking inside yourself at what you know to be true first, but rather, eliminating what you know to not be true about yourself first. This is what Simkin’s system calls your “false personality.” Once that’s identified, you can find your “true essence” and build from there, increasingly strengthening your connection to spirituality. “My students go from being worried, confused, and lacking results to being clear and joyous,” she says. “These are all results from placing equal care to inner-world work as you do to outer-world work.”
“People are asleep to who they really are right now. Painters are working in PR, people who have brilliant marketing minds are trapped in tech—we’re all mixed up.”
And that’s why Simkin does what she does—to continue to see meditation as an inherent part of, rather than a trend in, the wellness world. “We’re already seeing people starting to wake up and have a need to access their true desires and their real beliefs,” she says. “Humans are more than intellectual machines that go around through life automatically reacting to life and meditation. And specifically the work that I guide is an opportunity to meet your real self and reach a real state of bliss.”
Bliss with a side of laughs, fashion lewks, cool tunes, and a bit of a sailor’s mouth? That’s the kind of modern meditative experience ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to sit in silence—which is totally cool, too.
Who Are You? A Guided by Biet Experience, 7-10 p.m., Friday, November 7, Parachute Hotel, 538 Rose Ave., Venice, CA. $149. RSVP here.