by Martin Miron
The nonprofit American Meditation Institute (AMI) is dedicated to serving humanity through the teaching of Yoga Science as holistic mind-body medicine—an approach to healing that uses the power of thoughts and emotions to positively influence physical health. These techniques include meditation, diaphragmatic breathing and yoga postures that aid in treating many diseases.
Founder Leonard Perlmutter, author of The Heart and Science of Yoga: Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life, founded AMI in Averill Park, in 1996. Himalayan meditation master Swami Rama had already initiated Perlmutter into the world’s oldest continuous wisdom tradition in the world in 1991. The AMI core curriculum is certified by the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association for continuing medical education credits.
AMI provides their students with practical instruction on how to control, conserve and transform the greatest natural resource—the power of thoughts, desires and emotions. A variety of courses and events are offered to those seeking happiness, health, security and a proven template for fulfilling the purpose of life.
People of all ages and from all walks of life may benefit from AMI programs, which include personal counseling, morning yoga for 50-plus, live, online courses and more. There is an annual medical education conference for physicians and other healthcare professionals, summer retreats and the signature AMI Meditation course.
Not only is AMI Meditation, the foundation course of Yoga Science, beneficial for limiting or eliminating stressors, it also enhances physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. Perlmutter states, “The more the general public and physicians incorporate the therapeutic practices of Yoga Science and AMI Meditation into their daily lives, the more symptoms of stress-related burnout and chronic complex diseases can be diminished or eliminated.”
Perlmutter’s practice adheres to ayurvedic medical principles. “Ayurveda teaches us about the unique nature of each person’s body and what it needs to function at its best,” he says. “This includes the contemplation of previous and future actions, the determination not to repeat unskillful actions and the use of prayer as an important element in helping all individuals live with greater purpose and reward.”
Perlmutter believes that the key to accomplishing everything we need to do is within us, and his passion is to teach others how to tap into their own inner wisdom and thrive in a multitasking world. “With every thought, word and deed, we’re either enhancing or diminishing our creative energy,” he explains. “Now, more than ever, people need practical, effective tools to deal with all of the demanding and complex issues going on in our world—personal, professional, political and environmental. Yoga Science provides us those tools.”
First, Perlmutter examined his own behavior and summarized his findings. “My personal practice explored many areas, such as the contemplation of who I am, as both a human and spiritual being, the systematic procedure for meditation, the effect of the breath on the mind and body, how to optimize the power of the mind and easy/gentle yoga to exercise the body,” he reports.
Perlmutter is credited with formulating a scientific formula for happiness. Recognizing that desire is the fuel for all human action, he conceived that desire equals the total amount of energy, willpower and creativity available to each human being. He explains, “Desire is simply the fuel for action. Nothing begins without a desire to do something. We’re all looking for happiness, health, security and freedom from fear, but not every desire has the capacity to fulfill what we seek.”
He elaborates, “In fact, many desires take us in the opposite direction. When we serve desires that conflict with our own inner wisdom, we eventually reduce our reserves of energy, will power and creativity—but we have another option. We can learn the art of sacrificing an unhelpful desire and transforming its inherent power into useable healing energy, will power and creativity to help us receive what we truly need.”
Perlmutter advises that when we learn to align our outer actions with our inner wisdom, we’ll experience more happiness, saying, “The practices of Yoga Science provides us a blueprint for realizing abundant reserves of energy, will power and creativity to enable us to fulfill the purpose of life without pain, misery or bondage.”
The American Meditation Institute is located on 60 Garner Rd., in Averill Park. For more information, call 518-674-8714 or visit AmericanMeditation.org.