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, the understanding of meditation has now gone full circle – back to its purest state, as it was at conception. Malcolm’s journey also highlights the guidance and influential people that assisted him to illuminate Streamline Meditation.
Early stages of meditation
Malcolm was born in 1953 in country Victoria. He was drawn to learn meditation from an early age after reading an article on the founder of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
At the age of thirteen, Malcolm skipped school and jumped on a train going to Melbourne with the sole intention of learning Transcendental Meditation (TM). After arriving at Athena Sikand’s house (the only TM Teacher in Australia at the time), Malcolm was disappointed to find out he would need his parents’ permission to undertake the TM course. Malcolm headed home with a goal set firmly in mind to learn TM when he turned eighteen.
Journey with Transcendental Meditation
At eighteen years of age, on the 19th of February, 1972, Malcolm was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. He was taught in Sydney by Kathy Hill who had become the National Leader of the TM movement in Australia. His experiences in TM soon motivated him to travel to Switzerland to meet the founder of TM, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Malcolm worked on staff at the Headquarters of the International Meditation Society in Seelisberg, Switzerland, from June 1973 to December 1973, where he would attend daily talks by Maharishi. He then moved onto the full-time teacher training program in Ostende, Belgium, and graduated as a fully qualified initiator of Transcendental Meditation on 29 March 1974.
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, who lived in a secluded cave high above the holy city of Rishikesh. This is where Malcolm had his first experience of what he would later go on to call Streamline Meditation. Returning to Australia, he continued to teach TM full time, conducting courses in Brisbane, Sydney and country NSW.
In 1975, Malcolm returned to Switzerland for a meditation retreat for advanced teachers in Weggis on Lake Lucerne, where he would also be given an advanced technique by Maharishi. After returning to Australia, Malcolm continued to teach meditation and acquire more wisdom over the next few years.
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 advanced techniques, the most notable being the ‘power to levitate’. It was from that point on that he started to lose interest in the formal TM techniques and their 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 will always be grateful to Maharishi for the wisdom he gained during his time with 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 Dev 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
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 its enormous potential.
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, their approaches to the meditation state were quite different. 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 written by a highly successful author of many meditation books named Rohit Mehta. The book was called, ‘The Nameless Experience’. It was a commentary on the writings of Krishnamurti and it inspired Malcolm to contact Rohit Mehta – they 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 insight as to how it could be applied to his current circumstance. 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.
Malcolm and Rohit discussed many aspects of meditation over that day. Rohit was very insightful. They shared their views and insights and Rohit was quite interested in Malcolm’s approach to naturally occurring meditation. Meeting Rohit at that time helped Malcolm bring things into perspective and helped him realise the tremendous importance of Streamline Meditation.
All the people that have been mentioned thus far have been a major influence on Malcolm’s incredible path of self-discovery and the illumination 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 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.
Streamline Meditation: the pure state of meditation
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. That beautiful point where all the meditation techniques 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.