The telltale ting of the sitar provides the soundtrack to my first meditation class. A wooden flute weaves its way through the track and already I feel like my preconceived notions about meditating are being met. The sounds are coming from a stereo in a simple meeting room at the North York Public Library. I make my way to the back to avoid standing out in a crowd of about 20 presumed masters that seem far more attuned.
Despite my cavalier best efforts to camouflage myself, I am quickly discovered. Someone hands me an informative diagram for beginners on how to raise the Kundalini (a dormant, corporeal energy at the base of the spine viewed as a motherly spirit) and a biography on the founder of Sahaja Yoga meditation. A gentle-looking Russian man stands at the helm of the room, anxious to begin. He introduces himself as Vassili Grigorev, and this is is where preconceived notions end