Interview

CHAKRA CHIC Meet NYC’s rock star meditation guru Biet Simkin

The superstar spiritual guide took a break from her Om-mazing life to get BWB’s wellness contributor Rebecca Leffler to sit still and talk to her about bringing her light and positive energy into the world.

If Madonna and Deepak Chopra had a child, Biet Simkin would be their sexy and spiritual offspring. She’s making calm cool and introspection the new “it” accessory du jour and singlehandedly redefining meditation stereotypes. Six years ago, Biet noticed that the fashion, art and intellectual worlds needed an infusion of spirituality, and the spiritual world needed an infusion of glamour. Forget the white robes and crazy chants – her Center of the Cyclone provides an immersive experience that weaves meditation, self-inquiry, art, fashion and (her own) music.

The superstar spiritual guide took a break from her Om-mazing life to get BWB’s wellness contributor Rebecca Leffler to sit still and talk to her about bringing her light and positive energy into the world.

We are only ever stressed when we believe that our thoughts define who we are.

BWB: Everywhere we turn today, we’re told to “meditate.” Just this word alone is intimidating to so many people. How would you define “meditation”?

Meditation really is about remembering who you actually are. We are only ever stressed when we believe that our thoughts define who we are, but it’s much more than that. Ideally meditation is a state that can be reached by meditating. Meditating doesn’t necessarily mean you will experience meditation, but every attempt is noted, and just like going to the gym, eventually the results will be self-evident.

I am all for more beauty, more money, more travel and more success. It’s just that when we place those desires ahead of being calm, spiritual and joyous, we lose our way.

BWB: What are your tips for those looking to add a little bit of spirituality into daily routine but claim they are “soooo busy?”

Busy is an illusion created by a lack of gratitude and a misplacement of priorities. I am all for more beauty, more money, more travel and more success. It’s just that when we place those desires ahead of being calm, spiritual and joyous, we lose our way. My advice is to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, take deep breaths as you go, buy yourself some beautiful flowers and gaze at them. Begin small and get excited about the invisible world. The rest will be revealed anyhow because when we put that stuff first, everything else gets so much better and it becomes an addiction.

Biet Simkin

BWB: Do you think you can actually meditate anywhere? What are the “requirements” for a “good” meditation?

Yep, you can meditate anywhere! But that’s pretty advanced. I would say in the beginning it’s best in a place that is quiet and beautiful. I do however lead meditations at art openings and parties and I prove to everyone that shifting your state is possible in any place as long as you are willing.

I then returned to my meditation route when I got sober seven years ago and was seeking an alternative way to be always crazy and wild without the hangover.

BWB: Can you sum up your story and the path that brought you to where you are now? How did you get into the meditation space professionally?

Shoot that’s a long one! Basically I have been studying and meditating since birth with my shaman and psychotherapist father, took a u-turn when I got signed to Sony at 18 and then did limos, drugs and parties for a decade. I then returned to my meditation route when I got sober seven years ago and was seeking an alternative way to be always crazy and wild without the hangover. I have studied most modalities. I have lived on ashrams and all that jazz, but at the end of the day none of that was my path. My father always said my purpose on earth was to merge the cosmopolitan with the spiritual and he was completely right!

BWB: How can meditating increase energy or make us feel “lighter?”

It just does! Just like how thinking about yourself obsessively will make you feel heavier. Meditation is the ultimate altruism because it takes you right out of self obsession and into all the things that make life easy.

BWB: Who are your spiritual gurus? (dead or alive!)

Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Das, David Lynch, Jonas Mekas, My Father Dr Grigory Simkin, Wim Wenders, Tarkovsky, Rumi, Hildigard Von Bingen, Marcus Aurelius and Leonardo DiVinci, all my friends and most definitely my fiancé.

I also meditate on chairs, when I do they should be firm and upright and simple, no comfy slouching.

BWB: What are your meditation essentials? Favorite candles, oils, pillows?

Diptyque in the “Thé” flavor. Young Living oils because my fiance’s mom sends them to me and I love gifts from Mom. I sit on a simple black meditation cushion that is firm and round. I also meditate on chairs, when I do they should be firm and upright and simple, no comfy slouching.

BWB: What is your favorite music for meditation or zenning out in general?

Eno, my new record “The Lunar” and I sometimes throw on my friend Elena Brower’s playlists while I sit. She makes a mean Spotify playlist.

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BWB: Tell us more about Lunar!

Ah! Yes! My new record is what you would get if you mixed Annie Lennon, ColdPlay, Cat Power, Enya, Bjork, Nina Simone and Sadé and created a whole new person. At least those are the things I hear all the time. It’s super beautiful, soulful music that’s good to use for meditation a walk or cry while blasting in your car or whatever really. It’s hard to speak about one’s own music because that’s kind of the whole reason behind making music, it allows the artist to shut up for a while. I do feel my music is a huge window for people who listen to it; it is raw and filled with both dark and light sides and it’s super romantic without being sappy. I believe my music is all about falling in love… with everything , anytime, all the time!

BWB: What are you exciting upcoming events or projects for 2016?

So many festivals! A new online course with me to study meditation at home, live performances and night time meditations in major museums. That’s just a sliver of the endless delight and madness. The rest I will keep in my heart and show you once it is fully baked.

The Lunar

Photo Credits:

Portrait with the fake tattoo by Elizabeth Waterman
The group Photo taken by Sam Nandez

Rebecca Leffler

Rebecca Leffler is a writer, journalist and wellness consultant. She is the author of best-selling French book Green, Glam & Gourmande and follow-up title Green, Glam & Happy. Her book “Très green, très clean, très chic: Eat (and live!) the new French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season” was released in 2015. Follow Rebecca at Lafleurparisny.com.

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