Youth Movement

What happens when you get young adults together and teach them how to become self-centered? To many, it might seem like a recipe for disaster; but for Max

Simon, it’s a recipe for revolution.

Simon, who at 25 is the youngest meditation teacher in the history of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, has recently launched his

national “selfcentered Tour,” which he describes as an ongoing “movement” that includes meditation workshops, teacher training, and

social events for young people. He hopes to turn them on to meditation and to inspire them to live “authentically.” And while the negative

connotations that are often associated with the word “self-centered” are abundantly clear, Simon envisions it as having a new definition:

“authentic, grounded, balanced, and self-aware.”

The son of Chopra Center cofounder David Simon, Max Simon says he has meditated in some form or another since he was four years old. He came up with the idea

for the tour in 2007 while teaching at resorts and healing centers around the country, where he noticed that the events weren’t attracting people his age.

Inspired by the possibility of reaching his own generation, Simon decided to revamp the language, look, and feel of traditional meditation classes by

removing possibly intimidating and -unfamiliar language and making meditation more inviting to a younger audience by combining workshops with social

activities such as concerts and parties.

“Realizing that there’s a hunger right now for community and for guidance and for leadership [among young people], we created this movement to bring a

fresh new spin to these tools, so that everyone could get involved,” he explains.

The tour kicked off in Los Angeles in February, and Simon plans for it to travel to major cities across the country. In the workshops, Simon and his

instructors, who are called “awareness architects,” teach meditation techniques that range from the traditional—including mantra,

breath-based, and mindfulness meditation—to the unconventional, such as meditations that are done while dancing or eating chocolate.

The goal, Simon says, is not to value certain meditation practices over others but rather to teach a variety of techniques that “give the mind an

opportunity to quiet down, the body an opportunity to relax, and chaos an opportunity to exit.” For more information about the tour and events near you,