Andrew (Drew) Litchy N.D.
Drew is a senior student of Bhante Vimalaramsi. He has been training with him since 2006, and was authorized to teach in 2008. Since then, he has introduced hundreds of students to TWIM, and has been actively leading meditation groups at universities, his clinics, volunteer organizations, and local hospital systems.
Drew has led many one-day and a three-day retreat. He has developed several meditation training programs, ranging from 4 to 12 weeks, for a variety of audiences including: research participants, people with chronic illness, retirement communities, and an MS specialty clinic. Drew implemented a weekly staff-wide meditation program at one of his clinics, which has continued for the past 5 years.
During his medical training, Drew designed and conducted several IRB approved studies on TWIM on novice meditators using Lovingkindness and the breath. He investigated advanced TWIM practitioners looking for biomarkers for jhana, utilizing heart rate variability, and found that novices who developed jhana displayed similar patterns after training.
At age 14, I read my first meditation book. By the time I met Bhante in 2006, I had intensely explored straight Vipassana, a Karma Kagyu presentation of Buddhism include Phowa, and had completed 11 years of formal training in Ortho-bionomy, Body Mind Centering, qigong, and Tao Yin/shiatsu. However, many of my questions about jhana and Awakening were addressed only after reading Bhante’s book:the Anapanasati sutta.
I did four retreats with Bhante in the first year of practicing TWIM– one online and three in person at the center. After this, I have done retreat every year except the year my son was born. In 2008 I spent 4 weeks as a novice monk, my name was Pannananda.
Since that crossroads of lay and monastic life paths, I have settled into being an extremely busy householder. Keeping a rigorous daily and retreat practice has been a priority, and continues to bring inspiration and balance. It is possible to have ease and profound joy in this busy and challenging world, without withdrawing from the complexities and difficulties of life. I wish everyone knew what is possible as a result of consistent practice; the rewards are beyond words and quite attainable. I hope to share this possibility with all my students and friends.