Most of the Americans say they practice some form of yoga or meditation. It has become a health fad. Yet the goal of these practices seems unknown or elusive to many practitioners — transcendence.
An article: Transcendental experiences during meditation practice, by Fred Travis, PhD, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, provides an overview of research on individuals experiencing higher states of consciousness. It is published today in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: January 2014, Volume 1307, Advances in Meditation Research: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications, pages 1-8.
AdvertisementThe paper is based on a presentation Dr. Travis was invited to give at "Advances in Meditation Research" (AMR), a meeting of the nation's top meditation researchers, which took place a year ago at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.
In his paper Dr. Travis explains that different meditations have different effects, and that meditation can lead to nondual or transcendental experiences, a sense of self-awareness without content.
However, after a search of the scientific literature he reported that physiological measures and first-person descriptions of transcendental experiences and higher states have only been investigated during practice of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique.
TM is an effortless technique for automatic self-transcending, different from the other categories of meditation — focused attention or open monitoring. It allows the mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought — pure awareness or Transcendental Consciousness. This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness — one's innermost Self.