The different meditations have different effects, and that meditation can lead to nondual or transcendental experiences, a sense of self-awareness without content, explains a researcher.
After a search of the scientific literature Fred Travis, PhD, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, 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.
AdvertisementTM 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.
Dr. Travis discusses a study of descriptions of Transcendental Consciousness from 52 subjects practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique and found that they experienced "a state where thinking, feeling, and individual intention were missing, but Self-awareness remained." A systematic analysis of their experiences revealed three themes: absence of time, space, and body sense.
Dr. Travis further explains that with regular meditation, experiences of Transcendental Consciousness begin to co-exist with sleeping, dreaming, and even while one is awake. This state is called Cosmic Consciousness, in the Vedic tradition. The paper presents first-person accounts followed by an overview of the physiological patterns associated with Cosmic Consciousness.
The study has been published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.