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Germany: Cologne students' deep, probing questions bring out knowledge of brain, meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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22 November 2011
On his recent twelve-day, nine-city lecture tour in Germany, Dr Fred Travis spoke at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. The hall was completely full, with about 120 people in attendance.
Dr Travis, a respected scientist and expert on the brain, was invited to speak at universities, conferences, and hospitals across Germany. He tailored each lecture to the specific venue, and in Cologne he mainly spoke to the art students about the brain and creativity.
He also talked about the three distinct categories of meditation techniques: focused attention, open monitoring, and automatic self-transcending. This started a discussion of the different brain wave frequencies seen in each meditation style.
Dr Travis's research has focused on the Transcendental Meditation Technique, an 'automatic self-transcending' meditation, because, as he explains, it quickly leads to the state of pure or transcendental consciousness, and with regular practice leads to higher states of consciousness.
'The faculty and students were extremely sharp,' Dr Travis remarked. He found they were able to intellectually understand pure consciousness and asked many probing questions such as, what is it like? How is it different from individual consciousness? What is the experience of higher states of consciousness and why is it useful? How are we all connected?
Responding to a student's question, Dr Travis talked about how people perceive Transcendental Meditation, and about paradigms.
'I spoke about ''in group'' and ''out group'' and how if something isn't in your paradigm, you disregard it. This is seen in numerous studies.'
He went on to describe one such study of people subscribing to different political parties. 'If you hear a statement from someone from another political party which is actually rational and makes a point, if it's different from yours, your limbic system becomes active. You actually get angry. If it's the same political party as yours, your rational frontal area of the brain becomes active.'
Dr Travis continued, 'So I cautioned them to look at the data, to look carefully at the empirical evidence to see what Transcendental Meditation is and how it can be applied.'
He also appreciated that the students asked sincere questions and were not cynical. They all enjoyed the resulting 'no-holds-barred' discussion.
∙ Universities across Germany welcome brain research expert Dr Fred Travis
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Global Good News will continue to report on Dr Travis's tour of Germany.
© Copyright 2011 Global Good News®
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