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Expert on Transcendence describes three different kinds of meditation
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
20 November 2012

At a conference in Washington, D.C., on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery, Dr Norman Rosenthal spoke about the different types of meditation.

Dr Rosenthal is a renowned psychiatrist and author of the bestselling book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation. Earlier in his career he led the team of researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (US) who first described Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

In his speech, titled 'Transcending Addictions: The Role of Transcendental Meditation in the Recovery Process', Dr Rosenthal focused on the positive effects of Transcendental Meditation on recovery from addiction.

'There are different kinds of meditation,' explained Dr Rosenthal, referring to the work of researchers who have identified three general categories of meditation techniques—'focused attention, open monitoring, and automatic self-transcending'—based on EEG brainwave patterns demonstrated during their practice.

Dr Rosenthal explained more about what each category of meditation involves.

'The first [focused attention] is commonly found in mindfulness, where you might focus on objects and bring your mind back to the object if it drifts. The second is open monitoring, being mindful of your breathing, mindful of your thoughts and feelings. The third, which is the one we're dealing with, is using a mantra or a word sound in a very specific way.'

Transcendental Meditation is in this third category.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is effortless, Dr Rosenthal explained, 'and it takes you into a state of consciousness that is quite unusual in ordinary, everyday life. It is a fourth state of consciousness called transcendence.'

Dr Rosenthal recognized that the idea of a fourth state of consciousness is a surprise to most people.

'Honestly, as a seasoned psychiatrist, if ten years ago you told me there was a fourth state of consciousness, I really would have wondered what you had been smoking. Now, because I enter that state of consciousness twice a day when I meditate myself, I realize that it is really true. . . .

'So maybe in accessing this fourth state of consciousness we really are getting back to a state of calm, tranquility, and alertness'.

See previous articles in this series:
Meditation long used to treat addictions: Dr Norman Rosenthal
Dr Norman Rosenthal addresses conference on stress, addiction, and Transcendental Meditation
Using Transcendental Meditation in addiction recovery: Dr Norman Rosenthal

Copyright © 2012 Global Good News Service

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