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Transcendental Meditation receives recognition, warm reception at meditation research conference
by Global Good News staff writer
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29 January 2013
A recent conference on meditation research and its applications in the field of health focussed on the commonalities and differences among meditation practices from different traditions. Unlike similar conferences in the past, the unique features of each meditation tradition were discussed and respected.
The conference, Advances in Meditation Research: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications, was hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences.
Dr Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, said that the reception for Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation research was warm.
Dr Travis, who is also Chair of the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management, spoke extensively at the conference about higher states of consciousness.
'I presented on brain functioning in higher states of consciousness,' Dr Travis said. 'It is very interesting because the other meditations don't speak about higher states. They talk about improving skills, and cognitive behavioural mechanisms inside of meditation to help with life outside of meditation.'
He added that many of the researchers at the conference were intrigued by the notion of higher states of consciousness, and especially a state of pure consciousness 'that is the experience of our universal Self', said Dr Travis.
'I explained pure consciousness . . . and showed them that it is completely outside of waking, dreaming, and sleeping [states],' Dr Travis said, adding that in waking, there is a sense of self and an object of perception, but in pure consciousness, there is a sense of self with no object of perception.
Scientists have identified pure or transcendental consciousness as a fourth state of consciousness in which the mind experiences a state of deep inner silence, quietly awake within itself, while the body experiences deep rest.
This unique state, Dr Travis explained, can be experienced through Transcendental Meditation practice.
Other conference attendees and meditation researchers appreciated the unique angle that Dr Travis provided.
He said, 'I think they appreciated that Transcendental Meditation doesn't give a specific skill or a specific way of thinking or feeling, but it gives a change of state of consciousness. It allows you to step out of thinking to go to Being,* step out of doing and experience the Being which is underlying thoughts and enriching all of life.'
See related articles:
∙ US: Meditation research conference hosted by New York Academy of Sciences
∙ First 'Advances in Meditation Research' conference in NYC brings together researchers from many traditions
* In Maharishi Vedic Science, the infinite field of pure intelligence at the basis of the entire universe, described by modern science as the Unified Field of all the laws of nature, and accessible to direct experience in the state of pure or transcendental consciousness, the Self, at the basis of all the mind's activity, through Transcendental Meditation.
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