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Brain wave coherence during Transcendental Meditation demonstrated throughout Germany
by Global Good News staff writer
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24 April 2013
Earlier this year Dr Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition and Dean of the Graduate School at Maharishi University of Management, USA,* embarked on an extensive lecture tour, primarily in Germany.
Commenting recently about the tour, which took place in March, Dr Travis explained that it included 12 cities in Germany and concluded with a national television interview in Zagreb, Croatia. German cities included Darmstadt, Bad Ems, Bad Godesberg, Hamburg, Lübeck, Hannover, Göttingen, Berlin, Erfurt, Tübingen, Singen, and Munich.
Since 1990, Dr Travis has authored more than 50 research papers and conference presentations. His pioneering research includes investigating the psychophysiological correlates—including brain wave patterns—in peak performers and in people exhibiting experiences of higher states of consciousness; and delineating the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for child development and ideal ageing.
During his tour Dr Travis spoke in a variety of venues, including many universities and research institutions, also giving presentations for the general public. His audiences varied widely and included scientists investigating parameters of different types of meditation; medical doctors and nursing professionals who treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); practitioners of natural medicine wanting to deepen their knowledge; and expert physicians trained in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care.
Also attending were teachers, administrators, and parents interested in how the brain develops and learning unfolds; 'new age' groups interested in spirituality and consciousness; athletes and townspeople curious to learn more about programmes offered at their local Transcendental Meditation centre; and people who had already learned the meditation technique. An educational researcher and a film producer looking to understand the scientific basis of meditation also came to hear about Dr Travis's research.
In Zagreb, Dr Travis was interviewed on national television, followed by a lively question and answer session.
Most of Dr Travis's presentations in Germany included a live EEG demonstration, in which a local Transcendental Meditation practitioner's brain waves were monitored by an EEG (electroencephalograph) machine. Using a laptop computer, Dr Travis projected a real-time graphic display of the subject's brain wave patterns onto a screen at the front of the lecture hall. These demonstrations clearly illustrated the differences in brain activity, including the level of coherence between different parts of the brain, when someone is sitting quietly with eyes open, compared to during Transcendental Meditation.
Even though some of the volunteer EEG subjects came to the lecture after a full day at the office, Dr Travis commented that their brain waves showed 'a clear distinction between eyes open and Transcendental Meditation' practice, and high levels of alpha coherence during meditation (one of the brain research findings characteristic of Transcendental Meditation). The demonstrators, some of whom had been practising Transcendental Meditation for only two or three years, were pleasantly surprised afterwards to see the evidence of their coherent brain waves; audiences were also very impressed to see the EEG changes.
Dr Travis also praised those he addressed. 'All the audiences in Germany were very thoughtful, listened deeply, and asked very penetrating questions,' he said, appreciating their intellectual acuity, which could 'take any abstraction'—for example the concept of consciousness—'and hold it like a concrete object, and begin to ask questions about it in a very penetrating way' that elicited further layers of knowledge.
Global Good News will continue to report on Dr Travis's tour of Germany.
* Dr Travis is also Professor and Chairman of the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science at MUM.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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