Those who practice the TM-Sidhi program often experience Vedic recitations as though they aren't external sounds but rather internal vibrations, and EEG measurements have confirmed this experience on the level of brain wave patterns.
by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
20 September 2017
Those who have listened to live Vedic recitation by pandits often have experiences of deep inner silence, and now a new EEG study describes the coherent brain wave patterns associated with those experiences.
EEG measurements on the 37 subjects while they listened to the recitation not only found coherence in their brain wave patterns, but that the coherence was actually higher than during their practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
However, study author Fred Travis explains that all of the subjects had not only been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for an average of 34 years but had also practiced the TM-Sidhi program an average of 28 years. When he measured four subjects who practiced only Transcendental Meditation, they didn't have the same high level of brain wave coherence.
"Those who practice the TM-Sidhi program have cultivated the habit of sitting in silence and allowing the mental activity to easily pass through awareness," Dr. Travis said. "This provided the basis, I think, for them to profit maximally from listening to Vedic recitation."
Dr. Travis analyzed the subjective reports of the participants' experience during listening to the recitation and found that their experiences were generally 1) deeper than during Transcendental Meditation practice; 2) experienced as an inner process; and 3) characterized by lively silence. They reported that they ''experienced a depth of experience rarely experienced even during deep Transcendental Meditation practice."
EEG measurements showed higher alpha1 coherence, which is associated with the experience of pure consciousness. And they showed higher theta2 coherence, which is associated with attending to internal mental processes. The latter finding explains the participants' experience that the Vedic recitations felt as though they weren't external sounds but rather internal vibrations.
Those who only practiced Transcendental Meditation had higher gamma coherence, with gamma being associated with focusing on an external object. Hence, their experience of the recitation as an outer experience.
The study was published last month in Consciousness and Cognition. Coauthors of the study were Niyazi Parim and Amrita Shrivastava.
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