|Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the|
Transcendental Meditation Program
"From the superficial level of macroscopic physics - the sensory objects that surround us - to the world of the molecule, and the atom, and the nucleus, and sub-nuclear natures of nature's functioning," he notes, "as modern physics has probed deeper level of nature's functioning it has revealed that more fundamental levels of nature are progressively more unified."
"The four forces of nature deep within the atomic nucleus become three, and two, and ultimately one unified field of all the laws of nature," he observes.
"From this fundamental perspective of modern science," Hagelin notes, "meditation properly understood and properly practiced is a systematic technique to experience deeper levels of mind, more subtle levels of thought, exploring deeper levels of human intelligence. And these deeper levels of human intelligence . . . correspond to the direct experience of deeper levels of intelligence in nature. This inward flow of the awareness quickly culminates in the direct experience of the unified field. . . . In this simplest settled state of human awareness - the most maximally expanded state of human consciousness - this is the meditative state."
"This experience of the unified field constitutes a fourth major state of human consciousness, distinct from waking, dreaming and deep sleep. And this fourth state of consciousness has the most profound implications for health, for brain development, (and) for virtually every area of human life."
Contemplatives and yogis have explored this fourth level of expanded human consciousness for thousands of years. Now with modern technology, brain scientists are confirming the claims of seasoned meditators and enlightened teachers like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program.
"Brain studies of expert meditators while in 'peak states' have become increasingly sophisticated and better controlled," note a group of researchers whose findings on the effects of distinct, yet related Therevadan Buddhist meditation practices were generally confirmative of Dr. Hagelin's claims.
Much of the research on meditation and the brain involves Buddhist or TM practitioners. A wide selection of the available scientific literature is available on the WiseBrain.org website, an organization founded by Dr. Rick Hanson Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and affiliate faculty member of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and Rick Mendius, M.D., a neurologist, author and teacher, formerly on the teaching faculties of UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Stanford University.