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Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation: Pursuit of enlightenment 'most practical goal for oneself and for society'
by David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.
Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
16 February 2012
In the conclusion to his comprehensive review of scientific research on Transcendental Meditation, Dr. David Orme-Johnson* reflects on 40 years of research showing that 'the pursuit of enlightenment, as it turns out, is the most practical goal one could possibly have, for oneself and for society'.
Please see previous articles in this series:
∙ 'The science behind the experience of enlightenment: Measuring the immeasurable'
∙ 'Early research on Transcendental Meditation finds fourth major state of consciousness: Dr David Orme-Johnson'
∙ 'The meditating brain: Research shows increased EEG coherence during Transcendental Meditation'
∙ 'A coherent brain is a high-performing brain: Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation'
∙ 'Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation: Quantifying the growth to enlightenment'
∙ 'Redefining health: Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation'
∙ 'Enlightenment and society: Scientist discusses Maharishi Effect research'
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Conclusion. That simple, wonderful fulfilling experience that I had with [my wife] Rhoda and my son Nate in the park the day I learned to meditate led me to 40 years of research. My journey of scientific investigation into enlightenment also led me to very different conclusions than what I learned at Columbia.
The pursuit of enlightenment, as it turns out, is the most practical goal one could possibly have, for oneself and for society. Cognitive and neurophysiological studies on the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program show that past conditioning, which shoves and jerks the unenlightened around like a leaf blown in the wind, is replaced by growing enlightenment—the powerful internal gyroscope of the universal, immovable Self—which keeps us tuned to nature's evolutionary purpose.
Research shows that the Transcendental Meditation program has brought this goal within easy reach for everyone, and in the process has clarified the highest goals of many of the great ancient spiritual traditions, psychological theories, and philosophical schools. Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program has thereby extended and fulfilled the Enlightenment tradition of Western civilization to mobilize the power of reason for the greater good of society, and I have been thrilled to be part of it.
Click here to watch a video of Dr. Orme-Johnson discussing the body of scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation technique.
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10. Raichle ME, Snyder AZ. A default mode of brain function: a brief history of an evolving idea. Neuroimage. 2007; 37(4): 1083-90.
11. Travis FT, Haaga DAF, Hagelin JS, Tanner M, Arenander A, Nidich SI, et al. A self-referential default brain state: patterns of coherence, power, and eLORETA sources during eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation practice. Cognitive Processing. 2009; 11(1): 21-30.
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∙ VIDEO: Maharishi discusses enlightenment and total brain functioning
∙ Bibliographies of TM research, summaries, reviews, and replies to critical questions
∙ Research on measuring the brain's response to stressful stimuli
∙ Summaries of scientific research on TM
∙ Abstracts and full-text papers of research supported by National Institutes of Health
Source: Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation Magazine
* David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., was a founding faculty member and chair of the department of psychology at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, USA for over two decades. Dr. Orme-Johnson has published over 100 scientific papers on the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi® programs and is co-editor of Volumes 1 and 5 of Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program: Collected Papers. He is a nationally recognized researcher on human potential and currently serves as a consultant on research on meditation.
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