Brain research has discovered that Transcendental Meditation develops the brain formerly not thought to be possible. With regular practice of TM brain function improves from the low level of orderliness, integration and coherence found in most people to increasing degrees of orderliness, integration and coherence.
The two diagrams below are the result of computer analysis of the electrical brain activity, so called “brain waves” or Electroencephalogram (EEG). The more of white “waves” the more coherence.
While significant EEG coherence appears only during TM in those who just learnt TM, it appears to an increasing extent outside TM already after a few weeks or months of practice. Longitudinal research indicates a cumulative development of coherence also in activity. Ultimately it is stabilized in activity along with other signs of the presence of transcendental consciousness . This is the case even during sleep .
This indicates that the repeated experience of coherent functioning during TM so as to say “trains” the brain to work more and more coherently all the time. The spread of coherence to different EEG frequencies indicates a multifaceted development of the brain. This is because different EEG-frequencies correspond to various aspects of brain function. The increase of coherence in the frontal brain is especially pronounced the more advanced the meditator becomes . The frontal brain is associated a.o. with creativity, empathy and high ethical standards. Other research has confirmed the growth of these qualities in TM-practitioners.
These findings confirm the age-old Vedic statement that regular experience of transcendental consciousness develops the ability of the brain to uphold this state of consciousness throughout day and night. Ever present transcendental consciousness is the key hallmark of “enlightenment” or higher states of consciousness according to the Vedic tradition which is the origin of the TM-technique.
Additional evidence objectively confirming a unique style of brain functioning in enlightened people was recently reported by Travis et al . They found that TM practitioners fulfilling the criteria of enlightenment (including awareness through all stages of sleep) responded in a unique way in choice situations. While the brains of non-enlightened subjects were more or less excited all the time, the enlightened subjects had a low level of excitation until the very moment only when it was appropriate to make a decision. Thereafter it rapidly returned to a low level of excitation.
This matched the subjective experience of persistent immovable inner calmness, even while engaged in dynamic outer activity. This is another hallmark of enlightenment as described in the age old Vedic scriptures. For a layman summary of this report, go to “Pioneering Study Quantifies Brain Wave Patterns During Higher Human Functioning”
Brain research has thus revealed a profound transformation of the functioning of the brain towards increasing degrees of orderliness, integration, stability and flexibility. It has confirmed that enlightenment is an objectively verifiable state.
Since long it has been believed that enlightenment is a rare condition that only can be achieved with great difficulty by very few of those who aspire for it. However, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the TM-movement, has been maintaining that this belief is unjustified. He has stated that the rarity of enlightenment was the consequence of inefficient meditation techniques because of loss of understanding of vedic knowledge. He has explained that his Transcendental Meditation technique represents a restoration of this ancient knowledge. With this technique, which efficiently provides the experience of transcendental consciousness, enlightenment can become a common condition according to Maharishi. His opinion is now supported by the objective neurophysiological demonstration of increasing development of enlightenment in TM-practitioners including an increasing number achieving this state permanently.
The development of improved quality of brain functioning has also been demonstrated in the growth of intelligence after the early teens when it normally stops. Improved intelligence was even demonstrated in very old people with the average age of 81 years. Usually the intelligence declines in advanced age .
These findings are revolutionary. Brain scientists have so far believed that brain development stops in the teens. The research presented here indicates that in fact the brain can develop in all ages through regular experience of transcendental consciousness. The findings are also revolutionary in the sense that such a profound neurophysiological transformation from a low level to a high level of coherence and integration has not been known to be possible.
High coherence accross the brain has not been documented for other techniques nor development of increasing brainwave coherence outside the practice. These effects are due to the unique state of transcendental consiousness which differs importantly from what occurs in deep relaxation and meditations where there is some kind of active mental activity (imagery, mantra repitition, concentration on some object etc).
The state of transcendental consciousness can only be achieved when there is a total absence of any form of active mental activity, as it is a state of complete equilibrium. Any kind of mentation or even the slightest concentration brings the consciousness immediately out of this state.
Brain research has demonstrated a profound transformation towards increasing orderliness, coordination, integration, flexibility and stability of the nervous system through the regular practice of TM.
The causative factor is the state of Transcendental or Pure Consicousness, which is a unique fourth state of consciousness characterized by a high level of EEG coherence.
The development culminates in enlightenment, characterized by stable high level of coherence irrespective of activity.
As TM differs in important ways from other techniques, there is no scientific basis for assuming that the results are valid for other methods.
Testimonial by Tiffiny Humphries – Project Manager
“With each meditation my inner bliss and joy grows stronger and I am left with a foundation of inner contentment and peace regardless of the daily events.”
 Travis FT, Tecce J, Arenander A, Wallace RK, “Frontal Cortical Measures that Characterize the Integration of Transcendental and Waking States”.Biological Psychology 61: 293-�319, 2002. Abstract.
 Mason L.I. et al “Electrophysiological correlates of consciousness during sleep in long-term practitioners of Transcendental Meditation” Sleep, 20:102-10, 1997.
 Alexander CN, Langer RI, Newman HM et al �Enhancing longevity, the Transcendental Meditation Program, Mindfulness and Longevity�. Proceedings from Sixth Annual Conference of the National Council on the Aging April 1986.
 Travis, F., Tecce, J.J., & Guttman, J. Cortical plasticity, contingent negative variation, and transcendent experiences during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Biological psychology, 55(1), 41-55, 2000;