- PDM and similar methods are classified as automatic self-transcending methods because effortlessly thinking the mantra repetitively takes meditator beyond the mantra and into another state of consciousness. Unlike other meditation methods transcendence inducing methods have a global effect on brain. The characteristic alpha and beta waves associated with increased neutrons in emotional areas are seen in many parts of brain, though primarily in the frontal areas during and after the secessions.
- In another yet to be published blog, Kishan Bhatia noted that, “Relative to the ancient times, in the post-industrial revolution era, the medical science’s understandings of nervous system and physiology are unsurpassed.” Acharya Mahaprajna claimed that, “Unlike ancient times, medical sciences have much to learn about streams of vital energy and how through meditation and yoga flow of energy can be diverted to and from specific parts of the body to manage, regulate and control emotions, impulses and urges.”
- Medical sciences, in general prior to 3+ decades ago, did not deal with the field of origin of emotions, impulses and urges and how these feelings influence the behavior patterns of a person. That has now changed by 340 peer reviewed studies used by Dr Rosenthal to reach his conclusions.
- The Vedic science claimed that brain controls all centers for generating vital energy. Stream of vital energy can flow in two directions.
- Flow in external route energizes vital organs with normal strength. The external stream of vitality activates all physical motions.
- The flow of stream of energy by internal routes generates different and extraordinary powers for activating psyche, thoughts, etc.
Breathing is a bridge between internal and external flow of energy. Internal flow of energy is used to stop scattered thoughts or wondering mind and also to undertake internal trips for energy flow from center of energy in the body below navel to three centers of knowledge, intuition and breathing located in the head area. Internal trip induced transcendence also activates several endocrinal glands – adrenalin, thymus, thyroid, hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary, etc to maintain hormonal balance necessary for equanimous, tranquil and positive actions dominated purposeful life.
It is authors’ belief that transcendence by any methods helps meditators experience all benefits described by Dr. Rosenthal based on latest scientific neurological and medical studies. This blog is based on information I learned through self-studies of works by Acharya Mahaprajna of JVB (Jain Vishva Bharati), Ludnun, Rajasthan State 341 306 India as well as that by Dr. Rosenthal. Any reference in this blog to transcendental meditation simply refers to information gathered from cited references and it should not be construed as a violation of rights of the license holder to the transcendental meditation or TM as practiced by MFUSA appointed teachers.
The blog is one of the INDUSAPTI (INDUSA Practical Technologies Initiatives) for information dissemination.
Unlike the MFUSA that offers a similar program to license-fee payees the INDUSA has no commercial interest.
The blog covers following topics:
- Benefits of Transcendence
- Thoughts, Consciousness and Positive Thinking
- Autonomous Nervous System and Stress Management
- Healthcare and Transcendence: Brain Wave Coherence and Hormonal Balance
- Vedic Hymns for a Practice Transcendence Session
- Learning Transcendence Using a Personal Computer (PC)
- Acknowledgements, References and Notes
Benefits of Transcendence
PDM (Preksa is perception with careful and profound direct examination; Dhyana is focus and M meditation) is an ancient practical transcendence relaxation technology. Preksa dhyana meditation has Vedic origin and it is practiced to attain highest consciousness or inner awareness by relaxation with transcendence and attuning mind for careful and profound direct examination. The awareness is seeing with the inner mythical third eye in search of total truth to gain highest consciousness. Transcendence opens inner third eye.
Transcendence means uplifting consciousness (internal awareness) from lower to higher levels. PDM is a reality or perception process of preparing mind for learning total truth by direct examination of issues.
Transcendence is to empower brain with highest consciousness or inner awareness. Transcendence is a system of fully engaging mind in perception of subtle internal and innate phenomenon of consciousness. Transcendence helps brain concentrate on perception.
The effortless recitation of Vedic hymns and mantra helps clear mind of scattered thoughts and prepares mind to empower it with knowledge filling gaps associated with partial understandings of the issue at hand. Consciousness is a memory of past and it is an accumulation of individual’s historical experiences. Consciousness is at a lower level (incomplete) if it is based on partial knowledge. The direct examinations help improve knowledge as consciousness transcendence to the highest level (total truth).
Empowered by regular transcendence practice brain is freed of unproductive scattered thoughts and it regains peace of mind, focus and effectiveness associated with a calm and tranquil brain. Each time brain transcendent, little at a time, calm and tranquility returns. Initially effects may be transient, but as the meditator continues to regularly practice twice a day for 20 minutes, the duration of the transcendental state of mind is gradually prolonged until it dominates daily life and the person remains calm, tranquil, focused and effective all the time.
A positive thinker is an equanimous, tranquil soul dedicated to leading a purposeful life. Regular practice of PDM and yoga additional 30+ minutes a day helps not only to relieve daily stresses and tensions but also with regulating and controlling hormone secretions by stimulating psyche centers.
Thoughts, Consciousness and Positive Thinking
Thoughts, perceptions and consciousness are interconnected. Unproductive scattered thoughts suggest incomplete perception and a low state of consciousness. Yoga and meditations are tools to concentrate on a single theme at a time to attain highest consciousness.
The ultimate consciousness state is cosmic consciousness and according to Vedic teachings that is what one should strive for in a purposeful life. Gautam Buddha (c 563 BCE to 483 BCE), Mahavir Jain (599 – 527 BCE) and many more Vedic scholars and sages before them are considered pioneers of development of practical relaxation meditation technology. Each of these sages is credited to have attained cosmic consciousness through regular Vedic mediation induced transcendence.
For understanding relationship of mental relaxation as a tool for attaining cosmic consciousness I use an analogy with oceans at peace. Mind is like a deep ocean (think of Pacific Ocean) peaceful (relaxed) at the bottom and all waves on the surface (cerebral cortex) represent different levels of excitations. The waves reaching shores (spontaneous thoughts) are highly excited states.
Mind exposed to daily living is generally at an excited state as the consciousness based on perception of partial truth is at a low level. Consciousness improves as perception improves. For better perception a relaxed mind is most beneficial. Transcendence induces relaxation of mind. The scientific records of the alpha and beta brain wave patterns were interpreted to link the relaxed mind to meditation induced transcendence.
Meditation and yoga are training tools – learning techniques for transendenting consciousness. Ideally the highest level of consciousness is desirable. A degree of consciousness is associated with every issue of interest to a person.
Ideally a person should resolve all issues based on direct examination or the perception of reality. Consciousness is at the highest level if all issues are resolved using direct perceptions and full assessment of reality. If perception is incomplete, a lower state of consciousness generates scattered thoughts and generally, negative thinking.
Mind, to offer another analogy, is like a super computer in which many sub computers are stacked in parallel configuration. Each sub computer is for performing a dedicated task. Prefrontal cortex (PRF) for example is a sub computer responsible for executive and decision functions. Similarly amygdala (the fire marshal) or hypothalamus is another sub computer responsible for stress management and the body’s alarm system. In the “It’s Hormones, Stupid!” section of the Mechanism of Positive Thinking”, in a table titled, ‘Endocrine System,’ I identified 13 of 107 psyche centers recognized in the Vedic medicine or Ayurvedic medical practice. The PRF is center of wisdom; amygdala is center of peace, etc.
A mind empowered with transcendence and yoga – these are the apps – is empowered to explore direct examination of everyday life issues to find sensible and sustainable solutions based on direct examinations of realities. Mind freed of unproductive scattered thoughts is attuned to creativity and self-actualization to attend to prioritized daily tasks.
Regular PDM practice indirectly prepares mind to apply principles of direct examination to tackle all challenges faced in living a purposeful selfless life for greater good of all. All actions and decisions being reality based, the unproductive scattered thinking oriented negative life style is avoided. Positive thinking thus becomes a hallmark of life.
PDM process creates mental conditions for channeling reality. When the mental faculty is focused on a single mantra or hymn, it becomes PDM. The concentrations on perception and single-theme are valuable PDM techniques. Whenever PDM is used in concentration of perception, unproductive scattered thoughts are considered distraction and therefore, gently ignored.
Sciences are applied philosophies. Concentration on a profound thinking theme for establishing scientific doctrine and philosophical principle in my opinion may be considered an exercise in PDM. PDM is rooted in scientific inquiry to the best of person’s abilities.
Autonomous Nervous System and Stress Management
The nervous system releases neurotransmitters or hormones in body. Unlike people with health issues a healthy normal body maintains hormonal balance though internal mechanisms. Latest scientific data supports that transcendence improves functioning of mind by managing levels of neurotransmitters.
- With wondering mind thoughts are scattered. The centers of peace and wisdom in medical terms are prefrontal cortex (PRF) and amygdala, located in the front and center of the brain, respectively. Amygdala, the fire marshal controls body’s alarm system and PRF controls the executive and decision making functions.
- The autonomous nervous system is divided into SNS (sympathetic nervous system) and parasympathetic system. Optimally functioning amygdala is also described as center of peace because subordination of the SNS to parasympathetic system brings peace to mind and allows the PRF to properly discharge its executive and decision making functions. Many medical research studies have shown that hyperactive amygdala commandeers the SNS to produce high levels of hormone detrimental to good health and a source of or a contributing factor to many common illnesses including high blood pressure, diabetes, and several anxiety related disorders (ADD, ADHD, and PTSD) etc.
- The SNS primarily controls centers in the brain, particularly amygdale. If body is stressed, the amygdale orders rest of the body, specifically SNS by a network of nerves that travel down the spine and emerge between the vertebrae. TM or equivalent processes help the PRF regain control of brain functions by ignoring unwarranted alarms of hyperactive amygdala. In a mind at peace the SNS is subordinated to parasympathetic system and such mind is unlikely to be dominated by unproductive scattered thoughts.
- In a stressed mind consciousness is at a low state. Toxic stresses induced elevated anxiety levels. Responding to elevated anxiety levels the SNS triggers over supply of hormones – epinephrine (adrenalin), NE (norepinephrine or noradrenalin), DA (dopamine), cortisol and glucocorticoid. These neurotransmitter chemicals in right concentration are beneficial for well being and health but the same in a long term excess supply have harmful side effects. Hyperactive amygdala floods brain with scattered thoughts in the brain not trained to be dominated by PRF. PDM properly trains mind so that PRF decision making functions are not influenced by hyper alarmed signals from amygdala eliminating potential for scattered, generally negative and unproductive thoughts. A mind free of scattered thoughts is calm, tranquil and at peace.
Healthcare and Transcendence: Brain Wave Coherence and Hormone Balance
The central role of the hormone balance for attitude and behavior modification was discussed in the “Mechanism of Positive Thinking” by the author. With understandings of the mechanism, an introduction to PDM as well as the transcendence fueled relaxation on the value of positive thinking was elaborated in previous sections. This section presents latest scientific data showing connection between healthcare and transcendence.
Reasoning among health professionals is that it is impossible to have contradictory feelings at the same time. For example, regular relaxation helps improve health whereas prolonged stress and anxieties adversely affect health. A regular practice of transcendence helps meditator to relax and systematically desensitize stresses and improve health. A relaxed mind is at peace with itself, creative and innovative. The ultimate creativity and innovations can be attained in a state of the cosmic consciousness.
Following are some scientific observations. Page references are to Dr. Rosenthal’s book.
- A body in transcendence experiences predictable changes. All different parts of the brain generate brain waves in several frequencies. The EEG or electroencephalogram studies of alpha and beta brain waves revealed changes in the brain waves patterns of electrical activity in the outer layers of brain called cerebral cortex. Comparisons of EEG scans for before and after transcendence sessions are presented on pages 21 – 22.
- Transcendence induces an increase in brain wave coherence, which is generally a good thing as it correlates with high levels of intelligence and competence.
- The brain waves are said to be coherent when waves of a given frequency from different parts of the brain are in step with one another. In seasoned mediators, more brain wave coherence can be seen throughout the day.
- Normal brain contains literally billions of nerve cells connected to trillions of synapses. To produce a train of though or to execute an action, all the cells have to function as a unit, just as soldiers in a battle need to advance in a coordinate way.
- As large groups of nerve cells fire together during the transcendence session, the bands connecting the firing nerves are enhanced and the neutral nerve circuits rewire the brain. The rewiring of the brain promotes better health, a longer life, self-actualization and personal transformation.
- The EEG studies showed that attaining the transcendence state helped increase coherence in alpha frequency and the lower part of the beta frequency in the PRF areas of brain. EEG data (page 23) explains how transcendence, especially experienced repeatedly, may boost competence as particular parts of brain are relaxed. The data also shows that transcendence spreads a great wave of calmness across brain and helps organizes the PRF region to improve focus and decision making. During transcendence, the EEG shows increased coherence in alpha frequency and the lower part of the beta frequency in the PRF region, which regulates emotions and impulses, evaluates the relative importance of things, and is crucial for decision making. The alpha frequency corresponds to a state of relaxation and inner reflection. The beta frequency is for focusing and decision making.
On pages 57-59, 66, 79 and 124-127 some answers are provided to the question, “How does the stress response work?”
- The autonomous nervous system is divided into sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic system. The SNS primarily controls centers in the brain, particularly amygdale or the alarm system. Under stress conditions, the amygdale orders rest of the body by a network of nerves that travel down the spine and emerge between the vertebrae. The SNS affects every organ in body from hairs on the head to tip of toes by releasing the neurotransmitter chemical orepinephrine (NE; noradrenalin), etc. The SNS nerves release more NE under stress, less when body is calm and relaxed.
- During stressful events, the SNS nerves also put body on high alert by activating adrenal glands, which releases in to the bloodstream epinephrine or adrenaline, cortisol (pain killer steroid) and glucocorticoid (a steroid coupled to glucose). These neuro chemicals or hormones are life saver in proper doses but are killer if used as a medication for a long time. If stress goes on for long time it can kill you due to long term exposure to glucocorticoid.
- Persistent elevated glucocorticoid levels may induce insulin resistant diabetes, which is a silent killer if not controlled by medication. Globally hundreds of millions of people suffer from insulin resistant diabetes. Transcendence has been shown to reduce the release of glucocorticoid to influence diabetes control.
- Increased levels of glucocorticoid in stressed individuals have been shown to activate the dormant viruses – chicken pox and other viruses; the rise of these latent viruses acts like zombies to wreck havoc on the patient’s body.
Positive thinking is associated with creativity, self-actualization and harmony within body and in the meditators’ environment. Transcendence induced relaxation prepares mind for positive thinking. In coherent brain, the waves of a given frequency from different parts of the brain are in step with one another. In seasoned mediators, more brain wave coherence can be seen throughout the day.
To produce a train of though or to execute an action, all the cells (billions of nerve cells in normal brain) have to function as a unit. As large groups of nerve cells fire together during the transcendence session, the bands connecting the firing nerves are enhanced and the neutral nerve circuits rewire the brain. The rewiring of the brain promotes better health, a longer life, self-actualization and personal transformation.
Long term optimum brain wave coherence is at the root of the creative people. Some creative people practice transcendence to and others achieve the same results by systematically and regularly relieving job and life experiences related stresses and anxieties. Highly successful professionals in all walks of life find that relaxation helps self-actualization. Psychologist Maslow is known for his contributions to motivation and personality. Highly successful creative people like scientist Albert Einstein and social activist Eleanor Roosevelt were classified in the top rung of hierarchy called self-actualization by Maslow.
I believe Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many top rung business executives and artists described as geniuses are among highly successful persons possessing brain wave coherence of highest order although it is not documented what specific methods they used for relaxation. Scientifically,
coherence in brain waves brings harmony at many levels within brain, within mind and body, for meditators, loved-ones and members of social groups. Such people radiate an infectious aura in the environment and to all they come in contact with.
Vedic Hymns Based a Practice Transcendence Session
Basic steps of a PDM session are: Learn a secret mantra – usually derived from the Vedic tradition of ancient India and its proper use from an instructor in a one-on-one session. Several sessions may be required for uninitiated to practice transcendence properly with a given mantra to gain full benefits.
- The mantra has no specific meaning to the meditator not versed in Vedic culture. However for those with Vedic background it has deep significance.
- Mantra is a vehicle for effortless, inward movement of the mind (an internal trip) but it is not a magic bullet.
- Using the mantra properly means, without concentration or deliberate control of mind and it is as important as sound itself.
- The secrecy of mantra is to help maintain a sense of privacy and specialness about it. Respecting the value of keeping mantra private is very important.
- If other or spontaneous thoughts should creep in or intrude into mind during the mantra recitation, simply gently ignore other thoughts and return to mantra recitation. Intrusion of mind by thoughts is frequent in the beginning but as mind gets attuned to transcendence sessions such intrusions decrease in frequency and eventually cease. If creative ideas surface in mind during the PDM session, do not interrupt the session to write the ideas down. Most meditators probably will be able to recall creative ideas after the conclusion of the transcendence session.
- My transcendence session (about 65 years after I was introduced to it by a guru) starts with recitation of two Vedic hymns: Gayatri mantra (2 – 3 min) followed by reciting Surya (Sun) Namaskar a few times (1 min). Once mind is put at ease with hymns, I effortlessly ease into recitation of my secret mantra (15 – 20 min). Next three steps help gently remove mind out of deep meditation: smoothly flow in to recitation of the Om Shanti dhun (3 min), then aarti – Om jai jagadish hare (4 min) and conclude by reciting Om Shanti (peace) path (30 sec).
Learning Transcendence Using a Personal Computer (PC)
Following is a practice session program for learning PDM. Generally practicing several times with PC over several days for up to an hour a day helps meditator memorize the details as well as effortlessly get used to the rhythms before meditator can have an effortless PDM session with memory only.
- The Gayatri Mantra
- It is a secular hymn, literally meaning: “We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heave. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.”
- #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl_ExU46KXE&feature=related (3 min) or
- Surya (Sun) Namaskar: Recite ‘Suryum namah’ several times (1 min).
- OM or Aum (Note after learning the proper rhythm for Om recitation by viewing of videos, video viewing is stopped for experiencing deep meditation by recitation of your specific or secret mantra during PDM sessions).
- Aum Meditation…This Will Raise Your Tonal….
- Video #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HajYcSAWr2s&feature=related
(3 min) or #2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imWRQpY0P58&feature=related (2.3 min)
- Or #3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPIES1mWCig&feature=related (4.4 min)
- Deep Meditation Experience
- Video #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj-DWJE7Y2Y&feature=related (6min) or #2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ofPdEgsoQ&feature=related (5.4 min)
- Om Shanti (peace) – hymn
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thXVGZBQNxM&feature=related (4 min)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BwxnFd1oGc&feature=related (6 min)
- Om namah shivay dhun by
- Pandit Jasraj: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRkfNRYVVxU&feature=related (9 min)
- Aarti Om Jai Jagdish Hare:
Asking for lords blessing for peace, prosperity and well being of health for all.
- Mahendra Kapoor: http://www.dishant.com/lyrics/song-10042.html (4 min) or
- Lata: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiWSM5Klcqo&feature=related (4 min)
- Om Shanti – hymn
Acknowledgements, References and Notes: The author has extensively used the following references published by arrangements with Jain Vishva Bharati (JVB), Landu, Rajasthan (India). Note Landu and Ludnun are same with zip code 341 206.
- “The Art of Positive Thinking,” English Translation by R. K. Seth of a Hindi book, “Kaise Sochen?” by Acharya Shri Mahaprajna; JVB, Ludnun 341 306
- Preksa Dhyana: Theory and Practice by Acharya Mahaprajna E-book at http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=cd7400
- Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, “Transcendence” Published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, N.Y. (2011).
- “Mechanism of Positive Thinking” 0226 0303 2011 by the author at http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2011/03/03/mechanism-positive-thinking/
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