In a recent report on the Huffington Post, Susan Smalley, Ph.D., a research scientist for 25 years, shared her fascinating journey of how she was inspired to create a meditation center for research at UCLA. "I had learned TM (transcendental meditation) in the 70s, and kind of made fun of it. . . And it really had a huge impact and I had what I now call a "mystical experience" - I had a huge shift in consciousness. And it wasn't one that was incremental, day after day, increasing and increasing, but one of those, bam! Wow! The world, we're all interconnected, I'm part of the oneness of the universe. I discovered this sense of deep interconnectedness of our dependent nature." Dr. Smalley went on to say, "It was a really profound state, and along with this heightened state of consciousness, this incredible state of compassion, came a flood of rushing joy, bliss, calmness, happiness. I couldn't even muster the old feelings I had that included the negative feelings of jealously, greed, anger ... all of those things I couldn't find in myself."
Dr. Smally's beautiful experience of heightened awareness after
learning Transcendental Meditation (TM) is not uncommon. As a teacher of TM, I hear reports like this often. For some folks it is more concentrated, as was Dr. Smally's initial experience; for others it's a gradual awakening. The clarity and duration of the experience depends on the ability of the nervous system and brain to sustain heightened awareness.
Although it is a mental technique, Transcendental Meditation transforms the functioning of the brain and nervous system. The deep rest and experience of pure consciousness is healing and soothing to the system. Direct contact with this inner field of blissful, unified awareness--teaming with creative intelligence--infuses those qualities into daily life and spontaneously unfolds higher states of consciousness. Permanent heightened awareness is cultured over time as stresses are released and the brain adopts a more holistic style of functioning that can support higher consciousness.
Many people, including great mystics and saints of the past, have had temporary experiences of unity and bliss and would have been able to recapture and sustain it had they a systematic technique for purifying and transforming the nervous system.
Fortunately, there are scientist like Dr. Smally taking a closer look at meditation and its ability to alter awareness. UCLA has been in the forefront of this kind of research since 1971, when it was first discovered in their physiology labs that Transcendental Meditation provides the experience of a fourth,major state of consciousness.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost