See below for a review of a paper sent to me by Academia.edu:
“A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF TRANSCENDENT STATES ACROSS MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATIVE TRADITIONS”
By Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR; Amira Sagher, MSc; Wallis Back, MA; Pooja Pundhir, MD; and Frederick Travis, PhD
This is a scientific investigation into scientific papers on the subject, plus experiments the authors conducted on hundreds of meditators using many cultural and historical practices to achieve transcendent states.
The authors claim that “… few studies have systematically examined transcendent states during meditation”.
The practices they studied included, Buddhist; Christian; Mixed (practitioners from multiple traditions);Vedic: Transcendental Meditation and Yoga.
The practices varied from transcendental meditation to yoga to contemplative prayer, to other forms of sitting meditation.
Electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography, electro-myography, electrooculogram, “event-related potentials”, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography;respiration, and skin conductance and response were measured.
Twenty ﬁve studies with a total of 672 combined participants were included in the ﬁnal review. Participants were mostly male with a range of years of meditative practice. The authors found the results showed “similar unitive, ineffable state of consciousness.”
They report “transcendent states were most consistently associated with slowed breathing, respiratory suspension, reduced muscle activity and EEG alpha blocking with external stimuli, and increased EEG alpha power, EEG coherence, and functional neural connectivity.”
The transcendent states they found were “a state of relaxed wakefulness in a phenomenologically different space-time.”
The authors concluded that “Future research is warranted into transcendent states during meditation.”
Clearly, the authors did not come across someone like me. I arrived willy nilly at a state of transcendence, partially described here, every year for about 15 years without initially knowing of, or even later following, any practices or meditational techniques whatsoever. I did however practice two hours meditation a day every day for a year or so as part of my much later Sufi school experience. It was not discernibly successful. It did not redeliver me into my original mystical experiences of Reality (MER) or anything like …