We all seem to be climbing a great mountain, some slower, some quicker. Up here near the summit we discover that we are free from the bindings of our egos, conditionings and physical bodies — that we exist permanently above and beyond these limitations. In Rhonda Byrne’s new book, The Greatest Secret, I was happy to hear that deep experiences I’ve been having for almost forty years, through the teachings of Shri Mataji and the practice of Sahaja Yoga meditation, are becoming mainstream. This isn’t because of mass media, but because human beings are asking the right questions and feeling reality within themselves. But I find that this new book, although it beautifully describes thoughtless-awareness and natural detachment from internal and external complications, is missing much of the detail that so many of us have experienced through daily, actual meditation. Among the most prominent phenomena is the amazing ‘cool breeze’ that flows in our central nervous systems when human beings attain joyful equilibrium. Also missing are the details of the workings of our subtle-systems of energy centers and channels, and the benevolent Kundalini energy in our spines.
Of course, the highest priority is the deep, silent meditation itself, a natural, essential state that should be achieved by all. But The Greatest Secret is only a glimpse through the window of enlightenment. Just sayin’. https://wemeditate.co
• Meditators showed around 7% more grey matter, the largest published difference between healthy groups.
• As grey matter decreases with age and with most mental illnesses, this difference throughout the brain is associated with a younger and healthier brain.
• The grey matter difference was more marked in areas related to the control of attention and emotions.
An investigation on the influence of mental silence in the human brain has just been published in the magazine Plos One. The article is entitled: “Larger whole brain grey matter associated with long-term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: a detailed area by area comparison”. The original text is available at the following link:https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237552
It is said that, for more than forty thousand years, human beings have a language that allows us to communicate with precision, that language is reproduced within our brain as thoughts without interruption. When negative thoughts are repeated in vicious cycles, our mental health can be affected with issues such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Today there is plenty of scientific literature that shows that being with the attention in the present moment, in the here and now, is beneficial for our psyche and our general health. Unfortunately, thoughts take us out of the present moment and to stop the thoughts for a long time is not easy, especially when we are not doing tasks that demands much attention.
Yoga includes many different techniques, among which meditation (Dhayana in classical yoga) plays a leading role. The first yoga treatise, “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”, mentions that “yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind.” In ancient yoga a higher state of consciousness has been described, called “Nirvichara Samadhi”, which can be translated as “mental silence” or “thoughtless awareness”. In this state, the mind is calm, with a feeling of inner bliss, and with the attention focused on the present moment. Sahaja Yoga Meditation puts into practice the goals of classical Yoga to achieve the state of Nirvichara or mental silence.
Researchers led by Professor Sergio Elías Hernández from the University of La Laguna in Tenerife (ULL), in collaboration with scientists from King’s College London University, Jaume I University of Castellón and Sermas of Madrid, have been exploring for more than ten years the benefits of the state of mental silence on the human brain.
The study was carried out at the ULL MRI scanner, where the researchers recorded the brain anatomy of 23 meditator volunteers, experts in Sahaja Yoga meditation, and 23 non-meditating volunteers. Both groups were made up of healthy volunteers and both groups did not differ in age, educational level, ethnicity, proportion of men and women, etc.
To better understand this study, we must mention that the brain tissue is classified, according to its appearance, into three types: grey matter, made up of neuronal bodies and interconnections, (dark grey in resonance images); the white matter, formed by nerve fibers or long connections between distant areas, (light grey in the resonance images), and the cerebrospinal fluid or watery substance that fills the interior voids and serves as protection and transport of chemical substances.
The study of brain anatomy showed that meditators had, on average, 7% more grey matter in the whole brain. This type of comparison of the grey matter of the brain has been made in recent years among other groups in: athletes, musicians, taxi drivers, Buddhists, mindfulness meditators, etc. In these cases, the analyses showed that the group studied had local differences, greater grey matter, in brain areas associated with their specific practice, but the difference was never in the whole brain as it is the case with mental silence. The difference of 7% larger grey matter is especially significant if one takes into account that our brain loses between 0.15% and 0.3% of grey matter per year and small differences in grey matter can mark whether or not we keep intact our cognitive functions. It should be also noted that diseases, typical of the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s, senile dementia or Parkinson’s are also associated with loss of grey matter.
An advance of this study was published in the same journal Plos One in 2016, but the available methodology did not allow a detailed study to be made to see how the grey matter differences were distributed in the different areas of the brain. Given the uniqueness of the group differences observed throughout the whole brain, the researchers had to develop a specific statistical method (ad- hoc) to be able to evaluate these differences, area by area. Of all the brain areas, the grey matter difference was significantly larger in meditators in the right temporal lobe, an area associated with emotions, and in both frontal lobes, areas associated with cognitive and emotional self-control functions.
Study authors: Sergio Elías Hernándeza*, Roberto Dortab, José Sueroc, Alfonso Barros-Loscertalesd, José Luis González-Morae, Katya Rubiaf
a: Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
b: Departamento de Matemáticas, Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
c: Centro de Salud Jazmín, Sermas, Madrid, Spain. d: Departamento de Psycología, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. e: Departamento de Fisiología, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain f: Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, Londres, UK.
*Author for more information: Email: email@example.com
Two weeks before May 5, 1982, I learned how to meditate (really meditate, in thoughtless awareness, feeling the benevolent effects of my very own kundalini energy in me). Now Sahaja Yoga is celebrating 50 years of establishing global transformation, from a time when meditation was viewed as an esoteric hobby, to the present when it’s recommended worldwide by health experts for its universal balancing and integrative effects.
How time flies. Today it’s been half-a-century since that crucial sprouting that’s since risen into this majestic tree. Then, for me, it was still a 12-year-old sapling that has gradually lifted me into reality.
It’s so peaceful and fulfilling up here. Thank You, Shri Mataji, and everyone that has dedicated their lives to establishing this essential metamorphosis. 🦋🌳
Unlike the highly acclaimed new Joker movie, The King’s Speech depicts the struggle from childhood trauma up into the noble realms of bravery, compassion and liberation. (With 12 Oscar nominations, it is among the most nominated films of all time.) Decadent Gotham City and megalomanic Nazi Germany rise up darkly as universal threats to the shattered child, as does the wanton destruction of our biosphere and essential moral integrity today. As a victim of deep childhood trauma that has taken decades for me to transcend, I find it tremendously compelling and inspiring. How many of us can indeed be born again like a phoenix from the ashes of our past?
Innocence is not the absence of something. Innocence is an essential and powerful state and energy. We have learned to split atoms and now live in terror of that. When will human beings learn to live in balance, without going to harmful extremes, destroying that which is precious and fundamental to thriving life?
Civilizations have collapsed before our time, due to rampant corruption of sustaining values. The clock is ticking once again …
Photo taken in Peru when 30,000 people marched to protest about sexual theory content in schools. The abusive material was subsequently removed from classrooms.
‘There were between 20 million and 36 million slaves around the world in 2015, including 5.5 million children.’ (!)
… In Sahaja meditation, there is no deliberate effort to “concentrate,” and certainly, you do not need to focus your attention on a specific object. In fact, the goal is to avoid concentration or mental activity altogether. There’s no need to be mindful of or engage with your thoughts and feelings while meditating.
In fact, you won’t want to. Engaging your mind in such mental noise will only drag your attention back down to the first floor — that mental plane — rather than remaining in the state of thoughtless awareness. Thoughtless awareness is not simply a thought vacuum or state of thoughtless emptiness on the mental plane. It is a whole new dimension of awareness, higher awareness that is difficult to describe to someone who has not yet experienced it. We cannot fully conceive of its depth or describe it with language we’re accustomed to using on the ordinary mental plane.
In a suburb of Vancouver thirty-four years ago, when people would look at you like you just flew in from Mars if you mentioned meditation or yoga, I was very lucky to find an authentic technique for attaining thoughtless awareness — that natural state that has now been proven to bring on essential equilibrium. My daily experiences with all that are still improving, with no end to all the delightful surprises in sight.
Here’s a little taste. Hope you can also enjoy that.
This is a survey that I recently filled out for a Czech university student:
Hello, this survey was created to collect some information for my final work at school. Thank You for Your time and help. Anna
1. Are You male or female?
2. How old are You?
3. How long have You been practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
Almost 34 years (every day)
4. Were You born into a family practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
5. How often do You meditate?
I reach thoughtless awareness (meditation) many times a day
6. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation lower Your stress?
7. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation reduce some of Your negative personality traits?
8. Are collective Sahaja Yoga meditation activities important for You?
Yes, a lot
9. How do You participate in Sahaja Yoga meditation? (more answers possible)
I meditate alone at home
I attend seminars in my country
I attend seminars abroad
I attend programs
10. If You used to be a smoker, did You stop smoking with Sahaja Yoga meditation?
11. Had You ever been addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet…)? Did it stop when You started practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
12. Is there a difference during Your day, when You were able to get into thoughtless awareness from the days You did not manage?
Yes. If I don’t attain thoughtless awareness often the stress and noisy thoughts build up in me. These dissolve very quickly in the thoughtless awareness state.
13. How did You get into Sahaja Yoga meditation?
A friend found it then told me. (I was one of the first regular 15 or 16 Sahaja Yoga meditation practitioners in North America in 1982)
14. How did meditation help You?
It has improved my life completely and improves it daily, in every way.
15. Try to describe how big importance Sahaja Yoga meditation has in Your life.
It is the most important happening in modern times, not just for me but for everyone, worldwide. Here is the last paragraph of my online testimonial, read already by hundreds of thousands of people: https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top/
“In these few years I have met countless individuals from all walks of life — from London to Calcutta and from Moscow to Los Angeles — who have lived this miraculous metamorphosis and are using this natural power to transform themselves and others. It is my sincerest desire that anyone who reads these words will not judge the message mentally, but will make an honest, scientific investigation into the historic subject which now faces them. If their desire is pure and their determination for revealing the truth is undaunted, I have no doubt that they will also achieve this magnificent inner-awakening which is dawning to the human race.”
16. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation help You with some psychological disorder? What disorder did You have? How did meditation help You?
I was completely damaged by heavy recreational drugs (taken from age 14 to 24) and from a traumatic childhood. I was anti-social, unhealthy and miserably lost in life. Now I am a dynamic, popular global writer, artist and musician, loved and respected by those who come to know me.
17. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation or something related to it cause something negative to You?
It’s impossible for Sahaja Yoga meditation to harm a person. It is a completely natural, gentle and benevolent inner process. Only human beings can harm themselves and each other.
18. Did You feel any new sensation after You received self-realization?
My whole perception changed: clearer, more focused, more peaceful, lighter, more loving — and I am able, on my newly enlightened nervous-system, to feel the flowing divine Vibrations, like a cool breeze, that is only felt emitting from something or someone auspicious, constructive, beautiful, innocent and eternal. (The key to collective consciousness.)
19. Why do You meditate?
Meditation is not a hobby or pastime. It (thoughtless awareness) is a unique, essential state like waking, dream-sleep and deep-sleep. Anyone who does not attain meditation is living a fractured, unfulfilled life.
20. How is Sahaja Yoga meditation different, according to You, compared to any other meditations/religions/spiritual paths?
Sahaja Yoga meditation awakens the natural energy inside us whose only purpose is to connect us to reality, the pure, beautiful all-pervading Spirit. That is meant to be the very most basic and essential process of all spiritual paths.
21. Is there anything more You would like to say? Here is Your opportunity:
“Just over three decades ago, on Tuesday, April 20th, 1982 to be exact, I stumbled up out of a dark place and found myself filled with a permanent light and focus. I still can’t believe my luck. . . . I was born into a large family in a city in Canada. My parents were then chronic alcoholics and most of my memories, which reach back as far as my third year, are dark and fearful. I and two younger brothers were raised mostly by our older sisters. Our parents often fought. When my father left the family he was replaced by a man who I deeply feared as he treated us harshly and sometimes beat my mother. Twice, as a small child, I badly broke my right elbow. The second break was so severe that I almost lost my arm. My mother was not there that time to comfort me as she was being kept in a mental hospital, withdrawing from alcohol addiction. Throughout my early school years …”
A letter from a friend today: We were invited yesterday by a charity group specialized in offering services to families (one of the oldest and most respected in our region) to their monthly event. We were the highlight and we meditated with about 25-30 people, parents and children. The children LOVED it. Many came from mental problems, nothing really disturbing, but evidently very heavy atmosphere: adults looked really sad and hopeless, some of them; children had ADHD (“my kid cannot sit still not even for two minutes”). Children, stayed for the entire program, fifty minutes, and they didn’t want to go outside to play. They wanted to talk to us. They wrote us thank-you cards and amazing feedback. We even have it on tape and hope the parents will agree to have it posted on the website. And the “two-minute-only kid stayed in meditation all the time. He told his parents that he wants to meditate in the car, that he never felt so calm and in control, that he was sooo stressed out from school and now he is happy. He asked us to come to his school because his teacher is under a lot of stress, then he told his mom to do this meditation because she is under a lot of stress. His mom could not thank us enough, and also the other parents. But the children, they were ANGELS, and the parents were worried sick about “them not being OK” 🙂
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, set out to discover exactly that when they tracked emotions such as compassion, joy, love, and so on versus the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6)—a secretion which causes inflammation in the body—in the saliva of 119 university students. The researchers found that those who regularly have positive emotions have less IL-6—and they noticed the strongest correlation with one particular emotion.
“There seems to be something about awe,” Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor and the senior author of the study, told the New York Times. “It seems to have a pronounced impact on markers related to inflammation.” Most of us think of awe as something felt rarely—but we may experience it more than we think. The students reported feeling awe three or more times a week. “How great is that?” Keltner said. “Some people feel awe listening to music, others watching a sunset or attending a political rally or seeing kids play.”
But what is awe, exactly? Unusually for an academic, Keltner’s definition was less than rigorous but perfect nonetheless. Suggesting that you seek the feeling out as much as you can, he said that anything that inspires awe will pass “the goosebumps test.”
Although this article may sound fanatically new-age-ish, it is basically a sound summary, but missing the most important point at the end: the individual members of the society that determine their own fate together must essentially be enlightened in order to avoid the same or worse mistakes in the future … http://www.naturalnews.com/032258_economic_collapse_2012.html
. (and, enlightenment/meditation/alert mental silence is not something achieved through reading or believing, but is an actual, simple state that can be reached and maintained by anyone, as explained here by Professor Katya Rubia)
In Thailand, Buddhist monks have started taking to Sahaja Meditation to get spiritually deeper. The natural state of alert, mental silence that’s easily achieved with this method is proving useful in all walks of life. Here’s how it’s becoming popular in New York City high schools:
Why the modern, one-sided approach to medicine is not wholesome and healing.
‘The Art of Medicine’: Paying attention to the bipartite brain
“What I am going to say will appal many right-thinking scientists….”
“… We need both types of attention (left and right brain). But their relation is not symmetrical. Several different lines of argument converge to show that the right hemisphere is aware of, and understands, more than the left: but the left is more able to articulate and use what it knows. The right hemisphere grounds what then gets to be processed, at an intermediate level, by the left hemisphere, before returning to the right hemisphere for integration into the rest of what we know, in order to make sense of it….”
“… Medical education needs urgently to be brought back to the humanities out of which it once arose. Doctors are likely to be effective in proportion to the degree that they are able to see the broader context in which the complaint brought before them lies—nothing less than the whole world of the patient in front of them. I remember with chagrin how, on “take”, the wards would fill with patients who had chest pain or abdominal pain, the majority sent home without a diagnosis. No-one thought of—possibly, it occurs to me now, no-one even knew how to—sit down with them and ask about their lives.”
“Don’t get me wrong: detailed scientific knowledge is hugely important. We rely on such minute information to inform the bigger picture. But it is a necessary, not sufficient, condition, of being a good physician. Without a way of understanding and interpreting it at a deeper level, more detailed knowledge will achieve precisely nothing, and will lead us ultimately to let our patients down. It will close our reality down into what we imagine to be certain, where an appropriate awareness of the limitations of our knowledge would have liberated us and our patients into a world much richer than we can suspect.”