This Is Your Brain On Transcendental Meditation
January 8, 2020
Entrepreneur Henry Valdez is so sure that meditation can change your life, he wants to prove it.
Valdez discovered meditation after years of struggling with his mental and emotional health. He traces his issues back to the difficult relationship he had with his father, which later led to anger issues and a pattern of self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. “Doing meditation was really helped me get clear with that,” he says. “I see it in my behavior and in my thoughts, my desires, the way I act. I mean, everything about myself has changed.” And today, he wants to demonstrate how.
Valdez sits down with Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at the Maharishi University of Management, who studies Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM is a silent meditation that involves the use of a mantra and is practiced for 20 minutes, twice a day. It was introduced in the 1950s by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and Dr. Travis says that not only can a meditator feel the effects of the method—but that we can also see it.
Click play on the Outlier exclusive video above to watch Dr. Travis attach the metal electrodes of an electroencelphalogram (EEG) monitoring machine to Valdez’s scalp, which records and measures the electrical impulses of his brain while he meditates. As Dr. Travis explains, the EEG displays the brainwave patterns on both the left and right side of the brain, along with the coherence—or communication—between the two. “When the coherence is very high, that’s when he’s meditating, that’s when he’s transcending,” explains Dr. Travis. “Where the coherence has gone down, that’s when his mind is off in thought.”
Transcendental meditation is “a technique to go from thinking and doing and worrying and planning to just being,” says Dr. Travis. “It’s as though your mind has a vertical dimension. On the surface it’s active, on the depths it’s silence,” explains Dr. Travis. And that silence inside, “is a source of your creative impulses, the source of intuition.”
This site is for educational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical care by a doctor or otherwise qualified medical professional. The information provided by Outlier Magazine is on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.