Dr Ramesh Manocha: the three scientific conclusions for meditation

The observations of previous randomised controlled trials assessing meditation could lead to three possible conclusions: 1. Meditation is in fact no more effective than other approaches to rest and relaxation. Yet meditative traditions have existed for thousands of years and at least in India, are widely perceived to have specific…

Guidelines for prescribing meditating to avoid adverse affects

In view of the seriousness of some of the reactions described above it is questionable whether all forms of meditation can be viewed as “generally safe for general consumption”. Moreover, given that recent reviews of meditation have clearly demonstrated a lack of convincing evidence for a specific effect, the importance…

Why the West ignored mental silence

The conceptualisation of meditation as involving mental silence is virtually absent in Western scientific discussion. Why has this important notion been ignored? How did contemporary, popular notions of meditation become almost diametrically opposed to the ancient Indian ideas which form their source? Some explanations are examined below. When René Descartes…

The “multimodal” approach to meditation

In my systematic review of 120 randomised controlled trials, twenty eight trials used a “multimodal” approach in which meditation was used as part of a “blunderbuss” of interventions woven into a single coordinated program. Most of these programs involved other practices aimed at reducing stress such as yoga postures, exercise,…

Graph: Skin temperature of mental silence meditators vs generic meditators

The graph displays a key difference between mental silence based meditation and other types of meditation. Previous definitions of meditation have not differentiated between meditation and relaxation. A key feature of relaxation is that skin temperature increases with the reduced physiological arousal. This graph shows data from a heuristic physiological…

Dr Ramesh Manocha: 2 RCTs show therapeutic effects of mental silence

In order to effectively tease out the effects of mental silence as opposed to the effects of other aspects of Sahaja Yoga meditation it was obviously necessary to use randomised controlled trial methodology. Having refined the practical approach in previous clinics it became possible to develop a standardised, instructional strategy…

Mental silence and positive health

A national survey of Sahaja Yoga meditation practitioners using standardised measures revealed that meditators experienced significantly better levels of quality of life and mental health as compared to population data drawn from national health surveys using the same instruments. Similar surveys of populations practising Western forms of religiosity also reported…