On 4 November 2016, the journal Brain and Cognition reported a study by neuroscientist Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the Centre for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, on a new breakthrough in scientific research which shows the clear difference between the effortless practice of Transcendental Meditation and all forms of meditation that involve focus of attention.
This exciting breakthrough introduces the “default mode network”—a network of regions deep in the brain that are active and highly correlated with each other when the brain is in default mode, i.e. when the individual is not focused.
Dr. Travis’ paper on default mode network activation and Transcendental Meditation practice has been submitted for publication in the journal Brain and Cognition. The basic finding is that during practice of Transcendental Meditation the default mode network becomes more active. This indicates that the mind is not focused in any way, that the mind is relaxed and that the practice is effortless. Other forms of meditation all show decreased activity in the default mode network, indicating that the mind is being focused, and not allowed to effortlessly transcend.
The conclusion is that all women have this default capacity but, of many meditations studied, only the TM technique triggers it. A benefit of this restful alert state experienced during the TM practice twice daily is that the body simultaneously rests deeply, giving rise to the host of benefits associated with TM.