Participating in the ananda spurana workshop, conducted by sri nithyananda swamigal, propelled the writer into deep ecstasy and helped him find his true guru
Mind of a mystic
When Paramahansa Sri Nithyananda Swamigal recently passed through my city (Oklahoma, USA), I asked him if he would let me use the newest technology to peer into his brain while he meditates. Happily, he agreed.
The procedures he went through were administered by some of Oklahoma City’s finest and most experienced physicians, neuropsychologists and researchers: Drs Fordyce, Ruwe and Higgins of the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center Neuropsychology Department and Dr Chacko of the PET Center of Oklahoma. These doctors were using technology they use with patients on a routine basis. When they look at images obtained by their technology, they know what’s normal and what’s not.
The results from testing Swami? Decidedly not normal.
Our first look into Swamiji’s brain was achieved with the help of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) device. PET produces images of the function of the brain through the metabolic activity of cells. An analog of glucose is attached to a radioactive PET tracer. The PET scanner then images the metabolically active brain areas at any given time.
In the case of Swamiji, the drug was intended to identify highly active areas of the brain in an alert and conscious state, in the early stages of meditation and during deep meditation.
The results of the PET scan tests were stunning. The activity in the frontal lobes of Swami’s brain was significantly heightened, even in early meditation stages. When we then asked Swami to go into the deepest meditation state, there were two more remarkable findings. First, the dominant hemisphere of Swami’s brain was more than 90 per cent shut down. It was quiet and still, completely at peace…
The second amazing thing was that the lower portion of his mesial frontal areas lighted up in a very significant way. This area roughly corresponds to the reputed location of the mystical ‘Third Eye’. When we later asked Swamiji what he was doing when the mesial frontal areas lighted up, he said he was opening his third eye.
Were we seeing an indication that deep meditation can open an area of the brain responsible for communicating with the divine, looking deep into the mysteries of self or creation? I believe the PET scan revealed what I call the brain’s ‘D-spot’. Whether you consider the ‘D’ in D-spot to stand for delight, the divine or even dopamine, the chemical through which our bodies experience pleasure, initial indications are that meditation can stimulate it.
The second procedure we used to look into Swamiji’s brain is known as Quantitative Electroencephalography,
or QEEG. It measures electrical patterns in the brain, patterns commonly referred to as brainwaves.
From Swami’s QEEG, we can see that he has complete control over his brainwaves. When in deep meditation, his brain smoothly shifted from one state to another, like a talented pianist playing the scales. There was no hesitation and no retreating, just continuous, fluid shifts from one type of brainwave to the next. Because the QEEG represents the brainwave bandwidths as colours, it was as we were watching Swami float from colour to colour within a rainbow.
More than answering questions, the voyage we took into the mind of a mystic brings intriguing questions for study.
Are there techniques we can learn and teach that will bring balance and peace into people’s lives? Can we invoke a healing response or accelerate healing through specific training? Can we learn techniques that will allow us to control pain or alter the course of a disease? Can we learn to activate what I call our D-spot, thus putting us in instant connection to delight or the divine?
R. Murali Krishna
R. Murali Krishna is president of James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body & Spirit,
and President of INTEGRIS Mental Health, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.
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