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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2008 :  04:07:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi YogaIsLife:

Becoming "stillness in action" is the most natural thing in the world. Not a separation at all, and definitely not passive as far as doing things in the world is concerned. We can do so much more in loving stillness. That is why we call it an "outpouring of divine love." Human beings are designed for that. It is our destiny.

Yoga means "union," and that says it all. The perception of separation is what we are before enlightenment. The thing we are afraid of is the thing we have been already -- divided. Yoga goes a very long way to resolving that. And the fear dissolves...

You said it yourself: "Yoga is life." Pretty exciting, huh?

The guru is in you.

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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2008 :  05:28:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply


Thanks a lot Yogani for your reply! I guess you are right, I guess I had some answers in my own forum name hahaha

I will take your word for it and keep practicing at my own pace. After all it takes a bit of faith in the beggining.

Meanwhile don't let my musings divert you from the work at hand here, which is to bring about the scientific study of human spiritual transformation! This will certainly be something to see in the future.

All the best!
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AYPforum

351 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2008 :  11:06:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Moderator note: Topic moved for better placement
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2008 :  11:14:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi All:

See the recent email correspondence below for some additional comments on AYP, yoga and science. More comments welcome.

All the best!

The guru is in you.
-------------------------------

Q: I was directed to your AYP web site by a friend and was confused by this quote:

"It is a flexible, scientific approach rather than a rigid, arbitrary one."

What's the science behind your approach to yoga?

Thanks!


A: Thank you for your note.

The "science" of AYP is in the fact that only "cause and effect" count. Each person is invited to judge the effectiveness of the practices on the basis of results in their own life. No one is asked to take anything on faith, or on the basis of "arbitrary" proclamations. Furthermore, open communication among practitioners is encouraged in the AYP Support Forums, which is leading to clear identification of the repetition of results in many areas of practice, and also the detailed comparative scrutiny of practices from many traditions, etc.

This may not sound like science in the sense of statistically controlled experiments, and so on, but it is the best we can do at this time. I come from a scientific background and have a desire to see the academic science of it become more systematic and organized.

There has been quite a lot of formal research on various spiritual methods over the past 40 years, but it remains scattered. What limited focus there has been is centered in the healthcare field (alternative medicine). We hope to see that eventually move beyond to a more focused approach for examining the processes of human spiritual transformation. See here:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=3267
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....D=3511#31786 (and next post on TM research)

Admittedly, there is still a long way to go in ferreting out the deep science of human spiritual transformation, but we have to start somewhere. So here we are.

The most important thing is that we are working with an integration of time-tested methods in open and flexible ways that enable us to optimize causes and effects, while leaving rigid "by-rote" approaches of the past behind when they do not work as well as they should. Results in daily life are what rule. No longer blind faith in knowledge that is handed to us with assured sanctimony.

Hope that helps. Btw, the best place to start in AYP is at the beginning. If you take it in order from here, you will see how the practices are built up step-by-step: http://www.aypsite.org/MainDirectory.html

You are also invited to join in the discussions in the support forums anywhere you like.

AYP is a blend of ancient knowledge with a modern flexible approach of applying knowledge in ways that yield best results. The focus is on applying the simplest possible "control levers" for stimulating the complex processes of spiritual transformation available within us. This is how modern science has yielded so many wonderful advances in many fields of endeavor in recent centuries -- developing simple effective control levers for complex processes that anyone can use with good benefits. The knowledge of yoga and spiritual practices is no different. We are breaking out from the limited thinking of the past, even as we take full advantage of all that has gone before.

Wishing you all the best on your path. Enjoy!

The guru is in you.

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Eitherway

USA
100 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2008 :  3:28:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Eitherway's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Yogani,

Please check out www.andrewnewberg.com

From his website:

Dr. Andrew Newberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology. He is the director and co-founder of the Center for Spirituality and the Neurosciences, also at the University of Pennsylvania.

He might be interested at advancing the agenda discussed in this thread. Ok, gotta go but will be reading his book soon.

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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2008 :  3:56:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Eitherway

Dear Yogani,

Please check out www.andrewnewberg.com

From his website:

Dr. Andrew Newberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology. He is the director and co-founder of the Center for Spirituality and the Neurosciences, also at the University of Pennsylvania.

He might be interested at advancing the agenda discussed in this thread. Ok, gotta go but will be reading his book soon.




Hi Eitherway:

An excellent potential connection. Thank you!

Here is another neuroscientist -- Jill Bolte Taylor -- who had a serious stroke and lived to tell about it, from the point of view of its spiritual content: http://mystrokeofinsight.com

She has become very well-known from her TED talk earlier this year and subsequent visit with Oprah, and has recently come out with a book. (She was originally introduced in the AYP forums here.)

Dissolving the barriers between science and systems of spiritual practice and their resulting experiences is a high priority in our time, because it is science that will inform humanity about its inherent potential for enlightenment on a wide scale.

All the best!

The guru is in you.


PS: It would be wonderful if we could attract several knowledgeable scientists to come and "talk" with us here. In fact, Jill Bolte Taylor already has an open invitation from us. Anyone with contacts in the scientific community, please let me know.

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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  07:38:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I haven`t had time to read the whole thread yet but I would think the Mind and Life institute could be a valuable partner in such an endevour. So could the Benson henry institute at Harvard and Trungpas Naropa university. Researchers that would be very interested in such a project includes Paul Ekman, Jack Engler, Daniel Goleman and Mark Epstein. Insight meditation society also have a huge amount of teachers with degress (often phd) in psychology and other relevant fields. They are also a big institution to begin with and could play a vital role in helping to get something like this started.
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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  07:49:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I forgot to mention that over at taobums they are discussing the idea of getting a lot of taoist masters togheter to make them study each others systems openly to improve on them and to start making some sort of library collecting all sorts of information on cultivation.

I have also myself tought about the possibility of trying to get secretive yogis to describe their techniques in detail in books. I think several might be persuaded that the times are changing and most techniques are already in the open or soon will be. Hence it is better to get them written down in a proper way and with all precautions mentioned. Because most yogic masters are in India or other developing contries one could hire local yogis with academic backgrounds to pursue the masters and write down techniques quite cheaply.

The Bihar school has a long policy of openness about their teachings and has extensively written them down and published them. They are also a rather big institution very much interested in research on yoga.

The Iyengar institute and Desikachars institute are also large well organised quality institutions that have similar beliefs and already are involved in lots of research. They could be very helpfull in such a project.

In india several universities and large research institutes are investigating yoga heavily. The same is even more so the case for medical qigong in china. Even tough such an insitute should be at a large university I think many smaler players and institutions can be brought in to help in many beneficial ways. Research doesn`t always have to be done all in one place to be coordinated. An organistation with the purpose of promoting aplied spiritual science can hold conferences among academics that can be instrumental in coordinating research at a number of institutions so that they are working conordinated and effecticely towards the same goal.

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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  1:40:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Markern:

Many thanks for the ideas. See here for some related thoughts on helping:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....D=1154#38937

In the case of research and education, it is a matter of inspired practitioners directly approaching all possible channels.

Thanks, and all the best!

The guru is in you.

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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  2:10:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by yogani

In the case of research and education, it is a matter of inspired practitioners directly approaching all possible channels.


I agree...This is what I am trying to do with a guy named David Orme Johnson who has written dozens of papers on his studies of meditation and it's effects, primarily on substance abuse, hence why I am approaching him. If others take up the call to report on measureable effects they are getting to others who are doing research in such areas, we will soon have an overload of research I'm sure.

In Love,
Carson

Edited by - CarsonZi on Oct 15 2008 2:13:03 PM
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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  3:51:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
"In the case of research and education, it is a matter of inspired practitioners directly approaching all possible channels."

Sounds good. I believe a lot can be done that way. I am actualy in the process of writing an email to a researcher that has done one project on meditation explaining how certain related techniques might be relevant to her broader research agenda which is partly achivement amongst elite athletes and eating disorders in general.

My meditation teacher is going to start a phd soon, probably about qigong but he is still in the process of desiding what to write about. I showed him your site today.

Ervin Lazlo is a philosopher that is trying to make a sort of theory of everything drawing on quantum physics, research on telepathy, research on meditation and hindu theories about the Acashic field. For such an alterantive research agenda he has very broad respect in academic communities for his previous work and has taught at several prestigous universities. Aplied spiritual science would be something he would support strongly.

In general I think the whole field of mindfulness psychology is going to become the main field in therapy. It has already gotten a lot of interest and research with good results. When I inquired about mindfulness books at my universities bookshop they said that lots of people have started asking about it lately. Many very respected researchers are looking into it now.

Have you read the books the Dalai Lama at MIT, Healing emotions and Destructive emotions by Daniel Goleman Yogani? They are resumes of the talks held between the Dalai Lama and his monks and some of the wests foremost scientists within several fields. They discuss both aplied spiritual science and the secularisation of meditative and yogic techniques for the purpose of general happiness and development of emphaty for people at large. The purpose of the Mind and life institute and these dialogues is in large part to make that happen over the long term. After the Dalai Lama was at MIT several hundred top scientists signed up to a newsletter updating them on developments in meditation research. The whole thing has infused science with a huge optimism for human potential and is slowly revolutionising the field.
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divinefurball

USA
138 Posts

Posted - Mar 05 2009 :  11:52:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Good News for Meditation Research:


$6 Million Grant Creates Meditation Study Center

Media Inquiries

news@uwhealth.orgMADISON Research at UW-Madison has already shown that meditation can change the brain. Now a new grant will allow a more in-depth investigation of how these changes can affect sleep, pain tolerance, emotion regulation and other measures of well-being.

A $6 million grant from NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) will create a new "Center for Excellence" on the Madison campus to study the brain changes created by meditating.

"This will be the most rigorous and comprehensive study of meditation that has ever been done in the history of scientific research,'' said Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry.

Davidson, head of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, will head the new Wisconsin Center on the Neuroscience and Psychophysiology of Meditation. His fellow investigators are Giulio Tononi, professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and associate scientist Antoine Lutz, of the Waisman brain imaging laboratory.

Dr. Josephine P. Briggs, NCCAM director said, the grant was passed on "strong preliminary work" and that all the new centers will apply complementary medicine approaches to "a wide range of health conditions and diseases that affect the American public."

The Wisconsin Center on the Neuroscience and Psychophysiology of Meditation will study two groups of people who meditate.

In the first group are practitioners of insight meditation. It is an ancient practice that is said to promote well-being, emotional balance and concentration through self-observation, disciplined attention to thoughts, emotions and physical sensations of the body. Practitioners explicitly cultivate positive qualities such as loving-kindness and compassion.

In the second are people trained in a newer form of meditation, known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is taught at UW Health and other hospitals to help patients cope with chronic illness and pain.

"While mindfulness mediation is commonly taught at medical centers, there has been little research done to understand how it works in the brain and the body," Davidson said.

Over the next five years, volunteers will practice both types of meditation and participate in three studies:
The impact of insight meditation on emotional reactivity and emotion regulation. Davidson said that functional MRI (fMRI) and measures of peripheral physiology and endocrine function may help show "how changes in the brain influence the changes in the body that may be important to health." One example could be inflammation, which plays a key role in diseases ranging from asthma to cardiovascular disease to wound healing.
The neural and behavioral measures of the impact of mindfulness meditation on attention and pain regulation.
The impact of meditation on spontaneous brain activity during sleep. This project will also use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to probe changes in brain circuits and connectivity.
"At the end of five years, we should know how meditation works and what brain connections are exercised or strengthened," Davidson said.
The grant creates one of the first federally-funded centers to study meditation. It follows a $2.5 grant from the Fetzer Foundation to use neuroscience to study how to foster compassion, love and forgiveness in children and adults. That work will be part of a planned "Center for Creating a Healthy Mind,'' which will also study and teach meditation practices.
Of the latest grant, Davidson said: "It's a testament to the team we've been able to assemble here at Wisconsin, which is clearly the best team working in this emerging area of science."



Date published: 11/03/2008


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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Mar 05 2009 :  12:06:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
SWEET!!! Thanks for posting this divinefurball!

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krcqimpro1

India
329 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2009 :  11:36:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yogani,
There is a "swami" in the ISCON movement, name of "Rasa Raja Das". He is a scientist by qual. and training(a PhD), who is the head of their Vedanta Research Foundation. He spends 6 months in the year in S.F. where their headquarters is located. I know for a fact that he has organised seminars where Nobel Laureates were invited to discuss the links between science and religion. He has, in fact, established a PhD program in Spiritual Science in the BITS Pilani University in India.
Since you are in the US, why don't you contact him? I am sure he would be delighted to discuss the subject.

Krish
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Mar 10 2009 :  11:40:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Divinefurball and Krish:

Great stuff. Others are bound to pick up on these things and the synergies will continue to occur. The more we can reveal the rising trend of spiritual science here, the better.

Thank you for sharing!

The guru is in you.

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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  11:22:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by BellaMente from here

Thanks Yogani! I read through the thread and think that an applied spiritual science department will definitely be a hit and I would love to help in any way I can. I know the funding will be more difficult but I can get some connections and find out what would have to be done for this. I do not know about the funding coming from healthcare related agencies (the pharmaceutical companies I know are the main funders for health care, at least for medical schools and departments, and I think they would rather continue making their drugs rather than competing with self-healing geared techniques.) I do agree it would have to be at a bigger university with more resources and more publicity. Whether everyone believes in it or not I don't think will matter (people get degrees in theology while most people do not even acknowledge a god.) And there are so many unusual and rare degrees nowadays it is surprising - and at major accredited universities - most of them don't even serve any purpose. At least applied spiritual science is geared towards research and has a scientific purpose - meaning there will be work - while there are popular college degrees that don't really have promising career outlooks (e.g. philosophy). I've read many studies on the effects of meditation published in journals with positive results so I know there is interest out there. (Also, there is a psychiatrist, Lee Sannella, that has worked on kundalini awakenings and would probably support this also.) I really am excited about the idea (I can even see some of the courses and material: scientific research methods, different religions/spiritual texts, quantum mechanics, AYP core principles/practices, maybe certain classes specializing in certain techniques, psychology classes on how the mind effects the body (my last college had that class) and another psychology class that studies in depth accounts of spiritual awakening (Gopi Krishna, Krishnamurti, etc.) It would be similar research to the reasearch done in psychology. I think there should be a lot of advertising and publicity once it starts going though.... I will talk to some people and let you know more information...

Do you have anything specific in mind - specific schools, classes, teachers?


Hi BellaMente:

That's great. All in good time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

We are going to have to work on the acronym though:
"Applied Spiritual Science" = ASS.

A better one:
"Department of Applied Spiritual Science" = DASS
Much more respectable.

It doesn't matter what it is called, as long as the work gets done.

As for what it turns out to be structurally in the academic/research community, I don't have preconceived notions other than the fact that it will likely follow normal university protocols, which is fine.

What will make this significant is the fact that increasing numbers of people around the world are going though the process of human spiritual transformation. So, rather than only looking back, we are looking at what is happening now, how it can be optimized, and its implications for the whole of humanity. It is what AYP is about, and as the phenomenon grows, so too will interest in the research institutions.

Machart raised a good point earlier: Why attempt to measure the unmeasurable? Why not just let the divine love flow? My reason is a simple one. The more embedded this kind of knowledge becomes in our society, the greater will be its long term relevance. It takes a certain amount of structured knowledge to facilitate a spiritual awakening on a mass scale. For millennia, it has been the job of religion to develop and preserve the knowledge. Now we are in a position to see it migrate into the scientific institutions, which offers important advantages.

All the best!

The guru is in you.

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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  11:41:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
DASS sounds OK but college kids would still call it Department of ASS, or ASS department.
I guess the word "spiritual" is the most ambiguous of the three. Maybe you could come up with something like "Science of Enlightenment" or "Evolutionary Enlightenment".
I don't like the word "enlightenment" though - too much baggage.

or Science of Applied Spirituality

Edited by - Etherfish on Sep 20 2009 11:44:18 AM
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BellaMente

USA
147 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  4:38:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Well I can definitely talk to the president of my last college about it, I know he will be able and willing to help me or at least point me in the right direction. I can at least find out what has to be done to get this going. I can also talk to the provost of the school I am currently attending.

In my opinion, I think that the courses would have to come before the actual department / degree. Most schools would probably want to introduce the classes first to see how many students sign up. If there is a demand for it, then most likely they would be willing to set up the department. I have seen this happen at my last college. They would start to offer non-accredited classes on rare subjects (the most common example is languages - they offer classes in foreign languages that are not usually taken and see how many people enrolled, if there was a sufficient interest they would add it to the accredited classes, and if there was a growing interest then they would add higher level classes and depending again on the interest of these, they would set up a degree.) I have seen classes such as 'comparative religions' move from non-accredited to accredited. I also have seen a philosophy type class based on studies of the ancient texts of different religions offered, and I am sure it will move up to the credited courses soon. This is even more true now, with all the budget cuts in departments. Many universities are cutting programs and closing departments to cut costs. So if this is the case, that the school would want to offer the classes first to see how many people are interested, I would think then that the main problem besides funding would be publicity and finding the teachers. But I don't know for sure, I will have to talk to the right people to find out.

So Yogani you don't know what kind of curriculum there should be? Do you have any ideas for subjects, classes? (I can let these people know some ideas and see what they have to say...)
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BellaMente

USA
147 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  4:40:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Also, I might be wrong, but I can see this happening a lot faster than you think....

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BellaMente

USA
147 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  4:56:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Another thing, I just wanted to back my claim up that schools set up some of the most uncommon and strange majors, so I'm sure Applied Spiritual Science would not be much different. Plus there are universities where you can create your own major:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com...ajors-2.html
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  5:22:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi BellaMente:

Thanks much for your interest in this. It needs dedicated "fire starters" and "implementers" before much can happen. It will take a sustained effort to build the necessary momentum.

It can be either the gradual evolution of classes you suggest, or a big fat grant (most likely CAM-related) on the front end to undertake extensive research on human spiritual transformation. One would eventually lead to the other. Both occurring at the same time would be even better.

As for curriculum, the AYP lessons and books are very much that. After independent practitioner support, it has always been an objective that the two AYP Easy Lessons textbooks (#2 coming next year) and the nine (maybe to become 10) small Enlightenment Series books could support classroom instruction in just about any environment, including university at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. So the AYP writings can be used for that. The curriculum is already there, at least from this author's point of view.

This forum is also a model for how open source communications on spiritual research in a multi-national academic environment can flourish. It is happening here "non-academically" on a high level already, and there is no reason why it could not happen in a similar fashion in the academic community as well. All it will take is more practitioners in the research field, gathering together online for that purpose. It is common in many other fields of research.

quote:
Also, I might be wrong, but I can see this happening a lot faster than you think....

The sooner the better.

The guru is in you.

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Yonatan

Israel
849 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  6:05:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
wow this is very exciting!! If something like that can happen, it would be really amazing..
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krcqimpro1

India
329 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2009 :  11:33:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Yogani,The Birla Institute of Science and Technology, in Pilani, Rajasthan, is running an MS Program in Spiritual Science for several years now.A Mr. Ravi Gomatam, who is in charge of the Bhakti Vedanta Institute in San Francisco,and who has conducted seminars on "Science and Spirituality" with several Nobel Laureates as speakers, is the lead faculty for this program. You might like to contact him. His "Ashram" name in ISCON is "Ras Raj Das"
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Sep 21 2009 :  10:09:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Krish.
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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Oct 01 2009 :  4:40:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know if these two people have been mentioned here before but I am reading a book by one Patricia Carrington M.D. (http://www.amazon.com/Book-Meditati..._at_ep_dpi_3), who is a psychotherapist and did some research in the use and effeciency of meditation. I think she tried to fill in a gap in studying a standardized form of meditation and how it affects different types of people and how different types of meditation may suit different kinds of people. A very big gap in meditation scientific research in my opinion. Apparently this author is from University of Princeton. I know that is USA but don't know where exactly . The book I read is apparently from 1977 and I am sad to see how little meditation scientific research has advanced since - though the author states in it she is convinced areas with little research will with no doubt become very well studied in the not-so-long future!

In that book she also mentions the studies of one Herbert Beson (defined the famous "Relaxation Response") who apparently was pioneer in meditation scientific research. Maybe this gentleman is stil an active researcher?

Just my 2-cent.
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