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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 4, Pages 513-521
Original Article

Studies of Advanced Stages of Meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vedic Traditions. I: A Comparison of General Changes

Hethe House, Cowden, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7DZ, UK

Received 14 September 2005; Accepted 26 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 Alex Hankey. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article is the first of two comparing findings of studies of advanced practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in remote regions of the Himalayas, with established results on long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation programs. Many parallel levels of improvement were found, in sensory acuity, perceptual style and cognitive function, indicating stabilization of aspects of attentional awareness. Together with observed increases in EEG coherence and aspects of brain function, such changes are consistent with growth towards a state of total brain functioning, i.e. development of full mental potential. They are usually accompanied by improved health parameters. How they may be seen to be consistent with growth of enlightenment will be the subject of a second article.