Intelligent Design Mind Neuroscience

Far from disproving that meditators can change their metabolism, science is proving it

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An interesting outcome of the scientific method is when it verifies something like this:

In a startling development, the brain wave tracings indicated that instead of being in a slow calm alpha state, which had been observed in meditators in the West, this monk showed marked asymmetry in alpha and beta wave activity between hemispheres. That’s to say, one part of his brain was in calm meditation while the other hemisphere showed a more active beta state, a state of high mental stimulation. What’s more, measurements of his oxygen consumption were cause for concern. After ruling out air leaks in the system or defective equipment, attention turned to the monk himself. It soon became apparent that this monk was breathing at an extremely low rate, 6 to 7 breaths per minute. It was established that during his stabilization meditation, it was a decrease in metabolism of 64 percent from rest. Never before had such a decrease been documented. Decreases of metabolism during sleep have been seen from a range of 10 to 15%, during simple meditation 17%. 64% was truly remarkable.

Tibetan monks CAN change their metabolism” at Mind Matters News

See also: Further reading: Yes, the placebo effect is real, not a trick. But the fact that the mind acts on the body troubles materialists. Such facts, they say, require revision.


Do we actually remember everything? Neuroscience evidence suggests that our real problem isn’t with remembering things but finding our memories when we need them. One of a pioneer neurosurgeon’s cases featured a patient who could, unaccountably, speak ancient Greek. The explanation was not occult but it was surely remarkable for what it shows about memory.

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4 Replies to “Far from disproving that meditators can change their metabolism, science is proving it

  1. 1
    hazel says:

    First, News means meditators, not mediators.

    Seconds, things like this are old news, although the story in the OP is quite amazing. Fifty years ago I saw an Indian swami perform a number of seemingly impossible physiological feats, such as making one hand cold and white and the other red and hot. Many similar feats have been documented for a long time.

    Third, this really doesn’t bear on the materialism/nonmaterialsim question, as of course, whatever mind is, it obviously interacts with the material body. Try having a nice sex fantasy and see what I mean. The difference between the things we do every day, all the time, and the meditators is that the meditators have learned how to be in touch with a broader range of bodily processes, and how to

  2. 2
    hazel says:

    … end of last sentence got cut off above: influence and control them in more subtle, indirect ways than normal.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Shouldn’t have been a surprise. Many parts of the involuntary nervous system can be controlled voluntarily with enough trials and training.

    They seem to think 6 to 7 breaths per minute is extreme. It’s normal for me when sitting quietly. I doubt that I’m unique.

  4. 4
    vmahuna says:

    Some decades ago now, I saw a special on TV that looked at 3 or 4 alleged claims about Tibetan monks. This probably included VERY slow breathing or sealed in an air tight box, but the one that got me was a live demonstration of drying wet clothing using only body heat when the outdoor temperature was near freezing. NO ONE, except of course the monks, could explain how a man wearing only a thin, soaking wet tunic could kneel in a snow bank and not only NOT get frostbite, but actually DRY his wet clothing. The only thing the monks said was that it “takes practice”.
    Or as Hamlet put it, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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