The new February 2006 issue of Wired has an article on how the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Buddhist sect has gotten involved with Western neuroscientologists to do research into this field.
A decade later, [Doctor Richardson] got a chance to examine Tibetan Buddhists in his own lab. In June 2002, Davidson’s associate Antoine Lutz positioned 128 electrodes on the head of Mattieu Ricard. A French-born monk from the Shechen Monastery in Katmandu, Ricard had racked up more than of 10,000 hours of meditation.
Lutz asked Ricard to meditate on “unconditional loving-kindness and compassion.” He immediately noticed powerful gamma activity – brain waves oscillating at roughly 40 cycles per second – indicating intensely focused thought. Gamma waves are usually weak and difficult to see. Those emanating from Ricard were easily visible, even in the raw EEG output. Moreover, oscillations from various parts of the cortex were synchronized – a phenomenon that sometimes occurs in patients under anesthesia.
The researchers had never seen anything like it. Worried that something might be wrong with their equipment or methods, they brought in more monks, as well as a control group of college students inexperienced in meditation. The monks produced gamma waves that were 30 times as strong as the students’. In addition, larger areas of the meditators’ brains were active, particularly in the left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for positive emotions.
Compare with this brief excert I translated the book Aum and I, written by convicted former cult member and medical doctor Ikuo Hayashi.
A book called Bodhisattva Sutra was published in September. The book tells that an initiation using what was later known as PSI had been developed. This was done by reading Asahara’s brain waves during meditation using electrodes, channel them, resonate another’s brain to match Asahara’s brain waves and cause then to have the same experience of meditation.
In the phone call, Asahara said to me, “Krishna Nanda, there is an interesting experiment that I wish to show you. Bring Nurse Komiya and Doctor K, and come quickly to the Seiryu Vihara.”
When I arrived, I was surprised to see that there was an honest to God brain wave meter, and a room that has been electrically shielded how one has to for measuring brain waves that they called the shield room had been built. Murai, Nakagawa, and Dr. S has done research and written a program that could read brain waves into a computer and then re-send them.
If they could infuse the data of Asahara’s meditation, it would mean the birth of a new enlightened one, possessing the same “enlightenment” as Asahara.
Which possibility sounds best?
A) Both the Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara are crazy to be interested in this field.
B) Studying the brain waves of a meditative state makes sense, but Asahara’s plan to transfer that state was insane.
C) Asahara had the right idea.
Or am I missing one?