Physiology, psychology & non-local connectedness – a pilot study of meditative states

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Dianne C. Trussell 
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia 

Introduction: This pilot study was undertaken to prepare for a postgraduate project on human physiology, psychology, non-local consciousness and interconnectedness during states of meditation and yoga compared with normal activities.  

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab over many years has shown that consciousness is non-local and can influence external physical processes. Thus we can now research the human relevance of that knowledge in much greater detail using their technology in mainstream psychological, physiological and sociological experiments.  

Where this pilot study departs from the usual type of cognitive neuroscience studies is by simultaneously making physiological measurements with an app, recording the conscious experiences of the psychologically profiled participants, and running a Random Event Generator to observe the effects of both the participants and experimenter.  

1) Do physiological measurements correlate with psychological experiences such as meditation, and with psychological profiles? 
2) Are there correlations between these and non-local consciousness?  
3) Are there any indications of non-local connections between participants and experimenter? If so, what implications would this have for the future conduct of scientific research?  

This study initiates a research path to answer these questions. 

Methods:  
Psychological profiling: 6 participants filled in the Beliefs About Consciousness and Reality Questionnaire of Baruss and Moore and the Psychological Wellbeing Scale of Carol Ryff. After sessions they described their experiences of being a participant.  

Meditative practices: 
Two types of meditation were compared: a breath focused meditation and a body-focused yoga. Both these modalities emphasize whole-body conscious presence. The 6 participants did 3 baseline, 3 meditation and 3 yoga sessions of 10 minutes each.  

Physiological measurement: 
An iphone app, Welltory, was used to measure heart rate variability (HRV) etc. before and after all sessions. It also provided the balance of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous activity, stress, and coherence of heart, lungs and nervous system.  

REG: 
A Psyleron Random Event Generator was used in “FieldREG” mode for the duration of every 10-minute session. 

Analysis: 
Data were tested for correlations between type of meditation, physiological measures and psychological wellbeing scores.  

REG output data is still in the process of being statistically analysed in relation to the other data types. 

Interim Results: 
Psychological: Participants all fell into the Extraordinary Transcendentalist category of Baruss and Moore, and all displayed moderate to high levels of psychological wellbeing (Ryff). Participants reported improved psychological states after meditation.  

Physiological: Some physiological factors of HRV were significantly correlated with meditation compared with baselines. HRV clearly improved which implies health benefits. The difference was less obvious with yoga.  

REG An early indication is that there are two broad types of conscious experience that produce notable deviations from baseline in the FieldREG trace.  

Discussion: 
The results of this pilot study have confirmed previous workers regarding the physiological wellbeing resulting from meditation. Further, there were positive correlations between the participants’ levels of perceived wellbeing and heart rate variability parameters. Insights have arisen that can extend and complement the work of others who are using the REG or measuring the physiology of meditation. For example, it appears that the strong deviations produced by emotional states, i.e. stimulation or suppression, contrast with minimal deviations during the detached state of meditation. However, the statistical analysis still needs to be completed.  

During sessions it was frequently noted that conscious shifts in the experimenter affected the REG. There were also some striking examples of the experimenter and the participant having a similar psychological experience at the same time that produced a marked reaction in the REG. Could this indicate a shared conscious experience?  

These effects may challenge or at least extend some of the methodological assumptions of REG experiments and open up the possibility of including interpersonal, non-local connectedness between participants and experimenters by using the tools of ‘parapsychologists’ in future conventional consciousness research.  

Barušs, I. & Moore, R. J. (1992). Measurement of beliefs about consciousness and reality. Psychological Reports, 71, 59S64.  

Baruss, I., Moore, R. J. (1998). Beliefs About Consciousness and Reality of Participants at ‘Tucson II”. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 5(4),483-496 

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Ryff, C. D., Singer, B. H., & Dienberg Love, G. (2004). Positive health: connecting well-being with biology. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 359(1449), 1383–1394.  

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Tyagi, A., & Cohen, M. (2016). Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature. International Journal of Yoga, 9(2), 97–113. 

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Presenter

Dianne Trussell
Dianne Trussell

Dianne has done 16 years of neuroscience research and teaching in two Australian Universities, co-authored 10 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and presented at the 2019 SSE and 2020 Science of Consciousness conferences. She is a PhD candidate in the field of cognitive neuroscience and non-local consciousness. She writes and presents on a broad range of science subjects for public groups, tutors private students and is currently working on two books.

Physiology, psychology & non-local connectedness – a pilot study of meditative states

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