The Fourth State of Consciousness — Experienced during the Transcendental Meditation technique
by Steven Rector, MD
by Steven Rector, MD
"Scientists call what happens during the practice of Transcendental Meditation a fourth state of consciousness, a state of restful alertness unlike waking, sleeping or dreaming. This fourth state, called Transcendental Consciousness, has it’s own physiological style of functioning—slower breath rate, reduced stress hormones, more orderly brainwaves. We know from hundreds of research studies that experiencing this fourth state of consciousness for twenty minutes twice a day through the TM technique leads to a wide range of health benefits. Scientists around the world have lauded the discovery of this fourth state as a major breakthrough in health and human potential, because experiencing it twice daily appears to be the key to maximizing health and overcoming the ravaging effects of stress.
"As many research studies have shown, the fourth state of consciousness experienced during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique is a much deeper state of relaxation than rest gained during meditation practices that keep the mind actively attentive in common waking state. This proposed fourth state of consciousness also has a unique brainwave pattern, distinct from ordinary waking: high levels of EEG brainwave coherence are seen throughout the brain, indicating more holistic and balanced brain functioning.
"Everyone knows what happens when a person is deprived of sleep, and researchers have found that dreaming state is also necessary to function in daily life. What is the result of omitting the fourth state, Transcendental Consciousness? What results is the widespread condition of anxiety, hypertension and general ill health that I see everyday as a physician, and which costs America billions every year in the treatment of stress-related diseases and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Steven Rector has practiced emergency medicine for 18 years in Iowa and Georgia. A Diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, he currently works as an emergency physician and is involved in the education of paramedics and other emergency medical personnel. In Georgia he served as Medical Director of the Atlanta Center for Chronic Disorders.
Aren't all forms of meditation transcendental?
- What is "transcending?"
- So I don't have to follow a guru or spiritual teaching?
- What if I'm just not a "joiner?"
- Who was Maharishi—what is his role in TM?
- Why is TM trademarked?
- Is TM just another form of "mantra" meditation?
- Will other practices give the same results?
- How does Transcendental Meditation compare to Zen?
- How is Transcendental Meditation different from mindfulness?
Read about the three major categories of meditation techniques:
The Huffington Post: "How Meditation Techniques Compare—Zen, Mindfulness, Transcendental Meditation and More"
Physorg News: "Are All Meditation Techniques the Same?"
Read the short essay: "A Historical and Scientific Perspective on the Fourth State of Consciousness," by David Orme-Johnson, PhD