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Registered User
(2/29/04 6:52 am)
What EXACTLY does kriya yoga do to the physical body - brain function, blood flow etc? Has there been ANY scientific testing done on this?

(2/29/04 8:03 pm)
Good question. I did an archive search and found some links from back in November which I will post in the next box. If any of this spiritual stuff had made a huge impression it would be researched, but the spiritual seeker is such a rare bird that most of the world is completely oblivious to those things we regard so highly in our own seeking.

(2/29/04 8:05 pm)
Etzchaim posted this:

Chuckle Chela,

I was wondering if you could recommend some books that you have found helpful in understanding the effects of meditation.

I've found a few sites that look interesting. The Dalai Lama is very interested in neuroscience, and Zen appears to have been studied frequently, so there is an emphasis on Buddhism.

Most of us will agree that meditation actually lessens the dullness of the mind, but it's rather fascinating to read about the actuall effects.





The last link is more about the actual conference. It seems to me that some of the skepticism on the part of scientists is "knee jerk modern", but then I'm pretty familiar with the Dalai Lama's approach. He's majorly oriented toward uniting science and mysticism, as his predecessor was also oriented toward modernity and saw no conflict between Buddhism and science.


Small amount of response from MIT conference:

'...panelists suggested that scientists are only now starting to see that expert meditators may be useful not only as guinea pigs, but also in offering insight about the mind. "Before I got into this, I thought we should be open-minded, but I didn't think it was likely we would be able to have a useful exchange," Nancy Kanwisher, an MIT psychologist and panelist, said after the first morning session of the two-day conference. But now, she said, "I feel like there is a common language, a common engagement of ideas. We've only scratched the surface."'

Edited by: etzchaim at: 11/24/03 6:50 am
Registered User
(11/24/03 10:49 am)
Reply Re: Conclusion Thanks etzy for these great links. The last concerning the Dalai Lama touches on inner visualization with just a little detail. The third link points to, www.buddhanet.net/medpsych.htm which has tons of insight on the psychological aspects of meditation, a really comprehensive paper. I await Chuckle Chela's input.

chuckle chela
Registered User
(11/24/03 9:53 pm)
Reply Re: Conclusion Etzy--

My first recommendation is to read some of Ken Wilber's stuff. Many thanks to One Taste for turning me on to Wilber. The two books I cited earlier--"The Eye of Spirit" and "Integral Psychology"--give some overview, as well as much valuable background material. Wilber has produced an amazing synthesis of East and West, ancient and modern.

Also, you might want to look at Michael Murphy's books. He is pretty dialed in.

Here's a few websites. The Noetic site has stuff by Murphy--well worth reading.

Very extensive bibiography. Hundreds of studies listed. No reviews.

This features chapters from Michael Murphy's book, published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, on the effects of meditation. A great resource! By the time you've finished with this website, your head will be swimming. Incidentally, This reviews data up to about 1996 (and since then the research field has grown even more dramatically). Michael Murphy has a very highly-regarded reputation in the transpersonal psychology field (he's also one of the founders of the Esalen Institute).

A good listing of abstracts (good detail) outlining lots of research on vipassana meditation.

Lots more stuff. A good listing of fairly recent research.

Site gives very brief reviews of research in a number of areas. Don't trust these abstracts: if you really want to know whether the data from these studies is valid, check out the research journal articles themselves. No recent research is reviewed.

This is one YB would love (In fact, he might have cited it in his posting on the negative effects of meditation; I can't be bothered to check his post). Yes, there are data out there showing harmful effects. As I've mentioned before, when considering both positive and negative effects of mediation it is difficult, if not impossible, to ignore the "ecosystem" (if you will) that surrounds the act of meditation. By that I mean the cultures which surround the various practices of meditation, and all the other factors, inter- and extrapersonal, that can have an influence. My suspicion, based on some of the research I've seen, is that meditative practices can have detrimental effects when, for example, they are used in an unbalanced fashion, too excessively by an individual who isn't prepared for such use, and so on. Then, too, the TM people have been known to make what are almost outrageous claims, such as being able to levitate. These kind of claims, combined with such factors as being urged to practice in unnatural ways and to achieve possibly unrealistic goals can lead to problems, both physical and mental.

Finally, for a bit of fun here's stuff from Herbert Benson of Harvard, one of the granddaddies of meditation research.

Well, you get the idea. There are now literally thousands upon thousands of studies that have been done on the effects of meditation. If you google the topic, you'll find enough stuff to keep you going for months. I think it's safe to say there's plenty of evidence showing positive effects. At the same time, I should mention again that, like in all scientific research, some is better than others in terms of producing data that is both valid and reliable (that is, able to be reproduced by other researchers). A study, for example, that is done on only 10 subjects just isn't going to yield any valid data--there's not enough people being studied to make the results meaningful. And that's just one factor to consider. However, in the last 10 years or so, the field has "tightened up" considerably.

Edited by: ugizralrite at: 2/29/04 8:13 pm
(3/1/04 9:08 am)
See SRF Research department thread
Page two threads SRF Teaching and Ideals has a thread called SRF Research Department where scientific investigation of kriya yoga is discussed. pub78.ezboard.com/fsrfwal...ID=6.topic

Also I found a couple of posts on the kriya yoga discussion board that touch on this:


Date Posted: 10:42
Author: anil nerode-28Aug02
Subject: Re: Vedic Mathematics & Prof. Nerode?
In reply to: Eponymous-28Aug02 's message, "Re: Vedic Mathematics & Prof. Nerode?" on 10:41

Yoga at the highest level is a spiritual quest, not a science. But before commencing any quest we try to equip ourselves with knowledge and training. In Yoga a portion of that knowledge and training is about physiological phenomena which allow us to develop concentration and meditation skills of a high order. These are definitely capable of scientific analysis, though many who have tried experiments are not good scientists and have not framed simple hypotehses to test. Dhirananda was a "scientific" yogi, with a very strong background, electroencephalography with a master's from the University of Calcultta. Otherwise, when he decided to stop teaching in 1933, he could not immediately have gone on to a PhD in the subject, and become a lifelong research professor at the University of Michigan Medical school with 50-100 published papers. He tried with the science of his time to analyze exactly what physiological effects each of the exercises had, and how they contributed to concentration and meditation. Such studies can reveal a lot, and can help distinguish which parts of Yoga are physiological training which makes meditation and concentration more effective, but have absolutely no spiritual content, and those parts which are about attainment of spiritual goals. These are easily confused. This is like confusing a box with its contents, and leads to emphasis on technique and ritual rather than on spirituality. So science has a role, by no means exhausted, in the study and practice of Yoga.

Date Posted: 19:24
Author: Eponymous - 10Dec01
Subject: Re: An SRF research department
In reply to: ketch - 9 Dec 2001 's message, "Re: An SRF research department" on 19:23

I really wonder, Ketch, whether anyone who practices kriya (or any other spiritual discipline) does so with the belief that the "spiritual advancement" attained thereby has no manifestation other than in "the depth of his bliss in meditation"; when motivated to show that there really is something to this meditation thing, kriya practitioners will frequently point to alleged physical phenomena (corporeal incorruptibility, transmigration, breath/heartbeat/pulse cessation, materialization, etc.) that, as they see it, demonstrate spiritual advancement.

Now, these are straightforward, empirical phenomena, open to rigorous scrutiny by anyone who would care to apply it; for any type of event that admits of regular, ocular observation, a test should be cheap and easy to design. [n.1] And since almost all of the phenomena routinely trotted out as putative evidence for a given yogi's spiritual excellence are so observable, the sober kriya investigator should have no trouble [n.2] finding out whether the ostensibly distinctive effects of their favored spiritual discipline exist outside the netherworld of meditational bliss. [n.3]


1. Example - a proposed research protocol for investigating whether breath cessation is an authentic phenomenon: Immerse a putative master of breath cessation under water for, say, an hour. (No need for complicated blood oxygen measurments or atmospheric monitoring equipment, that way.) To control for secreted methods of oxygen intake (i.e., fraud): make sure to video tape the subject, and make sure the subject's entire facial area is clearly visible to the camera during the test.

2. Of course there may be the issue of getting a claimant's cooperation for a test. But then where a claimant is averse to a test, we should accordingly discount his claim.

3. My guess, though, is that most kriya practitioners will shy away from inquiring into questions that can be answered. I think the ethos driving this taste for the inscrutable was summed up well by Burt Reynold's character in the film "Mystery, Alaska": "Two things we’ve always had in Mystery - our dignity; and our illusions. I suggest we cling to both."

Registered User
(12/21/05 2:50 am)
ne thing all the yogic breathing and kriya yoga meditation actually FEED DARK FORCES(DF)...more energy.

The astral attachment or DF is vampiring off of you and the more you meditate with that yogic stuff the more they feed on it. One of the results to this type of relationship is that the energy vampire pulls energy from sources around you...like LIGHTS.

This type of possession is real common among NEW AGERs who channel, do yogic or some time of "altering their energy field breathing" and opening themselves up willingly by activating their chakras.

THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS. It's not recommended to people that they meditate without proper guidance and instruction and don't recommend yogic breathing as that is one thing the astral entities LOVE...

I steer people away from SRF, and kriya yoga, and TM meditation and any kind of meditation that is done without "setting up the proper protection."

Kriyas are an "ASTRAL ENERGY" event. They like other breathing and nervous sytem practices... alter the nervous system and open up the chakras so that the human reality is now anchored more with the astral reality.


Many people get possessed through meditation.

A practice that should NOT HAVE BEEN given to the masses. You can't give kriya to beginning Disciple level. Trouble is....the people at SRF have no idea WHO people are, they have no REAL discernment except what you write them, or in brief interviews or even the monks that live at the ashram...they're all still stuck in Disciple level. Tens of thousands of newagers are going around meditating when they have no idea what they are doing, they do the SRF exercises...without any discernment or protection....its a mess.

The dark forces use ALL THESE techniques....they readily use Kriya, they use meditation, they use ANYTHING that affects your nervous system. All these techniques do are open you up to the astral worlds and astral energy.

Something INDIA was big on doing ....but has caused a lot of trouble for the INDIAN people and now people in the west.

Astral powers are NOT to be messed around with. You don't have to do yogic breathing to gain your freedom. All that does is tap you into the astral worlds and energy, it doesn't set you free. What happens once you start tapping into astral energies (meditation, yoga, breathing) depends on "who and what is waiting for you on the other side of the veil of energy." To achieve freedom you need to isolate yourself from astral influences by ascending beyond it - NOT WELCOME THEM IN.

Registered User
(12/27/05 2:01 pm)

Looks like a cross post!

Spot the Looney

Registered User
(12/27/05 2:18 pm)
Satori may be under the influence of certain unnamed Sikh teachers who preach strongly against any form of pranayama and more strongly against the Astral plane.

DANGER, DANGER, Will Robinson!

Satori claims to be a regular astral traveller! Of course as always...Satori must be an advanced individual, Astral travelling, etc..

What is it Satori? Is meditation safe or not? Can we have it both ways?

Edited by: stermejo at: 12/30/05 12:42 pm
Secret Wind 
Registered User
(3/27/06 11:45 pm)
"The Futility of Kriya, Meditation, and Egomaniacs" by DeliberateP (4/16/05).

The futility of Kriya

Kriya yoga is a supposed meditation technique brought to civilised western society by Paramhansa Yogananda early last century. It comes from a MAD-MAN called Lahiri Mahasaya who had delusions of grandeur in that he believed he was God. Lahiri is supposed to have met a man named Babaji Maharaj (which is Indian speak for "revered Father" and is not even a name) who is said to have an immortal physical body and has been incarnate for around 2000 years, who gave him the technique of kriya yoga in a remote region of the Himalayas around the mid 1800's. Babaji is a Yogi. However, Yogananda calls Babaji a Maha-Yogi, which means "great yogi". (It is extraordinary that "yoga" means union with God and yet it seems as though Babaji is more special than other human beings).

What is Kriya yoga? Quite simply, it is a practice which involves intense imaginative prowess in an effort to achieve omnipotence and omniscience. The practitioner is taught how to make hissing sounds with their breathing while imagining the air that goes into their lungs to actually be going up and down their spine instead. The theory goes that if you can concentrate on this practice and develop it to a refined degree, you will actually achieve a state called Kumbhaka, which means cessation of the breathing process. Kumbhaka, however, is a myth. Part of the kriya routine of going up and down the spine is that once proficiency is attained a person ACTUALLY feels "energy-body" currents called prana and apana (for up and down). When prana and apana meet (somewhere..??!) then kumbhaka is achieved. Kumbhaka can be attained (as we are told) by a SCIENTIFIC process which includes abstaining from sex and meat and inducing self-relaxation methods with fasting. However, kriya has been packaged in such a way as to MAKE OUT as if it is scientific in the modern-day sense of the word while ignoring the true meaning of science. Science is based on objective facts which can be verified with a failure rate of ZERO. In other words, science is GUARANTEED to produce results. Kriya, on the other hand, apparently depends upon the grace of God. So while someone may practice the "scientific" technique of kriya for their WHOLE life and get nothing in return, other persons merely have to practice and get results straight away. How scientific is that?

Lahiri Mahasaya suffered from delusions, one of them being a massive delusion of grandeur in which he believed that he was God. In writings that have come down from close associates of the "Baba", we learn that he called himself the reincarnation of the saint Kabir, not to mention being God himself in the form of Indian deities.

Anyone want to play "spot the Ego"?

Since Param(a)hansa Yogananda's book, Autobiography of a Yogi, was published around the mid 20th century, lots of cultish followers have invented stories about Babaji. Lahiri's life story first appeared in the AOAY as well as Babaji. Suffice to say, none of these stories has any quality of SANITY to them.

So we are led to believe, innocent enough on our parts, that there is a spiritual technique of salvation called Kriya which accelerates human evolution so tremendously that Yogananda had the balls to say that it was, compared to slower methods of travel, the "airplane" route to God. However, evolution is NEVER in terms of an undefined spiritual soul substance which has to get to a stage where it leaves THIS PLANET in order to go back to God (or heaven). Evolution on this planet is ALWAYS about physical life-forms developing and growing in certain ways to survive. And apart from the idea that heaven exists as a place "out-there" where we go when we die in order to get off this planet, there are also a lot of religious folk that believe that heaven consists of retaining your physical bodily form on earth in a paradise. Then there are those that say heaven is on earth.

At the end of the day, Kriya is an attempt at auto-suggestion combined with hypnosis in an effort to achieve control over the involuntary functions of the human body (ie heartbeat and breathing). It has nothing to do with God, spiritual evolution, chakras, kundalini, or any other psychic phenomenon. Psychic would, of course, include ideas pertaining to an astral body and astral world. Even if such control over autonomic functions were possible by doing kriya, the usefulness of such a thing is in question. And since there are so FEW persons able to demonstrate that Kriya DOES, in fact, give persons control over these things, kriya (on the whole) amounts to virtually nothing.

Futility of meditation

Meditation is a means to peace, control over one's station in life. Apart from the eastern traditions, meditation has crept into the western psyche in the form of New Age teachings and practises. In the West, you will find that meditation merges with self-proclaimed psychic persons. That aside, let us examine the goal of meditation.

It appears that meditation is a means to producing mental peace. The goal, according to the schools of Yoga, is to achieve a state where the mind is at complete rest. You could compare it to a calm lake without surface ripples. What, if anything, does this calm lake do for people? We hear about states of bliss, indescribable states of intense joy and peace in the consciousness of the practitioner.

There are, of course, problems with such a paradigm.

One such problem is the apparent contradiction of obtaining a state of mind where there is not supposed to be a person experiencing it. We are told that the soul is the perceiver and not the mind. However, consciousness is not independent from the mind. So the faculty of perception doesn't even lie outside the mind, but within the mind. Hence, soul perception is an erroneous concept.

There are other problems too involved to mention here without soliciting responses from interested persons in an effort to further understanding.

So what does meditation actually do? Well, it certainly doesn't make the world a Utopia.

It also doesn't appear to be scientific in the main.

But most of all, meditation seems to be a hit or miss affair; you either got it or you don't got it. (reminds me of EVERY religion ever).

The Futility of Egomaniacs

What is the traits of an egomaniac? In one word, narcissism.

Whenever we hear about spiritual practices which are designed to produce self-realisation and God-consciousness, we invariably also hear from those that practice these things the same old, same old; they simply have not transcended their ego. Why do these people seem to be even LESS humble than regular persons? Why do these people seem to be even MORE suffering from delusions of Grandeur than regular persons?

The answer is that they are selling people a LIE. Whenever anyone makes a show of being humble, they have outwitted themselves. They have shown us their true colors. They have shown us that they are, in fact, not what they appear to be. In short, they are Egotists masquerading as sinless human beings.

And this leads me to comment on certain Kriya teachers.

It is evidence to all and sundry, that persons such as BBA, Yogananda, Mahasaya, All Indian Gurus, Sankara Saranam, etc etc, have MAJOR EGO PROBLEMS.

There are NO Indian gurus to have come to the West in the last century who don't have some baggage to attend to which MAKES THEM LESS OF A SAINT than ordinary persons. (mind, there is no need to debate what "ordinary" means, just like there is no need to hold a debate about the meaning of the word "Yellow"). What to speak of the Kriya Gurus? Are we to believe, despite all the bullshit we hear from them, that these people are truly HIGHER than all other persons? And what of Yoga? Doesn't Yoga mean that you become God? So if all are equal (which is clearly a fallacy), then why respect these people? Respect, in this case, is shown to persons who claim to have elevated their consciousness (!) above mundane persons?


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