Meditation Has Deep Chemical Effects On the Body

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Research finds meditators have more activity of enzyme telomerase which possibly stops cell aging

When I look at friends in our caravanserai it is uplifting to see in so many that their faces exude a freshness, a vibrancy; many look younger than an average person their age. And yes, meditation, healthy living and a positive outlook on life as the cause always comes to mind.


In a recent article in TIME magazine, it was reported that “Researchers led by Tonya Jacobs of the University of California-Davis compared 30 participants at a meditation retreat held at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado with matched controls on a waiting list for the retreat. Participants meditated six hours per day for three months. Their meditation centered on mindfulness – for instance, focusing solely on breathing, in the moment – and on loving kindness and enhancing compassion towards others.”

Now here comes the stimulating scientific explanation: “After the three-month intervention, researchers found that the meditators had on average about 30% more activity of the enzyme telomerase than the controls did. Telomerase is responsible for repairing telomeres, the structures located on the ends chromosomes, which, like the plastic aglets at the tips of shoelaces, prevent the chromosome from unraveling. Each time a cell reproduces, its telomeres become shorter and less effective at protecting the chromosome – this, researchers believe, is a cause of aging. As the chromosome becomes more and more vulnerable, cell copying becomes sloppier and eventually stops when the telomeres disintegrate completely. Telomerase can mitigate – and possibly stop – cell aging.”

Of course the researchers are cautious as the subject is complex and don’t want to commit just yet. Elizabeth Blackburn, a study author who has won a Nobel Prize for her previous work on telomerase said, “Something about being on a retreat for three months changed the [amount of] telomerase in the retreat group. We didn’t prove that it was meditation [that caused the change]. A lot of things happened during the retreat. But the interesting thing was that the changes we saw tracked quantifiably with the change in people’s psychological well-being and outlook.”

So there is still a lot of groping in the dark in the scientific research corner. However, when a questioner during an early meditation camp asks Osho to explain what effects the three stages of shaktipat have on the states of one’s body, heart, brain, and mind, Osho says, “Effects will be many.”

Somebody then asks, “Will they cause heart failure?” – to which Osho replies,

“It would be fine if the heart fails. Nothing like it. That is what is wanting. Let the heart fail. Howsoever you try to save it, it is going to fail some day. So why save it? Let it go. At least you will have the satisfaction that it failed while it was on its way to God. That is enough.

The friend wants to know what effects the three stages will have on us. They will have many effects. The practice of meditation, the meditation that I teach, will have any number of physiological results. Many physical diseases can disappear, longevity can increase and many chemical changes can take place in the body. Numerous glands of the body that are at the moment as good as dead, can be activated.

We have no idea what the psychologists now say, even the physiologists say, about anger. When one is angry, they say, a particular kind of poison is released in the body. But up to now they have not been able to know what it is that happens in the case of love. As in anger, a special kind of poison is released, so in love a special kind of nectar is released in the body. But because love is a rare phenomenon in our world, a loving man has yet to visit a scientist’s lab. That is why he has not been able to detect it. If meditation has its full impact, the body begins to secrete nectar or ambrosia which symbolizes immortality.

Meditation has really deep chemical effects on the body. Those who go deep into meditation begin to see extraordinary colors, smell uncommon perfumes and hear unheard of sounds. Extraordinary waves of light and sound begin to flow through them. These are all chemical effects of meditation. You will see such fantastic colors as you have never seen. In fact, the whole chemistry of the body undergoes a sea-change. The body begins to perceive, think and understand things in a different way altogether. All the electric circuits of the body change.

Just as a good deal happens at the level of the body, so also a great deal happens at the level of the mind, too. But these are matters of detail, and I will talk to the questioner about it separately.

The possibilities are really great.”

Osho In Search of the Miraculous Vol. 1, Ch 6

The discourse this excerpt has been taken from has phenomenal information about the effects of meditation on the body and mind, information scientists are only now beginning to understand.

Read the entire discourse: Meditation, Shaktipat and Healing

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