It is popularly believed that Buddhist monks have brains that function beyond usual human capabilities. But has this been verified by scientists?
It turns out that scientists have actually studied Buddhist monks in a variety of experiments and found that they are actually able to rewire their own brains.
Although born as normal human beings, their meditation practices have given them powers to achieve incredible feats that continue to stun scientists and reveal insights about the functioning of the human brain.
In the 1980s, a group of scientists and researchers led by Professor Herbert Benson from the Harvard School of Medicine headed out to the remote monasteries nestled in the Himalayan mountains. Their purpose was to discover, document and decode the ways in which monks managed to use the power of their mind to manipulate their bodies.
The monks were known to raise their body temperatures through a stress reduction technique of yoga known as ‘gTum-mo’ where they lower their body’s metabolic rate by 64%.
The researchers also recorded the monks actually managing to dry wet clothes and sheets using only their body heat.
The monks would also spend nights on a rocky ledge when the temperatures dropped to zero degrees Fahrenheit, with only woollen shawls to keep them warm. The scientists observed that these feats could be achieved through rigorous meditation techniques, spiritual conditioning and guided exercises.
According to the scientists, the monks entered a deep state of meditation, and while in this state other monks soaked sheets of 3 by 6 feet into the cold water and placed them on the meditating monks.
For people who aren’t trained, this would lead to shivering, illness or even death. But the scientists observed that steam rose from the sheets within an hour.
This is truly incredible and a testament to the power of the human mind.
After seeing the Buddhist monks experience this, Benson emphasized the importance of meditation as a potential treatment for stress-related illnesses.
As Benson said:
“This is important because more than 60 percent of the visit to physicians in the USA are for stress related problems and these are wrongly treated by drugs and even surgery. But if we all begin to practice advanced meditation, it can miraculously rewire our brains and cure us.”
Benson also said that he hopes this kind of self-care will be as effective as medical drugs, surgery and other invasive techniques used by Western science to help alleviate mental and physical suffering.
Meditation along with proper nutrition, diet and exercise of the mind and body will lead to self-care practice. It would help save millions of dollars annually in medical costs.