Lights In Meditation Similar To Visions Caused by Sensory Deprivation

SCIENCE & RESEARCH: Possible Neurobiological Explanation for Visions

New Brown University study of meditation says light experiences during meditation similar to visualizations caused by sensory deprivation

Festival of Lights (Lyon), photo by Jean-Marie Hullot
Festival of Lights (Lyon), photo by Jean-Marie Hullot

According to Brown University researchers, practitioners of meditation have reported seeing globes, jewels and little stars during meditation-induced light experiences. The neurobiological explanation for these visions was the subject of a recent study led by Willoughby Britton, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, and Jared Lindahl, professor of religious studies at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

While I was in Self-Realization Fellowship, practicing yoga mediation, we monks would often talk about the lights one could see in meditation. Yogananda’s teachings claim that meditation-induced lights or little stars in meditation are “proof” of personal experience of the existence of Spirit. “When you see the spiritual eye perfectly, you will see at the center a five-pointed star, surrounded by a blue light, which in turn is encircled by a halo of golden light. This vision will come with faithful practice of this [Kriya Yoga] technique” (SRF Lesson K-7A).

A favorite of SRF, quoting Jesus: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (KJV Matthew 6:22). I’ve seen “little stars” when I’ve accidentally hit my head hard against a hard surface. Since seeing lights and stars in meditation are similar to visions caused by sensory deprivation, knocks on the head, and hallucinations shouldn’t we be a little suspicious that all or most of these experiences may not be divine revelations?

Read full article here Meditation study links history to science — Brown Daily Herald

See my post Natural Causes of the Spiritual Eye

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