The first-ever research on TM was done by the late Dr John Allison, a London GP, back in 1969. It revealed a remarkably deep state of rest during TM, as measured by the drop in oxygen consumption – 16 per cent, compared with the 8 per cent known to occur during night sleep. At the time, night sleep was thought by physiologists to be the most effective form of rest available to us. The editor of The Lancet, the medical journal, at first rejected Dr Allison’s research, pointing out to him in a letter that his figures for oxygen consumption were “incompatible with life”! His findings were eventually published in The Lancet as a letter – and since then have been replicated more than 20 times by universities and research institutes.

This big drop in oxygen consumption indicates that, whatever is happening during TM must be natural, ie without effort.