Written by Dipanshu Mansingka from Hyderabad, India about his experience as a research subject for a study about Vipassana that has been blessed by S.N. Goenkaji and granted permission by VRI.
He spent three days as a subject at Neurophysiology Department, NIMHANS, Bengluru (Bangalore). http://www.nimhans.kar.nic.in/neurophysiology/default.htm
Saturday early morning I had reached Nimhans. Nirmala guided me to the guest room. After getting ready we had a breakfast at the canteen and then went to sleep lab in admin block of Nimhans. The tests were carried out as seen in the photo, wearing a black cloth with electrodes fitted into it and wires connecting to a computer where software collects the data. How fast is my cognition was one of the test done. The preparation before start of test like applying gel, wearing the cap with electrodes, removing impedance due to hairs, scalp, etc. had to removed. This machine would not be used any more as it was required for studies pertaining to sleep. I had to meditate do Anapana, then do Vipassana and then practice Metta while the test was going on. The report was not shared. I am waiting to know the reports manually.
In afternoon I did similar test. The new instrument with electrodes is much different from the one I had to wear in the morning. Similar set of tests were carried out. The arrangements are yet to be done where a cushion with proper seat would be available. Also there would be a bed to sleep in at night to help understand sleep quality. After all the tests were done, a set of questionnaires had to be filled out for each type of research work done.
Jyothi and Bindu Kutty (http://nphy.weebly.com/dr-bindu-m-kutty.html) who is the HOD, are the Vipassana meditators contributing to this research. Along with support from Nirmala, Ravindra and others. To know more about tests and research one can write to Jyothi firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is some additional information for people interested in participating in the study:
Meditators (novice meditators, irregular meditators, meditators who have done 30,45,60 days course), person’s not meditating, ATs, SATs, teachers, males/females, can contribute to the research by filling the forms and if called going for the test. To study the benefit of mindfulness meditation on quality living of human being people from different age groups are also required.
The travel cost by sleeper class for train was reimbursed for me (though I travelled by A/C for my comfort). Food and lodging arrangements were also done by NIMHANS within the campus.