Do all forms of meditation produce the same results?

Do all forms of meditation produce the same results?

There are many venerable forms of meditation. Most practices involve effort or concentration — attempts to control the mind or keep it focused on a specific object of meditation (such as a thought or mantra, one's breathing or other sensations). Methods of contemplation, visualization, watching your thoughts or trying to maintain a passive, non-judgmental attitude also employ varying degrees of effort or controlled attention. All these various practices have their benefits but tend to keep the mind engaged and localized on the active, thinking level 
The Transcendental Meditation technique is unlike any other form of meditation. It's completely effortless and utterly simple. The TM techniqueallows the mind to systematically transcend all mental activity to experience a deeply settled state of restful alertness or pure awareness. During this process of transcending, the brain functions with greater coherence and the body gains deep rest. The holistic benefits associated with TM practice result spontaneously from this experience of effortless transcending. Practices that keep the mind active or engaged on more surface levels have not been found to consistently produce the same holistic range of benefits.

Dr. Vernon Barnes: "Comparative research has shown that the various forms of meditation do not produce the same effects. Because each kind of meditation practice engages the mind in it’s own way, there’s no reason to expect the same results from the various methods or that scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program will apply to other practices.
 

"There have been many studies looking at the effects of the TM technique, Zen, Mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhist and Vipassana meditations, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Benson’s Relaxation Response—examining such factors as brainwave patterns, levels of rest, and benefits for mind and body. While some other forms of meditation have been found to produce good effects in specific areas, these various practices have their own aims and are not necessarily intended to produce the broad range of benefits that consistently result from the Transcendental Meditation technique.
 

"Neural imaging and EEG studies indicate that TM practice creates a unique brain pattern: it is the only meditation technique known to create widespread brainwave coherence. The TM technique also produces deeper rest than other practices, and studies show the technique to be more effective at reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-actualization." 
VERNON BARNES, Ph.D., is a researcher at the Georgia Prevention Institute of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, which received $1.5 million from the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on African American teens at risk for high blood pressure.
  

James Krag, MD: “Just as there are many kinds of medication, there are also many approaches that are termed ‘meditation.’ The vast majority of the research on meditation has been on the Transcendental Meditation technique—and the findings clearly indicate that the TM technique works better than other researched mental techniques to promote health. If research shows that a specific medication helps treat a disorder, it would be irresponsible and illogical to conclude that all medications help treat that disorder. In the same way, research on Transcendental Meditation should not be generalized to include other techniques also called ‘meditation.’ We should intelligently choose what works and what is supported by research.”
 

James Krag, M.D., is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, recent president of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia, and former president of the Virginia Association of Community Psychiatrists for four years. He is currently clinic psychiatrist with the Veterans Administration.
Read more about the three major categories of meditation techniques:
The Huffington Post: "How Meditation Techniques Compare—Zen, Mindfulness, Transcendental Meditation and More"
Physorg News"Are All Meditation Techniques the Same?"
VIDEO: Quantum Physicist John Hagelin on the variety of meditation techniques and how they differ:"Experiencing the Unified Field"