Meditation, prayer and spiritual healing: The evidence

Schlitz, M. (2005). Meditation, Prayer and Spiritual Healing: The Evidence. The Permanente Journal, 9(3), 63. Full text.

“This is a remarkable time in human history—never before have so many world views, belief systems, and ways of engaging reality come into contact. On one hand are the remarkable successes of science and technology: an orbiting space station, cloned sheep and cats, and a computerized chess champion that has outsmarted even the best of the human chess champions. On the other hand, through the Internet, awareness of the world’s wisdom and spiritual traditions has expanded: we now have access to practices that were once isolated in the Himalayas or deep in the Amazon and available only to a very small group of adepts.

Today we are experiencing a convergence of these different ways of knowing, science on one hand and diverse religious, spiritual and cultural traditions on the other. Nowhere is this more clear than in the case of medicine. “There are various ways of responding to the unprecedented convergence we now experience. One is conflict; we need only turn on our radios to see how widespread this response is at a global level. Another response is co-option, where one tradition—typically the Western technological, scientifically based rationalist model—overpowers indigenous wisdom, often in very covert ways. A third response takes the form of creativity: As differences come together, we have the opportunity to birth new ideas and new ways of being together as a collective humanity.

“There are five primary areas of data or evidence: the crosscultural data, survey studies, public health research, basic science related to mind-body medicine, and clinical studies of distant healing.”  >>>more

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