The monks performed astonishing feats – they would spend nights on a rocky ledge when the temperatures dropped to zero degrees Fahrenheit. These rocky ledges were at the height of 15000 feet and the monks only had cotton or woollen shawls to keep them warm. These feats, the scientists observed, the monks achieved them through rigorous meditation techniques, spiritual conditioning and guided exercises.
Through their gTum-mo techniques, these monks entered a state of deep meditation. When doing so, other monks soaked sheets of 3 by 6 feet into the cold water and placed them on the meditating monks.
For common, untrained people, these would lead to shivering and illness, even death. But the scientists observed that steam rose from these sheets within an hour.
Therefore, after observing and witnessing such experiences, Benson emphasised the importance of advanced meditation. It could lead to treatment for stress-related illnesses.
He observed: This is important because more than 60 percent of the visit to physicians in the USA are for stress related problems and these are wrongly treated by drugs and even surgery. But if we all begin to practice advanced meditation, it can miraculously rewire our brains and cure us.
He further stated that he hopes that self-care such as they monks undertake will be equal to medical drugs, surgery and other therapies that will help alleviate mental and physical suffering. Meditation along with proper nutrition, diet and exercise of the mind and body will lead to self-care practice. It would help save millions of dollars annually in medical costs.
Source: Speaking tree