Sherlock Holmes Meditating

If he was real, he would practice the meditation technique with the most scientific research

Strand Magazine, 1861
Sir. Arthur C. Doyle

1939-1946  20th Century Fox
Basil Rathbone

1954 S. R. Productions
Ron Howard

1984-1994  BBC
Jeremy Brett

Jeremy Brett
as Sherlock Holmes

2011-2014  BBC
Benedict Cumberbatch

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

The Problem of Thor Bridge

Assuming lotus position

Sherlock Holmes meditating

Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes

Solving crime in the Golden Dome

Rick has read every Sherlock Holmes book opinion article

MEDITATION and mindfulness: the words conjure images of yoga retreats and Buddhist monks. But perhaps they should evoke a very different picture: a man in a deerstalker, puffing away at a curved pipe, Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself. The world’s greatest fictional detective is someone who knows the value of concentration, of “throwing his brain out of action,” as Dr. Watson puts it. He is the quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.

More often than not, when a new case is presented, Holmes does nothing more than sit back in his leather chair, close his eyes and put together his long-fingered hands in an attitude that begs silence. He may be the most inactive active detective out there. His approach to thought captures the very thing that cognitive psychologists mean when they say mindfulness.

by Maria Konnikova, the author of “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes”

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If he was real, he would practice the technique with the most scientific research
Scientific Research on Transcendental Meditation

Over 600 scientific studies done at over 100 independent research institutions in over 160 peer reviewed journals validate the benefits of TM.  Many of these studies are reprinted in 7 volumes of the Collected Papers available from Maharishi University Press.

Top 100 published studies

Physiological research has shown that Transcendental Meditation gives rise to a unique state of deep rest characterized by marked reductions in metabolic activity [3-13], increased orderliness and integration of brain functioning [14-27], increased cerebral blood flow [6, 28, 29], and features directly opposite to the physiological and biochemical effects of stress, including skin resistance changes [3, 8, 30, 31] and reductions in plasma cortisol [32-35], arterial blood lactate [3, 6, 7, 11, 30], and muscle tone [15, 36]. Several other neuroendocrine changes have also been observed during Transcendental Meditation [31, 37-44]. Taken together, these studies clearly distinguish the physiology of Transcendental Meditation from sleep or simple relaxation [13, 30] Students at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation, increased significantly in intelligence over a 2-year period, compared to control subjects from another Iowa university. This finding corroborates the results of two other studies showing increased IQ in Maharishi International University students.

Reference I: Transcendental Meditation and improved performance on intelligence-related measures: A longitudinal study, Personality and Individual Differences 12: 1105-1116, 1991. Reference II: Longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program on cognitive ability and cognitive style, Perceptual and Motor Skills 62: 731­738, 1986.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals

This study found that during the Transcendental Meditation program some of the early sensory components of the brain's response to somatosensory stimulation (0–100 msec) are more widely distributed across the cortex. This study, by Dr. Nicolai Nicolaevich Lyubimov, Director of the Moscow Brain Research Institute's Laboratory of Neurocybernetics, indicates that during the Transcendental Meditation program there is an increase in the areas of the cortex taking part in perception of specific information and an increase in the functional relationship between the two hemispheres.


  1. Proceedings of the International Symposium Physiological and Biochemical Basis of Brain Activity, St. Petersburg, Russia, (June 22–24, 1992).
  2. 2nd Russian-Swedish Symposium New Research in Neurobiology, Moscow, Russia, (May 19–21, 1992).

After one year of practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, elementary school students showed significant gains on the lowa Tests of Basic Skills, a nationally standardized test (ref. 1). A second study showed significant gains in high school students (grades 9–12) on the lowa Tests of Educational Development (ref. 2). A third study (ref. 3) found that the length of time students had been practicing the Transcendental Meditation program was significantly correlated with academic achievement, independent of student IQ scores.


  1. Education 107 (1986): 49–54.
  2. Education 109 (1989): 302–304.
  3. Modern Science and Vedic Science 1 (1987): 433–468.

National Institutes of Health
The NIH has awarded more than $24 million to study the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique for improving brain functioning and cardiovascular health during the past 20 years.  More

American Medical Association
The AMA’s journal Archives of Internal Medicine published a recent study showing the TM technique is highly effective in preventing the risk factors for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.  More

American College of Cardiology
During its annual convention, the ACC hosted a symposium on the research conducted at more than a dozen independent universities and medical schools on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique for reducing heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and heart failure.   More

American Psychological Association
During its annual conference last year, the APA featured research on the TM technique that documents the positive, long-term benefits of the practice for self-actualization and self-development. More
First published study in 1971
Top 100 published studies
David Lynch Foundation TM research

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