I like it when science and devotion find places of intersection. I (recently read) about a team of neurologists who had wired up a volunteer Tibetan monk for experimental brain-scanning. They wanted to see what happens to a transcendent mind, scientifically speaking, during moments of enlightenment. In the mind of a normal thinking person, an electrical storm of thoughts and impulses whirls constantly, registering on a brain scan as yellow and red flashes. The more angry or impassioned the subject becomes, the hotter and deeper those red flashes burn.

But mystics across time and cultures have all described a stilling of the brain during meditation, and say that the ultimate union with God is a blue light which they can feel radiating from the center of their skulls. In Yogic tradition, this is called "the blue pearl," and it is the goal of every seeker to find it. Sure enough, this Tibetan monk, monitored during meditation, was able to quiet his mind so completely that no red or yellow flashes could be seen. In fact, all the neurological energy of this gentleman pooled and collected at last into the center of his brain -- you could see it happening right there on the monitor -- into a small, cool, blue pearl of light. Just like the Yogis have always described.

Excerpt taken from the book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert