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Over the past several decades, studies examining the potential for meditation to curb mental anguish and increase wellbeing have yielded promising, if complicated, results. For patients, complications can arise when meditation is marketed as a ‘happy pill, with no side effects’. This commodification and oversimplification is at the root of a conundrum for Jay Sanguinetti and Shinzen Young, the co-directors of SEMA Lab (Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness) at the University of Arizona. In the early stages of developing a technology that they believe could lead to meditative states without the need to meditate – a Silicon Valley-ready concept if there ever was one – the duo now must navigate the intricate ethics of introducing such a powerful product to the world. This short film from The Guardian follows Sanguinetti and Shinzen in their quest to ‘democratise enlightenment’ via ultrasound technology, while also attempting to ensure that, when the time comes, it will be properly implemented as a therapeutic tool.
Video by The Guardian
Director: Lina Lyte Plioplyte
Through a poetic account of childhood trauma, one woman reclaims her past
Politics and government
‘Without a poster, you don’t exist!’ – on the curious political banners of Mumbai
Earth science and climate
A biologist on the sorrows of documenting the Great Salt Lake’s collapse
Film and visual culture
The old-time cinema experience endures in a quiet corner of Japan
Gender and identity
‘I didn’t fall in love with a couple of body pieces’ – on marriage and transition
Sports and games
The brutality and beauty of the West African martial art of ‘dambe’
Animals and humans
What happened when one woman raised an abandoned squirrel as her own
At 14, Asal is excited about her engagement. Her relatives all have their own opinions
What’s the healthiest way to handle a creeping feeling that the world is ending?