The autonomic and respiratory variables were studied in seven experienced meditators (with experience ranging from 5 to 20 years). Each subject was studied in two types of sessions--meditation (with a period of mental chanting of "OM") and control (with a period of non-targetted thinking). The meditators showed a statistically significant reduction in heart rate during meditation compared to the control period (paired 't' test). During both types of sessions there was a comparable increase in the cutaneous peripheral vascular resistance. Keeping in mind similar results of other authors, this was interpreted as a sign of increased mental alertness, even while being physiologically relaxed (as shown by the reduced heart rate).