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Forty non-meditators were randomly assigned to 4 experimental cells devised to control for order and expectation effects. The subjects (all female) were continuously monitored on 7 physiological measures during both meditation and rest. Each subject was her own control in an ‘abab’ experimental paradigm comparing meditation to rest. The subjects, meditating for the first time, showed marginally lower psychophysiological arousal during the meditation than rest condition for systolic blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance level and digital skin temperature. Delibrately fostering positive expectations of meditation was associated with lower physiological arousal in terms of diastolic and systolic blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance level.