2012 The Awakening

 

A study conducted by a Harvard affiliated team out of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) came across surprising conclusions regarding the tangible effects of meditation on human brain structure. An 8 week program of mindfulness meditation produced MRI scans for the first time showing clear evidence that meditation produces “massive changes” in brain gray matter.

Study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program (as well as a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology) stated that meditation practitioners aren’t just feeling better. They are literally undergoing changes in brain structure that create the associated sustained boosts in positive and relaxed feelings.

Fellow MGH researcher Sue McGreevey notes that previous studies by Lazar’s group found structural differences in the brains of meditation practitioners compared to those with no prior experience most notably in the thickening of the cerebral cortex; the area responsible for attention and emotional integration. These…

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