In many parts of the world, evidence shows that meditation has been around for thousands of years. Some scholars even believe the ancient cave paintings in Spain and France depict meditators as far back as 14,000 B.C. From the sages of old to modern gurus, across the globe, we have been told that meditation has far reaching healing powers, both psychological and physical. There have been tons of articles, blogs, emails and pop-up ads that proclaim meditation can reduce stress, depression and blood pressure, alleviate eating disorders and anxiety and actually make you more intelligent.
I've witnessed the calm demeanor that surrounds lifelong meditators, including myself, but as a practicing skeptic, I crave scientific proof as well, that the behavior is directly related to meditation. Now, thanks to brain scan imaging, we have solid, visual evidence that differences in the brain do occur. Neuroscientists have shown us the magic of neuroplasticity, the ability of a brain to realign and reinterpret the outside world.
Have you ever reacted poorly towards a friend or family member, only to regret your reaction later, thinking, "I should have been more understanding, more patient, more lovable." If, by meditating, you became slower to anger and quicker to love, how might that affect your relationships?