Yes I know, studies are boring. And I would venture to guess that if you are reading a story about meditation, it’s not because you are left brain dominant (I’d better be careful, I could get myself into trouble here). That said (for you right brainers), studies can be interesting. Especially when they reflect the positive mental and physical benefits that meditation can have on your life.
Michael Bond, in this comprehensive meditation article from Press of Atlantic City, covers several studies promoting positive findings when it comes to how meditation can dramatically affect your life. The article also touches upon how meditation can be used by people to regulate emotions.
A gym for your mind
The suggestion people can become more empathic and compassionate through meditation practice has prompted psychologist Paul Ekman and Alan Wallace, a Buddhist teacher and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, to float the idea of mental training “gymnasiums.” Like physical exercise gyms, but for the mind, these would allow people to drop in and learn to improve their emotional balance, develop their capacity for compassion and even measure their stress levels.
Others have suggested meditation could become an alternative to medication. Although this seems like a good idea, Saron is dubious. He worries thinking of meditation as a quick fix will smother some of the subtleties integral to successful practice. “When you are returning your mind to the object in hand, you have to do it with a sense of gentleness and authority, rather than develop a sense of failure when your mind wanders.”
Read more from Bond on meditation here.