“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
This confirms what many long term meditators have known intuitively: that meditation is not just about feeling better, but also about instigating changes in bodily structure to improve capability, both in restoring lost functionality, and, possibly, also establishing functionality beyond our original birth capability.
As this research was focussed on a short course of meditation to enable clear boundaries for making measurements and being able to analyse the data, it demonstrates how quickly tangible results can materialise.
So, the possibilities for longer term meditation are likely to be much more significant.