And Mr Wang would tell you: “Based on my personal experience, meditation sharply improves concentration. It makes you smarter. You will understand things faster, and become more creative. You will even become wise. Furthermore, meditation brings you happiness. Therefore I encourage you to meditate.”
Whereupon the skeptical might say: “Well, Mr Wang, how do you know this? Have your claims been verified in any double-blind experiment? And if so, I insist that the double-blind experiment be replicated by other scientists. Make sure that the sample size is good and please do your statistical analysis properly. Otherwise I shall not believe your ludicrous claims.”
Mr Wang would reply: “Oh well. If you don’t believe me, you could go ask other people who meditate regularly. Based on their personal experience, they would probably tell you the same things as I have. In fact, some old people say that meditation helps them to stay alert and think as sharply as much younger people. And why would they lie to you? Anyway, the effect of meditation is something you can easily verify for yourself. Just try it three times a week, for about 20 minutes each time. And you will see.”
Whereupon the skeptical would say: “Nonsense! Do you actually expect me to trust my very own experience? Show me evidence, in the form of a scientific paper published in a scientific journal! And not just any scientific journal, but a peer-reviewed scientific journal. And not just a peer-reviewed scientific journal, but a top-tier peer-reviewed scientific journal. And make sure the scientists come from world-class academic institutions like Yale, MIT or Harvard Medical School! Anything less will be totally unacceptable to me!”
And then Mr Wang would say: “Eh, you think I very free ah? I give you good advice, if you don’t believe, then don’t believe lah. Like I owe you money, liddat. Throughout the history of mankind, people have known about the benefits of meditation for THOUSANDS of years, not as if it’s a DAMNED BIG secret or what. Is it my fault that modern science is so slow in catching up? Next time you want to know anything, don’t ask me lah, go and google for the answer yourself! Duh.”
Meditation found to increase brain size
Mental calisthenics bulk up some layers
By William J. Cromie
People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't.
Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.
In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That's intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.
"Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being," says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. "These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice." .... Link.