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Lions Roar : September 2018
The Healing Power of Meditation WHYDO BUDDHISTS MEDITATE? By under- standing themselves and their connections to all beings, suggests thousands of years of Buddhist tra- dition, they can be released from suffering and ultimately gain enlightenment. While meditation has traditionally been seen as spiritual territory, in recent decades scientists have become interested in studying the potential benefits of this ancient practice. By researching more secular versions of mindfulness meditation, they’ve found that learning to pay attention to our current expe- riences and accept them without judgment might indeed help us to be happier. In fact, studies to date suggest that mindfulness affects many aspects of our psychological well-being, improving our moods, increasing positive emotions, and decreasing our anxiety, emotional reactivity, and even job burnout. But does meditation affect our bodies as well as our minds? Recently, researchers have been exploring this question— with some surprising results. While much of the early mind- Studies suggest that meditation positively impacts our hearts, brains, immune systems, and more. JILL SUTTIE of the Greater Good Science Center reports. PHOTOBYMEGUMIYOSHIDA LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 59