The results of a study recently completed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital also document meditation-produced improvements over time in the brain's gray matter, important for learning and memory.
In addition to restoring memory, meditation can also keep you younger as measured by reduction of blood pressure, and better vision and hearing.
So how do you reap these benefits? There are myriad meditation classes available, but if you'd like to start your own traditional eastern-style meditation practice at home to connect to your inner stillness and inner knowing, here are some tips for success:
Regularity - Try to schedule the same time each day for your meditation, for instance, just after awakening or just before bedtime.
Exercise - Doing yoga or other stretches first can relax your body, making it easier to sit in meditation.
Location - Choose a quiet spot with a cool breeze, just for meditation.
Sitting - Sit with your back straight, chest raised, head erect, eyes closed and hands resting palms upturned, in your lap.
Realistic time - It's better to start meditating 5 to 15 minutes at a time and be very consistent about it, then increase your time as you can.
Never fear - there is a meditation style for every personality. For example, Type A's may prefer a more active style of meditation, such as guided visualizations, which can offer the same benefits of relaxation. To try a guided visualization that you can listen to lying down, try my Chakra Meditation on the Meditations page of thechakras.org.