Three Things We Still Don’t Know About Meditation

Despite the hype, researchers are still exploring the benefits of meditation and how much practice we need to achieve them.

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During the past two decades, we’ve discovered a lot about mindfulness—and specifically meditation, which is one of the best ways to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.

Research has suggested that in a few short weeks, mindfulness meditation practice can bring about physiological, psychological, and social benefits in our lives. From increases in gray matter in the brain to alleviating physical ailments such as migraines and fibromyalgia, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation practice more generally have been touted for everyone ranging from executives to schoolchildren.

While some have been critical of the science behind mindfulness meditation due to poor study designs and small effect sizes, this hasn’t curbed mainstream interest. A recently published study sought to examine the print media coverage of meditation between 1979 and 2014 and discovered that there’s a “near ubiquitous positive coverage of meditation.”

Are these claims true?

With so many positive claims about mindfulness meditation, it can be difficult to decipher which claims have the most research behind them and which are still preliminary or speculative. In fact,…