If for no other reason, we love elegance in a study. That's why we're making note of this recent paper from the Stanford University, Department of Psychology, Culture and Emotion Lab, which offers insight into the minds and emotions of regular meditators.
Most studies of meditation focus on how meditators feel, but Birgit Koopman-Holms Ph.D. and her colleagues ingeniously decided to focus their study on "how people ideally want to feel."
Predictably, meditators ideally wanted to feel calm more and excited less than non-meditators, but the groups did not differ in their actual experience of calm or excited states.
Things really got interesting when the researchers probed participants' values. After eight weeks, meditators valued calm more than non-meditators even though they did not differ in their actual experience of calm compared with the other groups.
In short, meditation altered people's priorities--with greater value placed on being calm--more than it did their actual experience of the world.
If thoughts do become reality, though, greater calm should follow greater valueing of calm.....grasshopper.