Is there a scientific consensus on meditation? I've seen it said that different parts of the brain are activated during meditation. Is that true for all experienced meditators, all forms of meditation, etc.?

It has to do something, was originally my take on Buddhism -- at the time merely because it has historically thrived: it being pretty obvious that whatever it did was a 'good' thing.

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    Sorry but I find it unclear what this question is asking: 1) is it really about "Buddhism", or is it about science and non-Buddhist forms of 'meditation', maybe just measuring brain activity or something? 2) The title and first sentence aren't clear -- what does "consensus on meditation" mean -- consensus about what? 3) The third sentence, the detailed question, is that only asking whether "different parts of the brain are activated" and whether that's true for all meditators/meditations? 4) The final paragraph ends with a question mark but I don't know what that question is.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 25, 2019 at 4:55
  • maybe it could be moved to psychology stack, if you find it that unclear etc.. though i would have thought there'd be more interest in it here @ChrisW
    – user2512
    Oct 25, 2019 at 6:14
  • Would it be clearer on the psychology stack? Is it only asking about measuring activity? In which case, it's probably asking for references to in-clinic meta-studies, which measure brain activity during one or more forms of meditation, by one or more populations. There's one reference to this kind of thing I know of (there are probably others I don't know) -- cbc.ca/news2/background/meditation -- that's from a while ago though and not a meta-study though it does have a specifically-Buddhist connection.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 25, 2019 at 6:28
  • i don't see what's unclear about it. i'm asking what -- psychological -- science says about meditation. so brain scans, therapeutic potential, structured interviews about it, etc. @ChrisW too broad?
    – user2512
    Oct 25, 2019 at 6:30
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    In meditation, you begin to transform into a spontaneous, natural being of love and compassion. Your whole cosmos begins to change. Meditation brings up a great change in a human being. I know this in a small degree from my experience. The only way to know this is to start meditating yourself. Oct 25, 2019 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


If you are still interested, you can check this:


It's a comment with about 15 benefits of meditation with links to scientific articles that state them as far as I understand.


Ah, just seeing this question now and thought you might find this helpful.

Can we train ourselves to be compassionate? A new study suggests the answer is yes. Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples’ mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Published March 25 in the Public Library of Science One, the study was the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to indicate that positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be learned in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport. The scans revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions and feelings were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive experience practicing compassion meditation.

This is the famous study that led to the Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard being dubbed, "The happiest man on earth!"

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