In her book The Spirit of Meditation, author Erica Brealy points out that meditation contributes to improvements in mental performance, including faster reaction times, clearer thinking, increased creativity, intelligence, productivity, and a greater ability to focus. "This has obvious implications both personally and professionally, leading to greater success in the workplace and a more fulfilling life." (page 37)
Brealy, Erica. The Spirit of Meditation. London: Octopus Publishing Group, 2006. Print.
In A Guide to Meditation, author Lorraine Turner explains how meditation "helps us to restore balance between the left and right sides of the brain. The left side of the brain deals with thinking, speaking and writing. When we are awake and in a busy, thinking state of mind, the brain emits faster electrical patterns called ‘beta’ waves. In this state we are able to rationalize and think about the past and future."
...it helps us to recover feeling and to experience the world directly, in the present, before the sensations become ‘interpreted’ by the left side of the brain.... Turner, Lorraine. A Guide to Meditation. Parragon, Bath; 2002. P 7.
"The right side of the brain deals with intuition, imagination and feeling. When we are sensing something – such as listening to music – and we are in a receptive rather than an active state, the brain emits slower electrical patterns called ‘alpha’ waves. In the alpha state we are more passive and open to our feelings."
Turner goes on to say that meditation increases our time spent in the alpha state, thereby restoring the left-right balance between the two hemispheres of the brain. She continues "it helps us to recover feeling and to experience the world directly, in the present, before the sensations become ‘interpreted’ by the left side of the brain."
"The effect of meditation, in the beginning, will be a gradual understanding of what is meant by tranquility, what is meant by the mind becoming tranquil. It is not something contrived or imposed or imported from outside. It is the arising of what is already within us. As the mind becomes tranquil, many things begin to become clear. Things that were not formerly clear to us about ourselves, the world around us, the way we are living, relationships. We become clear about everything. So we need to generate within our minds the conditions for a preliminary level of tranquility to arise. This is done through training in mindfulness – the essence of meditation."
Nairn, Rob. Diamond Mind: A Psychology of Meditation. Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boston, 1999. P 12-13.