Buddhist monks: Their mental stability and calmness isn’t mystical; it’s
biological. The brain can grow new cells and reshape itself, and meditation appears to encourage this process. Monks who have trained for years in meditation have greater brain activity in regions linked to learning and happiness. “The mind is far more malleable than we previously assumed,” says Saki Santorelli, executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachussetts Medical School. Studies at the center have shown that meditation can help people cope with stress. It may repair or compensate for damage already done in the brain.

-Newsweek Feb 23 2009 from “Health for Life: Who Says Stress is Bad for You? By Mary Carmichael, pg. 50