Silicon Valley CEOs, Tibetan monks, and crunchy hippies alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can it reduce stress, increase your attention, and improve mental health -- or is all this focus on breathing just a bunch of hot air?  Sit back, get comfortable, and focus your mind as we talk to Tim Ferriss, Professor Gaelle Desbordes, Dr. Clifford Saron, and Dr. Britta Hölzel. Please note: we have updated this episode. We removed a reference to Peter Thiel, the founder of Paypal. He was a guest on Tim Ferriss' show, but didn't discuss whether he meditates. 

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Credits:

This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers and Wendy Zukerman. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Ben Kuebrich. Music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr Jonathan Schooler, Dr Florian Kurth Aldis Wieble and Dr. Madhav Goyal.

Selected References:CDC Report: Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012Review of Neuroimaging Studies on Meditators Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis - JAMA review of Clinical Trials with Active ControlsIntensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators - Dr. Cliff Saron’s study on telomerase activity after a meditation retreat