Mindfulness, meditation, being in the present moment - whatever name you give it, what was once reserved for the Buddhists, yogis, or new-agey folks is finally catching on as a legitimate practice in mainstream Western culture. And for good reason. Beyond just anecdotal evidence, Harvard has now scientifically proven the benefits of meditation on the brain. In the Harvard study, a group of participants spent an average of 27 minutes engaged in daily mindfulness exercises for eight weeks. Pre and post magnetic resonance images of the mindfulness participants found "increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection." So meditation not only makes you smarter, it also makes you a kinder, more thoughtful person.