Researchers have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) then non-meditators.
I usually like to focus on the proven benefits of meditation that might be realized within a relatively short time frame, however this recently publicized study has such significant implications for the long term that it caught my eye.
Imagine -- over the 20 years of my meditation practice, my cortex has folded much more often than that of non-meditators. I love picturing all those folds -- and I'm looking forward to developing many more. . .