Purpose of Meditation

From the anthology Breath Sweeps Mind, at the end of Part I, "What is Meditation", an excerpt from "The Great Teacher" by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana:

The purpose of meditation is personal transformation. The you that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same you that comes out the other side. It changes your character by a process of sensitization, by making you deeply aware of your own thoughts, words, and deeds. Your arrogance evaporates and your antagonism dries up. Your mind becomes still and calm. And your life smooths out. Thus meditation properly performed prepares you to meet the ups and downs of existence. It reduces your tension, your fear, and your worry. Restlessness recedes, and passion moderates. Things begin to fall into place and your life becomes a glide rather than a struggle. All of this happens through understanding.

Meditation sharpens your concentration and your thinking power. Then, piece by piece, your own subconscious motives and mechanics become clear to you. Your intuition sharpens. The precision of your thought increases and gradually you come to a direct knowledge of things as they really are, without prejudice and without illusion. So is this reason enough to bother? Scarcely. These are just promises on paper. There is only one way you will ever know if meditation is worth the effort. Learn to do it right, and do it. See for yourself.

(cf. Wherever You Go, There You Are (2008-10-26), Meditation Made Easy (2008-11-01), ... - ^z - 2009-04-07