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. Meditation changes your character by a process of sensitisation, 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 smoothes out. Meditation, properly performed, prepares you to meet the ups and downs of existence, reducing tension, fear and worry. Restlessness recedes and passion moderates. Things begin to fall into place, and your life becomes a glide instead of a struggle.

All of this happens through understanding

Meditation sharpens your concentration and your thinking power. Then, piece by piece, your 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 your screen. There is only one way you will ever know if meditation is worth the effort. Learn to do it, and keep on doing it. See for yourself.


– adapted from the book Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana