I have meditated for a long time - 45+ years.
There have been so many changes over that time, and truly, it would be hard to discern which of those changes came from meditation and which came just as part of both physical aging and spiritual maturity.
In my own particular path, continued meditation didn’t always mean more & deeper “continued peace & calm.” I guess I had a lot of “stuff” to bring up and heal, because mine definitely wasn’t a linear path where each new year of meditation made me calmer & wiser :-) There were many years where both my meditation and my spiritual path as a whole just “kicked my butt!”
But I stayed with it. Perhaps the two most important changes were:
- My clarity about what meditation is for changed drastically. Like many, I started out thinking meditation was something “I” was doing, for a ”personal” goal, namely, to “get enlightened.” It took me a looong time to realize as long as I thought “I” was the Doer, the “meditator, who, if he meditated “enough,” was eventually going to be around to enjoy his own “enlightenment,” I wasn’t going to get anywhere.
- Then “I” disappeared, all that was present was Pure Being Consciousness, and I saw that there never was any “me” meditating, that Being was the actual Doer. It allowed “me” to be a much more useful guide to others “who” also needed to understand who was meditating and how to let go into it more quickly and correctly.