Yesterday, @brandonwilson asked me this question in response to a post I wrote about practising meditation for slightly over 10 years:
Ten years is a long time. What are the 1-2 aspects of your life that you feel have fundamentally changed over that time period that you attribute to your practice of meditation?
One thing that had changed is this sense of centredness. What is centredness?
It's more...a feeling. An instinct.
A blissful, delicious feeling of being. Calm. Quiet. Here. Feeling grounded in reality. Not feeling flighty or lost in emotions or thoughts. From that stable platform, I take in the world. Senses wide open, but not that open. Just open enough to savour, to appreciate, to sample. This is the basis of all the sensorially-descriptive type of posts I wrote on my recent trip to Kyoto, like this one about my perfect day. It's very enjoyable to be try to be fully available to the beautiful landscapes and nature before you, when you are centred and mindful. It's a peak experience of aliveness, and it can, unfortunately, be addictive. The ego can grasp onto anything, even spiritual ones. Sometimes, on 'good' days, I overdo it and I get sensory overload. Like I ate too much, but in the mind.
But mostly, it's extremely tempestuous. Transitionary. Fleeting. Impermanent. I like it that way. Because it's the harvest from practice. Some years, the crops do well and you reap well. Other years, the cold lingered too long, the skies rained too much, and the harvest was poor.
But always, toiling the earth, for the next harvest. The act of toiling - the practice - that's all that matters.