I don’t always feel an immediate, tangible benefit after I meditate, but it’s not exceedingly rare, either. Nor is it quite comparable to the euphoric relaxation after a hard workout; it’s harder to detect than that. But there is a sensation I can feel sometimes after I sit — maybe just for an hour after, maybe for the rest of the day.
There’s a shift in my perspective. It feels like I’m wavering on the line between everything being its normal, boring self and being utterly new, different, dazzling and strange.
I realize as I say it that this might sound scary. To me, it’s the opposite — it’s what I live for. The sensation is intimately familiar to me. In fact, this sensation might be what drove me to meditation in the first place. Since I was very young, I got occasional peeks behind the curtain of my habitual states of mind, and I was tantalized by the possibility that I could pull it back further. That’s what meditation seems to do.
In Buddhism, there are different schools of thought about whether enlightenment is gradual or sudden. I can’t tell yet. This sensation and perspective shift I’m describing feels like wavering back and forth between unenlightened and enlightened states. I think they’re getting clearer, more frequent, and more stable over time, but I’m not totally sure. And either way, who’s to say it won’t feel like five gees of acceleration when — okay, if — it really happens? All I can say for now is, I believe the shift is possible, whether it happens all at once or bit by bit.