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Question for October 6, 2013: Alternative Reality
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think your life would be different if you'd never been exposed to meditation? How?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
It's hard for me to separate out one single part of my experience. I've been meditating for about two years now, and things have changed a lot in that time, but it's very hard to say with confidence the bounds of meditation's role in the changes.
I think what's most clear in my mind is that meditation has given me more space around my thoughts, and greater room to question them. This means that I've a better chance of noticing things like impatience and anger before they strike into action. So I think the concrete change it makes sense to talk about is that I've been made much more patient and aware of the true reality of a situation. I imagine I'd find myself randomly having scared or angered someone more if I wasn't exposed to meditation.

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Basically, I shudder to think about this. Meditation (and spirituality/Buddhism more generally) is basically what's given my life a sense of belonging or making some kind of sense.
I'm sure I'd have something else if not for meditation--maybe astrophysics or lawyering--but I just don't think those things could bring the kind of relief that spirituality does, or make me as useful to other people.
Would be fun to know the counterfactual on this one.

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susyn153 — 4 years ago — permalink
I don't think, I know it would be different.  I never would have met my husband, I would be a harpy (cause I was), I never would have realized how my irritation and anger affected other people and myself.  I never would have realized how much I didn't like myself or how harsh and judgemental I was with myself and others.  
I am still all of those things, I just know what is going on and am aware enough to work on it a little bit everyday.  Meditation has allowed me to zoom out and look at myself and others very differently.  We all have value, we all have something to offer, we have all been damaged in some way or another.  The one advantage to coming to meditation later in life is that you have a clear compare and contrast image.  

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
We all have value, we all have something to offer, we have all been damaged in some way or another.
That is exceptionally beautiful and well-stated. Thanks for sharing.

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Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink
Thank you for sharing with us. I found this a very insightful post. While it doesn't throw out any radical new thinking, it provides somewhat of an anecdote to help others understand how you've benefitted directly from meditation.