It has been proven for many centuries, in many different ways, that meditation can have a strong impact on personal and spiritual growth. It is one thing to read and talk about it; however, it is the practical application, the dedication, and the development of patience and perserverance, to realize the benefits of this powerful tool.
During my meditation, I try to remain focused on nothing but the physical sensation of breathing. I try to remain detached from my thoughts by remaining focused on my physical sensations and still maintaining awareness of the passing thoughts without engaging them. Obviously, a somewhat difficult task to maintain. So, as I do every time I sit, I breath, I engage thought, I return to the breath, I breath, I engage thought, I return to the breath, and so on.
I have a coworker that frequently irritates me. One afternoon this person seriously irritated me, enough to walk out of work grumbling to a friend of mine about this persons latest "offense".
The next morning I sat in my meditation focusing on the breath and non-attachment to thoughts. I entered a state where this "situation" with my coworker suddenly arose in my mind. However, I was seeing it objectively, without emotion. As I observed my thought process, I realized the latest feelings of irrituation were actually a compilation of a number of other "irritations" I had been maintaining an internal list of. Again, I simply observed as each situation revealed it's true nature of where it began. Each one led to the same origination. Fear. My irritation was simply an expression of my fear about the true nature of the situation.
When I next spoke to my coworker there where things said that, by removing my filter and being open without fear, I realized the basis of my misconceptions which led to my self-induced fear. Meditation has given me the opportunity for deep self-examination leading to healing, growth, strength, love, and compassion. When I can see things as they clearly are, without my special pair of rose-colored glasses, I have the greatest potential for personal growth.
This is just one of the many examples why meditation is as important a part of my life as breathing. I hope that you find the same, no matter what meditation technique you use. Just find the right tool for you and use it frequently!!