So, I have just come to the realization that meditation is not for me. It is for you!
My effort in my practice is to develop loving kindness and compassion. Yes, it does start with me. But only to help me give that love to my Family, friends, those who would hate me, those that are lost or helpless. Meditation is to love the whole World. The more I meditate and the more I practice Bhavana, the more love I develop for others.
I used to believe that meditation was intended to gain something for myself. But I now view it as a vehicle for me to give of myself.
I once asked Bhante Sujatha how he does not develop an ego with so many people telling him how much they love him. Not quoting him, but he basically said that he is mindful of when anyone tells him that and it lets him know how much more love he has to give others now. For Bhante it seems, it is not about what he has gained, but what he has to give. This is true love to me. It is love that I have felt from him from the first moment we met. More importantly, please understand, this is the love that Bhante has for all people.
So should I live one more day, or fifty more years, my intention is to love more. To train my mind, develop wisdom, demonstrate virtue, and be ever mindful. This is the present, the gift.
May you be well, happy and peaceful