We assume, of course, that our lives will change in a profound way through the practice of meditation and the religious life. Sometimes we might miss the real change, though, and sometimes in our hurry we may even fail to effect any real change.
As for myself, I see these faults inside, and know too that my progress is slow and could ever do with improving. But I do see change inside, from a time when sitting alone for even a few minutes at a time was a challenge beyond my ability, and the thought of sensual abstinence, moderation in eating, or even keeping to the five basic moral precepts, would have seemed at once both unattainable and undesireable, to today, when sitting still for many hours of the day is a favourite pastime, and the other rules and religious practices have become comfortably familiar and seem more pleasant to my mind than their opposites.
"Sace evaruupampi acittaka.m attano icchiticchita.t.thaana.m haritvaa kamma.m karonti; kasmaa sacittakaapi citta.m attano vase vattetvaa sama.nadhamma.m katu.m na sakkhissanti?"
"If they may do their work by leading even something so mindless [as water] anywhere they wish; why can they, being possessed of minds, not lead their minds to go according to their will and undertake the practice of a recluse?"
-- Pandita Samanera (DhpA)