Today I was sent a quote that was attributed to Buddha. It said: “Buddha was asked, ‘What have you gained from meditation?’ He replied, ‘Nothing! But let me tell you what I have lost. Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old Age and Death.” I loved the quote but decided to check it out. While it can be found all over the internet, it was listed under fake Buddha quotes.
An earlier version of the quote is found in the 1973 publication of World Buddhism, Volume 22 by the World Fellowship of Buddhists. It was not directly attributed to Buddha.
It may be stating the case too strongly to say that in meditation one seeks to gain nothing. For there is an increase in happiness and peace of mind. But when asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” the answer would be: “It is not what I have gained that is important but rather what I have diminished, namely, greed, hatred, and delusion.”
I like thinking of meditation in this way.