I have met so many who believe that, when they begin to meditate, fireworks should go off, bells should ring and we should become changed beyond recognition in the blink of an eye. If that is what enlightenment means to you, you might as well give up now. The likelihood of that happening is akin to waking up tomorrow on another planet. It just ain’t gonna happen.
I am not exactly sure where these expectations come from, other than many who find the way are lost again at the first indication of extraordinary powers or abilities. They put forth the idea that these powers are granted as part of the path, rather than the true fact that we are simply aware of more of what we already are. These so called powers reside in all of us., even in those who have no idea how to access them.
With regular meditation, we are able to access more of our natural abilities, which may capture our interest and halt our progress on the path. All great teachers have warned that these seeming powers are a trap that can lead us from the path. They should be noted then let go, just as the ego's thoughts are noted then let go while in meditation.
The Ancients have told us repeatedly not to get distracted by the gifts and skills we receive while on the path to Enlightenment. If we do, we can be seduced off the path, believing we are more than a willing tool of the Creator. They also told us that we would have the skills to do the work we are assigned when needed. I have found this to be true.
The possibility of the ego seizing on these abilities as it's own and using them to further its goals is a real and present danger. The only acceptable use of these newfound powers is when we are sure that we have been called upon to perform some act that benefits another. They should never be used for personal gain of either power or financial benefit. Such use will take us from the path and build up massive karmic debt. When we interfere in another's life, we must accept responsibility for the good or the bad we do. Such interference should be done only after a great deal of thought and examination of one’s motives.