What does meditation lead to? In general the answer is that there is nothing to achieve in meditation. Striving for some goal in meditation actually defeats the purpose. But still there is something happening in your brain after many hours of meditation. And this is an ongoing process that will keep changing your brain with time.
I would like to compare this to the production of a microscope. To create a really good microscope you need to manufacture very good lenses. And this is done by honing the glass over and over again, in order to make the surface smoother each time. This will increase the visual resolution of the microscope.
Likewise during meditation you rest your awareness on the present moment. And by doing so or a very long time you will increase your resolution for the present moment. And now stuff gets interesting.
This will show you a lot about yourself. Because in order to get to the present moment you need to erase all the burs and scratches from your mind. Those that do not allow you to have experience reality directly. What you will discover after an extended period of practicing meditation regularly, is that you are not actually experience reality. What you experience instead are your own reactions to reality and projections of your own desires.
With meditation those habits and carmic-traces will be eradicated from the mind through many insights and through the direct experience of them with greater awareness.
But be prepared that this process can be quite painful. Not only in the beginning but also in later stages when you see parts fall away that you formerly thought were part of yourself.
I felt that those changes became less and less painful with time. After a while this process has now become very pleasant and interesting. Increasing my awareness through different forms of meditation is my number one long term personal goal.
In my experience the insights from meditation are very valuable for the course of my life and my direct quality of life. They are coupled with a slow but steady change of my behavior in the outer world. And the most beautiful part about this is the effortlessness with which these changes manifest.
Basically all of our problems stem from psychological issues that we hold and do not see. By seeing through these illusions of the mind you will find yourself in a new position where your world seems to hold less objects for you.
For example, I was for many years deeply concerned with my diet. It had to be healthy and calorically controlled. Otherwise I would not be happy. I would start eating way too much and feel physically ill afterwards. Now after living through many of those instances with full awareness, diet has become a non-issue for me. Now I will naturally eat healthy food in the right quantity. If not, that is no problem anymore as well.
This is one small area of life where awareness has sharpened my view for reality. But this works for everything else. After many years of meditation you can discover the beautiful emptiness of the present moment. Reality is basically an existential void. Nothing you think right now that exist does really exist in the real world. It is completely empty of any meaning, history, feeling, projection and virtually nothing you spend all of your time thinking about. All those things do not exist in reality.
This can be a shocking and at the same time liberating and awe inspiring realization. To be free in your decisions, you first have to arrive at this level of resolution for what really exist in the present moment. Before that you will only be reacting to whatever your own inner mind-chatter serves up for you. But with a continuous meditation practice this will gradually reduce. You will increasingly act from a place of true understanding and appreciation of for reality. At this point you do not need to follow anymore rules to act moral. The Good and Truth will be your default mode.
To achieve this insight into yourself and reality I will today leave you with only but very powerful rule that you need to follow:
1. Practice any proven meditation technique, every day and with increasing duration over time. Start with 20 minutes a day and slowly increase to 1 hour over several month. Never stop for the rest of your life. Enjoy the process!