We all know that when we practice a lot and become a bit tired or upset, we can become unbalanced, and then all sorts of seemingly positive or negative things can appear in our mind. These are not necessarily the real signs of practice. The real sign of our practice should be how we work with our afflicting emotions. For example, we could recall, “Yesterday at nine o’clock someone did something awful to me and I was about to get angry, but then I reflected on it and didn’t get angry.” This kind of result shows whether or not our practice has actually become the antidote to our negative feelings and thoughts. This is very important, because sometimes we do not see what Dharma practice actually is and what it is really for. We do some practice, but we take another kind of outcome as the real result. This is a mistake we should not make.
– 17th Karmapa
from the book “Traveling the Path of Compassion: A Commentary on The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva”