You just can't screw this up
I have to smile every time someone tells me that they don’t feel they are doing meditation right. Everyone feels that way at first. The reason is that there isn’t any wrong or right way to do it.
Oh, there are postures and specific focuses for your attention that you can try, but the idea that anyone, even the oldest monk who’ve been doing it since birth, does it better is a trap that keeps so many people from continuing to practice.
Meditation is merely the practice of bringing your full attention to what’s happening. If that is doing the dishes, you keep bringing your errant mind back to the dishes, the water, the soap, the sensations. If you are sitting on the couch and trying to meditate, you bring your attention to the breath, the posture, the bodies tension and release.
As for the sense of not doing it right, the inner voices, the scattered thoughts that make us feel like we are not meditating? None of that is wrong. That’s the mind as it really is. That is the opportunity to step into awareness of the breath, of the present place and time and to look objectively, even lovingly at those “distractions”, accepting them before they attract judgment to themselves and become uncomfortable. That’s meditation in a nutshell.
There are many books on it, but I like to keep it just this simple when I teach people just starting out on this road to liberation. The most important thing to remember is that we can’t escape our thoughts, only the suffering they can cause.