Not long ago, I did a web search for how to meditate. In each of the top twenty results were nearly identical basic instructions:

Find a quiet spot.
Choose the same time to meditate each day.
Sit upright with your back relaxed and your spine straight.
Avoid distractions.

… followed by the instruction to focus your attention on something such as a physical sensation, a sound, a word, or your breathing.

If I were to summarize these instructions without emphasizing meditation, it would sound something like this:

Figure out a way to temporarily escape from your life, then keep your fingers crossed that when you return to your normal routine, the benefits of this mini-vacation will stay with you.

This "vacation theory of meditation" is interesting to me. You might want to consider it the next time you take a real vacation.

It takes time to relax into actually being on vacation. And of course, when you return, you have the hope that nothing will change and you can keep the relaxation going. Usually a bit of your vacation mindset might carry over into your real life, until you run into some big problem, or often even just a little one. And that small or large event seems to remove all the benefits and relaxation that came from your vacation. Eventually, you conclude that the only solution is another vacation.

Most people treat meditation that way as well. Most meditation teachers talk about it like that, after all. The main difference is that, maybe because you can do the meditation mini-vacation once or twice a day, you’ll perhaps manage to make the carryover effect last longer. So the next time we find ourselves annoyed or upset again, we automatically think, "I need more meditation!"

My suggestion is that we take a closer, more questioning look at how to meditate, the results we get from meditation, and why we get them. Perhaps we’ll discover that these things are easier than we thought.

Author's Bio: 

Steven Sashen began meditation when he was eight years old, was one of the first biofeedback pioneers, and researched cognition and perception at Duke University. In addition to a successful career as an entrepreneur and entertainer, Steven has taught transformational techniques around the world and developed the Instant Advanced Meditation Course, which Dr. Gay Hendricks calls, "Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to relax, expand awareness, and find deep inner-peace."

Additional Resources covering Meditation can be found at:

Website Directory for Meditation
Articles on Meditation
Products for Meditation
Discussion Board
Steven Sashen, the Official Guide To Meditation