Thinking you are not good at meditation is a very insidious thought, because it may cause you to stop meditating completely. Plus, it isn’t true! You cannot measure your success as a meditator by judging a particular meditation, or even a series of meditations. Every meditation builds on the one before it, even if you think it wasn’t a good one. What is a good meditation anyway? One that you do! St. Teresa of Avila said, “A meditation is well done, if all you did was fight distraction.”

The purpose of meditation techniques is to bring the mind back from being distracted. We think we should never be distracted once we have a meditation technique. But remember that the point of using meditation practices is that now we do have something for the mind to return to. This is practicing meditation correctly-each time you realize that you are distracted, calmly return to your technique. No matter how many times this happens during a meditation, calmly return and never give in to discouragement.

Knowing how important concentration is, people sometimes become discouraged over their inability to hold their minds steady in meditation. We need to realize, however, that completely quieting the mind is the goal of meditation, and not something we will necessarily experience right away. No one expects to master the guitar the first time he plays, and this is true for meditation, whose very mastery reveals Infinity to us.