The basic meditation method is simple: once the mind has strayed to unwanted thinking, have your attention return to the chosen meditation content, e.g. your breath, mantra, or prayer. Repeat this continuously.
Similar to the way the mind’s eye “sees” objects and events, your mind’s ear “hears” your thoughts. With consistent meditation all thoughts will become more quiet and soft.
As your thoughts become quieter they will seem more distant, more faint. You will notice that your awareness seems to travel from the front of your head to the back of your head. Thinking is now more subconscious.
Quiet mind means there are now longer periods of not thinking between your subconscious thoughts. You “hear” less in the mind.
Still mind is when there is more time of not thinking and your subconscious thoughts are slowing down and decreasing in frequency,
During meditation your attention will go back and forth between the chosen meditation content and subconsciously thinking of something else, occasionally and momentarily resting in no thinking.
Not thinking feels like timeless eternity with no beginning or end. You will not notice it has occurred until thought returns. One mentally recognizes the difference between what has just occurred versus the present moment in which one is now thinking again.
As you become more proficient at meditating your mind will rest in no-thought more often, resulting in a distortion of time, with time experienced as having passed more quickly than usual. This is caused by the greater periods of time in timeless eternity. This is one way you will know your practice included periods of not thinking.
It improves your mind if at the end of a positive meditation you remember how it has been to meditate, and remind yourself that you will relive it in the future when you formally meditate or spontaneously choose to remember the experience.
Meditation improves your ability to concentrate by improving the ability to observe and direct one’s mind, enabling one to keep the mind focused as one wishes, a necessary skill for most spiritual practices.
Periods of not thinking improve your ability to access your subconscious and unconscious thoughts, strengthen intuition, and facilitate divine inspiration.
Contemplation during meditation is holding one thought or question as the fixed meditation content and allowing all other thoughts that arise to come and go, only consciously considering them as answers or insights at conclusion of the meditation.
Successful meditation practice usually increases one’s psychic abilities in which one may experience subtle energies, influence manifestation of events, and/or receive information that ordinarily would not be possible unless the laws of time and space were transcended, i.e. clairvoyance.
If you attend to your meditation experience throughout the day, unconditional love, peace, and joy experienced in formal practice will arise and eventually be felt even when not making this formal effort.
Successful meditation practice is a transcendent experience in which one becomes one’s spiritual or transpersonal self. Over time this results in positive character change in which a person becomes more lovingly kind and altruistic.