On MeditationMeditation is like being on a road. The trees on the sides of the road are thoughts. They are constantly there, a distraction. The trees and the road are not what's important. Only the destination matters. Focus on the destination and everything else will fall away. People often tell me they had a difficult time with meditation because they couldn't relax or couldn't clear their mind. Sometimes it's because they are upset or in physical pain. My suggestion is that when it feels like you simply cannot do something, like relax, just try to imagine what it would feel like if you could. It seems simple, but it has helped me and others many times over. With the ongoing stresses of daily life meditation has become more popular and mainstream for both adults and children. Doctors and therapists often prescribe some form of meditation, from relaxation techniques to breathing exercises. It's clear that meditation has many positive physical effects on our bodies by reducing stress and inducing a relaxed state. It also has many benefits for our minds and our spirituality. Meditation can help us to understand our own mind and in doing so we gain the ability to transform our minds. We can learn how to change our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds, and cultivating constructive thoughts, is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated still in one pose. The purpose of meditation is to make your mind calm and peaceful. When your mind is peaceful, you will be free from worries, stress and mental discomfort, and so you may experience true happiness and open up the inner path to your light. When your mind is not peaceful, it can be very difficult to be happy, even when things seem to be going well in our lives. Likewise, it will also be difficult to concentrate on the work of discovering your own True Will.
One good resource on the importance of meditation on the path can be found in Crowley's "Book Four part 1 Sacred Texts".
More information on modern Buddism can be found here http://tharpa.com/us/.