I will keep this section sweet and short.
There is so much information available on meditation and the sheer necessity of stilling the mind, preventing it from constantly projecting forth into a future not yet here and regretting over a past long gone rather than staying present to what is unfolding right in front of our eyes.
All of which keeps resulting in an increase in stress levels and a massive loss of creative participation-power with the actual moment.
The Dalai Lama said once in an interview something to the like of: we wont ever be able to eradicate the challenges in our lives, but what we can change is our outlook on them.
The way how we look at anything is depending on our belief systems and I have found a few things extremely helpful in my life in order to stay present.
Meditation is and can be anything that you bring your conscious awareness to, facilitating a total immersion into your current NOW. Don’t get sidetracked and off-put by thinking you have to sit cross legged in a lotus position for hours on end on some remote mountain top having one hell of a blissed out experience. Being fully present is doing dishes , playing with your cat and having a heated totally embodied debate with your friend on skype, its all and everything and it’s a 24/7 practice and the moment you fall off, you simply take note and come back on again.
Access helpers to your awareness practice can be anything from focused breathing (techniques), staying attuned with how we feel or physical gatekeepers such as posture, movement or bodily sensations. It really doesn’t matter and once you drop the dogma around how it’s supposed to be done you can actually start playing around with it and have fun!
@ Engaging the witness capacity within us, which is a polished way of saying: you are neither your thoughts nor your emotions, but the eternal awareness, watching all of it coming and going and its from here you ideally decide consciously if you want to engage any of it. The witness witnesses all our human follies including the ongoing judgment we throw on everything, aka getting insanely serious around skipping our meditation practice and falling off the apparent bandwagon.
Its all good and part of your practice, so refrain from adding insult to injury when this mechanism is simply to be identified as a lack of (apparent) self worth in need for more kindness NOT LESS!
@ If certain emotional states and thought patterns keep persisting, they ARE part of your meditation practice and rather than pretending you are oh so detached from them, I myself made much more headway actually tracing them back and releasing myself from where-ever they are anchoring themselves within my system. Please see the emotional release section here