Above the Clouds of Thought
Meditation begins when the effort required to concentrate gives way to a steady flow of attention. The approach to meditation requires some initial expenditure of energy like an airplane on the runway that builds speed and energy to the point of lift off. Meditation is above the clouds of thought.
~Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian
As we sit in the silence or practice a concentration technique, we maintain watchful alertness for the transition from concentration to the state of meditation. The switch is marked when effort drops away and is naturally replaced by a peaceful flow of inner awareness many describe as bliss. Fullness pervades the mental field and there is no feeling of lack or need. In this state we are refreshed and recharged on all levels. When we drop back out of meditation and notice the interruption of thought, sound or sensations, we can pick up our concentration technique again. Even on days when we do not achieve anything near meditation, no effort is ever wasted and there are always the benefits of an improved ability to focus and ignore thoughts in the mental field that are not useful.