For the past several months my meditation practice has really suffered. If I did it at all I would often fall asleep, drift away, or become unaccountably frustrated, and often all three. Then the other day I read a post on the Unlikely Mage blog about some of the things that hinder meditation, specifically 'sensual desire'. The light went on for me when I read this. Not only was I being distracted by drinking, TV, and the Internet, but also by my lusting after results.
I did a few Tarot readings for myself last night that suggested some important things not the least of which was that by lusting after results I was putting undue pressure on myself. The results would be frustration and feelings of failure. This is exactly the opposite of what the results of meditation should be.
This morning I meditated for the practice of meditating. I didn't attempt any visualizations. I didn't try any relaxation techniques involving glowing balls of light. I didn't try to control the images or impressions that flitted across my consciousness. I simply sat and breathed and felt the breath entering and exiting my nose for about half an hour. Afterward I felt great, and I still feel great several hours later.
Every once in a while I need to be reminded that the practice itself is often more important than spectacular results.