THE ART OF MEDITATION - (Notes by Margot Anand based on Aaravindha Himadra’s  teachings - see book : Sacred Sounds by Aaravindha Himadra)

Take it out of its intended mode of operation … “the idle mind is the devils’s workshop”. Give the mind a task that supports your inward process : watching breath and saying mantra….
The natural mind is a dynamic process. It won’t accept “stop signs”.
To practice in harmony with the nature of mind, find detours such as mantra. Or watching breath. 
1.  Shamatha : to abide in peace. Establishing inner tranquility.
2.  Vairagya: distancing your awareness from active mental tendancies. Leads to a witnessing state in which you are disentangled from mental emotions, attachements or repulsion. When the witnessing stabilizes, intuitive discrimihation is enhanced. 
3.  Samiksha : favoring the silence  in the gap between the mantra repatitions and between the thoughts. Let go of mental gravity. Favor the charm, the attractive appeal of the infinite expanse. The luminous inner silence emerges through regular practice. Until the observer, the mantra and the silence are one. 
4.  NOTE : notice when the mind identifies with an emotion or an object of perception. It can appear to the observer that he/she is the object (Identification :”I think therefore I am),No it is “I am therefore I think.” The perception and the meaning/interpretation given to that perception by the mind are two different things. When you become aware of that, you can change the interpretation of the perception (what it means for you). Huge freedom is gained. And “no interpretation” : the pure witnessing, is what can happen. 
5.  Nirodyama : alert, yet effortless practice. Let go of any preocupations, past regrets, future planning. Reclaim an innocent awareness of the present. An open receptivity to being here and now. Notice the most powerful distractions : laziness and doubt. Doubt is the psyche’s foremost thief; repeatedly stealing away the most precious gift life holds – possibility. Without being open to the possible, what use is any meditation or any spiritual path ? The evolution of consciousness relies on openness. Cultivate faith. Faith is the acknowledgement that transcendence can open us to infinite potential, which is the doorway to revealing  the impossible as possible; miracles. 
6.  Dispassion to one’s attraction and repulsion allows our awareness to discriminate between what is real vs what is not; the neutral witness allows right discrimination.
7. Nirodyama : Effortless control : everytime a thought comes up to distract you, acknowledge it and let it go, favoring your breath and your mantra over the distraction. Never fight with the thought. Recognize it and willingly let it go . Don't fight with the thought. Simply bring your awareness back to your breath and instantly your mind calms down.