Groundhog Day (Again)

Meditation practice feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day.  Everytime I sit down to focus it's the same thing, over and over again; my attention is on my breath, then I get distracted by a sound, a memory, a plan, or a fantasy.  The next thing I know, I'm entirely lost in thought.  It takes five, ten, or maybe even 30 minutes before I notice that my attention isn't on my breath and I'm not meditating at all.  Or am I?

"Successful" meditation isn't one-pointed focus on an object.  Successful meditation is _noticing_ when my attention isn't focused where I intend it, and choosing to return it to where I want it to be.    Noticing where my awareness is, and exercising my ability to place it where I want it to be, is the heart of being mindful and developing concentration.  As Sharon Salzberg says, "The essence of practice is to begin again."  And again.  And again.