Mantra Shmantra: Days One Hundred Fifty-Seven - One Hundred Sixty-Four

Here's what I know:  Sit yourself down in a comfortable position.  I like to sit on a straight backed chair with my bare feet flat on the floor.  No crossed legs or fancy positions.  I place my hands on my legs, palms up.  The palms up thing is from yoga: let  the universe know you're ready to receive.  I take five or six diaphragmatic breaths.  That means when I inhale, my belly expands. I imagine a waterwheel in my body.  Inhale, the breath travels up to my head; exhale, the breath spills down.  I try to stay rhythmic and not to work too hard.  Next, I imagine a bright light shining out from my eyes, my ears, my nose, my mouth.  It's important to relax your mouth.  I send the light down my neck, both shoulders and arms and all fingers.  I send the light down my spine to my legs, including my toes.  The light ends in my chest cavity where I try to imagine a colorless, empty space.  This last bit of imagination is impossible and I am okay with that.  Finally, I focus on my "third eye" (the light between my eyes that I am able to see with my eyes closed).  I repeat a mantra.  Something simple like "at ease" or "peace" or the ambitious "Who am I?"   I use the mantra to remind myself to let go of my thoughts.  As a thought passes into my mind, I encourage myself to draw it down to my heart.  It helps to imagine a magnetic force from my heart that draws the thought downward.  When the next thought pops in, I encourage myself again.  It is helpful to treat yourself like you would a small child.  Say:  "Tt's okay, you'll get it next time," or "Try again." The whole process takes me twenty minutes.  I use the first five minutes to breathe and relax my body, then I spend fifteen minutes encouraging myself to meditate.  I say I encourage myself to meditate because even though I have been steadily sitting down in this practice for at least three or four times a week for the past five months, I still think that one day I'll figure out how to do this thing right.  That belief is not rational.  No matter.  I still wonder:  Do I meditate?  I'm not sure.