Cultivating the mind is very much like cultivating a crop. A farmer must know the proper way to prepare the soil, sow the seed, tend to the growth of the crop, and finally harvest it. If all these tasks are done properly, the farmer will reap the best harvest that nature allows. If they're done improperly, an inferior harvest will be produced, regardless of the farmer's hopes and anxieties.
Similarly, in terms of meditation it is crucial to be thoroughly versed in the proper method of our chosen technique. While engaged in the practice, we must frequently check up to see whether we are implementing the instructions we have heard and conceptually understood. Like a good crop, good meditation cannot be forced, and requires cultivation over time.
B. Allan Wallace, Tibetan Buddhism fron the Ground Up