With regards to sitting meditation, one of the best things I have done is buy an hourglass that runs for almost 50 minutes. I bought it a couple of years back, but it has taken till now to be patient enough to maintain the meditation position for that period of time.
I know that when I sit in meditation, I am learning something great. If you asked what exactly it is, I really could not say. It defies analysis or rationalization. Nothing much happens on the conscious level - no experiences or visions or anything of the kind. Every so often I will notice a real sense of quietude - but that is all. But afterwards, during the day, things happen. Currently, it usually manifests as a sense of joy, which seemingly bubbles up out of nowhere, for no reason. Also many of the things I read and reflect about in the Buddhist teachings become more clear. I understand the meaning of the word 'realization': you begin to understand things about the nature of life that the ordinary thinking mind doesn't see, because it is pre-occupied with its own affairs. This is quite simple but nevertheless very important. Some things are indeed 'hidden in plain sight', as that lovely saying has it.
This is the purpose the study of the philosophy behind meditation. Even though the realization itself concerns something unknown and unknowable, the task of philosophy is to take you to that point - to drop you at the border, as it were. It does this by making you really clear about the nature and the limitations of knowledge. This is especially so with Madhyamika philosophy.
I still have to push myself to get up every morning and sit - self-discipline has never been my strong suit - but overall, I am feeling a much greater sense of connection to the Buddhist teachings now than ever before, and I know if I stay with the practice this will only continue to grow. So this will form the theme of this blog from now on.