I wanted to just make a point here briefly that was brought to my attention by a friend and mentor.
In the realm of spiritual discipline one has to weigh the benefits of your chosen practice against the effort exerted to go through the process. I think that this should be a real concern for people in today's reality. We don't have to much time on our hands, or simply don't know how to make the extra time we need.
When I sit down to meditate my mind is always racing with dozens of thoughts every few seconds. So considering all the stuff up there that doesn't so easily subside, it's necessary for me to invest some time in getting my mind to quiet. In all honesty, if I sit down for 30 min, then i'm most of the way through my allotted time before I can actually rest in the moment.
Now I know that with time it would become easier, but when I don't make enough time for myself to meditate anyway, and I spend most of that time struggling against my own barriers, it's discouraging. So my next question should be: what can I do to make it easier on myself?
And this is the best answer i've come across. If a person has a slow pace of life, say they live in the country and spend most of their free time on the porch listening to cicadas then they obviously don't have quite as busy a mind as someone who spends all day reading, and talking, and receiving vast amounts of unwanted stimuli from the people around them and running to and fro trying to get all their s**t done in a timely fashion.
So naturally it's going to be easier for the person in the country to slow down there mind, and they probably would take quite well to mindfulness meditations where one sits and watches moment to moment experience come and go. Now someone who is used to putting their mind to use constantly would take quite naturally to a mental task. I think that would be because it gives the mind something more "tangible" to grab hold of. Of course you're thinking that defeats the purpose, but that's not entirely true. One can bring about many states of consciousness through visualization.
So perhaps if you're like me and have trouble slowing down your mind then you can put it to good use instead. Though i'm not experienced enough to really judge for myself the value and difference of those variant approaches, it is something that has thus far seemed beneficial.