Before the Buddha, during Buddha times, and after the Buddha, meditation has been practiced as the most effective practice to achieve real happiness.
Of course, like it sometimes happens with any practice that gets popular, the intellectual debate about which is the best way to practice, or what method is better, or which method is the genuine one becomes the conversation topic between the different social circles not without being at risk of distortion under the human interaction, which as we know it is known for its EGO which has the weakness of attachment to its own point of view and to reject any other opinions not compatible; confusing more the individual’s search of truth and his/her capacity to see things as they really are.
For example, recently Elephant published an article called “The Buddha’s Meditation”, with such success that it is still between the favorites. This is to be expected in a modern culture like ours, once a famous person recommended it (David Lynch got it on his twitter), it got more attention. The article, excellently written by Dr. Evan Finkelstein, debates after an intellectual reasoning based in sacred texts which is the specific meditation method that Buddha himself practiced. Naturally, Dr. Evan Finkelstein recommends as genuine the meditation method that He practices, daring to say firmly that the other methods (methods which he has not practice fully or at all) are not meditation practices that will result in real success.
What a better example to remind us all, the experienced practitioners and those who are only starting, that meditation practice is successful ALWAYS as long as you PRACTICE. The most known teaching from the ultimate meditation master, Gotama de Buddha, is the independent search of truth, through our OWN EXPERIENCE.
How to know if your practice will succeed and will give your the benefits that the great prophets and yogis talk about is simple! If your necessity is to know if the method of meditation that you are practicing is the correct one, respond to the next questions:
Are you happier and are those around you happier with you?
Are you capable of keeping your mind equilibrium and your inner joy when things don’t happen the way you want them?
Are you capable of keeping the equilibrium of your mind, keeping your inner joy and to not obsess or crave the things that give you pleasure?
Has a genuine desire to serve others arisen within you?
Your answer to these questions will tell you if you are practicing correctly, regardless of the meditation style that you have chosen. Once you have found the meditation style that is compatible with you, commit yourself to it’s full practice. In my own experience, 11 years I’ve been practicing Vipassana meditation www.dhamma.org and I can say firmly that IT WORKS!