To make a long story short, I noticed, gradually, over time, that I just felt better throughout my day. I noticed things more easily and I started to realize what being relaxed actually felt like. So for me-I know meditation is working because my body and mind quietly tell me so.
As for “doing it right” -there really is no “right” way. There’s lots of traditions and the inevitable set of rules some people try to force. You have to follow your own instincts here. And having a framework for your mind to start at, is important. Learning that beginning framework from a tradition you are drawn to is a good place to start. For me, I know I’m meditating deeply when I reach a place-that is just still, like sitting at the bottom of the ocean and watching everything go on above me, but I’m not involved. Just watching. Drifting. Calm.
Hope this helps 🙂
Every time you find yourself able to direct your thoughts or quiet your worries; know that your meditation is working…