The goal of mediation is not to block everything out or to push all thoughts down and repress them. Rather it is to quiet the mind. A similar feeling is if you have ever been driving and wonder how you got from a to b because you can't remember - then your mind was probably in a meditative state. The act of sitting in meditation is actively meditating rather than the passive mediation that happens when you are doing repetitive tasks like driving or reading.
I have been practicing the 11 minute minimum for almost a month and a half now and it is hard to tell what is going on. The minimum date limit to do these types of practices is 40 days. As I mentioned I had to miss a day because of a birth so I needed to start over again. In reality I am only a week and a half or so in. The point of the 40 days is to try to break up old habits. I am not exactly sure if that is happening yet but I am noticing some changes. The other difficulty is that with our training we are practicing ahimsa and satya and those practices as well are likely to change a person as well.
Some of the things I have noticed with my meditation practice are that it takes me less time to get into a meditative state, I am always surprised that it has been 11 minutes already (I have a timer), my back no longer hurts in mediation, my arms and legs rarely go numb anymore - although I am less aware of my limbs. I have less random thoughts running around in my head. The tasks that I am either given to do, or chose my self I start and finish. I am becoming much more calm with my children. With the exception of my daughter waking me in the night to nurse, I am sleeping more deeply. I am trying to become more aware of other changes but some of those are readily available and I am noticing them. This is kind of cool!!!
My challenge to anyone who may read this, today, tomorrow, next week, month or next year - try a 40 day mediation for a minimum of 11 minutes every day and let me know what happens.