I totally relate to what your saying. Don’t give up! I often find connecting to my practice very hard. As I mentioned in class, a practical decision I have made is to practice every morning, even if it is an extremely brief session. Sometimes I feel like I am flying through the meditation, parroting the words, as you say. I feel like I was completely distracted during the entire session, and that it was a complete waste of time. The thing that convinces me that it wasn’t a waste of time is because I develop the habit, and it creates the cause for me to come try again the next morning. I have stopped trying to expect major results from my meditation, and ironically that seems to help them come faster.
Another thing that I find helpful is to not think of meditation so rigidly. It’s not just the time we’re sat formally on the cushion. It could be reading a text and contemplating it. Or walking in the park and reflecting on the ideas. And bringing in mindfulness/awareness/concentration means you can turn anything into meditation, like washing the dishes!
What do you think?