The Keys to Meditation
In true meditation there is none of the nonsense about emptying the mind or stopping your thoughts, or even contemplating your navel. That having been said, the Buddha listed roughly forty different methods of meditation and other ancient texts speak of over one hundred different ways to practice. There are more than enough books that go into the details of meditation methods, so I will refrain from doing that here. Just be aware that if you are having difficulty meditating, there are methods that might help put you into the ideal frame of mind.
Everyone is different and the methods of reaching a perfect state of meditation differ for each individual. It is important to find a method of quieting the mind and relaxing the body that suits you particularly, but remember not to get caught up in the method itself. The act of sitting quietly and breathing is what is important. Set aside whatever time you can spare (five minutes in the morning and evening is plenty to start). Remember you are not doing this for anyone but yourself. It makes no difference to anyone if you sit for five minutes or five hours. It is the state of existing that matters. Awareness of the thoughts in the mind and the breath in the body is all you need to be concerned with.
The body and the mind reflect each other. As one calms, the other relaxes and vice versa. Sometimes it helps to have some keys to concentration in order to bring the mind in tune with the body. These keys are general qualities of the breath that we want to have as a framework for our breathing. They work in two ways. First, by bringing quality to the breath within the body, we relax and enhance our breathing practice. Second, by focusing on these keys to concentration, we calm the mind and bring our thoughts into harmony with our breath.
(Source: ozneo, via mentalalchemy)