Meditation comes in many and varied forms for just as many purposes. You can buy books, DVDs, Incense, Music and all sorts of different things to assist you in meditating and achieving the affects you wish.
To my way of thinking, every time you sit quietly and think your way through something, you are meditating. It is a simple process to begin with and continues to be simple the more you practice.
My favourite and daily meditation practice is to sit quietly outside, usually under a tree (since they're so friendly) and place one hand on the ground and one on my lap facing palm up. In this way I am making a circuit between myself, the earth and the sky. For a minute or two I focus on my breathing and getting rid of toxic energies (see the post on Breathing to Heal for further information) and this allows me to calm my mind and restore my balance. I then clear away all thoughts and imagine I am drawing energy through the earth into myself, and passing it out of my upturned palm into the sky. Sitting this way, in peaceful tranquility and harmony with my surroundings feels as good to me as though I have had an 8 hour sleep.
The beautiful thing about this meditation is that I can do it anytime I like without the need to bring along anything to help.
When I am speaking to my divine guides, it is really a type of meditation as well. I sit quietly, pose a question or a situation and ask them to fill in the blanks...smile. The most important part of this information, is "listening" for the answers and trusting that what I am hearing is truth. Everyone has the ability to reach out to the team devoted to guiding and helping them. It is simply a matter of asking and listening. It helps to be in a quiet and restful state.
Meditation and breathing are the first and most important skills I learnt as a healer. They form a solid and lasting part of my daily practice either in healing clients, or looking after myself. The ability to sit quietly and place myself in a restful state no matter where I am or what the circumstances is the single most valuable skill I posses.
Think of the benefits to yourself.
One story in particular springs to mind for me. Over the course of the years I have met my share of people who operate solely from their ego (For further information visit the post, "operating from the ego") and have had to face conflict because of this. I don't particularly like being confrontational, but sometimes it is necessary to have to face it anyway. A boss of mine had taken a particular dislike to me and berated me often, denigrated my abilities to others and to me and was intimidating and threatening. At first, I attempted to pacify and soothe this person, believing that she was hurting and in need of healing not my judgement (I still believe this by the way). Healing though, is based on the willing participation of the person involved, and she did not want to be healed. I began to dread these confrontations, however there was no avoiding them. Instead, I began to meditate and shield myself before each visit. In fact, before I cam to work each day. No matter how much the situation escalated, no matter what happened or how I was yelled at or abused, I could remain calm within myself and courageous as well as safe in the knowledge that I was not affected by her ranting or negative view point.
What a bonus!
Like the art of breathing, the art of meditation is easier and stronger when you practice it regularly. It could be the few moments before you get out of or into bed each day, a few minutes of your lunch break, a few minutes in the shower etc. Meditation does not have to take a long time, nor do you HAVE to have candles, incense or music (although if these things help you...go for you life), it is refreshing, healing and a great life skill to possess.
Sit quietly and see for yourself the benefits you get from meditating. The ONLY rule about meditating is to do whatever works for you.