There are numerous styles of meditation many of which have, in recent times, sailed west on the winds of migrating eastern gurus. In certain sects of Buddhism there in Vipassana meditation, very popular in the U.S. In Yoga Philosophy there is a system called the Eight Limbed Path of Raja Yoga. In Catholicism there is Centering created by Father Thomas Keating and The Interior Castle of mystic St. Teresa of Avila. Most styles or systems of meditating have one thing in common: drawing your attention inward to begin to know and connect with your self/Self, and to create the ability to direct your mental capacity by choice rather than by habit or default.
In our everyday lives, our energies and psyche become fragmented by the many issues that we encounter and the multitude of tasks that we have to accomplish. Meditation is meant to draw all of those energies back into one integrated stream of consciousness that we can direct at our choice. A metaphor for meditation might be the use of a magnifying glass to focus light on a leaf or piece of paper. If you focus the light long enough, it will create ample heat to set the leaf or paper on fire: similarly, when you meditate regularly, you can focus as intensely. You then have control of your mind energy and can use it in a very powerful way. This is called one pointedness in Yoga Philosophy. It is the ability to focus so deeply that you go right to the heart and pulse of life.
You don’t need a quiet mind to meditate. Sally Kempton in her book Meditation for the Love of It, describes the approach of Tantric meditation, “The core tantric strategy is to harness and channel all our energies, including the apparently distracting or obstructive ones, rather than trying to suppress or eliminate them. When we do that, the energy within thoughts, within emotions, in our moods, and even in intense feelings like anger or terror or desire can expand and reveal the ground that underlies everything, the pure creative potential of consciousness itself.” In other words, you can use what is in your mind already as a tool to go deep into your own consciousness. But don’t become a slave to your thoughts, emotions, or moods. Go to the felt sense, the energetic feeling, behind them.
To begin the meditative process, most meditation approaches use a focus point. That focus point can be your breath, the sensations in your body, a word or sound, a prayer, a piece of music, a felt sense, your heart beat and sundry other supports that can help to anchor your attention and direct it. The only thing you need to attain the multitude of benefits of meditation is patience and an unwavering commitment to stay the course. Go for it!