Meditation is an integral part of of any psychic, spiritual or energetic development. It allows you to hone your intention, prevent intruding thoughts and distraction, collect and direct your energies, reach profound states of relaxation, and new states of consciousness, and ultimately it allows you to perceive the world like never before. It is the cornerstone of progress for cultivating your mind, body and energy.
There are many different way to meditate. In-fact, hundreds or even thousands of different meditations are out there. Most only vary slightly though, and most of them are only slightly different approaches to accomplish to same outcome. Putting it another way, no matter which meditation you choose to practice, no matter how different they seem, they all are designed to do the same thing. So because of this, I will try to describe a simple meditation for you to try, as well as a little bit on how and why this works.
Describing how to do this meditation is so simple it hurts. It is almost unbelieve because of how simple it is. All you need to do is find a quiet place to meditate, where you won't be disturbed. Sit down in a comfortable position, and try to keep your spine straight, much like it is when you are standing. You don't need to strain yourself here, you just want it to be as comfortable and as natural as you can make it. You can also do this laying down, but sitting is a bit more preferred because you are less likely to fall asleep during meditation.
Take a few deep breaths and try and release all the tension from your mind, body and emotions as you exhale. Let all the thoughts in your head dissipate into nothingness and be relaxed away. Place all of your attention on your breathing, and allow your mind to follow your breath in and out, slowly and comfortably. Allow yourself to continue to relax into this more and more, and at the same time your concentration on your breath becomes sharper and deeper as you go.
And that's about it. That is really all there is too it. Some meditations have you visualize something that you hold your attention on instead of your breath, but other then that, there isn't a whole lot of difference, they both lead to the same thing. There are some things I would like to point out though. As you go deeper into this meditation, you don't try to force yourself to breathe slower, or force your concentration to deeper levels. All of these will occur naturally the more you practice, which will take time and dedication.
As for why, it can really be chalked up to all the noise your body, mind and emotions make. When you first start, you will undoubtedly notice how many thoughts begin intruding into your mind the moment you try to stop thinking and focus on something. All of these thoughts were always there, but you were to busy to notice before. You are trying to clear out this noise. Once you begin to cultivate some mental concentration, you will notice then that your emotions and even your body were also always stirring, and creating their own noise. You want to try and clear this as well.
In many ways you can liken this to taking out all the inner trash. Once you do, you will begin to feel much better inside, and things will begin to bother you less and less, because there will be less and less chaos on the inside. You also will begin to feel still. Like you are naturally more quiet and calm, from the inside out. This alone is well worth the practice. But thankfully it doesn't end there.
I will refrain from going into what starts to come after all of this, once you've cultivated stillness and concentration, for a couple of reasons. One being that it is hardly believable if you haven't experienced it for yourself, like breath retention and feeling Chi energy. Another reason is it transcends the scope of this post to detail. So instead I will leave a link to a site that goes into the different meditation techniques and their purposes in more detail.
I encourage everyone who visits the link to first read "A Basic Lesson on Meditation" to get you started.
Hope you enjoyed!