There are two kinds of meditation, speaking very broadly: formal and informal. Formal meditation involves focusing the mind on one particular thing and maintaining that focus. Informal meditation, ideally, is what you do when you're not formally meditating [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] it is simply accepting whatever occurs in the moment...a smell, a memory, a person, whatever...you do not choose a focus but allow them to come to you.
I have a lot of time for both styles of meditation, but I prefer formal.
Here is a simple 3-step guide for a formal style of meditation-> Breath Meditation
1)Sit comfortably with an upright spine.
2)Let eyes either be open or closed, whichever you prefer.
3)Focus your mind on your breathing.
This is not focusing on the body, it is focusing on the air flowing in and out the body through the nose.
Do NOT control the breathing! The goal of the exercise is to practice control of your mind...let go of whatever breathing pattern manifests...it is often shallow and even when you are relaxed, but it can be faster and heavier, especially when emotions are being physically expressed...let the breath be what it wants to be, simply stay with it.
Keeping your mind focussed is not easy, especially at first. Almost certainly the beginner's mind quickly drifts to other things...accept that this will happen and when you have realised your mind has drifted...learn to return once again to your breathing.
A good way to start is in the morning, go for 10-15 minutes, and the same in the evening before bed. After a little practice try moving up to 30 minutes, or even an hour.
The more you practice the easier it will become.
Remember, this is learning to focus! It is an activity...drifting off into a relaxed doze is nice but that doesn't do anything for training the mind
Good luck and enjoy