Meditation techniques are numerous. Even if meditation is a
practice at the very core of Buddhism (The Buddha attained enlightment
through meditation after all!) it is not practiced by all Buddhist.
Many other traditions and religions also practice meditation,
often calling it other things. It is a form of meditation,
even if they do not realize it.
Meditation is an exercise of the mind. Meditation is
you, flexing your mind muscles to make it bend to your will.
It is focusing your mind on a single task, be it walking (as
in the walking meditation technique) writing, chanting, manually
working or even more difficult, emptying your mind.
Meditation techniques are just that: techniques to acheive a goal.
The goal behind all meditation techniques is to
gain control over your mind, that bucking stallion who will not stop
jumping around unless you tame it.
Why is it important to tame your mind and quiet it?
Good question. You can first have a look at the benefits of meditation.
Then, I would tell you that meditation is the single easiest
way of being happy. While you meditate, you are with
yourself, alone. You build an inner undertanding of who you
are and your inner peace is thus boosted to a degree you would not be
able to acheive otherwise.
In Buddhism, the importance of meditation is so that you can get closer
to enlightment. In Zen, zazen -the state of just sitting- is
the main way one can acheive enlightment.
The chief aims of most Buddhist meditation techniques are to develop
mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and
Below are a list of meditation techniques and some other
articles related to the topic. Please browse through them and
learn some. When it comes to meditation though, the most important thing is to
just do it.