Beginning meditation is a very personal affair. If you are being led towards this universal spiritual practice, the very best meditation you could ever possibly do in the beginning is the exact one to which your personal guidance has taken you.
This may seem a rather vague statement when one is all lost in the mind about this. If I may add an additional impetus: DO IT! And DO IT on a daily, daily, daily basis.
In order to meditate you must, unstrangely enough, meditate. Meditation is like anything else you have ever embarked upon learning. In the beginning you have no idea what you are doing and the mind is all scattered and jumbled as to what it knows and doesn't know. The more you practice, the more you learn, the better you get at it. This can be particularly true for people who have grown to adulthood and become immersed in belief systems, fixed ways of thought, dogmatic limitations of exactly how you should "believe" about God and Spirit and being; plus all the immersions into survival, economics, politics, education, jobs, relationships, problems, vacations, insurance, TV, football, beer, drugs and sex.
And now you're going to solve it all perhaps by meditation. Not a bad idea at all!
A Few Guiding Rules
Space, time and quiet. You need a place in which to meditate, a personal space. You need time dedicated to meditation, personal time. I am often asked: "When is the best time to meditate?" The best answer is: "Anytime!" Personally, I have found, generally, that my "best" time is early in the morning after waking from the night's rest. Quite preferrably before the mind has had any chance to get all immersed in whatever is its immersion today. In the beginning you are going to just have to make some time whenever you can. I do not really recommend going into meditation as the last action you do of the day, before entering your night's rest. But if that is the only time you can make available for yourself, do it. Just DO IT!
Quiet: In 1991 I started meditating. I lived in a house with teens and pre-teens plus adults. Thus there was almost continuous background noise with everthing from running, giggling girl children to washing machines. Quiet is a very definite requirement for meditation in that you want to also hear within Self. So I had a bit of a problem. I dug out a pair of high-quality earmuffs I just happen to still have from my gun-shooting days, and started using them for a much higher purpose. I still use them to this day, and in the past 9+ years I have had but perhaps a total of 10-14 days I did not get a chance to meditate.
Get comfortable. Prop yourself up in bed or make a space particularly dedicated to your spiritual pursuit, to your meditations. Use pillows or whatever to get comfortable. Yes, there is reclining meditation. There is even walking meditation and sitting-on-a-rock meditation or sitting-in-a-tree meditation. All that you will eventually grow into. For the moment, let's be a bit formal about this.
You may or may not already know something about meditation: lotus position, mudras, mantras, focus, prayer bowls...all the accouterments. In the final, all you need is you; though the extras I do sincerely appreciate.
Sit with your back straight. No, you do not have to sit in the full lotus position, legs and feet all neatly tucked. If you find doing this comfortable and you are guided to do so, do it. I did karate for 10 years occasionally mixed with weight lifting and have very powerful thighs; I did not find the lotus position at all comfortable. In fact it was distracting. So I just folded my legs in front of the rest of the body. Now I do not even fold them as having them out in front is the most comfortable. (Note: I have been quite assured by my guidance that this is in no way detrimental. It's what one is doing within Self that is the real importance and value.)
What to do with the hands? Place your hands in what is called the "dhyahamudra"—mudra, another word borrowed from the East. Mudras are hand positions and motions used in meditation. In this beginning meditation where revelation is being pursued, the mudra used is one of relaxation, comfort, balance and focus. For females the dhyahamudra looks like:
The view above is looking at the hands from in front—hands in the lap, the right hand rests in the palm of the left, tips of the thumbs touching.
For males the mudra is:
The view here again is looking at the hands from in front—hands in the lap, the left hand rests in the palm of the right, tips of the thumbs touching.
F o c u s
Concentration, contemplation and focus are an integral part of meditation. So there you are sitting all nice and propped up. Close your eyes and enter the world of the mystic. Relax. Fell the relaxation all over and within your body. Along with the relaxation, let go. Just let go. There is a definite emotional feeling in letting go. Let go of problems, worries, responsibilities, duties, time, schedules, demands on self, life. Just let go of it all. It's a big sigh: Aaaahhhhh . . . . At a later time you will learn to breathe and this emotion of "letting go" will become come quite pronounced in your exhale.
Now focus your attention on a spot, a center, directly in front of your forehead, and hold it there.
Focus your inner attention on that one location, and feel in the area of the center of your chest.
And this is all you do.
After you do this for a while, this focusing of attention on a single location, and you become somewhat accustomed to seeing with your inner vision, you are going to notice that at the spot upon which you are focused a center will appear. It will be an energy phenomena. Hold your focus on that center. If it seems to have radient motion in it, hold your focus and see what is happening.
The mind will wander. Return to the focus, and feel in the heart. You may sometimes catch yourself thinking: think-think-think-think-think. Just return to the focus, and feel in the heart (Not the physical heart, but within the center of your chest. This is the location of your Heart Chakra.). You may experience suddenly coming from somewhere you have no idea where. Just return to the focus, the center, and feel in your heart.
Do this daily.
If you miss a day, you can be hard on yourself and worry about it—if you need to do that; but that is not really necessary. Just get on with it.
So what is supposed to "happen" while doing all this? Where is this going?
Well, my friend, that is exactly what you are finding out. The whole experience of meditation is a finding out—a continual exploration of self and being and consciousness and energy and inner focus. In this beginning meditation you are learning, learning to be your own Self, your own guide, your own counsellor. And you are not alone. You may or may not already be aware of having spiritual guides. If not, I can guarantee you they are very much there—not only other independent free beings, but your own Higher Self, Oversoul and Self at/with Source Creator.