Let me say something that is, to some, confusing and stupid, but to others, a bit more Taoist; You cannot try to meditate. You cannot concentrate on meditation, for concentration implies doing something that is inherently boring or hard to do.
After many ups and downs with meditation, let me give you my hints, since I find I'm with the majority of people in that meditation seems a bit confusing to me at first.
The Happy Meditation;
Ever feel bland, sad, or just not right and want to feel good? This is the meditation practice to get there. Sit down in your meditation position of choice, close your eyes, and slow your breath. Now, imagine black, nothing, space. Once you've done that imagine your brain resetting. The past is the past, the now is now, forget all the feelings attributed to the past - restart.
Now, breath in and out, focus on this for a minute or two, and then bring in a happy memory from the past. Something that really absolutely makes you happy - a picnic with friends, a great time with the family, a wonderful moment - a life changing one, a sirene kiss. It doesn't matter what it is, it matters that it made you happy then, and you can focus on it now.
Bring it to the forefront of your thoughts. Immerse yourself in that memory. Remember every detail of the setting - the sky, the looks on peoples faces, the feeling of not caring, the feeling of freedom, of happiness, of love and joy. With each breath take in more happiness. Feel the happiness hit the bottom of your lungs like a tingling release of energy. Each breath getting happier and happier.
If done correctly and with a sincere intent, you will find yourself embracing a pillow, or rolling on the floor with utter amazement of how blissful you have become. Practice makes perfect.
The 'I Need To Change' Meditation;
This meditation is when you've realized that you're doing something you don't want to be doing, either to yourself or to others. Be it gossiping, being arrogant, lying, stealing, or being down-right mean. Here is how to get out of that.
Meditation pose. Sit. Breath. Think of nothing. Reset the mind. Ok.
Now, with each breath in, imagine something good in the world. Remember a point where someone made you happy for something they did. Remember how that made you feel, in all seriousness. For instance, I was walking home one night, and a man I never really talked to, but had seen before, was approaching. I looked at him and made eye contact and nodded my head, and he looked at me, and said 'Have a good night'. But there was something far more grand than just those words that was spoken to me - inside me. He truly meant that, and he meant it in the nicest way possible.
When I feel as if I'm becoming a jerk, or acting foolish, I will meditate on those words. Each breath in I imagine a person doing something similar in the world, and with each breath out, I make the realization (and mantra) 'Everyone deserves my love.' This sets me straight as an arrow every time. You will come out of it speaking truths, removing the veil of our culture, and acting how you truly want to be. - Remember, everyone deserves your love.
The 'Real' Meditation
This is to clear your mind, to reset everything, and to make the future a breeze, no matter the forces at play.
Sit. Relax. Reset.
Now nothing. Don't TRY to remove thoughts, don't try to do anything. The only thing you will try to do is realize your thoughts. When a thought train comes along, just sit and remember you are not here to partake in the internal conversation. Just realize the thoughts, acknowledge them, but give them no weight or meaning. Like an angry driver coming by, acknowledge it, accept it is there, and forget about it. Continue this.
For me, as soon as I acknowledge a thought and realize I don't have to partake in it's conversation it immediately dies, and I find myself empty. Doing this for longer periods of time, and doing it habitually releases your internal anxiety. You become fearless of the future, and loving of the present.
Hope this helps someone out there.
You all deserve my love.