For me, with a fairly active schedule, being able to dedicate a certain amount of time every day to completely shut down the "clatter" from my mind, is invaluable. Enjoying the luminosity that rests there, when all the clattering ceases, is priceless!
The monkey mind, as some call it, is the constant chatter/ clatter reminding you what happened yesterday, what will happen tomorrow, what will happen in the future, etc. The continual blah, blah, blah of wasted energy. To be able to turn that off with the process of meditation is important, not only for the health of your body but the health of your mind, as well.
Meditation can be used by anyone regardless of religion or culture, ethnicity or background. To calm your mind and be a more productive human being is the goal of most all great religions. When you are relaxed you make better decisions. When your mind is "at ease" calmness and tranquility reverberates through-out your body.
I am occasionally asked by people new to meditation how to start. What do I do? There are many different types of meditation but sometimes for people beginning practice, it's easiest to focus on the breath. It's probably a good idea to start small, maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
First get yourself seated, if you can get into the Lotus position do it, if not, no big deal, just sit comfortably somewhere on the ground or a chair. The important aspect is to keep the spine erect.
Once seated, check your motivation. Why am I meditating? This is basically a check on yourself just to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons, ie: to make yourself better, stronger, to be able to help others, etc., and not to impress people or other selfish reasons. It’s also important to add Awareness as a framework for your meditation. Be aware of everything that is happening.
After that, make a strong mental affirmation that you will keep your mind free and clear of any and all thoughts, good or bad. Occasionally people new to meditation inadvertently allow themselves to be “carried away” by their thoughts. With Awareness, you can recognize when the thoughts appear and detach them immediately. The goal here is to get Beyond thinking, to turn the mind off, if you will. If you are observing your breath that should be your complete, Focus. Don't fixate on it just follow it in and out.
When you realize thoughts are coming and attaching themselves, simply detach from the thought. Make an image for yourself. When I find thoughts attaching, I imagine a Samurai with a very sharp sword cutting the thought from my attachment. Here you're not trying to push the thought out or obliterate it, you are just cutting it from your attachment and allowing it to flow with all the millions and billions of other thoughts floating around in space. After releasing the thought, simply go back to observing your breath.
It may seem like a hard task at first because it appears as if the thoughts will never stop. Our minds are usually programmed to listen to the clatter but if you persist, with practice, it gets easier and more rewarding. Also, some people get discouraged that their meditations aren't always as good as previous ones. We are human so we have good days and bad. The important thing is to keep on with your daily practice, as it has a cumulative effect.
This is my simple attempt to help convince you that meditation is definitely worth the effort. There are people much more eloquent than myself who can probably explain it better. Below I have included 2 videos that I consider excellent, both are by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master. His use of English is precise. I invite you to watch these videos.
Please consider adding meditation to your daily routine. You will be very happy you did!