As I’ve said, meditation is an expression of mindfulness. Meditation is also a very general, broad word that is much like “sports” in that we recognize it when we see it, but it takes many forms.
It isn’t all about complex physical positions. Yoga and meditation are two different disciplines.
At first, it’s a practice that does need some uninterrupted time and private space. A characteristic of mindfulness is that it requires deliberateness. It is intentional. You don’t race into a room, slam a door shut, try to freeze yourself in position for 10 minutes, then leap up up and away.
If you absolutely can’t make 2 to 3 minutes practicing basic mindfulness (controlled breathing, focus on what you’re doing at this moment—just this moment), try starting with 30 seconds. Exactly like mindfulness, you must make some time for meditation.
That’s yet another characteristic of meditation. It takes time. Think of decompressing a very tightly wound spring. Releasing all the tension at once is not only difficult to do, but results in a wild release of undirected, unproductive energy.
Meditation slowly re-establishes your balance. It is singular in focus, which is both soothing and relaxing to the mind. It’s a bit odd, how people consider keeping their focus centered to be very difficult, and managing many things at once to be more natural.
Reality works the opposite way for good performance. Multi-tasking usually hinders good performance.
Meditation and contemplation are very similar in that both focus the mind on a singular subject. However, the key to staying focused in meditation is to avoid fighting to stay “on task”.
When thoughts come up, observe them. Let those thoughts go. Once you engage in trying to banish thoughts, you will inevitably think even more about them; your energy will devolve toward forcing a state of blank mindedness instead of focused awareness. It is a common beginning error.
Those are all aspects of what mediation is. What meditation does is far more involved and wide ranging. It refreshes the mind, calms the body and instills a sense of peace and competence. There is solid empirical evidence that mediation improves concentration, especially in reading comprehension and some forms of math.
Naturally enough, mediation increases self-awareness. Meditation is not the end of all wisdom, but it’s a great place to start. I do encourage you to give it a good try!