Meditation refers to the cultivation of the human mind, to the development of concentration, mindfulness, awareness and wisdom. Buddhism offers calmness or concentration meditation and vipassana or insight meditation. Another very usefull tool is loving kindness meditation.
Buddha statue in Sukhothai, Thailand
Meditation is to be found in many religious systems, pursuing different goals. Depending on the many different schools of Buddhism (like Tibetan, Zen, Thai, Sri Lankan and Chinese Buddhism) and their subdivisions, let alone all the diverse forms of meditation in Hinduism and Yoga, we find different ways to approach meditation and we will find diverse meditation techniques. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with different techniques, usually just different goals and experiences of those who meditate. Different techniques suit different people.
So there is nothing really wrong with acknowledged various techniques, but we should stick to only one of them, not mixing them. One may try different ways of practice, but one at a time and then choose one and stick to it. Do not trust in anything or anybody offering quick results. Meditation is the task of a lifetime, it took even the Buddha six years of continual, at times extreme practice to become enlightened.
The following is viewed from a Buddhist standpoint, though many of the mentioned definitions and results are common for most of the different approaches to life.
Meditation takes energy and commitment, determination and discipline. To get any results from the practice of meditation it has to be done regularly and continually over years, otherwise results will be meager and frustrating. For me it is the task of a lifetime.
By practising meditation in the right way we should develop great tolerance towards other human beings, it should make us humble in regard to them as well as in regard to all other forms of life, to the environment and to nature. We should keep in mind that all things are connected with each other; we are a part of society and nature, not apart from them.
The Meditation techniques page of this website gives some basic introduction into three different kinds of meditation.