In our classes, we use a variety of techniques in an effort to still the mind. Methods we use include:
Visualization- We suggest focusing the mind on an image, typically a bright object like a candle flame, sun, or crystal ball. This way, the mind has a focus point to come back to if it wanders.
Mantra- The mantra is a repeated phrase that would help keep the mind from distraction. We use "Samma Arahang". "Samma", meaning right or proper, and "Arahang" refering to keeping a pure mind or keeping free from suffering. But you should use whatever mantra works best for you, as long as it does not take your mind too far from your meditation.
Keeping your mind at the center- We also recommend keeping your mind at the center of you body. If you are unsure where the center of your body is, try taking a deep breath in, then taking a deep breath out. The U-turn point where your breath in becomes your breath out, usually about two finger widths above your naval, is the center of your body. By keeping your focus at this point, your mind will be less likely to wander.
Benefits of meditation include (but, of course, are not limited to!):
For an interesting video on the rise of meditation, watch this clip by ABC World News on meditation!