"The point of Buddhist meditation is not to stop thinking,
for cultivation of insight clearly requires intelligent use of thought and discrimination.
What needs to be stopped is conceptualisation that is
compulsive, mechanical and unintelligent,
that is, activity that is always fatiguing, usually pointless, and at times seriously harmful"
Before starting a meditation practice, it is very advisable to have visited a group or center where meditation instructions are given, and follow some guided meditations. In this way, it is easy to discover the basics of the actual practice. The various traditions teach slightly different methods, usually related to the emphasis of their main practices. It is strongly advised to start any meditation session with setting one's motivation and concluding by dedicating the positive energy, for this, verses as given in the page Prayers before and after Meditation can be a good guideline. Do have a look at His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice on meditation.
The Basis: Watching the Breath
Relaxation: Butter on the Head / Relaxing by Stressing
Slowing Down the Mind: Eliminating Past and Future
Mindfulness: Watching the Senses / Watching Emotions
Purification: Smoke Out, Light In / Body of Light
The Nature of Mind: What is It? / Continuity of Mind / Space Between Thoughts
Pre-Tantric Purification: Nine-Round Breathing
REDUCING DELUSIONS MEDITATION / HARMFUL EMOTIONS MEDITATION
Attachment: To a Person / Impermanence
Aversion, Anger and Hatred
Fear: Daring to Change
Depression: Analysis of Depression / Unveiling the Buddha Nature
Lack of Self-confidence
General Approach to and Meditation on Delusions
INCREASING POSITIVE EMOTIONS
Equanimity: Friend, Stranger and Enemy
Bodhicitta: 7-Point Mind Training / 4-Point Mind Training
Forgiving: In Steps / Forgiving Others / Accepting Forgiveness / Love and Forgiveness to Self and Others
Compassion: His Holiness / General / Unveiling the Buddha Nature
Bodhicitta: 7 Point Mind Training / 4 Point Mind Training
Tong-len: Giving of Happiness and Taking of Suffering
Suffering: Of the Different Realms / Suffering Of Change / All-Pervasive Suffering
Karma: The Four Laws / Is It Logical?
Wisdom: Dissolve Body & Mind / 4-Fold Analysis
Death: Death Process and Visions / Highway Car / 9-Point Death Meditation
Precious Human Rebirth: Look at Others / Appreciate your Life / 8 Freedoms & 10 Endowments
Motivation: Who Do I Want to Be? / Make up the Account / If I Had Only One More Year to Live...
Guru Devotion: Would I Trust One? / Blessing of Body, Speech and Mind
VISUALISATIONS AND MANTRA RECITATION
Shakyamuni Buddha Meditation