Since the Great Enlightenment in the 18th century, Western culture has continually tossed away emotional and spiritual expression for logic and science. This cultural shift led us to forget, and in some places, reject large parts of of our spiritual heritage. This is why meditation and other Eastern practices seem new to us -- our foreparents didn't pass down our own heritage of meditation and spiritual connection.
Prayer is Talking to God - sharing your fears, hopes & dreams
Meditation is Listening to God -
God's fears, hopes and dreams for you and the world
Contemplation is taking a phrase or piece of scripture and going over it in your mind letting it sink into your heart
How to Meditate
Create "Holy Space", a quiet comfortable spot away from the phone and other distractions. If you are a beginner then having a picture, candle or incense to look at may be helpful. Having a comfortable chair or cushion to sit on is important too. If you have a timer, set it in the other room so you aren't tempted to look at it, but can hear it when it dings. 5 minutes is a good starting time.
Get comfortable, but not lounging-back straight and feet flat on the floor or folded. Stretch your arms up and then let them rest lightly on your knees.
Let your eyes and face relax and your gaze be soft, not really looking but resting on your candle or other focal point.
Clear your mind. Think of your mind as the surface of the lake. Any ideas that pop up are leaves floating on the surface that you gently push away. Focus on your breathing, in and out in deep long breaths. Picture light from heaven shining down onto the top of your head, into your body, down into your heart and lungs, your breath is moving that light throughout your body. Into every finger, into every toe. Feel the warmth of God's light and the warmth of God's love for you.
Keep breathing, keep picturing that light, keep feeling warmth in your head, heart and body.
You are meditating!
If, after you meditate, thoughts/memories/feelings surface that trouble you, this is the Holy Spirit helping you work through things you have suppressed. Please call your pastor!
Talk about those things, and keep meditating. God the Great Physician is working on your heart and mind to help you get rid of things you don't need.