bet you thought no one'd ever find anything you could say that about, ay? but's true. actually better than smack. and it's non-addictive. and it's free. damn, why'd no one tell me sooner? (they did actually, i just wasn't listening...ho hum)
so what's the trick? 'seasy, just sit and breathe. they really shouldn't call it meditating. that generally (if you're anything like me) brings up all sort of stereotypes and prejudices. like: "ain't that some hippy bullshit?". should just be called concentrating. that's what the word originally means after all. to meditate upon something is to concentrate on it. so you just concentrate on your breath. as soon as you realise your mind has gone off on one, which it most certainly will, just go back to your breath. simple. as.
another common misconception is the idea that you "clear your mind" and stop thinking. doctors have a name for this, it's called 'brain-dead'. you can't stop thinking. you can realise that your thoughts are just that: thoughts. nothing more nothing less. sounds obvious until you try it. then you realise all that stuff that's been worrying you, upsetting you or getting you to do stuff you didn't really wanna do were just thoughts. and who is in control of them? you. you are in control. no more having your dog walk you.
a particular 'distracting' thought pattern is thinking about various social interactions (is with me anyway) 'ooh', you think, 'i'll say this, then this and just wait till they hear this!' the best thing to do when this happens is to realise that whoever you're talking to in your head isn't there. or if they are you're meditating together, not talking. that shit ain't now. it can wait.
once you've got the basics down you can apparently start on all the next level shit like peering into the void on either side of reality, being a zen warrior and filling the universe with love. but that's enough hippy bullshit for now...