In the beginning I wasn't so sure about the whole matter. My first time trying it was not so easy as it is for a lot of people. I sat down and my mind raced and I had a horrible time focusing. The position was uncomfortable and my mind would not focus. A lot of people think that mediation is just sitting and staring off into space or embarking on some journey to go into a trance. If you have read any of my prior stuff you will know that that is not true. Meditation is a way of disciplining your mind. It is a way of forcing yourself to clear out clutter and focus and to be introspective. It takes a great deal of practice and one does not become proficient at it overnight.
I finally feel like I have a pretty good handle on it. I look forward to it now, whereas before I struggled with it. Now when I sit, my mind quickly relaxes and I can immediately clear the stress and rapid thoughts out of my head. It has almost become a comforting thing to me. It sort of feels like visiting an old friend. I have grown to love it and it has become an important part of my life now. If I don't do it, I feel like I am missing something. It has also helped me greatly in my daily life. I am able to focus more and to stay calm in a lot of situations would have had me an anxiety ridden mess before.
I still have yet to go to the center here in Pittsburgh and meet with the Bhante there for more instruction. Once I get some free time on a Weds. evening I think I will venture up to the center to check it out.
I highly recommend trying meditation. There are a lot of good books and online resources available and several mediation centers in Pittsburgh. You don't necessarily have to follow the Buddhist teaching in order to benefit from mediation for those of you who are a bit hesitant due to thinking that we are out to convert you. Buddhists don't convert. Any Buddhist will tell you to think on your own. If it is something that makes sense to you then follow it, if it does not, then choose another path.