Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.
— Viktor Frankl

Regardless of the specific technique, meditation begins with the practice of trained attention. Like a work out for the body, meditation is a training for the mind. The practice of focusing on the breath is like a bicep curl, telling the mind to return to a single pointed focus on the breath every time it wanders.

We cannot control the thoughts that arise in the mind. But we can control how we choose to respond to them. In our natural state, our thoughts elicit strong emotions without our conscious consent, carrying us away like a tornado and affecting our decision making. By bringing awareness to our thoughts, we create space in between thoughts. In that space we can compassionately witness the thought and ask the question of does this thought serve me? We take back the agency of conscious choice and remain centered and balanced, in the driver seat of our emotional well being and decision making. Because the mind is the control station of how we operate our lives, meditation as a training of the mind benefits just about every aspect of our lives. Meditation is a versatile practice that can be tailored to the needs of the situation and individual.  

A typical meditation class may include breath awareness, visualization techniques, body scan, etc.