A wise sorcerer once said that if he were to give up all magical practice, and keep only one, he'd keep meditation. I tend to hold this belief myself. Meditation opens many doors within your mind and soul, and allows you to keep control of your mental state, even when you are under extreme stress. The idea of meditation is to maintain awareness of your normal mental state, rather than seeking after altered states of consciousness. Granted, meditation allows you to reach altered states easier, but that is merely a side effect.
But how does one begin to meditate? Easily. Sit or lie comfortably, allow your eyes to close gently, and breathe deeply, in and out. With each breath, count. When you reach 10, begin your count again. Do this for 5-10 minutes daily, and you will soon begin to notice the effects. It may be difficult at first, you may find yourself distracted easily. The key to meditation is to not get discouraged, but rather to acknowledge the distraction, and release it, resuming your count.
This is but one form of meditation. There are plenty of others, but this is the best way to begin. If you're interested in learning more about meditation, feel free to contact me, or to sign up for one of my Shamanic or Sorcerous training courses.