In meditation you are training your mind to focus and probe into the nature of a chosen object - for the length of time needed - to cultivate what you choose to develop in yourself.
Having a regular meditation practice allows you to build your ability to sustain your focus on whatever you choose to focus on... in order to achieve a desired result.
For example, you may choose to focus on one of the following ...
a single object to build focus and sustained concentration
deep breathing or progressive muscle awareness to evoke the relaxation response
a particular quality you wish to cultivate in yourself such as, loving kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, sympathetic joy, peace
Some people like to focus on a specific question to access their innate inner wisdom or a passage from a sacred text to deepen their understanding of something that is important to them. Some people choose mindful eating as their meditation practice so they may simply enjoy eating in a simple, pleasurable, and natural way.
Which practice should you do? Which practice should you do? It depends on what you want to achieve. And it is true that when you try a variety of practices and explore what you experience, you may be surprised by what you like and what works for you. Discover for yourself which meditation or contemplative practice(s) can help you become more centered, focused, relaxed, compassionate, self-aware.
Sometimes, it just takes finding the practice that you enjoy and fits with your values, personality, and lifestyle. For example, some people find that movement practices—like swimming, yoga, or tai chi—work best for releasing muscle tension. I like meditative dance and engage in this movement meditation regularly to energize, release stress, and relax all at the same time.
Poetry or playing music works well for others. Some individuals discover insight or find inner peace in writing or journaling. Others find that practices rooted in a religious tradition, like centering prayer, are transformative and speak to their soul.
Some people like to listen to meditation CDs or read passages from favorite authors.
Others take heart in simple rituals like taking a soothing bath, drinking tea, or a walk in nature to rejuvenate.
The fact is, whatever the method you choose, meditation is training your mind in a way that results in attaining a benefit you desire or cultivating a quality you wish to have in yourself.