What is meditation, or, mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a highly regarded professional in the study and application of mindfulness, gives a thorough but concise description: 

Sometimes, compelling stories with real results included are most helpful in getting motivated to start something new.
Here's a Ted talk on science-based research, How Meditation Reshapes Our Brains:

A quick video by a very popular TV personality talking about why everyone will be meditating, before long.: 

Emily Fletcher is a woman after my heart (although I don't think she's interested..). She gives a really touching talk at A-Fest she calls, How to Save the World in 2 Steps. It's really honest, beautiful, and sort of heartbreaking.
At only twenty minutes, prepare to have a new lady crush faster than you could watch an episode of the Simpsons:

  • The New York Times must have recognized not only the growing popularity of meditation, but also it's effectiveness. They produced a very comprehensive beginners guide to meditation, one I still refer to. Check it out.
  • This is one I always refer athletes and high performers to. Once the biology of performance is understood and how important recovery is in relation to the "on" switch being flipped all of the time, people begin to see massive gains, whether in mental and social performance, or physical and competitive. A great piece on the vagus nerve and why it's key.
  • If you're interested enough to be trying this stuff then you should go to one of these for a weekend. It'll change you forever. One of the most pragmatic and applicable weekend courses available: The Happiness Program with the Art of Living. (I'm not an affiliate)

Here are a few of my favorite guided meditations, listed from shortest to longest. They're all mindfulness practices, essentially, except the last one which is Vishen Lakhiani's 6 phase guided meditation.