Meditation is easy to understand and practice and the benefits are enormous, but choosing the right approach and learning which techniques will work best for you, can't be determined by reading a book or magazine, or listening to a CD etc.
If you go this route and decide to give it a try, the chances are that you won't get anything like the results you're looking for, and it won't be long before you consider it a waste of time and call it a day. This has nothing to do with the way in which the information's presented (although obviously it makes a difference) - it's to do with going it alone, and not having anyone to guide you, work with your feedback, or provide insight and understanding. I'm not saying you can't get anywhere on your own - I'm just pointing out that the odds are against you!
People turn to Meditation for countless different reasons, and the question on everyone's mind before they get started is "Will It work For Me?" The answer is "Yes - it Works For Everyone," but regardless of the effort you're prepared to make, without the right teacher behind you, not a lot will happen.
There's a huge amount of information out there, but most of it boils down to the same basic principles, philosophy, and practices. Every writer has their own way of putting things across, and every teacher adds their own personal style and interpretation. Faced with unlimited choice, it's much easier to find yourself on the wrong path altogether, and never get the information you need or learn how to use it.
Joining a group will put you in touch with like minded people and provide a social outlet, but it's highly unlikely you'll receive any individual instruction - it'll just be a matter of grabbing what you can from whatever's happening. The best approach by far is to find a teacher that's prepared to work with you individually, modify their program to meet you personal requirements, and help you to branch out from there.
The following guidelines should help you locate one that's right for you.
1. Make a list of what you're hoping for Meditation to help you achieve. Narrow it down - don't be too general.
2. Check out a number of courses and make a note of the ones you feel might be suitable.
3. Get in touch with the teachers, and ask if the course will meet your requirements.
4. Confirm how long the course will take, how much it costs, if there are guarantees, and whether there's a refund policy.
5. Find out if there's ongoing guidance and support.
Guarantees are difficult to define, but you need to feel confident that your teacher will work with you and do what it takes to get you the results you're looking for - not just give you a set of exercises and leave you to it. Additionally, you'll need to be sure that there's ongoing guidance and support once the course is finished, to help you get the most from what you've learned in the future.
When you take a course you're buying a service, and if the service doesn't come up to scratch you're entitled to say so and expect your money back. A teacher should be confident in their ability to help you achieve what you're looking for, so steer well clear of any that tell you "it's entirely up to you!"
Get the right teacher and the magic and power of Meditation will bring you everything you wish for, and change every aspect of your life for the better.