A fun tool for meditation: try earplugs. Yes, really!
You may have heard I gave birth on The Learning Channel's A Baby Story, at home, in a portable pool, in my kitchen. There's a lot out there to see, but you have to look closely to find that during much of my labor, I wore earplugs. This is something I figured out on the fly, and it was also the first time I experienced the power of sound and chanting. This was well before I became a teacher.
When your ears are plugged and you make sound, you can hear it in an intimate, more pronounced way. Try it now. Plug your ears and hummmm. You'll see that you don't even have to be loud, to hear a really full sound resonate in your head and chest. It provides a compelling focal point for meditation and allows you to really focus on the sound without distractions.
I figured it out while in serious pain in labor, but the ancients have been doing it for centuries. The practice is called Bhramari.
Try this today, for three minutes, even if it's just your fingers plugging your ears. Inhale fully, then use your entire exhale to hummmm, with your eyes closed, and ears plugged. Leave a note in the comments letting me know what kind of magic it does for you. :)