I can't find where I posted this, so here it is again for you. I learned deep relaxation before learning to meditate. I would generally advise doing this. Here is a short guide on what I did to practe deep relaxation, hope it is of some help to you.
I use a relaxation CD to do this. The music is neutral, so that it doesn't call my attention. It's other purpose is to blend away any household noises which may startle me out of my practice. You can lie down, or sit in a comfy, well supported position. If you sit cross legged, make sure your back is well supported.
I use the same incense every time, so that I associate the aroma with the state. I believe this helps the process.
In a comfortable position, I begin to focus on my breathing. Not trying to change it, just simply being aware of it. I fall into it. Over practice, awareness of breathing can reach the stage where we can 'become' our breath. This way, we cease to pay attention to our thoughts, without actually trying to do that. (Thinking about not thinking is a bit of a trap, I find).
So, comfortable in awareness breathing, I practice a few Yogic breaths. That is, closing the throat in the place where we 'clear' it, and pushing the breath through it to a slow count of 4. 3-5 breaths like this are very powerful. I do a group of these 4-5 times during a relaxation.
After about 30 minutes of a combination of Awareness breaths and Yogic breaths, the pestering thoughts are gone. I focus on FEELING, I feel the waves of my chi. Feeling is a great way to escape thinking. If thoughts do come, acknowledge them, allow them to pass, and carry on. I have never had success on 'stopping' thinking, ~ with feeling and breathing it just happens anyway.
So, now I am in a state to begin actual meditation. My mind is clear and rested, and I actually feel mentally energised. What you might do in your meditation is up to you, you might seek deities, perform protection or healing meditations, or focus on global peace. Anything you like.
My point is, that meditation is what you do after relaxation, not relaxation in itself. Relaxation is like tidying your house so that you can do something in it, as well as being intrinsicly rewarding. Now you are ready to meditate. Do mail me if you'd like some help after this practice. Be well.