I think it depends on the purpose for the meditation. I have a few methods depending on the goal.
If I'm looking to do some quiet, introspection, then I use methods similar to that of pranayama, but not as structured. I breathe at whatever rate is comfortable and blank my mind from everything except that breathing. If a distraction comes into my head, I draw a mental circle around it and push it out. Overtime, the breathing slows and you are able to think nothing for several minutes. Then, I start to allow thoughts inside and pay attention to those.
If I'm doing spellcraft or attempting an actual journey through meditation, I usually chant. It takes about 7-10 repetitions of a chant before you really begin to sink into it, but I'll often chant for several minutes continuously, up to a half hour. When doing this, I either keep my eyes closed and let images come into my head naturally, or I use a candle flame to focus my gaze and watch for images there. I find this effective for things like discovering animal guides, elemental meditations, or working with Deity.
The third way I meditate is through physical exercise, specifically Ashtanga yoga. I particularly love balance postures, and will allow my thoughts to cease and just exist among the energy of the exercise and the motion of my breaths. When using exercise to meditate, I typically find that the best results come at the end of the regimen, after about 1.5-2 hours of straight physical work. Then, lying in the dark, I can receive the messages that become available.
Whatever methods you use, meditation is a discipline and it takes a lot of self control and commitment. I am not very good at it at all, but my progress is measurable from where I used to be several years ago. It's not something that you can be immediately skilled at, and it can be a frustrating practice to learn. Perseverance really is key.