Meditation is the bridge between the mind, body and the soul. If you can master meditation you shall be the master of your own existence. You shall have achieved what even the most richest and the most famous people on Earth might not have achieved - peace of mind.
This realization removes all the obstacles that a human being faces in utilizing the full 100% of one's potential. Even the top scientist in the world is perhaps using only 10% of his true potential. Total use of the power of a human's mind and body is possible only through creating a harmony between the body, mind and soul - and that is possible to create effectively through meditation. Here are a few things that beginners should keep in mind:
THE OBSTACLES FOR BEGINNERS
Meditation requires that the mind be stable and blank so that the path to one's spiritual side becomes clear. However, that is the most difficult part which sometimes takes months and even years to achieve. A grown up person would just have too much on his or her mind to do meditation. It's only when one's mind is free of all kinds of thoughts that one can try to go deeper in meditation. However, after so many years of experiencing the world, an individual has lost all his or her control on his mind.
The mind runs like a wild beast sprints in the forest - totally out of control. You may sit in a very quiet place and there shall be absolutely nothing to disturb you, but still with all that clamour in your mind, meditation can become quite difficult. As soon as you close your eyes, your mind floods itself with thoughts. Thoughts based on absolutely any topic and they continue to build on. Even if you brush them off and try to think of nothing, you shall be bombarded with thoughts sooner or later.
So, the only obstacle to a successful meditation is your own mind. Even if you sit right in the middle of a busy freeway, if you have a relaxed mind then you can meditate absolutely anywhere. It may take time to develop the ease with which you can move into a meditative state - it can take years or you may learn to do it in a few days. It's just a realization that can happen anytime. It's not an exercise that you shall have to keep on performing until your mind reaches that stage. It's just a sudden enlightenment that can happen anytime and so remember to be alert every time you meditate.
A beginners meditation consists of just trying to observe his own thoughts and feelings without judging them in any way. What this does is it makes the mind observe itself at work. This self-consciousness somehow halts the flurry of thoughts and the mind becomes at one with the body and the soul.
In order to create this awareness you shall have to take efforts not just while meditation but also while performing any other activity. For example, if you are walking down a road, be aware of everything that touches your senses. The breeze, the sunlight, the sound of the birds, the leaf falling from the tree, the person just walking by, the car honking in the distant - be aware of everything. Do not judge, just be aware, and soon you will find a similar level of awareness in your meditation sessions.
This is the first task for beginners to do. Rest all things are optional - the mattress, the peaceful ambience, the loose clothes, the comfortable temperature. But if you do not have a relaxed and aware mind, none of these things would help.
Go on. Try it now. Meditation can be done anywhere and anytime. It can be done even in the middle of a busy street (now that would need years of experience in the art!). All you have to do is do nothing!