Getting to know, and start practicing meditation?
I've been interested in meditation and self-realization for a long time and now that summer's here i have more time to read about it, get to know it, and practice it! What do you recommend to get started?
No offense to the other person who has answered, but I say get professional instruction. Meditation can be very powerful, if you do things without guidance you could have very mixed experiences. I say this out of experience!
There's a lot of good techniques out there. Personally I favor Sahaj Samadhi, Yogananda's Kriya, or TM. These should all be available in major metropolitan areas. There are also many good Buddhist centers that teach meditation in major metropolitan areas.
Go with something you feel good about -- let your intuition guide you! And if you don't get results, it just means you haven't found the style that truly is for you.
Good luck to you!
The first answer is great. I'll just add that the book "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh gets to the heart of meditation in an accessible, gentle way. And, if you were brought up going to church, his book "Living Buddha, Living Christ" is beautifully enlightening about the parallels between the Christian and Buddhist traditions.
The links above take you to an awesome site for learning to meditate and more...