Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. "Watching your breath" is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.
Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit. The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices, which range from techniques designed to promote relaxation, contacting spiritual guides, receiving psychic visions, getting closer to god, seeing past lives, taking astral journies, and so forth, to more technical exercises targeted at developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and more far-reaching goals such as effortless sustained single-pointed concentration, single-pointed analysis, and an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any and all of life's activities.
Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means 'a cessation of the thought process' . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns . The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.
Traditionally, the classical yoga texts, describe that to attain true states of meditation one must go through several stages. After the necessary preparation of personal and social code, physical position, breath control, and relaxation come the more advanced stages of concentration, contemplation, and then ultimately absorption. But that does not mean that one must perfect any one stage before moving onto the next. The Integral yoga approach is simultaneous application of a little of all stages together.