Insight Meditation is one such technique. It not only involves holding the mind still, but goes on to observe intensely the thoughts and feelings arising to understand the true nature of our body and mind, and the nature of the world. There is no conflict of within and without. The mind transgresses all barriers of conceptualisation and conditioning and moves to the realm of absolute reality. Therefore, we need to understand the preparation for it. This is mindfulness.
Mindfulness has four important factors. The most important is clarity of mind. Clarity comes when the mind is free of agitation.
The second factor is staying calm for stability and peace. When we are agitated, craved and excited, the mind experiences instability and unease. It is not at peace with the body. We need to bring the state of such a mind to settle into a calmness and serenity.
The third preparation is alertness of mind. We are completely aware of what is going around us in detail, but it does not bother or worry us.
And lastly, keeping the mind engaged in current events. We are to be ever watchful of this because the mind wanders, creates its own concepts and conditions, and distorts proceedings.
Once we prepare ourselves for a meditation session, we are ready to begin the practice.