Protip: Ignore this whole thread.>is meditation a meme?
Its a meme that its a pop culture talk but not many do it or know what it means. >differentiate between good and bad research
Primary good research is done mainly on "mindfulness meditation." Mindfulness is basic Buddhist meditation technique made portable without the need for religious background. There are others like "transcendental meditation" that requires you to pay to learn how to meditate, its a Hindu meditation. I wouldn't put too much trust in those pay2meditate schemes. There's also other Buddhist meditation like "compassion meditation" or "lovingkindness meditation" or "metta meditation", and that can also be learned devoid of religious settings. There are many others as well. For the purpose of this your intro to useful/good meditation, just focus on "mindfulness meditation."
The western mindfulness meditation is basically centered on your normal breathing with eyes closed. You learn to pay attention to your breathing and feel all the sensation coming to the body, like the tingling of the nose, to chest expansion to heart beat, etc. Once you start to do that, your mind will naturally get "bored" and your thoughts will start popping into your head. This is natural. Don't try to "block" your thoughts or anything. What you need to do to counter this stage is to get our attention back to your breathing. This is why there's usually meditation guide/teacher who speaks loudly and clearly and guides bunch of meditators in the room. You can also just put on a youtube guide and it functions similarly. The point is to focus on your breathe, all the sensation, the tinglings, and if your thoughts start creeping in, the audio guide will help you focus back to breathing. After a set time, you can open your eyes and you feel slightly refreshed/clearer/etc.
This is not the full course and its only a portion of the buddhist mindfulness meditation but its enough for western export.