My favorite way of meditating is with some soft soothing background music, started by a bell and ended by a bell. During the meditation I will either use focussing on my breath to bring awareness back to the meditation, when my mind wanders off in thoughts, or I will use silently repeating a mantra to bring my awareness back to the meditation. My 3 favorite mantras are “so hum”, “sath chit ananda” and “aham bramasmi”. Meditating allows me to realize that my thoughts are just a product of my brain, they are not me. I hope this helps! Good luck and enjoy the epitome of “me”-time.
No I prefer listening to the sounds around me. Especially now that the birds have returned and I can listen to their songs