Although meditation is very often, if not always, associated with some spiritual practice, it doesn't have to be. There are very good rational reasons to meditate, and don't worry; you don't have to visualize Lotus-gardens or Buddhas to get the benefits.
Meditation is just one thing: being aware of what's going on inside of you. Most of the time most people look out upon the world and most of the time most people think about all the stuff out there. Meditation is to be aware of what is going on in your mind.
You can meditate anywhere and anytime. You don't have to sit down, you don't have to be isolated, you don't have to be calm.
In short: Forget all the stuff you've heard about meditation. You only have to do one thing to get started: Notice your self.
Now, some people do this without even thinking about it. It's just a way of life. I do it all the time. I notice as much as I can.
But why should you even bother? Because it pays. You will learn things faster. You will be calmer, most of the time. And when you lose your calm, you will regain it faster. As you start meditation, you will gain more and more control over your life. When something happens, you'll be better at handling it. When everything goes wrong, you'll find a way out faster.
So, how do you do it? Simple. Just notice what happened. What did you think? What did you do? What happened? Every time you notice yourself you store data about your self. And when your brain has enough data, it will tell you something you never noticed about your self. Oh, the reason people get pissed off at me is that I actually sound pretty arrogant sometimes. Oh, the reason he pisses me off, isn't that he's just annoying, but that he's existence reminds me how fragile I am sometimes.
And every insight, banal and simple as it may seem, will slowly transform your life and you'll suddenly find yourself master of your own mind. What that means is that you'll be able to optimize YOU in any situation. Nervous when talking to people? Start meditating and sooner or later you'll be able to NOT be nervous.
And again, it's soooo easy: Just notice your self. Make your mind linger, just for at second, and reflect on what just happened. When you get more used to meditating, you'll be able to reflect on things as they are happening.
Trust me, it's worth it.