We have it on excellent authority -- on direct experience -- that the way to attain the counterpart-light (nimitta), meditative absorption (jhana), and full concentration (samma-samadhi) is to focus on the breath to the exclusion of everything else: Just breathe.
That exclusion of everything else is as important as the breath. We already breathe. Yet nearly no one is willing to just breathe, to have faith (confidence, saddha) that this is the Way. The first step of the Path may be to HEAR the Dharma.
Find someone who will share. (That may take a search and regard for noble ones and their teachings). This will be achieved by intention-and-deeds (karma). Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it is given. Even as you form the intention (cetana), you are already drawing it in.
Second comes giving EAR. Listen. Probe and question if you wish, but respectfully listen. Third comes VIRTUE: There are precepts, ethics, all-embracing compassion for self and others. Keep to at least five. And concentration (which gives rise to psychological-purification) will make remembering and understanding possible. You don't have to think you're able; you will become able as wisdom strenghtens.
The Buddha would not have taught the Dharma were it not possible for an ordinary worldling to understand these profound and liberating truths. It's too subtle to ever comprehend by mere reasoning. So give the mind a rest.
The mind drifts. It will drift. Gently bring it back each time -- without self-criticism, frustration, or despair. It's like a forgetful child who will soon remember to stay (but not before some tantrums). Until then, be extra gentle. This child can't be reasoned with and punishment does no good. Just bring it back.
Bring it back approximately 1,000,000 times. What is the Way to succeed in meditation? Applying and sustaining attention here, on the breath at this spot, to the EXCLUSION of thinking/doubting/struggling and everything else.
That's all there is to do. Everything else will happen. You needn't do anything more. This applied attention will do it. This concentration will do it. Things will happen. Therefore in summary: "Just breathe. Just believe. [You're] used to it by now."
At first it's very boring, crushing, and unbearable. That's because the mind is doing other things. When it comes to rest, miraculous things will happen. Things unheard of, things unthinkable, and in no long time, liberation (path and fruit). There comes a light -- literally a light of wisdom -- yet all you need to do is apply attention to this one spot for hours, for days, for weeks: "Just breathe, just believe." How long? Until you build sufficient momentum. Even when you get up, the attention stay applied to the same spot. Whatever else you do, the attention is brought back to the spot.
The mind will never believe that that's all there was to it until it doesn't. And it will be the hardest thing one ever did. Many fall of the Path. So we call it "the straight and narrow." It's all right to fall. Get back on. If one is ever to attain enduring bliss and eventual nirvana (the end of all suffering), get back on. It might also help to smile as you take everything in stride.
This path is a path of pleasure (sukha). But the pleasure is not based on sensual pursuits. The mind is confused because, of course, all pleasure has to be based on sensual pursuit. This is not. It is in the body (piti) but not based on sensual craving. "There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way." The Five Hindrances will come up. And they will get very strong. Just breathe, just believe. There is another side to get to, a further shore. Cross over. And by doing so, you will not lose sensuality. Instead, you will gain a greater pleasure and peace not attainable on this side. So everything you ever wanted (all the cravings to fulfill) and everything you only imagined (wisdom, mysticism, nirvana) are available there.