The idea of ancient meditation techniques (or ancient techniques of any variety) can be summed up as:
"If is has been around this long, it must be good!"
This is not entirely true, but there is enough truth to it to encourage new students to start with established traditions, and once you have a solid base with one of them... then move on to more contemporary ideas and practices. This is much safer, and yields consistently better results than doing it the other way.
I have another reason for enjoying ancient practices, and I encourage you to notice it in your practice as well.
When you practice ancient techniques, you can step into a sense of timelessness!
It is as if the fact that hundreds or thousands of years separate you and the founders of the technique no longer matters. You are doing the exact same thing they did. For a moment, the sense of separation through time disappears, and you can step into a feeling of oneness. The conscious practice of ancient meditation techniques can often bring you into awareness of the presence of totality just based on the sense of awe around 'ancient' practices.
These are three 'old school' meditation techniques that can have a profound effect very quickly:
Breathing: Breath-work is one of the oldest and most common meditation techniques that you will find. It is something that is normally unconscious that you can bring into conscious awareness, and as you focus on it and deepen it, it tends to vastly improve health and focus. All you have to do is breathe a little bit deeper, and a little bit slower. Pour your awareness into the sensations associated with breath in the body. If your attention drifts, gently bring it back.
Focus on Ancient Ritual: Anytime you truly pour your focus into a single activity, you are leaving the modern world (and the illusion of multi-tasking) far behind. There does seem to be additional effect when you do it with certain practices. Tribal styles of dancing or listening to the beat of a drum (or both) can quickly pull you into an altered state that transcends the concept of time. You might have to look to find an instructor in tribal dance, but you can download traditional drum music off iTunes right now. Once you really focus in on the beat of the drum, you might realize you do not need a dance instructor. You might notice that your body knows what to do already.
Solo Fasting: This is still done to this day in Native American traditions as well as many others. When you separate yourself from society (even temporarily), it tends to trigger a change in your consciousness. It can be frightening, but it can also be liberating. Doing this without food tends to intensify the effect. This is best done under the guidance of someone experienced in tradition, but usually it is safe to find a place where you will see no one else (even if it is just locking yourself in a room), and go 24 hours without food (always consult your physician first). Shamans of the past would do this for days or even weeks. For the modern lifestyle, though, 24 hours should be enough to experience some profound states.
Again, it is not just the technique. Approach the practice with a sense of awe. Truly respect and appreciate what you are doing.
This does not have to be limited to the formal practice of meditation. If you like, you can develop a sense of awe, deep respect, and sincere appreciation throughout your life.
Benjamin Langley has been studying meditation, self-hypnosis, energy work, and other healing methods for over 15 years, and he has written over 400 articles on these subjects, as well as numerous podcasts and videos.
If you want to learn a simple meditation system that will reduce stress and improve health in just minutes a day, go to http://PeacefulProsperity.com/Meditation-Techniques/ for more information.