Humans get so bogged down with all the cares and bullshit of life that our minds miss much of what is around is because we automatically filter it out to pay attention to what seems important. Despite it being horrible for me, I think one of the reasons I love smoking is that it has a similar effect as the meditation. I focus only on inhaling and exhaling even if it is only for a few minutes and it relaxes me.
Breathing is so fundamental to life but we do it without thinking every minute of every day. Meditation is like taking the time to focus the BIOS of your life - a reset when your system memory gets clogged up to begin running smoothly again. I am very much looking forward to making it a practice of my life as I attempt to become a more centered and peaceful part of the universe. (If that doesn't make me sound like a new age hippie, I don't know what will)