I read the book Eat, Pray, Love this summer and absolutely adored it. I was going through a breakup myself and I really felt like the words in the book were coming right from my heart. Something that I was introduced to in this book are japa mala beads. These are Hindu or Buddhist meditation/prayer beads. Traditionally they have 108 beads on what looks like a necklace. From my readings monks would sit and pray/meditate with these beads in their hand. They would pull one bead between their fingers for every prayer/mantra they repeated in their head.
Typically, I have a hard time meditating. It is something I have always struggled with because I am always thinking at least 5 thoughts at once. I have tried repeating different mantra's which has helped but I always end up thinking about something else as I'm repeating the mantra. Yes, you do not want to get in my head while I'm trying to meditate. I'm hoping that maybe by using these beads, since it will give me a physical point of reference it will help me to concentrate better. We'll see. I am going to go to a few local stores looking for a set. If I can't find any I have found a great website where you can order them. I think I would want the Rosewood ones they make.
On a similar note, Dave (what a sweet guy) got me some quartz. He got it for me with the intention of focusing my energy on it and pushing "positive energy/thoughts" to it when meditating. I did a little bit of research on quartz and have found some interesting information. Turns out it is one of the most abundant rocks in the world. I found this website that mentions a lot of the mythology around quartz such as "The strongest of Grandfather Dragon stones, Quartz is the master stone for bringing energy and light to all it encounters. I've found that one of its most potent attributes is to amplify, and that can be anything from mental activity to spiritual consciousness to emotional disposition." and "Quartz increases the power of anything that it is placed near to ... It can be used for healing, increasing physical vitality, enhancing all spellwork, or for anything you wish to amplify.".
Personally, I don't practice spellwork but I do think that using it during meditation might have some positive effects. Or at least I hope it will :) I'll try to update here if I find either the quartz or my japa mala beads (once I get them) help during my meditation practice.