BUT, not a lot of people are actually doing it.
Why? I have a few theories:
It's not that it is actually intimidating inherently, but people have placed so much importance on it that meditation is now a big hurdle for them. It has become so important to do meditation people overall seem worried that they aren't doing it properly. It's now something they can fail at, or be guilty about because they don't do it. Some people wait to do meditation "until they understand it better."
The good news: you can't be "good" at meditation. It's more of a do or not, either you meditate or you don't. It's a skill, not an accomplishment, so understanding is also not necessary. It totally counts to sit on your butt and count your breaths for five minutes, or relax while struggling not to plan dinner - it's going to assist your body and mind with what it means to have down time.
2. People overthink meditation
What is meditation? Where did it come from? Why is it now such a thing? The word itself is enough to have people spiral into a discussion of their short-comings and inadequacies. If it really is just a matter of the word itself that is too much, change it from meditation to "quietness training" or "being in the now." I personally have used "sensory perception" with good results.
How to do Sensory Perception: focus on one or more of the five physical senses - see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. Gently gaze at an object on the table in front of you, listen to music (or the sounds of nature outside), feel your breath, or even over-chew food to experience the full flavour. The important point is that anytime you find yourself not focusing on the sensory information, you gently bring you mind back to what is going on right now. It's a practice of letting go of planning, analyzing, or anything else from the past or future.
3. There is no time for formal meditation
This is by far the most common answer I am told. It's true, we live crazy busy lives and it is unfair to pile on just more stuff for us to do. If this is your major hurdle for not meditating, I suggest moment-to-moment meditation. Literally, taking a moment to have a proper, relaxing breath and bringing yourself into the present here and now. Take a second or third breath if you can. Do this several times throughout the day, so at the end of the day you end up with several minutes of meditation!
Formal meditation - sitting cross-legged on cushions with eyes partially closed, with or without mantras and a bell - is not for everyone or all times. I have seen my best personal changes when I do proper sitting for 30 min to an hour at a time, but it's not always realistic. Taking it a notch down and fitting it into the rest of your day does not diminish its effectiveness. You're still doing it.
4. Competitive meditation
Sometimes meditation is confusing for people because there are different kinds. There are several schools of thought or ancient disciplines with their own guidelines. There is nothing wrong (or better!) with any of them. Different strokes for different folks, I say. It only becomes a problem if these different rules are used almost as bullying. If you identify better with a certain style - good for you! But, it doesn't mean it is the best or only style worth doing. Meditation styles are like lipstick colours - the same colour doesn't always look good on everyone.
Beginners shouldn't worry about a specific school's form, they should focus more on just consistently doing some kind of mindfullness exercise at all. If you do choose a school of thought, be it Tibetan, Zen, Shambhala, etc. realize that it is just one way in a sea of equivalently helpful ways to practice.
5. There is no "carrot" for doing meditation
For our accomplishment-driven culture, meditation seems a complete waste of time. You don't "get" something for having meditated. There is no gold star, certificate, or even bragging rights. What you get is much more subtle than a one-off attempt can show you. One of my favourite ideas about meditation is that it actually helps remove things from your life - like stress, greed, anger, etc.
But all of this is at first felt only subtly. After having meditated somewhat consistently for several years, I do have concrete ways I've seen how it's changed my life. I definitely have a more realistic perspective, and things like worries and fears have a lot harder time getting hold of me. I can more easily recover from anger. I can get to sleep even after the most stressful events. I have skills of focus I would not otherwise have. Interestingly, I find I have more time.
The good news is, even if you don't recognize it consciously, there are benefits of meditation that do begin immediately, as neuroscience has found. Studies have shown that the brain waves of those during meditation start to sync, kind of like during stages of sleep, leading to a feeling of calm and tranquility. Happier people make better life choices, and the self-improvement can snowball from there.
6. Not "believing" in meditation
I tend to assume that everyone thinks meditation is a good idea. However, it's not always something that gets to be idolized right away. I've found that the argument for meditation is hard for people who are still riding the wave, playing the game, joining the rat race, or generally living a fast-paced, demanding life. These people tend to be young, business jockeys, or other people that don't value idleness or downtime. They live hard, work hard, play hard. I call this habit "burning the candle at both ends." A lot of the time, this leads to burn-out, depression, or anxiety disorders, which can be difficult to recover from and can leave you weak to re-occurence for years.
Practicing meditation allows for a balance of activity and rest, and can prevent over-extending yourself before you crash. The body needs recovery time on a regular basis. The mind may not value the rest, but the body can only tolerate the rat race for so long. People with these habits are aware that they are not considered healthy, and tell me so when I ask. There isn't a problem until there's a problem. "But I've been doing it this way for 25 years!" Yes, and that is why you are now sick from it. The effects of being out of balance in your lifestyle for years and years will eventually show up physically.
Meditation is a simple technique that can be customized to suit your life. Check what reasons you give yourself for not meditating, and then give yourself permission to put yourself and your health first.