How does meditation work?

There are different forms and techniques of meditation. Some are physical, while others focus on a specific action or thinking and feeling. The meditator strives for a state of "not thinking" or a "thoughtless silence" that can give as much relaxation and strength in a few minutes as hours of sleep.

Differentiation between passive and active meditation

In passive meditation, the practitioner concentrates on his breathing, a perception, a thought, a word or a saying - for example an affirmation "I am healthy and calm". In active meditation, movement or an action are in the foreground: e.g. yoga, tantra, a martial art or the recitation of prayers or mantras.

Passive forms of meditation:

  • Transcendental Meditation: The technique for activating the self-healing powers

  • Vipassana meditation: is one of the oldest meditation techniques. It is a mindfulness meditation.

  • Zazen, "sitting in silence": Is a sitting meditation from Zen Buddhism.

  • Shamata (also Samatha) goes back to the historical Buddha and means something like "peaceful lingering".

  • Metta meditation: It is mostly a guided meditation to learn about love and compassion.

Active forms of meditation:

  • About the body: for example Tai Chi, Yoga, Qi Gong, walking meditation, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson, meditative dance

  • about the mind: Zen meditation, Christian mysticism, certain forms of yoga

  • about the feelings: picture meditation, music meditation, singing bowl meditation

  • about doing: calligraphy, mandala painting, ikebana, singing, praying