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