Meditation can be banded into two distinct categories –
This is the style of focusing one’s attention onto a single object during a meditative sit. The object could be the breath, a part of the body, a visualization, a mantra or an external object.
Examples of Focused Attention meditation are: Forms of Buddhist meditation, forms of Zazen, Loving Kindness Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Sound Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Pranayama, forms of Qigong, amongst many others.
Rather than focusing the attention onto any one object, the attention is kept open and infinite. All aspects of the experience are observed without judgment or attachment. All internal perceptions such as thoughts, feelings, memories and sensations exist and rise up but only to be observed. The same goes for any external stimuli such as sounds or smells. It is the process of pure being, merely witnessing the experience from moment to moment, without attaching to or labelling anything.
Examples are: Vipassana, Mindfulness meditation, Contemplative Prayer, forms of Taoist Meditation and Forms of Buddhist meditation, again, amongst many others.