There are many types of meditation, all of which have different goals, methods, and preparations. In this article, I will present to you two types of meditations: active meditation and passive meditation. It is important to stress that neither is seen as lesser or worse than the other. Choosing a meditation style—whether that be the choice between active or passive meditation—is entirely up to you. Different individuals need and desire different things from meditation.
Put simply: passive meditation is when you have no goal in mind. You are purely focusing on your breath and relaxing for the sake of relaxing. With this, you may also achieve a state of “deep meditation,” or rather, “meditative trance,” where you have successfully silenced all thought and let go of all attachment. In short, during passive meditation you are trying to achieve a state of total relaxation.
Active meditation is usually where the act of visualization comes in. The main difference between passive and active meditation is that during active meditation, you are meditating on something—you have a goal in mind. For example, a question you need an answer to, advice on what to do in a situation, or etc. You may also want to use active meditation to raise your frequency, or when you wish to meditate on something specific like an image or a spiritual scripture. For example, some people enjoy meditating on old Hebrew letters because they believe they hold great power, while others prefer to use the bible as an image to focus on to gain spiritual insight.
Whether you are religious or not, or spiritual or not, you can use pretty much any type of visualization you want during active meditation in order to achieve your goal. If you wish it to be on something more specific like the above examples rather than a thought or question, make sure that it is something that is dear to you and that you identify with. It helps to have a sense of familiarity with what you are focusing on when doing these things in order to ease the process.
It is also important to stress that the deep meditative state spoken about in the passive meditation section can also be achieved during active meditation. Therefore, if you struggle with letting go and approaching meditation with no goal in mind as passive meditation asks you to do—worry not—you can achieve the same results with active meditation. Both of these meditation styles are completely capable of reaching the same ends and can be used for both inner healing and personal energy work.