Meditation is a wonderful way to know and be our True Self.
While there are many different meditation techniques, I believe there are only two types of meditation: active and passive.
Active meditation is when you're consciously trying to silence your thoughts, breathing, or whatever technique or rituals you're practising. Most of the techniques that are being taught are the "Active" type, where you are meant to be in control and tame the mind.
Passive meditation is when you have the idea to meditate and instead of trying to meditate, the meditation meditates you. The best way to describe this is by personal experience.
When I first started meditating it was because I had the idea that it would be fun. At first I tried to still my thoughts. After a while I got bored with this; besides it was too much like hard work and not fun at all. But something told me to persist. I would lie down with the intention of meditating and then let it happen. It didn't matter if I was still thinking, spaced out or fall asleep. All that mattered was having the intention to meditate. As time went by I would find myself without any thoughts. How did that happen? No idea. I guess stillness must have taken over.
One day the meditation took me to a realm of light where it felt like I was looking into the sun; but this Sun was millions of times brighter than our sun and it didn't hurt my eyes. I had a feeling I was being encouraged to go into the Sun but I resisted. I must have eventually surrendered because one day I found myself merged in with the Sun. I realised the Sun was/is who I am; who we all are. The Sun felt like the sum total of love, bliss, laughter, joy and fun. I never wanted to leave the Sun; I would stay in bliss for hours.
After that first experience of being the Sun, I wanted to be the Sun again and again. I started devoting my weekends to meditation where I would simply stay in my bedroom. Fortunately, I had a flatmate who was always away at weekends so I was never disturbed. I would then try to be the Sun. By trying, I was actively meditating; and all I ended up being was frustration. I would go for months and not experience the Sun. Only when I stopped trying, i.e. actively meditating, would the Sun reveal Its glory and I would lose myself in Being.
For me, the Sun was like experiencing real life. My everyday, waking, consciousness felt like death. I went through deep depression. All I wanted was to be the Sun forever not live in this, what I considered to be, God-forsaken reality. As time went by I realised that the Sun was teaching me, in a way that was tailored for my needs, how to live as the Sun in my waking consciousness. (See The Gift of Unbelief).
I believe everyone receives the call from Self to know who we are. Self shows each individual a way he can reveal Himself. Meditation is one such way. Most people hear the call and then try to know and be Self by actively meditating or whatever technique they are using and end up frustrated. I believe when you trust in the One who has called you, the One will reveal Himself in His own way.
I am Stillness.
Related articles: The Gift of Unbelief; Japa; All is Light and Light is Love; Thought Impulses and Detachment; The Purpose of Meditation; The Trouble with Interpretation