Dharana (concentration) and Dhyana (meditation)
Concentration(dharana) : “When you establish the internal reality of God consciousness in Your soul, that is dharana. This dharana is not only to be established in internal God Consciousness but in all activities of the worldly life. This is true dharana." (Netra Tantra.)
1. The holding of consciousness in the emptiness of the space is concentration (dharana) or the connectedness of the consciousness with the object of contemplation is concentration ...
2. There is that tune in a single experience - act Meditation (dhyana).
3. Only the meditation, which brings the object to light alone, and whereby one is exposed to one's own identity, is meditation (samadhi) - Patanjali, Yogasutras III, A.1
MEDITATION (Skt. dhyana; Pali Jhana) is a practice where an individual tries to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state: Spatial concentration of consciousness is Dharana; the from thinking in a directed following tension is Dhyana, as long as it only shines in a meaningful appearance.(Yogasutras - 3 :Vibhuti Pada). As Dhyana it is step 7 of the Ashtanga - Yoga.
Focus the mind on inner consciousness and then meditate the Ista Devata in the Jivatma. This is the Dhyâna. (Devi Bhagavatam Purana, Buch 7.35)
The Kulanarva Tantra defines 'Dhyana' as : The mastery of suffering of the senses by the mind, the contemplation by the inner being of the chosen Godhead is called dhyana ( translation by Rai).
Three: " 1 for thou shalt have become that Three thyself. Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal burns overhead. 2 The Three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable, now in the World of Maya have lost their names. They have become one star, the fire that burns but scorches not, that five which is the Upadhi3 of the Flame. And this, O Yogi of success, is what men call Dhyana, 4 the right percursor of Samadhi." H. P. Blavatsky : Voice of Silence.
* The word 'meditation' as a generic term which also stands for a multitude of exercises as in Japa Yoga and in Nada-Yoga.
- Breathing meditation - also for healing purposes
- Taoist meditation
- Chakra - Meditation
- Kundalini - Meditation (with preparations)
- Shivaistic meditations(Om Namaha Shivaya; Hamsah - Shodha - Upanishade)
- Japa meditation - meditation with mantra - repetition
- Nada meditation - meditation on the Nada or Shabda
- Visualization meditations - of forms and yidams
- Chan Huatou-meditation
- Buddhist Samatha concentration
- Buddhist Vipassana - Mindfulness - Meditation
- Buddhist Lamrim - Meditation
- Buddhist metta - meditation
- Buddhist meditation of clear light
- Dzogchen meditation
- Emptiness - meditation
- The walking meditation - evtl. also with 'so-ham'-mantra
- Yogasleep or the clear dream can also be practiced meditatively.
- Wiki : Meditationcategories
- Chinabuddhismencyclopedia : Category:Meditation
- Rigpawiki : Category : Meditation
Meditation is a far-reaching concept, which in practice extends from a quiet relaxation, the rejection of thoughts, mindfulness, the contemplative thinking about special contents, the mental repetition of words (like in the old rosicrucian "Ich Bin" - meditation) or the mental repetition of Mantras up to the inner multiple concentration as for example described here.
* Widespread mental exercises are :
- the mental repetition of selected thoughts like the old rosicrucian "Ich Bin" - Meditation
- the chinese breath-Meditation(St. Palos),
- the Chan-Meditation(a sitting exercise in silence)
- the Mantra-Breath-Meditation( So-Ham ; Sivo-Ham; Ra-Ma ; Om-Ma; Hong-Sau; Chiang-Chieng; etc.)
- the mental repetition of Mantras like AUM, OM, Hari Om, Om Ah Hung, Naam, or even long Mantrams like the famous "Om Namaha Shivaya" or the tibetan "Om Ah Hum",´sometimes together with the closing of the ears with the thumbs like in the Nada-Yoga-Meditation
- the meditation of the "Golden Flower", (Tibetan Pho Wa (Wiki) ) or about the 'red Amitabha' above the cortex or the 'Naam-Simran' ala Huzur Maharaj or in sikhism.
- Inner multiple concentration as described in the Amitabha-meditation on this Website (and fundamental with letters in the Quabbala-Book of Franz Bardon).
Generally has meditation three steps :
1. Preparation : Attainment of a quietness, for example through the concentration on the breath or using Mantrams, which have such effects(in Taoism "S-Ung" (quietness) or "F-ANG" (relaxation) or "So-Ham", or even through observation and rejection of upcoming thoughts. Another method is to read a chapter of a holy book, so that the contents of the momentary thoughts are tuned. A further metod is the visualisation of the universe as filled with consciousness.
2. The Meditation with a certain technique within several steps
3. The slow return to the normal consciousness without haste.
The Mantra-Mediation has the special purpose to create a resonance and vibration which amplifies itself by the constant concentrated repetition and which transforms those regions, which come into contact with this vibration. Another purpose is the awakening of Chakras. The deeper the meditation the bigger are the effects of such a vibration.
The concentrated repetition of a mantram creates in the EEG a growing synchronization of the electric brain activity, which amplifies the rhythm of the alpha-waves and causes a mental and physical relexation. 
Prerequisite for such meditation is traditionally the control of the thoughts. This has the simple reason, that thoughts disturb the concentration on the Mantra. Otherwise such concentration is a cramped holding tight at the mantra. It should be an "IT - istic" looking recur, corresponding with the state of consciousness of the student. : IT acts in the transcendent areas....
A futher reason of the necessity of the previous control of the thoughts is simply, that storms of thoughts that happen in deep meditation can have later chaotic effects, when the deep mental waves come into realization in life. As soon as such chaotic thoughts have transcendental effects in the Akasha, they can have strong karmic effects. Therefore a deep meditation with storms of thoughts can have very negative effects, even if the student notices that and then returns to the mantra.
Another point is, that the deep meditation about a mental content or a mental theme does not take into account, that mental waves have a quabbalistic aspect, so that such uncontrolled thoughts and badly composed mantrams can often have very negative unconscious effects but must not have . (--> Fr. Bardon : "Key to the True Quabbalah")
Other meditative Methods use techniqs with forms and colours :
In this category are methods of meditation over elementary forms like triangles and Mandalas or Lotus - Flowers, of pictures of deities or buddhas or masters, later over cosmic mandalas with a great variety of forms and colours.
Such visualisations make use of the lawful contents of colour and its meaning, and of form and force and of the qualities of those forces. (the Feng Shui offers to this a disputed explanation).
Especially in Tantrism (Mandala, Yantra) and even in tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana) and Daoism such visual meditations belong to the practice. Generally these techniqs were used by progressed aspirants with trained abilities of visualization and imagination.
The simultaneous use of sound, colour and meaning makes these exercises much more effective, but because they are difficult to practice, the practise of the single aspects will mostly be necessary before that.
Therefore Franz Bardon taught the use of letters in combination with colour and specific feelings in his book about the Quabbala, and he explains their individual meaning.
In hinduism, the meaning and the colours and characteristics of the deities were exactly explained by a real guru before initiation(diksha).
-  The cambrige handbooks of consciousness : Chapt. 9 . Meditation and the neuroscience of Consciousness: An Introduction; Antoine Lutz, John D. Dunne, and Richard J. Davidson (PDF), ISBN-10: 0521674123
-  Dissertation Hölzl (ger. PDF) - brainwaves study
- Paramanada : Concentration and meditation
- Lu Kuan Yü (Charles Luk) : The secrets of chinese meditation ISBN: 9780877280668
- Clear Light of Bliss, Geshe kelsang Gyatso ISBN-10: 0948006218
- Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Volume 1, Lu Kuan Yü, Weiser, ISBN-10: 0877287953
- Aurobindo : Letters on Yoga 2, Sadhana through meditation
- Sivananda : Dhyana - Yoga
Links and literature
- Dhyana in Buddhism
- A Wiki about Yoga
- Wiki about Daoist meditation
- Mantra - Sahastra - with hindu Bija-Mantras
- A simple meditation
- A Meditation for daily life
- List of Mantras
- Raja - Meditation
- A Wiki about Pranava-Yoga (meditation on the sacred mantra Om)