In Buddhism, a full practice involves the three parts of being: body, speech and mind. Or to put it another way: deeds, words and thought. Sitting meditation can nevertheless employ all three, and even all three in each one of the three.
So a gesture (action) can express (communicate) an idea (thought). Likewise a mantra is an expressive action to embrace an idea. And an idea can be the visualization of an action and/or communication.
Please excuse the oh-so-very rough outline above. The point is to envolve the whole being, to be wholly envolved, in the meditation. Done in this way total concentration of thought, word and deed can be invested in an object (focus, topic, facet) of virtue.
One aspires toward a lofty evolutionary goal, revering both those who have attained and those who are going to (self included). One takes joy in the their and one's own attainment (including the incremental steps thereto).
One can make offerings by gesture, by speech and also by visualization. One can seek assistance in the same way. All this while sitting very nearly still and very nearly quiet.
Having evoked the closest approximation to the sublime that one is capable of for that sitting, rejoice in it, arise and carry that attitude into whatever remains of the day.
That anyway is how it works in many a Buddhist meditation. Some people try to make magic out of it. It seems almost like magic, or feels that way. But in truth it is just a spiritual tool/exercise/technique. You don't tap into 'external' energy. You don't draw 'out of the earth' (or anywhere else) you simply align the mind (which in Eastern terms includes the 'heart' or emotive qualities) into a harmonious pose.
And just like the MA poses which seem so contrived and awkward at first, the mind lerns through practice to slip into them quite naturally...such that they are no longer a 'pose' but a natural state.
Gan Uesli Starling
Kalamazoo MI USA