Shaolin monks practice Ch'an Buddhism. They say that the teachings of Ch'an Buddhism are inseperable from Shaolin martial arts, and that to reach the highest level both are required.
Often it is said that Bodhidharma visited the temple and found that the monks were not physically fit to make progress in meditation. This is why he created the chi kung forms Yi Jin Jing (Muscle Tendon Changing Sutra) and the Xi Sui Jing (Bone Marrow Washing Sutra). It is said that his teachings formed the basis for Shaolin martial arts. Martial arts were practiced in China long before this time, and other traditions including Taoism no doubt influenced the development of Shaolin.
In Western culture it is very natural to talk a lot and ask lots of questions. Also in the West, if someone wants to learn about Buddhism they often start to read lots of sutras and books. But Shaolin Buddhism in common with other types of "Zen" Buddhism places an emphasis on experience. It is "A transmission outside of the scriptures, not relying on words, pointing directly to one's mind. The attainment of Buddhahood by seeing into one's nature."
Shaolin Buddhism is an esoteric form of Buddhism which incorporates a thorough knowledge of internal energy (chi). Skill in cultivating this energy can lead to feats that appear superhuman. It is used both for healing and for martial arts. Also internal energy is considered essential for deep states of meditation.
Shaolin monks practice both mindfulness meditation and concentration meditation. There is also the philosophy that everything you do can be a form of meditation. Sometimes students are given a koan (gong'an), or a hua tou.
The master is able to tell which methods of meditation are best for the student at their particular stage of practice.
Shaolin Buddhism has now spread worldwide with temples in many countries.