The Real Difference Between Mindfulness And Meditation
There is an interesting phenomenon that has been ongoing for the past few decades. While for the past few centuries it was the Western world that mainly influenced countries in the Eastern hemisphere, now things are changing, and Western society is looking for ways to implement Eastern philosophy.
And indeed, while the Western world was primarily succumbed to religious and political conflicts that ultimately led to wars, the Eastern world has been more focused on inner development and life’s philosophies.
Millions of people are beginning to understand that you should find the meaning of life within yourself. While it might sound hard, it isn’t, and in fact, it is something that we all have deep within ourselves. The problem is that, due to the mass culture we are presented, we are all focusing on external factors and things that don’t really matter. Along with that, we worry about what happened and what will happen, instead of staying present in the moment and living right now.
When Eastern philosophy is mentioned, you probably have yoga and meditation in mind, and indeed, these are the principles of every Zen, Taoism, and Buddhism-related practice. But you should know that practicing yoga will have no effect unless you truly understand the philosophy and try to implement it on a daily basis. While meditation is seen as a way of implementing and exercising the base principles, it is still not the core and the main process in finding inner peace.
When it comes to its roots, we would say that mindfulness may be the most positive and beneficial practice that the East has to offer. But what is mindfulness, and isn't it same as meditation? Even experienced meditation practitioners don’t know the difference, and it does take a deeper insight to properly understand it. Let’s discuss how meditation and mindfulness differ, and what are the benefits of both.
How Does Meditation Differ From Mindfulness?
While people have trouble with understanding the difference, it is not all that hard. Let’s start off by defining the term of meditation. Meditation is seen as a practice that is done in certain conditions and without the influence of external factors. What does this mean? The goal of meditation is to let your mind roam free while focusing on one particular thing, such as your breathing. It is usually done in a sitting position, in a distraction-free environment such as in nature or a quiet room.
Meditation is an effective exercise and there are a number of benefits to it, ranging from physical to mental ones. Our recommendation is to check out Meditation Mastery Secrets – it is an excellent guide and will provide you many valuable tips on how to become a meditation practitioner. Still, meditation does not absorb the whole idea of Eastern philosophy.
Mindfulness is a universal term that also includes meditation, but other things as well. It would be safe to say that meditation includes mindfulness too, as you practice awareness and staying in the present moment through it. But, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is defined as being aware of the present moment in any given situation. What this means is that you can practice mindfulness while you are at a restaurant, at your faculty, or even at a party.
This is why it is seen as a higher level of meditation – because you are in an environment with a lot of external factors with a single goal – to stay focused and aware of the present moment. Once again, this doesn’t mean that you should block your thoughts – on the contrary, let those come and go, while you stay focused on a certain thing such as the sound of people talking, your breathing, or even a visual experience of water running or fire burning.
By mastering mindfulness, you will master yourself, and eventually realize that the only thing that matters is the present moment: Today is the tomorrow that you have worried about yesterday. Simple yet striking, this definition of the present moment is all that you need to understand the benefits of becoming mindful and aware.
How to Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
As we have suggested, meditation includes exercising mindfulness as well, only that mindfulness is a wider term and it can be exercised out of meditation practice. Meditation exercises come with a number of rules or mantras that should be followed in order to achieve the desired effect. Still, not all meditation practices are the same and it will change as you become more experienced. Meditation Mastery Secrets is an excellent guide providing much valuable information on how to start meditating and reap all the benefits from it.
Practicing mindfulness is even easier. What we would suggest is to go ahead and try the so-called 5-sense practice. Imagine you are washing dishes. On a regular day, you would think about a number of things related to the rest of your daily routine without focusing on the moment itself. And that is why dishwashing is a stressful experience for most of the people.
Instead, by implementing the 5-sense practice in it you will get a full experience and realize that you should be aware of the moment, no matter what you are doing. Breathe in and decide if you like or don’t like the smell of the dishwasher soap. Focus on how your skin wrinkles under dishwasher soap and water, and activate your sense of hearing to enjoy the sound of clean dishes.
The whole idea is to forget about the future and past, worries and emotions, and simply live through the moment. While for some people it may seem ineffective, such a simple practice will yield many benefits relating to your overall well-being.
Eastern philosophy has been a mystery to the Western world for a number of centuries. It is not that Eastern countries didn’t want to share their knowledge – on the contrary, it was Western society that rejected anything that had different religious principles and mass cultural norms. By exercising meditation and mindfulness, you will realize the true importance of a present moment.