What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
Mindfulness and meditation are two related concepts that are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. While both practices involve being present in the moment, there are some key differences.
Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus and find a centered and calmed perspective, to then reflect on a particular object or thought, with the goal to improve concentration and achieving a broader understanding on a philosophical subject. It involves thinking deeply and critically about a particular topic or experience. It requires active engagement with the topic, asking questions, exploring ideas, and considering different perspectives. Reflecting can involve writing in a journal, having a conversation with someone, or simply thinking quietly to oneself. There are many different types of meditation techniques, including focusing the gaze on a geometrical figure, a prophet’s portrait, an aphorism and involves intellectualizing and reasoning.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a state of active, open attention to the present moment. It involves paying attention to our full self, including all bodily sensations and physiological processes, thoughts, feelings, energies and relationships with other beings and energies in creation, without judgment or distraction. Mindfulness is a way of being fully engaged in the present moment, aware about all past events that help to form the present and aware of what present events will produce for the future. This can help you become more aware of your patterns of thought and behavior, and can help you make more conscious choices in your life.
In essence, meditation is a specific practice that can help cultivate mindfulness, while mindfulness is a state of being.