Most people equate mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness meditation is itself a class we have at Enhale Meditation Studio. But while the words are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s useful to draw the difference between the two.
Mindfulness is a quality of being — the experience of being present, to shift your focal point to the present moment. It is to be aware of thoughts and feelings, to be proactive and intentional. It avoids holding judgement and criticism. And mindfulness is the opposite of the mind roaming without control or direction. Mindfulness is a skill, just like golf or tennis.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice. It’s the mental exercise of being present in the moment, which in turn makes us more skilled to stay mindful every day. Even in period of high tension.
Mindfulness meditation isn’t the only way to meditate. Meditation is a general tool to cultivate mindfulness but the purposes of meditation can be so much broader. Meditation can be used to hardness visualization that athletes do before an important game to visualize the perfect score. We can use meditation when we wake up to visualize the perfect day ahead and help bring it to life. Meditation can be used for spiritual cleansing and purification as well, in certain traditions.
So meditation and mindfulness are separate and yet related entities. More recently, mindfulness meditation has come to focus to bring inner peace in modern living but both practises go back millennia.