What's the difference between Meditation and Mindfulness?
Lots of people ask me this question all the time, so I wanted to take some time to answer this question as fully (and briefly!) as I can.
Both mindfulness and meditation are 1,000's of years old.
Mindfulness is linked with the Buddhist tradition (yet you don't need to be a Buddhist to try it) and was taught by Buddha. The word "Mindfulness" is a translation of Pali that actually means “remembering continuously". Someone in the 19th century put the word “mindfulness” on it.
Meditation has no foundation in any philosopy and it's encompasses many different cultures and traditions.
In truth there is no real difference between the two but for the clarity of this article let me provide you with an analogy. If Meditation was "sport" then mindfulness would be a type of sport like hockey, tennis, soccer. There are many other "sports" as such - like TM, mantras, chakra meditations and so on.
The purpose of the Mindfulness course is to teach you purely about mindfulness and how it can change your life for the better. During the 8 weeks you learn 5 or 6 different types of Mindful practices - most of which will use the breath, body and senses to anchor you to the present moment. Mindfulness is more scientifically tested than other types of Meditation and is currently extremely popular in for anyone suffering with stress, anxiety and being overwhelmed.
A Meditation course generally will be designed to teach you all about the other types of meditation and about topics related to meditation such as the power of gratitude, opening the heart chakra, why self care is so important and lots more.
The aim of both meditation and mindfulness is the same - to bring you to the moment, to help you heal yourself, develop compassion and to LIVE your life.
So which one is for you?
If you're new to all this then I would always recommend starting with Mindfulness and then if you like that, branch into Meditation. It's a good place to start and will give you a good understand and structure to build upon.
If you're unsure, send me an email: Ellen@Xhale.ie or phone me at 086 682 4401 and I'd be happy to chat to you.
I started with Mindfulness about 15 years ago and at the time (being a Scientist) I judged it as hippy, vegan-ish and all about zoning out! How wrong I was yet that reaction in itself showed me that sometimes the things that we judge the most to are the very things we need the most!