2016 has been a transformative year for wellness, especially mental wellness. Over the past twelve months topics like meditation and mindfulness have moved from spiritual circles to front page headlines. Our social feeds, and social calendars, are now filling up with articles and events aimed at helping us practice meditation and lead more mindful lives. While all of this buzz has definitely led to more awareness and acceptance of these once new age-y terms, there’s still a bit of lingering confusion - especially since meditation and mindfulness seem to be used interchangeably. So.. Are meditation and mindfulness the same thing? Is there one definition for meditation? Is mindfulness a type of meditation?
Let’s break it down:
Meditation - It’s tough to assign one definition to the term meditation - after all, meditation is a highly personalized practice, but we’ll do our best. Here at Undo, we define meditation as the practice of training your mind to be fully absorbed in the present moment.
Mindfulness - Mindfulness is living presently; being absorbed in the here and now, rather than the past and future.
Meditation trains your mind to be more mindful; if meditation is the cause, then mindfulness is the effect.
Here’s where it gets a little muddy, though: mindfulness is also a style of meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a practice where thought, breath, and sensation are observed in a nonjudgmental manner. Essentially, practitioners learn how to observe their thoughts, breathing patterns or physical sensations and then, immediately release those observations to return to the present moment.
So, no: meditation and mindfulness are not technically the same thing. But technicalities aside (because honestly, who cares about technicalities?) both share the same end goal: to help people live in the present moment.
We don't care what you choose; whether you sit down every day to practice Mantra, Vedic or Mindfulness meditation, or simply, take the time throughout your day to mindfully observe your thoughts and surroundings, we just hope you'll commit to pursing the present - because life is a lot better when it's lived out moment to moment.