mindfulness vs. meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are often terms that are interchanged, despite the fact that they are indeed two different things. Both practices focus on calming the nervous system, focusing attention, and establishing equanimity & peace of mind.

There’s a lot of resistance to meditation, mostly due to the many myths that give meditation a certain stigma.

Silhouette of beach reeds during sunrise

mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of heightened awareness and intentional focus on the present moment. This can be practiced using the breath, an activity, your senses, your emotions, etc. – anything that takes you back to the here and now.

Mindfulness is more of an informal practice, in that you don’t need any special equipment and you can do it anywhere, in any position, in any setting. It focuses on a broader sense of awareness – both internal and external – what’s going on within you and what’s going on around you.

People on a beachside platform preparing for meditation or yoga with yoga mats.

meditation

Meditation is also a state of heightened awareness, sometimes compared to mindfulness on an even deeper level. There is a higher level of focused observation on the internal, what’s going on within you, instead of the external, things that are occurring around you.

Meditation is a slightly more formal practice, generally more structured with a designated location, posture, and time frame. Where mindfulness relies heavily on the senses to reach that state of heightened awareness, meditation practice withdraws the senses so that your awareness is on everything at once, and external factors aren’t serving as distractions.

Semi-submerged bench in Tobacco Bay, Bermuda with water washing over it.

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