Meditation v’s Mindfulness
The goal of meditation and mindfulness is simple – it is to increase your self-awareness so you can make better decisions in life, it helps you to navigate the mind rather than being a slave to it and helps you to explore different levels of your psyche. It opens the door to deeper self-awareness, self-acceptance and helps to replace negative thoughts and behaviours with new ones that are positive and well-meaning.
But what exactly is the difference?.
Mindfulness is derived from ancient meditation practices and utilises the same tools that traditional schools use to develop self-awareness and concentration. The tools that are provided with both practices are much the same and include yoga, art therapy, mandala making, deep breathing. diffusion techniques and positivity practices.
Both include the withdrawal of energy and attention from the outside world back into the body to help you focus and both are designed to develop attention and awareness so you can take command of your wandering mind. Both meditation and mindfulness need to be performed regularly in order for them to be effective and they equally provide the benefit of stress relief.
The major differences are really only apparent once you decide to explore classical meditation more closely and become what is known as a seeker. Otherwise, from an entry-level perspective, there is the use of Sanskrit words to describe energy centres and possibly the singing of short versed songs called mantra to help you calm down and focus,
Classical meditation is part of yogic traditions and eastern philosophical and religious schools that are ancient. The art is usually practised in combination with other contemplative practice to aid in the advancement of spiritual enlightenment. Traditional meditation is focused on the withdrawal of energy from the external world with the goal to reverse the flow of energy that usually flows down and out, to inward and upward.
This energy that flows through the spine is called prana and is directed through energy centres called chakras that are positioned along the spine from tailbone to crown. Passing energy through these centres is meant to purify any negative emotions or experiences you may have stored up inside and extinguish any karma ( actions good and bad ) that may hinder your advancement to spiritual enlightenment.
Mindfulness is more about learning to be aware of thoughts and feelings as they arise and developing the skills to diffuse and down-regulate intense feelings and uncomfortable thoughts. It teaches all the same things as mediation like compassion, kindness, self-respect, self-awareness and self-acceptance as well as the skill of concentration and observation but in a format that is cleansed of any cultural identity. It is used as an aid to clinical psychology as the skills assist people who struggle to manage intense emotional fluctuations, stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness is an entry-level version of meditation and has the same benefits for overall health and wellbeing, Mindfulness is more of an aid to enhance our self-awareness and develop skills in emotional management, resilience, self-reliance and stress management, It too leads to a deeper self-awareness, and develops creativity, empathy and appreciation.
Kids and Families
Mindfulness is really great for kids and adolescents as it is more focused on skills that are easily understood and uncomplicated to learn. There aren’t the subjective and abstract concepts of energy direction or words that are unfamiliar like chakras and kundalini so overall it makes it a more accessible tool for kids and families wanting to introduce relaxation strategies into the home.
The exercises and activities are usually a lot shorter than normal meditation so they suit kids and families that are just starting out.
As mindfulness is new classes in the community for kids and families are harder to find – We host online and in school classes that can be booked via the website. We come to schools and to families wanting to learn how to be mindful. Check out The Blog for free resources that you can download.
If you decide to attend a meditation class at any of your local schools you will most likely find regular people there who are looking to learn relaxation skills and connect with like-minded people. Most schools offer entry-level meditation classes that are simple and enjoyable for anyone.
It is very unlikely you will come into contact with any strict or fascist styles of mediation unless you really go looking for it. The whole idea of meditation is to be open and inclusive so everyone can benefit.
Going to a class is a really great idea because you will meet other people who have similar goals in health and lifestyle. The support of a group helps you to maintain a regular practice and most communities are brimming with wonderful compassionate people.
Medtiation on your own is a lot harder if you haven’t had a teacher to guide you. One of the biggest obstacles you will encounter is your own mind and it can sometimes spew out some really stinky stuff so having the guidance of a teacher is helpful.
This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice.
If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.
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