Meditation -Is mindfulness and meditation the same thing?

meditating-1170645.jpg

There is a growing trend out there in favour of mindfulness. In this blog we will be celebrating this trend and diving deeper into what meditation is and how we can be more mindful. But just what is this beast and how does it relate to meditation? Dictionaries suggest that mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” or “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Others talk about being “continuously present with experience,” or “maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness.”

Mindfulness seems to resemble the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant. Each grabbed a separate part of the elephant and declared that elephants were like a rope (he grabbed the tail), a tree (he grabbed the leg), a wall (he ran into the elephants side), a hose (he touched the trunk), etc. etc.  So much of what has been written about mindfulness is so different from each other that we are left wondering if we are talking about the same object. Some people advocate running mindfully, while others talk about being still. Some people talk about mindfully “surfing” our emotions and accepting difficult circumstances or states such as withdrawal, fear, or hunger. Others advocate using mindfulness to change negative moods or thought processes. One could be forgiven for retreating in confusion. But rather than leaving the topic hopelessly snarled let’s talk a bit about what we are looking at and see if there is indeed an elephant behind all these different bits.