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What’s the Difference Between Meditation and Mindfulness

meditating

We live during a time where Eastern philosophy is beginning to seep into the mainstream Western way of life. Words like mindfulness and meditation are becoming everyday terms in Western colloquialism. The question becomes: Are these words interchangeable?

Because these terms are often used in a similar context, confusion about the differences between mindfulness and meditation is understandable. There are many ways to define, describe, and practice both, and their practical applications are incredibly intertwined.

Mindfulness and meditation embody many similarities and can overlap, but they are not exactly the same. Let’s take a closer look.

Meditation

Meditation typically refers to formal, seated meditation practice. There are many types of meditation—those that focus on opening your heart, expanding your awareness, calming your mind, experiencing inner peace, and the list goes on. Here are some examples:

  • Breath-awareness meditation
  • Loving-kindness meditation
  • Mantra-based meditation
  • Visualization meditation
  • Guided meditation

Meditation is an intentional practice, where you focus inward to increase calmness, concentration, and emotional balance. Seated meditation usually begins with deep breathing in a comfortable position, bringing all your awareness to your breath—inhales and exhales—consciously guiding the mind toward an anchor, or a single point of focus. In meditation, you typically spend a focused chunk of time—anywhere from a minute to an hour or more—in which you are tuned inward.

At the Chopra Center, we teach Primordial Sound Meditationa specific type of mantra-based meditation, and recommend meditating for 30 minutes at a time, if possible. If that’s not possible for your schedule, any amount of time will help you find your center.

Simple Mantra Meditation: So Hum

Try this seated meditation with whatever time you have available.

  • Close your eyes and take one full minute to settle in by taking a few deep, cleansing breaths.
  • Start to repeat the mantra So Hum to yourself silently, slowly synching the rhythm of your breath to the mantra.
  • As you inhale, silently repeat the word “So“.
  • As you exhale, silently repeat the word “Hum“.
  • Continue breathing slowly and aligning your mantra to your breath, being careful not to rush your breath if you notice your mantra speeding up.
  • Each time you notice your mind wander, simply draw your attention back to the mantra So Hum.
  • When your time is up, gently release the mantra, taking a moment to sit quietly before opening your eyes.

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being aware, which of course includes the practice of meditation. When you are being actively mindful, you are noticing and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and movements, and also to the effects you have on those around you.

You can practice mindfulness anytimeanywhere, and with anyone by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now. Mindfulness is the simple act of paying attention and noticing and being present in whatever you’re doing. When most people go about their daily lives, their minds wander from the actual activity they are participating in, to other thoughts or sensations. When you’re mindful, you are actively involved in the activity with all of your senses instead of allowing your mind to wander.

Mindfulness can be practiced both informally (at any time/place) and formally (during seated meditation). Where meditation is usually practiced for a specific amount of time, mindfulness can be applied to any situation throughout the day.

It can be difficult for the human mind to stay in the present moment. In fact, a recent study at Harvard found that people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing. This kind of mindlessness is the norm, as the mind spends its time focused on the past (in regret mode), the future (in worry mode), and trying out should have’s and what if’s. The study also found that allowing the brain to run on auto-pilot like this can make people unhappy. “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” the researchers said.

This is where mindfulness can help. Here’s an example of an informal mindfulness practice you can try at any time of the day:

5 Senses Practice

Any time you complete a simple task—like brushing your teeth or washing your dishes, tune into your five senses—sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. For each sense, name two to three examples of the things you notice as you complete the task.

For example, when you’re brushing your teeth, you may notice:

  • The flavor of the paste on your tongue.
  • The smell of the paste coming through your nostrils.
  • The cooling sensations.
  • The way the toothbrush moves over your teeth and gums.
  • The sounds of the bristles moving back and forth in your mouth.
  • Your reflection in the bathroom mirror and the lighting in the bathroom.
  • The tingling sensation of the paste on your gums and teeth.

This practice will help you tune into your surroundings and increase your present-moment awareness. If you practice this with everyday activities—even those you have done a thousand times—you will begin to notice new things about the space you are in.

As you can see, you are practicing mindfulness during formal meditation, and a formal meditation practice supports and enriches your ability to be mindful in your everyday life. When you practice focusing on one thing at a time during seated meditation, it allows you to bring more focus, presence, and mindfulness into every other part of your life.


This summer, join Oprah and Deepak for a free online meditation journey to follow your passion and discover your purpose. Energy of Attraction starts July 23. Register for free.


Thanks to our Guest Author, Melissa Eisler
About the Author
woman smiling

Melissa Eisler

Certified Leadership & Career Coach, Yoga & Meditation Instructor, Author
Melissa is the Senior Content Strategist at the Chopra Center. Also an ICF Certified Leadership and Career Coach (ACC) and certified meditation and yoga instructor, she is passionate about motivating people to live a healthy, balanced, and purposeful life. You can learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at MelissaEisler.com . Melissa is also the author of The Type A’s Guide to Mindfulness: Meditation for Busy Minds and Busy People , a practical guide for new meditators in the modern world, and the creator of mindfulminutes.com , a…Read more
Hope you enjoyed this article. To order my book on Meditation please use link below for In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation
Peacefully Jane,

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I discovered long ago that love is answer to all my problems!  But…being loving every minute of the day is the challenge!  With all the unsettling world news, each day can throw me into worry about the future.  I do not let myself be in a state of fear for very long. I retreat to my inner thoughts, close my eyes, breathe in and out, meditate, find a place within that is quiet and be there even if it is only for a few minutes.  This way I can bring myself back into the present moment, be mindful and grateful.

So there are two important things I do each day to shift me into feeling peaceful -first, stay in the present moment where I can create and make choices for my day and secondly, stay in love…with me, my spouse and family and friends and my community.

I changed the name ‘A Peaceful Way’ for my programs from a Peaceful Path, because I got to a place in my life when I realized that my life was not about a ‘pathway’ but about how I was creating and living on the pathway.  I had to decide what is my ‘way’ of living.  When I was ordained as a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking, I made a vow to live in peace.  I thought I could fulfill that vow easily. However, life threw me unexpected challenges in relationships, health problems and life events.  I had days where I wasn’t feeling any peace because of expectations that didn’t happen or conflicts in relationships…pressures of daily life, raising a family, finances etc!!

My husband supported my view of a ‘peaceful life’ too, but we found we had different views and needs that would rise up.  But we both wanted peace in our lives.  We wanted to grow old and be happy.  So that meant both of us had to make some changes!!  I think we have evolved to a very nice place, not always perfectly peaceful, but where we have space for each of us to grow, create and experience a peaceful, heart centered way.

There is a third shift I would like to share with you.  My greatest shift I had years ago was when I began to trust in the unfolding mystery of the universe.  I cannot remember how I began to trust that my life was guided.  This meant I trusted in the abundance of the universe and that the right person or event would occur at the right time. I learned I had to be open and allow my intuition to guide me. I think I knew from a young child, but I discovered that being grateful and loving were the keys that allowed me to move on and be successful.

So here I am at 72 years old, feeling like 25 years old, enjoying my passions!  I know I am getting older but inside I feel so young!  Sometimes it shocks me when someone treats me like I am old lady…LOL…

So I hope you have some shifts to create peace in your life…stay in the present moment, stay in love, trust your intuition, and live in gratitude.

Peacefully, Jane

cropped-jane2-469x640Jane Rosalea Brown,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

Author ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation Author name Jane Rosalea Booth

above photo artist unknown

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Dear Friends,

I invite you to a workshop series called “Conscious Aging”that is truly transformative for those who are willing to discover a new view of aging.  It will give you the ways and practices you need for happiness and contentment as you age. There is a positive way and vision that can change your life!  Enjoy a relaxed setting where we share in conversations with others, enjoy inspirations for reflection from articles, music, poetry and other creative activities.

I learned so much about aging from the Conscious Aging program. I discovered some of my limiting views of aging that I could change. Now, I can move through my aging process with greater ease and comfort with less fear and anxiety. I am excited about sharing this program with you.  It has changed my view of aging from seeing the media view of aging as downward slope to an enriching time with freedom and a time to enjoy what has heart and meaning to me.

Join me this fall for a new series beginning Oct.6/16 !  Register today! Please visit Conscious Aging website for more details about the program series.

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Meaford Lifestyle Fall  2016 Program

Conscious Aging Workshops Series

  Cultivate Wisdom, Connect with Others,

Celebrate Life

With Jane Brown Robertson

Authorized IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

The IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) Conscious Aging is a program that offers you a profound new vision of just what it means to grow older. This renewed awareness helps you to recognize the rich potential you can tap into at midlife and beyond. That is why we say conscious aging is better aging 

Discover what it means to age consciously and how there is a big difference between simply becoming old and aging consciously.

Do you find yourself struggling with some of the challenges of aging?

  • Would you like to explore the possibility of turning the challenges of aging into opportunities for growth?

  • Are you curious about the gifts of aging?

  • Would you like to connect to a like-minded community?

 If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then the Conscious Aging Workshop is for you!

Register today for Fall 2016 Conscious Aging  Workshops

Please register by Sept.15th to have workbooks for 1st session.

To Register:  Contact: Amber Knott 519 538-1060 ext. 1200 

email:  aknott@meaford.ca

Supervisor, Recreation Programs , Municipality of Meaford

Location:  Meaford & St. Vincent Community Centre & Arena

Date:  Every  Thursday afternoons beginning October 6th – November 24th, 2016

Time:  1:00 pm.- 3:30 pm.

Fee: $130.00  8 workshops, includes 118 Page Workbook

$20.00 per workshop if registered individually (workbook not included)

$30.00 workbook Conscious Aging a Self-Reflections and Conversation Circles Guide” created by IONS (sold only to workshop participants who register for individual workshops)

 An 118-page workbook has been produced as a companion to the Conscious Aging program. Developed by Kathleen Erickson-Forder, Elder Education Program Manager with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), this workshop has been field-tested and tremendously well received across a broad range of settings in the United States and Canada.

conscious-agingworkbook Please visit Conscious Aging website for more details about the program series.

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As an IONS Authorized Conscious Aging Facilitator, Jane Rosalea Brown (formerly Booth-Robertson), BA, CSW is honored to support you on this rich and meaningful journey. These workshops are available to individuals (private sessions), groups and organizations. 

Follow Jane on Twitter @janerbooth

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To live without fear is to live in the present moment with love and compassion.”

How we deal with our fears determines how we view our world.  Our world view determines how we make choices about how we live.  Our fears affect all parts of us…emotions, physical health, mental wellness, spiritual growth.  What we fear may be rooted from our past or something we are afraid might happen to us in the future.  They seem very real to us and can control our thoughts and actions.  However, if we realize that fears are our ‘what if’s’ in life it helps us to move through them and release their power over us.  By learning to release them is a huge step to healing and well-being.

However, learning to release our fears can sometimes be difficult especially if we are feeling alone and not sure what our next step should be.  This is when being in the present moment is so important.  It is only in the present moment that we can create change by shifting our present view.  For example, you may have an exam or test to complete.  Your fear is that you will fail.  In the present moment, you have not failed.  You can make the choice to study and learn as much as you can.  In the present moment, you can relax, enjoy your studies, focus on what you need to learn and only hold thoughts of success.  If the thought of failing comes in, take a deep breath, acknowledge your fear and release it.  Replace it with a positive image of your success.  I had this deep fear of failure for years.  I did not think I was smart enough to go to university.  It took me till I was 40 years old before I took the steps to try some university courses.  I put aside my fears of failing and began my studies.  Two years later, I had completed my degree…and graduated on the Dean’s Honour roll!!!

So I learned to overcome my fears by focusing in the present moment.  I had a dream of completing university and I worked hard to make it come true.  I learned that my fears were truly my ‘what if’s’ and that they are my made up thoughts…not what was really happening in the present moment.

Once you realize that you can create your future from your thoughts and feelings, life can begin to change.   There is always a new way to look at life where we can feel love and compassion for ourselves and others and this love is only created in the present moment.

So I began to open my heart to discover more about myself and to live in the present moment, instead of worrying so much about the future.  I felt grateful for what I had in my life and this made me feel much better.  Through my meditations I found wisdom about how to live more fully.  Life is ever changing with new challenges but meditation, connecting with Spirit, helps me through and keeps me balanced and peaceful through difficult times.

Mindfulness means to be present to what is, rather than losing ourselves in thoughts of what is no longer or what has not yet come. Mindfulness is an awakening to life, a nonjudgmental awareness of the wonder of the present moment.” ~ Joan Borysenko

Blessings of inner peace and love,

Jane

 

 

11709538_10152829565162303_6161609573751527717_nJane Booth Robertson,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

IN SILENCE FRONT COVER smAuthor ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

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Conscious Aging Workshops

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Take a break today to relax and calm. Here is an inner peace  meditation video that will guide you.

Begin by…

Still your mind

Breathe gently

Move into your heart space…

Listen to your heart

It will show you the way…to infinite peace.

Inner Peace Meditation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzubK3orrso

Today is Boxing Day in Canada where we tidy up after the Christmas celebration and enjoy time with our family and are grateful for our Christmas blessings.  It is also a huge shopping day in the stores with lots of sales!!! Whatever you are doing today enjoy the present moment by filling it with love – for yourself and others.

Peacefully, Jane

Jane Rosalea Booth, BA, CSW, M.Div. USUI Reiki Master

Author of In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Inner Peace Reiki

 

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A Time for Mindful Living

The concept of being mindful comes from Buddhism.  Mindfulness means to be aware of what is going on.  It means to be ready to encounter life in the present moment.  Mindfulness is our inherent capacity of healing and renewal.  It is the basis for transforming ourselves and creating a more harmonious family and society.  To be mindful is to be aware of what is going on in our body, in our feelings, in our mind and in the world, as we avoid doing harm to ourselves and others.  With mindfulness we are fully present in each eternal moment.

Conscious breathing

With the help of conscious breathing – breathing and knowing we are breathing – we are able to touch and be nourished by the peace and joy that are available within and around us, in the here and now.  With continued practice, we shall touch and understand the roots of pain that lie deep within us, as fear, anger, despair, thus making transformation and healing possible.  The primary focus is your breathing.  However, the primary goal is maintaining a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts, feeling and sensations to com and go without getting enmeshed in them. This calm, accepting, spacious awareness is your Core Self…your Essence.  Your Essence is your authentic Self, your sacred heart.

Breathing – Thich Nhat Hanh – Ref” The Lotus Blossom

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out”

Begin by paying attention to only your breath.  Stop thinking of other things in the past or future.  Begin to be where your body is.  Begin to have the awareness of the body and mind as one.  Experience the oneness of body and mind and begin to be truly yourself.  Breathe consciously.  When we are not fully in the present moment, we cannot see things deeply and clearly.  When we think clearly, we make ourselves available to others.  We begin to be aware.

A practice of Love

The practice of mindfulness is the practice of love.  Mindfulness relieves suffering because it is filled with understanding and compassion.  When our mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers. We unite and evolve in love…

Peacefully, Jane

Jane Rosalea Booth, BA, CSW. M.Div

USUI Reiki Master

The Golden Light Centre for Well-Being

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation  Available on www.amazon.ca or order directly from Jane e-mail: goldenlightcentre@rogers.com

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By Guest Writer Jessica Sweet
  • Posted on August 4, 2012 by in Blog, Where to start
  • Knowing is not enough, we must apply; Willing is not enough, we must do.”  Goethe

    No matter how much you know, if you don’t apply self-improvement principles to your life, they get you nowhere.  So today, lets stop our never-ending quest for new information, and look at these 10 tried-and-true oldies but goodies.  These are things you already know.  But if you focus on them, you will truly change your life.

    1. Practice Kindness. Be kind to yourself and to others. Don’t judge, be mean, hurt or bully. Practice the course of kindness. When you feel a mean thought come up in your mind (whether it is toward someone else or toward yourself), work to curb it. Always be kind in your actions. Kindness can perform miracles.

    2. The present moment is all you have. The past is gone, the future hasn’t arrived. Being mindful in THIS moment is the only way to bring peace into your life. This one is hard for me to implement because (like most of you) I suffer from wanting to plan my future and  from the emotional attachment that goes along with it. Breathe. Meditate. Let go. Keep at it. . .

    3. Listen to Yourself. Your GPS is programmed directly toward bliss, but you’ll only get there if you follow it. It’s easy to get sidetracked. We say yes when we mean no, we are afraid, we think ourselves silly – and so we ignore it. Tune into your intuition and your inner voice. Applying this one small change will have a quantam effect on your life!

    4. Do Your Best. I remember this one best from the Four Agreements. Do your best in whatever you do. Apply yourself, learn, grow. Give everything what you’ve got to give. (Hint: If you’ve listened to yourself, this one becomes easier, because you’ll find yourself increasingly in situations you’ve said YES to.)

    5. Believe in Yourself. If you believe, you will be able to do whatever you want to do in life. If you believe, you’ll be unaffected by anyone who tells you that you can’t. If you believe, you’ll be less afraid and better able to stay true to yourself and what you’re really after.

    6. Be Positive. We all spend so much ENERGY avoiding negative feelings. One of the best ways to do this is to conciously work on staying positive. A positive attitude is it’s own reward, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Your positive attitude will make others want to be around you, and will send all kinds of good vibes your way. Whether you explain it in terms of Law Of Attraction principles, or if you have a more earth-bound philosophy, it doesn’t matter. You will see that a sunny outlook attracts more sunshine into your life.

    7. Chill. Just relax. It’s going to be ok. Relaxing is great for your health and great for your mind. You can think more clearly, your blood pressure goes down, and you can let go of whatever was bugging you. So find a healthy way to relax.

    8. Set Your Intentions. Spend time planning your life. Plan your near-term goals. Create a bucket list. DECIDE what you want, or your life will just happen to you without your input, leaving you feeling like you’re barely out of the gate when the race is nearly done. Set your intentions and then make a plan for achieving them.

    9. Remember: You Are Awesome. I mean this literally. Being the mom of two kids, I constantly marvel at how their little bodies just knew how to form (two eyes, one mouth, a tongue, eyelashes). Perfection. Every being really is an awesome creation. So stop feeling so unlovable, unworthy, and powerless. It’s just not so.

    10. Don’t Be Afraid. Really, what could possibly go wrong? If you know that you can handle anything that could happen (and you can), that failure is part of the process, that pain is part of the lesson, then you can work to let go of fear. Fear stinks. It’s a terrible feeling to hold onto, but its effects in our lives may be even worse. Because of fear, we lose our potential to do whatever we are here to do, and we never get to share the gifts we are here to share.

    None of these 10 things are new to you. But focus on them. Practice. Learn more about each one. Do what you need to do to implement them in your life. I promise that through practice, and not just the endless pursuit of NEW and MORE and BETTER information your life will begin to shift.

    The answers might be right here.

    What do you think? What things do we already know but we need to DO?

    Thanks Jessica for sharing your article.  It is wonderful that we already “know”. Mediatation will help you to remember who you are and discover all your wisdom from within.  

    Jessica Sweet, LICSW is a life coach and social worker specializing in helping people live lives full of meaning, purpose and passion. She coaches via phone and can work with you no matter where you live.

    Peacefully Jane,

    Jane Rosalea Booth

    Author of In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

    Reiki Master  Inner Peace Reiki

    Golden Light Centre – New Fall Peaceful Path Services

     

     

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