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Difference Between Mindfulness And Meditation

What Is the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?

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Meta: You have heard about mindfulness, but what is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? Can you use these techniques to improve your life?

The difference between mindfulness and meditation probably isn't something you heard about in your favorite yoga studio. While every alternative medicine practitioner and Instagram yogi talks about mindfulness, they are not always clear on what they mean or how it relates to meditation. In many cases, these terms are even used interchangeably. While there are certainly some similarities between the two, there is also a difference between mindfulness and meditation.

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Today, meditation is used as a way to improve healthy living, reduce stress and relax. While it is primarily meant to focus the mind and bring you to enlightenment, these other goals are perfectly fine ones as well.

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Meditation is essentially an umbrella term. It includes basically any practice that helps concentration and reaching enlightenment. In a sense, it includes techniques for self-regulating the mind and your desires. This means that meditation can include a number of different practices like love, compassion, mindfulness, breathing, emptiness, tantra or patience.

Mindfulness is just one type of meditation. It is the act of focusing on the present moment. Normally, human beings are constantly thinking about what they plan on doing, who said what, the past and where they want to go tonight. With mindfulness, the entire goal is to focus on existing in the present moment. Because of this, you can do mindfulness at any time. If you are drinking tea, focus entirely on the scent, taste and tactile sense of drinking tea. If you are doing yoga, feel exactly the sensations of your body without thinking about the future or
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This type of mindfulness meditation is known as shamatha in Buddhism. It basically forces you to focus on the present because you have to continue to follow the inhale and exhale of your breath. You can be mindful of the way you eat, taking a shower, driving to work or enjoying quiet time with your spouse. Every moment in every day is an opportunity to practice mindfulness. In Buddhism, the Buddha realized that focusing on just his breath allowed him to accurately perceive reality and attain enlightenment.

In more recent years, Thich Nhat Hanh (a Buddhist monk from Vietnam) became known across the world for teaching about mindfulness. Later on, one of his students started a school in the United States for reducing stress and improving health through mindfulness. Because of this work, mindfulness developed a reputation for helping people live healthier, less stressful lives.

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