What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

I often notice these concepts used interchangeably; however, they are different and here’s why it’s important.  

Mindfulness comes from the Buddhist tradition whereas, meditation is a spiritual practice found in both Buddhism and other ancient wisdom traditions such as Vedanta and Yoga.

In mindfulness, one uses their power of observation to develop presence and awareness.

In meditation, one transcends the workings of the mind, such as discernment, concentration, and focus. The goal in meditation is to go beyond the mind to the expanded state of the Self.

Mindfulness can feel like a meditation because it can bring tremendous peace and silence. And meditation can often feel like a mindful practice when the mind is overly active and under stress.

There are many techniques that overlap both practices such as breath work, mantra, focus, affirmations, and visualizations. However, the intention and the process is essentially different.

It’s important to understand the differences in these terms to honour the ancient traditions and to know what you are engaging in.

One’s goal and intention can completely change the experience of a practice. Discernment is developed through both of these practices, and it is a tool that can have the power to transform your life. With great knowledge come great responsibility.

This is what we talk about in 200 hour Yoga teacher Training. Let’s debunk the myths together!

lucy st john meditating on beach

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