Mind, Meditation, Meaning. . .
Mindfulness and meditation are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same. Still, both practices can be intertwined as we try to become more grounded and self-aware in our lives. Mindfulness is the mental state in which you focus your awareness on the present. Meditation is a tool we can use to develop a regular practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being present in the moment without judgment. That means you’re not dwelling on a past problem at work or projecting into the future about a family vacation you still need to buy plane tickets for.When you’re mindful, you can acknowledge your emotions, but you’re not being critical or stressing yourself out. Being mindful also means paying attention to your breathing and the sensations in your body. You’re totally living in the “now.”
You don’t have to sit in a lotus position or practice any of the various forms of meditation we mentioned in order to be mindful. If you have no interest in meditating, there are other ways to embrace mindfulness. Deepak Chopra says, “When you are consciously bringing your wandering mind back to the present moment,” you are developing mindfulness.
To practice mindfulness, start by noticing your everyday life through your senses:
- Savor that delicious dark chocolate as you eat slowly.
- Listen to the birds as you walk to your car.
- Look at the sunset and appreciate it.
- Feel how happy you are after hugging your partner.
Whatever you’re doing at work or at home, set your intention to doing one thing at a time. Engage fully in whatever activity it is without distractions or interruptions. So, if you’re working on an important report for your boss, don’t check your social media and then make a phone call about the office Christmas party. Engage fully in one activity as it’s happening. That’s being mindful.
Another way you can practice mindfulness is through mindful eating. At night, we might watch a Netflix movie while we eat dinner. We’re not paying attention to the food or taking time to enjoy it. Mindful eating requires us to slow down and pay attention to our food’s textures and flavors. Then check in to see if we’re full. With mindful eating, we are aligned with the experience of eating and enjoying a good meal.
Meditation is a tool or practice employed to cultivate mindfulness. Meditation is an intentional practice that calms you down, helps you concentrate on being aware, and helps you achieve emotional balance.It often begins with a dedicated focus on deep breathing. Deep breathing activates the vagus nerve, which regulates digestion, heart rate as well as respiratory rate.
You are not limited to one way of meditating. You can choose from a variety of meditations if you are seeking to begin a practice. Here is a list of popular kinds of meditation:
- Breath-awareness meditation: This involves your focus on different breathing techniques.
- Loving-kindness meditation: This involves your focus on yourself and loved ones while thinking kind and caring thoughts
- Mantra-based meditation: This involves chanting a word or phrase, aloud or in your mind.
- Visualization meditation: This involves using mental imagery for relaxation and to calm your mind.
- Movement meditation: This involves focusing on body parts and movement as you take a walk.
- Body-scan meditation: This involves scanning the body and noticing physical sensations.
- Focus meditation: This involves focusing attention on a specific object, sound or your breathing.
These two practices or mindfulness and meditation can work together. They can bring much clarity and insight to our everyday lives and experiences – we only need to begin.
Peace and Love, Jim
#meditation #mindful #thedailybuddha