What Are the Differences Between Mindfulness, Mindfulness Meditation, and Other Types of Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a more formal practice of mindfulness, in which you consciously zone in on, or focus your attention on, specific thoughts or sensations, then observe them in a non-judgmental manner.
This is just one type of meditation; there are many forms available, each with different techniques and purposes.
Transcendental meditation, for instance, is one of the most popular forms of meditation, practiced by millions of people around the world. It's simple to perform.
You choose a mantra that has meaning for you, sit quietly with your eyes closed, and repeat your mantra for a period of about 20 minutes, twice a day.
The idea is to reach a place of "restful" or "concentrated" alertness, which enables you to let negative thoughts and distractions pass by you without upsetting your calm and balance.
Some aspects of mindfulness, mindfulness meditation, and other forms of meditation overlap, and that's OK. For instance, focusing your mind on your breath is one of the most basic – and most rewarding – relaxation and meditation/mindfulness strategies there is.
As explained by mindfulness coach Ira Israel in The Huffington Post
"There is often confusion because focusing the attention on the breath can be both a Basic Meditation and a Mindfulness Meditation. However, I believe the distinction lies in the intention: if you're focusing on the breath to transcend your ego and realize your inner divinity, then that is Basic Meditation.
… [I]f you're focusing on your breath to try to harness and train the mind and observe any thoughts that arise non-judgmentally, then that is Mindfulness Meditation…
On a much grander scale, Mindfulness is a way of being, a way of living day-to-day consciously and mindfully, of which the ultimate goal is to help us consciously make healthy long-term, loving, peaceful, and compassionate choices, and have all of our actions and reactions reflect those choices.
… [T]he intention of Basic Meditation is to trick the mind into releasing itself, trick the mind into giving the thinking apparatus a rest, so that we can realize our Higher Selves, our essential oneness with whatever we consider to be divine.
On the other hand, the intention of Mindfulness Meditation is secular; namely, to train the mind, in the same way that we would lift weights to strengthen a muscle, to be able to concentrate – and avoid weakly wandering around on autopilot – for longer and longer periods of time."
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He lays out a relatively straightforward plan in which by practicing mindfulness, we as individual citizens can improve our mental and physical health, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce crime, improve our educational systems, and help our military enhance their performance.
Practicing mindfulness meditation, Ryan says, has quieted the nattering internal narrative, making him more relaxed, focused and compassionate. Now 39, the five-term congressman is enlisting teachers, doctors, business leaders, scientists and military personnel in a “quiet revolution” to bring mindfulness to the masses.
A copy of this book ‘A Mindful Nation’ was presented to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Edward Davey MP for Kingston, New Malden and Surbiton on Friday 27 April 2012.
There’s a new search program at Google, but one without a magic algorithm. This program lets you search inside yourself so you can find, well, yourself. Cleverly titled “Search Inside Yourself,” it’s a free course Google provides employees that is designed to teach emotional intelligence through meditation, a practical real-world meditation you take with you wherever you go.
The program was reported in the NY Times - It’s a rock-solid business-friendly mindfulness course in three acts: train your attention, develop self-knowledge and self-mastery, and create useful mental habits.
That Google takes care of the minds of its employees should not surprise. Companies that fly high are learning to take care of their own, and the perks need to be more than free beverages and foosball tables. This is especially true at Google.
Shamash Alidina has published a brand new book ‘Mindfulness For Dummies’ which comes with a guided mindfulness meditation CD featuring narrated meditations and exercises.
Currently a Number 1 bestseller on Amazon UK’s in the meditation category. Mindfulness has taken off across the globe as a way of overcoming negative thoughts and emotions and achieving a calmer, more focused state of mind.
Written by a professional mindfulness trainer, this practical guide covers the key techniques designed to help achieve a more focused and more contented state of mind, while increasing the chance of some health benefits of mindfulness – from reducing stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure to overcoming depression and low self-esteem and battling chronic pain and insomnia.