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  • Writer's pictureBeth Gibney

Mindfulness vs. Meditation

The most common question I get is “What is mindfulness? Is it the same as meditation?”


Here’s how I describe these concepts…


WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?


“Mindfulness is choosing to be present, on purpose, without judgment,” is my gentle variation of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition.


When we choose to be mindful, we are choosing to be aware. There are many, many ways to be aware in the present instead of leaning into the future or past.


We can be mindful:

  • Of our breath

  • Of a scent, taste, touch, sight or sound

  • On a walk

  • In motion

  • While roasting a marshmallow

  • With someone we love

WHAT IS MEDITATION?


There are many styles of meditation and a practitioner of each style might answer that question differently! Here are 5 styles of meditation at the tip of the iceberg.


I define meditation as "...moving from activity into stillness.” That’s my gentle variation of Roger Gabriel’s and Chopra’s definition. Of course, meditation can take us further too. Past stillness, beyond the mind and body, and into the truth of who we really are: beings who are already eternal, whole and complete. Meditation leads us to higher levels of consciousness.


In meditation we choose to be in “The Now,” author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle states. The Now is a powerful place to be. Why we avoid the Now is long topic for another email!


Deepak Chopra offers an inspiring invitation to Learn the Wisdom of Now and practice both mindfulness and meditation.


WHAT DO I TEACH?


  1. I teach mindfulness meditation in Mindful Help for Anxiety, Stress and Pain. These practices train the mind to focus and ease us into stillness. They can be used in preparation for meditation or just to feel great! Meditation is not a requirement for all humans at all times of life.

  2. I lead mindfulness meditation and guided meditation on Wednesdays, typically including a guided imagery experience. I always begin with a centering experience and breath work, then add techniques to help us be present (mudras, mantras) before moving into meditation.

  3. I also teach mantra meditation, or sound meditation, which my preferred personal practice. I teach two types: Primordial Sound Meditation, as I learned through my Chopra Meditation Teacher Certification and Mantra meditation using mala beads as I learned from hours of studying Thomas Ashley Farrand’s work.

Beth sits on a white couch with eyes closed in meditation. Her thumbs and first fingers touch on each hand.
Beth sits in meditation


Any questions? If so, let me know!


Beth

 

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