meditation vs mindfulness

Meditation was best defined by the Dalai Lama as 'the process whereby we gain control over the mind and guide it in a more virtuous direction'.

Earlier this month I talked about Mindfulness - the act of focusing on being in the present. But how does this differ from meditation?  Mindfulness is actually a form of meditation.  

There are many forms of meditation apart from Mindfulness, including Transcendental Meditation.  In this kind of meditation a mantra or series of Sanskrit words may be used to help the mind find stillness. According to Deepak Chopra the word mantra can be broken down into two parts: “man” which means mind, and “tra” which means transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind. 

Other forms of meditation include:
  • Zen.  This literally means seated meditation.  Zen emphasises Buddhist teachings on the attainment of enlightenment through Sutras (scriptures or teachings) which are taught through the interaction with an accomplished teacher.
  • Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM).  A personal mantra is calculated based on your time and place of birth and is repeated silently. 
  • Spiritual.  Similar to prayer.  Silent reflections seek a deeper connection with God.
  • Kundalini Yoga.  A range of meditation techniques are used to support the mind, and guide the body through the use of focus, breath, mantra and mudra (hand position).
  • Focused.  Uses any of the five senses, e.g. listening to a gong.
  • Movement.  This practice may include walking, gardening - where the movement guides you.

If you'd like to know more about the history of meditation then check out the great infographic on the Chopra Center website.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra


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