Mindfulness vs Meditation: Is it the same thing?


image by mindfulness, from Flickr

One of the solutions that is often suggested to cope with our hectic lifestyles is meditation.  When I think of meditation in the traditional sense of the word, I think of sitting cross legged perhaps at the beginning or end of a yoga session and focusing your mind on the present.  Although meditation can have many interpretations, I would assume that this is the definition that comes to mind for the majority of us.

If then asked what is the definition of mindfulness, I am not sure what the response would be.  Mindfulness takes the concept of meditation and extends it a step further.  In Mindfulness, A Contemplative Approach to Living in the Moment, mindfulness is defined as the “quality of dwelling in harmony with the present moment.  Mindfulness is more than a technique—rather a way of being in the world.”  It is about not only an awareness of what is taking place in the present moment, but an acceptance of whatever it is that may be taking place.

The intent of mindfulness is not to focus on only good thoughts or change those that are bad but rather to simply observe and accept all present thoughts and then let them go their way.

Do you think there is a difference between meditation and mindfulness?  Why do we hear the term mindfulness so infrequently?  Love to hear your thoughts on this….



image by mindfulness, from Flickr


3 thoughts on “Mindfulness vs Meditation: Is it the same thing?

  1. Hi Laurie,
    I’m not sure I understand the definition of mindfulness. Thinking about your post, I tried to practice mindfulness today, while waiting in the wrong line at the LCBO. Limited success. Could you please tell us more about how to achieve it?

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      It is always about the journey, isn’t it? Stay tunded for more insight and clarification in my next post.
      Coming soon!

  2. Hi Laurie,
    I have been attempting to meditate this week while away (alone I might add) at my cottage. I am interested in calming my mind and living in a more peaceful way yet I resist the discipline of clearing my head space. I have been listening to Tibetan Meditation Music which sets the mood. Perhaps this is a first step. Thanks for prompting me to try this on. As for the difference, I have heard of mindfulness meditation so maybe they are the same thing. I’m sure that is too simple an answer so I look forward to your clarification.

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