Meditation or Mindfulness?
Generally speaking, one could say that meditation refers to the traditional Eastern spiritual practice such as in Dzogchen, whereas mindfulness is the adapted version which has been brought into the West.
The word mindfulness already indicates that awareness is being directed to an object of attention by the psyche. This can be a visual object, a thought, a sound, or any physical sensation. As such, it is a simple and helpful method for most people to stop the stream of thoughts and be able to relax.
When you practice meditation, you simply observe thoughts, feelings, images and bodily sensations as they pass by. All focus is released and attention is turned to consciousness itself. The ultimate goal of meditation is to recognize your true nature and to dwell in it consciously, more and more.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
When we are much in our heads or stressed, our inner peace is absent and we lack a clarity of mind. As a result, we will also be more inclined to react to certain circumstances in an emotional way. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a proven method that calms the mind and reduces stress. The practice of MBSR, in addition to counseling, has proven to be more effective than the use of antidepressant drugs in the treatment of recurring or chronic depression.
The practice of meditation
Everything that appears in the field of one’s awareness is seen and experienced as it is, without wanting to change or judge anything that occurs. This creates, as it were, a ‘distance’ to the thoughts, fears and emotions that present themselves. In other words, we no longer identify with them and they no longer control us. This gives one a sense of freedom and inner peace.
Positive effects of meditation and mindfulness
When we no longer identify with our thoughts, fears and emotions, we will be better able to live by our true nature and by the wisdom of the heart. We can also have a greater sense of quiet and spaciousness in our minds, so that we will able to see our options more clearly and will be less impulsive in our actions. Moreover, it enables us to clearly see and let go of any unwanted imprinted patterns and beliefs.