How to jump on the meditation bandwagon
Maybe you’re new to mindfulness, or maybe you’re a seasoned vet of meditation — either way, there are things you have inevitably wondered about the practice of regular meditation. Today, we’ll dig those thoughts out of you and address them out in the open – because we are all thinking them!
To get started, let’s break down the difference between meditation and mindfulness.
Meditation involves training the mind, inducing a mode of consciousness to reflect, or to allow the mind to recognize its comfort in simply doing ‘nothing’
Mindfulness intentional, accepting, and non-judgmental focus of one’s attentions on emotions, thoughts, and sensations of the present
The difference? In their common form (sitting) – there is no difference. Though their origins drastically differ, they both involve the practice of breathing and detaching from our thoughts. Where they separate is in functionality – mindfulness can be applied to every day life, where as meditation is a practice that involves sitting contemplation.
As for those things you’ve been dying to know, here are 3 of the most common thoughts of mindfulness (and what you should really think!)
#1: There is no way I can sit still for more than 2 minutes. I have things to do, and sitting still is a waste of time.
THINK AGAIN! Sure, sitting for longer durations of time will take work – but it is possible. Start small…on day one, start with 5 minutes of sitting quietly. If you are successful with that, try to push it an extra two minutes the next day. Keep pushing it forward to aim for 10-15 minutes per day. And waste of time? Think again! Meditation and mindfulness have countless positive effects on your day – what you get out of that 15 minutes is going to be far more than what you may’ve missed doing in that time.
#2: No matter how hard I try, my mind always wanders when I try to focus. It is impossible to stop my mind from racing.
Think back to the definition of mindfulness we just gave you. Don’t be hard on yourself – that is most definitely the opposite of the purpose of the practice. When you notice that your mind has wandered, recognize it and bring your mind back to focus on meditating. This might happen once in your practice, or several times – your ability isn’t in how long you can quiet your mind. It is instead in mastering non-judgmental focus to your attention, emotions, and thoughts.
#3: People talk about meditating and mindfulness, but I think it is just a phase. It seems to be a trend all of the sudden.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years dating back to 1500 BCE. In more recent years, the practice has become more widespread in some western cultures, which contributed to the move towards practicing mindfulness, over meditation. The recent growth is a result of increased public discussion of the benefits of mindfulness, an increased interest in finding balance, and countless public figures expressing their personal gains from the practice. Will the trend and uptake continue? Who knows…but what we do know is that the benefits just keep adding up, so this is one bandwagon you’ll want to jump aboard!
What other thoughts have you had about meditation?