What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is awareness of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and processes in the here-and-now, moment-by-moment. It is being aware of how you may be feeling, what emotions and sensations are coming up for you and that awareness leading to an acceptance of such thoughts, however positive or negative they may be. Mindfulness encourages participants to understand that nobody is ever wrong with their thoughts, feelings or internal processes.
Mindful practice has come largely from Buddhist and Eastern teachings and has become more mainstream and Westernised since the early 2000’s, from people like Jon Kabat-Zinn, who largely incorporated mindful practice into modern-day psychology.
There are many types of mindful practice. You just have to have a look on Google, Youtube or other internet-based searches and there are countless ways to practice mindfulness.
Generally, mindfulness is seen differently from meditation. Mindfulness is seen as a way of being and being in the moment mindfully, and meditation is just one, deeper way of practicing being mindful.
What is Meditation?
Meditation allows a deeper practice into thoughts, and consciousness than in mindfulness-based work. Meditation often involves going into deeper states of subconscious and unconscious states. Often relaxation is involved and participants may chant, lie down, or sit still for a period of time for meditative practice.
Meditation can help to build your energy. Buddhists suggest meditation helps you to develop more compassion, love, patience, gratitude and forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness. There are many loving kindness and compassionate meditations that are practiced by meditation participants.
Meditation goes further than mindful practice to assist to clear the mind. Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and your mind processes. Meditation goes further to allow your repetitive thoughts or ways of being to completely leave your mind.
Meditation involves a process of going deeper into your mind-heart process and finding yourself through that.
Meditation can be a way of connecting to the divine in yourself and others - a way of mutual connection to others, yourself and the divine. It is different to prayer, as prayer generally only one-way communication to God or of the divine.
What is Prayer? : Prayer is different to meditation
Prayer is a request of God or the Divine, usually directly speaking with God, Goddess or the divine ultimate energy. Meditation is being in communion with the divine. Christians and Eastern religions do this in similar and different ways. Though prayer is only one-way, as stated above.
Meditative practices in the Christian faith often happens by use of songs, Gregorian chanting and the energy of the church parishioners themselves. Buddhist teaching suggests chanting and ongoing, regular meditation by yourself or in a group assists with being in communion with the divine.
Prayer does not have to be religious, it is just a request of God, the Divine, or your higher power. It is literally handing your problems over to a source greater than yourself.