Mindfulness and meditation have become mainstream topics of conversation over the recent years, with the question on many people’s minds being; what’s the difference between them?
Mindfulness is an exercise to focus your mind. It is a skill you can learn and develop, which will improve your well-being, as well as your performance both at work and when carrying out your daily tasks. Think of it as a training method in order to achieve a sustainable behavioural change, with the results allowing you to experience a rising awareness of your thoughts, feelings, habits and actions, providing you with the ability to rethink your choices and reach your maximum potential.
We know that between 94% to 96% of your brain activity is automatic and some of these automations are essential, like digestion, our ability to speak or even when we’re cycling. For example, imagine if every time you rode your bike you’d need the same amount of energy that you used when learning how to ride. Learning a new activity demands a great amount of energy, making us feel drained very rapidly. Therefore, once you learn something your brain automatises it simply to spare energy.
In the same way that our brain has this great ability of automatising things, we also automatise behaviours that shouldn’t be automatic, like eating, working and being in a relationship with someone. It is with these examples that we should be more aware, in other words, more mindful!
An interesting fact is that the ancient people who developed these techniques of mindfulness (originally called dháraná) realised that in order to attain this state, you have to practise concentration and focus exercises every day. Consequently, your brain will be more mindful/aware throughout the day and within the activities that are essential for you to be fully present.
With regards to meditation, if you are not familiar with the concept and techniques, you may think the act of sitting down with legs crossed and eyes closed is meditating. However, there is more to it than that.
Meditation, also called dhyána, goes beyond being conscious or just being quiet. It is when you genuinely silence your mind and experience many insights into your life. It is when you are fully aware of your emotions, thoughts and behaviours, a state often described as Self-Knowledge.
Meditation extrapolates the mind. If you have read any in-depth books about meditation, you will come across the term “expanded consciousness”. This is much more of a subtle state of consciousness than what we understand as the mind. The state of meditation is not related to the cognitive intellect which we use throughout the day, rather it is what Professor DeRose defines as “Linear Intuition”.
It is a very individual experience that is hard to put into words, though you will already know it in your heart as something that should be developed in the pursuit of well-being and self-knowledge.
At the DeRose Meditation, we have a well established and systematised path to achieving such a state of consciousness. From the very beginning, your instructor will guide you through sophisticated techniques, assisting you to achieve deeper experiences of self-awareness and knowledge.