Mindfulness Monday: What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?

I get this question a lot.

Mindfulness as defined here, is the practice of being in (and returning to) the present moment, no matter what internal or external distractions arise.

So, by that definition, mindfulness can be practiced any time of day. I can be mindful while I am shopping at Market Basket, walking the dog, and eating my dinner. I can be mindful right now as I notice how it feels to be making contact with the chair I am in and I feel my fingers strike the keys on my laptop as I type this sentence.

Then, what is meditation? For me, meditation is the formal practice I have – which then increases my capacity to be mindful throughout the day. I have a daily sitting practice and I usually close my eyes. But you can do a walking meditation, a seeing meditation, or a listening meditation too. It is really just a more formal time to practice being mindful.

And guess what? I love bringing mindfulness into people’s lives. A new online offering is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Barna Woods – County Galway, Ireland