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Common Questions About Meditation and Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice of noticing. Many of us just go with the motions of our days without really noticing what is going on. Bringing awareness to our surroundings assists us in becoming present and enjoying life fully in each moment. Mindfulness is proven to help relax, sharpen focus, and regulate mood.

Is mindfulness different from meditation?

Yes and no. Mindfulness is a form of meditation but not all meditation is necessarily mindful. However, practicing meditation does tend to increase one’s sense of mindfulness. Meditation, like mindfulness, is a practice that helps develop a sense of awareness. Though mindfulness is a thought process, meditation can be practiced in different ways.

What if your mind is too busy?

Most meditation and mindfulness practitioners would argue that there is no such thing as a mind too busy to practice. They might even emphasize that the mind which thinks itself too busy for mindfulness and meditation is in the most need! Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a way to quiet the mind and calm the chaos internally. It may take time and meditation sessions of no more than five minutes at a time to start.

Is the goal to stop all thoughts?

Some disciplines of religion like Zen Buddhism include meditation in which the goal is to empty the mind completely. Not all meditation is about nothingness. Mindfulness, arguably, is about everythingness by noticing the world around you. Practicing meditation and mindfulness is about coming to terms with your thoughts.

Do I have to be spiritual to practice mindfulness and meditation?

No. Though mindfulness and meditation are spiritually founded practices, religion or spirituality does not have to be part of your life. It is important to note, however, that many people will have spiritual experiences or spiritual shifts. Meditation and mindfulness are proven to enhance feelings of connectedness and universality.

How do I practice mindfulness and meditation?

The simplest way to practice is to just breath and notice your thoughts. Meditation can be sitting, quiet, music, guided, etc. Choose what works best for you.

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