What is Meditation? (Meditation vs. Mindfulness)

moving meditation during sunrise

Meditation is all the rage these days. But do you fully understand what it is? I know some of you hear the word and, immediately think of a person sitting cross-legged on the floor, chanting. And the other half of you react with one of the following statements: “I am WAY TOO BUSY to meditate.” “There is no way that I can stop thinking.” “It’s just not for me.” And the list could go on, but you get the point.

Meditation defined simply is a stress relieving tool. Meditation eliminates stress from the mind and the body. Eliminating stress not only allows us to do life better, but also it allows us to live the life of our dreams. Still think meditation is not for you?

The primary goal of mediation is to destress, not to stop thought. The biggest myth regarding meditation is that you are not suppose to think. Let’s look at this logically; thoughts only stop when the brain stops. As long as you are alive, you will always have thoughts, even when you meditate. It is not about stopping your thoughts, instead meditation allows you to become an observer of your thoughts.

On to the next meditation myth. Mediation and mindfulness are NOT synonymous. Mindfulness is the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment. Mindfulness is a powerful and necessary practice. It teaches presence and disciplined focus. I like to call mindfulness the “come back practice.” When practicing mindfulness you pick a focal point that brings your awareness to the present moment, like the breath.

Mediation is the art of surrender. Again, the goal of meditation is not to control the mind, it is to surrender to the mind. Let’s take another logical perspective, try to clear your mind and see what happens. I can guarantee as you embark on this endeavor you experience an immense amount of effort and no success. Mediation is meant to be effortless. Meditation allows us to shift from a human “doer” back to a human being.

Girl meditating

In summary, the main take always are:

  • Mediation is a stress relief tool that allows you to be a bad ass at life.
  • Meditation and mindfulness are NOT the same.
  • Mindfulness is the “come back” practice; allowing you to come back to the present moment.
  • Meditation is the surrendering practice; letting go of the mind and observing where it goes.

Now that you have a better understanding of meditation, I am sure you want the “How to Guide for Meditation.” Don’t worry it is coming soon in the next blog post – click here to read it.


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