The terms “meditation” and “mindfulness” are tossed around quite a bit these days, highlighted in studies touting their health benefits, or yoga studios declaring new ways for you to find inner peace in your busy life.
It can involve a lot of techniques or practices to reach this heightened level of consciousness — including compassion, love, patience, and of course, mindfulness.
So mindfulness is a type of meditation, alongside tantra, yoga, sexuality, silence, breathing, and emptiness.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being in the present, such as focusing completely on drinking a hot cup of tea, taking in its scent, warmth, and taste and removing overpowering emotions from the mind.“Mindfulness is a form of meditation,” Lodro Rinzler, a meditation author and teacher, as well as founder of MNDFL, told .
At the same time, each has its own specific definition and purpose.
Much like yoga, the history of meditation and mindfulness is ancient and spiritual, originating in religion.
Meditation predates even ancient times, having its origins in prehistoric religions that involved rhythmic chants, or mantras.But the earliest records of meditation can be found in the Vedas, the oldest texts of Hinduism, dating from 1700-1100 BCE.Later on, different forms of meditation began developing in Buddhism and Taoism, mainly in India and China.Ancient meditation focused on spiritual growth and transcending emotions to live in a calm present state.After being introduced to the West in the 20th century, meditation was realigned to match the goals of a modern, secular society — and it was soon used as a way to reduce stress and improve healthy living, similar to the Western world’s version of yoga.Though it’s often a fine line, here’s the main difference between the two: Meditation is a large umbrella term that encompasses the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration, to acknowledge the mind and, in a way, self-regulate it.