Mindfulness & Meditation
Mindfulness, meditation, and mindfulness meditation are three overlapping concepts.
Mindfulness is a present-moment awareness of experience. When we are fully mindful, we see internal and external experiences as transitory and not a reflection of who we really are. We also see clearly that how the mind relates to experience can create misery or peace. We can practice mindfulness at any moment of the day, no matter what we are doing.
Meditation can refer to an infinite variety of practices across a range of spiritual and therapeutic traditions. I tend to focus mostly on those that have roots in the early Buddhist tradition. I also lead some guided visualizations that are rooted in more recent, Western psychotherapy techniques.
Mindfulness meditation is when we set aside some time and space to just practice being mindful. It’s an opportunity to really study the mind in-depth. They key difference between regular mindfulness and mindfulness meditation is that when we meditate we drop our intention to do anything else besides cultivate mindfulness.
I started studying mindfulness in 2012. Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and Jonathan Foust were my first formal teachers. From almost the very beginning, I was motivated to share what I was learning with other people. When teaching, my intention is to share only what I’ve come to understand so far. Over the years, mindfulness has occupied more and more of my consciousness, to the point where it is now a regular part of the way I see and respond to the world. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the words and guidance of many teachers. Talks and books by Carol Wilson, Sri Nisardagatta Maharaj, Suzuki Roshi, Pema Chodron, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Sumhedo, and Gil Fronsdale have been particularly helpful.