Meditation or Mindfulness?

So far this meditation thing hasn’t been going as I planned. Yes, I’m waking up and getting on that pillow to do what I said I would, but I’ve yet to see one single benefit.

My favorite spot

I wouldn’t say I’m the most patient student – I’m an Aries sun and Leo moon – which equals eager and impulsive. In my brain the first time I sat down, put in my earbuds, and played the guided meditation; I should’ve experienced nirvana. Instead, I left the room, went about my day, and continued to get irritated as per usual. On the second day, I even mentioned to my husband that I think I might have been yelling more than before I started this journey.

Yung Pueblo said “next time you feel agitated because you are falling back into past patterns, remember that simply being aware that you have fallen back into repeating the past is a sign of progress. Self-awareness comes before the great leap forward in your personal transformation.” Does that mean I’m making progress?

Here’s the thing, I have a choice: stay the same or choose growth. This time instead of quitting when things aren’t going the way I had expected, I’m going to keep going. I will continue to evolve instead of staying stagnant. My pragmatic brain knows that with a regular meditation practice I will see results and will be less reactive in my life. As a mother with young children stuck in quarantine for the past 3 months – that’s exactly what I need.

Quarantine has provided us all one thing – the opportunity to slow down. For me, this has been a blessing in disguise because I’ve been given the opportunity to spend so much time with my favorite people. During this period, both of my children have learned to ride a two-wheel bike, we go on walks several times a week, and we’re eating three meals together as a family. While it’s had its challenges, I find that I’ve been more present in the past few weeks than ever before.

According to “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” That begs me to ask the question – what is it that I really want from this? I think the answer is mindfulness and presence in my life, which I will cultivate through my meditation practice.

The difference between mindfulness and meditation is summarized perfectly by Jon Kabat-Zinn on one of my favorite episodes of Super Soul Sunday, Oprah’s series on OWN:

For now, I will continue to get on my pillow, put in my earbuds, play the guided meditation, and wait to see what happens next.

2 thoughts on “Meditation or Mindfulness?

  1. Hi Christina!
    That looks like a very lovely spot in your home.
    Becoming mindful is being more aware of life as it is happening.
    It sounds like, from your description, that this is happening for you.
    As you say, you are enjoying your children’s milestones more, and you seem to be enjoying the many pleasurable moments with children, who are naturally mindful.
    I have never sat on a pillow with the purpose of meditating, instead I just concentrate on the beauty all around.
    With a lovely family like yours, you will have many moments
    to notice beauty as it is happening, in your children’s smiles, in their laughter, and in the things they find interesting.

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