by Karen Maezen Miller
Q: I am confused when you say, “Mindfulness without meditation is just a word.” Do you mean that in addition to practicing mindfulness whenever we can throughout the day, we also need to spend time in quiet mindfulness meditation?
A: I understand the confusion. The current mindfulness movement originated as a way to share the benefits of meditation in a medical or therapeutic setting. Although the practice of meditation was retained, the word “meditation” was not, perhaps because of its association with Eastern traditions. As a result, today there is some confusion that mindfulness and meditation are not related. Mindfulness is attention, true, but meditation is the cultivation of one’s attention. We cannot be mindful without practicing paying attention. If we are only thinking, “I am mindful,” it doesn’t get us very far. The old masters didn’t worry about words, but having practiced seated meditation, they took their concentrated mind with them throughout the day in all activities.
If one happens to only read books about mindfulness, the practice aspect may be overlooked.
Another analogy might be telling ourselves that we are full, when in fact we have failed to eat.
This post is republished from Cheerio Road with permission from Karen Maezen Miller
Upcoming Programs at Copper Beech Institute
Course with Brandon Nappi
Wednesdays, April 11, 2018 - June 13, 2018
Built upon the core contemplative values of Copper Beech Institute, Living Presence provides an experiential course of study and practice to cultivate equanimity, healing and resilience.
With Miranda Chapman and Sandrine Harris
Saturday, May 26, 2018, 7-8:30 p.m.
With spaces of guided facilitation and structured play, as well as periods of freedom and deep listening, we will explore what it means to fully inhabit our bodies, outside of a specific form of movement.
Weekend Retreat with Mark Nepo
June 8–10, 2018
Through poetry, story, journaling and dialogue, Mark will guide participants into conversation with their own gifts and their own wisdom inspired by his new book of poetry, “The Way Under the Way.”