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Meditation vs. Relaxation

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to discuss where people tend to go wrong when thinking about what meditation is. Now, the main issue is that our culture conflates meditation with relaxation. It's why you'll often hear people say things like the gym is my meditation or cooking is my meditation or being in nature is my meditation. Often what people mean when they say these things is that this is what brings them calm, focus, and joy.

And that's amazing. I'm a big proponent of all of those things. I do all of those things, but they're not necessarily meditation. Meditation, at least mindfulness meditation, is ,in addition to being a practice for stabilizing attention, a form of inquiry. Not only are you intentionally tracking your moment to moment experience, but you're doing it in service of cultivating insight and wisdom about your experience, which requires a certain kind of discernment and looking at what's arising.

Going to the gym, cooking, going for a walk or any other activity you perceive as your meditation may bring calm, focus, and joy, but these activities don't have an inherent aspect of paying attention in a particular way, discerning or looking at experience. They can, and that's what makes this whole thing interesting. Thich Nhat Hanh, the famous Zen meditation teacher, he's notorious for saying everything can become a meditation. And what he means by that is that we can bring this quality of awareness, of paying attention, of non-judgment, of curiosity to whatever experience we're in. Cooking, going for a walk, having a conversation with someone, so it's true that all of these things can be made a meditation, but the thing that determines that is how we're paying attention.

So notice if you're in conversations with other people and they say something like, you know, this is my meditation, or going to the gym is my meditation. You don't have to get into an argument about it, but I did want to offer some clarity so that you can understand some of the nuances here. It's not necessarily the case that these things aren't their meditation, but often what they mean is this brings me more focus, more calm, a little bit more joy. The thing that will turn it into a meditation is the quality of attention and awareness that we're bringing to the experience. And with that, I invite you to explore what would it look like for more moments of your day to become a meditation, for you to bring a curious, non-judgmental awareness to what you're doing, to really practice being deeply present and to notice what's arising for me right now, and to track that experience as it moves through you.

In that way, every moment can become a meditation. So let's settle in for our official meditation now. Thank you so much for your practice and I'll talk to you in a moment.

Cory Muscara

4.7

Meditation vs. Relaxation

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to discuss where people tend to go wrong when thinking about what meditation is. Now, the main issue is that our culture conflates meditation with relaxation. It's why you'll often hear people say things like the gym is my meditation or cooking is my meditation or being in nature is my meditation. Often what people mean when they say these things is that this is what brings them calm, focus, and joy.

And that's amazing. I'm a big proponent of all of those things. I do all of those things, but they're not necessarily meditation. Meditation, at least mindfulness meditation, is ,in addition to being a practice for stabilizing attention, a form of inquiry. Not only are you intentionally tracking your moment to moment experience, but you're doing it in service of cultivating insight and wisdom about your experience, which requires a certain kind of discernment and looking at what's arising.

Going to the gym, cooking, going for a walk or any other activity you perceive as your meditation may bring calm, focus, and joy, but these activities don't have an inherent aspect of paying attention in a particular way, discerning or looking at experience. They can, and that's what makes this whole thing interesting. Thich Nhat Hanh, the famous Zen meditation teacher, he's notorious for saying everything can become a meditation. And what he means by that is that we can bring this quality of awareness, of paying attention, of non-judgment, of curiosity to whatever experience we're in. Cooking, going for a walk, having a conversation with someone, so it's true that all of these things can be made a meditation, but the thing that determines that is how we're paying attention.

So notice if you're in conversations with other people and they say something like, you know, this is my meditation, or going to the gym is my meditation. You don't have to get into an argument about it, but I did want to offer some clarity so that you can understand some of the nuances here. It's not necessarily the case that these things aren't their meditation, but often what they mean is this brings me more focus, more calm, a little bit more joy. The thing that will turn it into a meditation is the quality of attention and awareness that we're bringing to the experience. And with that, I invite you to explore what would it look like for more moments of your day to become a meditation, for you to bring a curious, non-judgmental awareness to what you're doing, to really practice being deeply present and to notice what's arising for me right now, and to track that experience as it moves through you.

In that way, every moment can become a meditation. So let's settle in for our official meditation now. Thank you so much for your practice and I'll talk to you in a moment.

Cory Muscara

4.7

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