Is There a Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?

Season 6 Episode 608
Aired on 04/12/2015 | CC tv-14
Mindfulness and meditation have both been shown to have physical and mental health benefits, but many people get confused between the two practices. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, who has studied mindfulness for more than 35 years, says practicing mindfulness is actually a form of meditation.

During meditation, Jon says, many people think something is supposed to happen to them. "There is the biggest problem with it," he says. "They think, 'Oh, if I were really meditating, my mind would be a blank. My breath would be easy. I'd feel so wonderful.'"

Mindfulness is simply awareness, something you don't have to practice for 20 minutes at a time. You can be mindful anywhere, anytime and with anyone you like. "You and I sitting here having a conversation, you know, the thought might cross one of our minds, 'Well, when are we going to get down to meditating?'" Jon says. "The fact is, we are."

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