Why go beyond mindfulness, to meditation? What is the difference between the two? While they may be related, they are not the same thing.
In this talk, Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat speak about the differences and advantages of meditation and formal retreat.
With mindfulness, the ego still remains in place. With meditation you witness the mind that witnesses the phenomenon. Meditation goes beyond mindfulness and gives you the chance to move beyond the ego itself.
Watch the video now – Meditation: Beyond Mindfulness
Going Deeper: Beyond Mindfulness to Meditation
What is Mindfulness? What is Meditation?
Mindfulness, as the word is commonly used today, is basically awareness of what is happening to you in your outer environment. For example, attentively picking up your cup, mindfully taking a sip, with awareness and concentration.
In contrast, meditation is what you are aware of inside yourself. When one stands back from the sensory data (of mindfulness) and goes “inside” (in meditation) it is possible to see how one experiences what one is aware of.
To be aware of “the thing that is aware” is meditation.
Meditation also gives us better contact with spaciousness and unity. With meditation one meets the fears of abandonment and annihilation, by looking inside to see how the ego works. We see that the ego works so hard to be in control of the game of “me”.
Meditation Retreats Give Access to Deeper States
Because our lives are full, we might practice mindfulness throughout the day, but not take the time to meditate formally or do retreats.
However, there are certain states arising from bliss and insight only accessible during longer meditation retreats. That access to bliss and insight nourishes and enriches life.
In retreat, we start to develop concentration, calm and surrender. And blissful states are available to those who surrender. Why settle for less?
Meditation Helps Us See Our Blocks
The only person we can change is our self (or more accurately our non-self.) We need to understand what we are bringing to each situation with others. By meditating we can see blocks more clearly, and choose to manifest in different ways.
Choice brings freedom.
Dwelling in peaceful clarity, as a result of meditation, we go back to the world and share our good state with others. This is an act of compassion.
Then, by creating an interface between meditation, karma yoga, spiritual study and shadow work, we are able to form community and meet life more fully.
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