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Despite all its popularity, today most of us do not understand the true meaning of meditation and what practicing it means. Many regard meditation as a form of concentration on something, some consider meditation as being guided on an inner journey. All these methods meet one goal, which is to slow down and become relaxed. Meditating on the breath or being guided can be very beneficial, however, it is not permanent. Meditation brings the mind and body to a temporary state of peace. It builds a mind that is strong and stable and prepared to practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a state of pure awareness. It is being fully aware of the state of the mind, body and emotions. It is accepting whatever is arising in this precise moment. As awareness is practiced subtle changes begin to appear in one’s life.

Authentic mindfulness allows one to be fully present in the moment rather than living in the past or worrying about the future. When mindfulness is practiced regularly, peace is adapted as one’s nature rather than just a ‘nice feeling’ that lingers for a few hours after focusing on the breath.

Mindfulness at its roots is a Buddhist practice. In the last few years, mindfulness has become quite a popular topic in the West. The original wisdom of this practice has been lost in many respects. It has become associated with ‘living in the moment’ and ‘feeling’ and becoming focused.

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming acquainted with one’s own mind. It is knowing what is arising in the mind at any given time. As the mind becomes stronger through the practice of meditation, awareness is developed. This awareness can lead to a decrease in stress, anxiety and suffering.

True mindfulness means to know what you are feeling and to know the state of the mind at any given moment. It means to not attempt to fix any of these states but to merely notice them. In time, when practiced regularly, the states disappear and one can see their impermanence.