"When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love." -- Thich Nhat Hanh
When practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, it is important to acknowledge that these practices have roots in Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Asian traditions. As these practices have been adopted into Western culture, they've become centered around Western values of efficiency, productivity, and avoidance of suffering. The true purpose of mindfulness practices is to confront difficult emotions, connect with yourself, and engage in a spiritual experience. When engaging in these meditative and mindfulness practices, we encourage you to reflect on and learn more about their origins.
What is the Difference Between Meditation and Guided Imagery?
Meditation is sitting quietly in the present moment. Meditation takes practice; retraining your mind to let go does not happen immediately, but if you take the time to practice once a day or a few times a week, it becomes increasingly easier to access a meditative state. Making meditation a part of your life can lead to lower levels of stress and anxiety and a greater level of personal connectedness.
Guided imagery is another excellent tool for stress reduction. The process relies on visualization and mental imagery. A trained facilitator talks you through a mental journey. Some focus on helping you to imagine yourself without stress or worry, while others seek to take your mind to a quiet and positive place, such as a lake or a beach. See our Relaxation page for examples of some wonderful guided imagery exercises.