Mindfulness V's Heartfulness- What You Need To Know
Integrated Energy Healer, Anita Alig, takes a look at the difference between mindfulness and heartfulness, and tells us about the benefits of both.
If you’re thinking of taking up meditation, it won’t take long before you discover mindfulness. Meditation has become synonymous with mindfulness. From prominent celebrities and ultra-successful business people right through to teachers working with small kids – everyone has been raving about the benefits of mindfulness.
Having looked into this meditation practice, I stumbled across heartfulness. which is also a meditation practice. What’s the difference? That’s precisely the question I asked. On further investigation, I soon realised that mindfulness is about being aware in the present moment whereas heartfulness is about finding a source of light, love and calm within your heart.
Both meditation methods require practice, and both can change your way of life significantly. Regardless of where in the world you reside, you can be sure to find a mindfulness or heartfulness instructor in your local area. So which one is for you? Let’s look at both in more detail.
What is Mindfulness?
The founder of the mindfulness movement, Jon Kabit-Zinn explains it this way:” “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.” Back in 1979, he designed a Mindful Based Stress Reduction Programme for people who hadn’t responded to traditional medical treatments. This programme became the foundation of today’s worldwide mindfulness meditation movement.
Through meditation practices, you learn how to remain connected to the present moment. When you do, you feel calmer, more focused, and ultimately happier.
The goal of mindfulness meditation is to develop a skill set that will enable you to live your life rooted in the present moment. For most people, this entails learning how to let thoughts pass without judgment. Rather than getting caught by a wave of thoughts and ending up all stressed out, you learn how to stay within the present moment.
After weeks of daily mindfulness meditation, you will notice a difference in everything you do. Each action you'll take, you'll carry out with more focus and calm. You’ll allow worries to escape instead, remaining calm within the task the present moment brings.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation have been proven time and time again. What’s more, several scientific studies have shown that mindfulness produces the following positive results:
· Stress reduction
· Reduced volume of unwanted thoughts (rumination)
· Improved working memory
· Sharper mental focus
· Getting less caught up in negative emotional scenarios
· Better brain function
· Improved ability to build and maintain relationships
· Stronger immune system
Thanks to the power of mindfulness, this type of meditation has spread throughout the world and benefited thousands.
Is Mindfulness Easy to Learn?
Learning to live a mindful life requires time, patience, and practice. Your brain will continue to try to draw you away from the present moment for quite some time. If you persevere, the mindfulness benefits will come flooding in. Classes and workshops along with mindfulness meditation groups are available all over the globe.
So, why did I keep searching and then finding heartfulness? As much as I appreciate the great results people get from mindfulness, I was looking for a practice that centres on the heart rather than the mind.
What is Heartfulness?
Heartfulness is a heart-centred way of life, where you connect to the wisdom of your heart and allow it to guide you along your journey. During heartfulness meditation practice, you learn how to connect to the light and wisdom within which will then help to calm and guide the mind.
I found heartfulness easier to learn because it gave me something to focus within myself.
As part of the spiritual practice, Sahaj Marg, heartfulness provides the tools to connect to and unlock the wisdom of the heart. The method is simple but powerful and easy to learn.
Every day, you take time out for heartfulness meditation practice, either on your own or in a group. Over time, you learn to live your life from within your heart. Your mind will become calmer, while your compassion and consciousness will grow.
The goal of heartfulness meditation is to find and connect to the wisdom of your heart. Once you’ve found your source, you allow it to guide you. Over time, the busy mind calms down while the peace within your heart begins to flourish.
Daily heartfulness meditation practice creates an entirely new focus in life. Instead of worrying and overthinking, you make your heart the focus of your consciousness. This soon spills over into everyday situations, helping you to remain calm and focused.
According to Dr Deepti Bhandari, regular heartfulness meditation has far-reaching benefits, including:
· Promotes emotional calm and intelligence
· Studies have shown that heartfulness meditation can reduce pain
· Increase compassion for others
· Improved brain function
Is Heartfulness Easy to Learn?
Like mindfulness, heartfulness is now a worldwide movement. Trained heartfulness instructors can introduce you to the basics. The Heartfulness Organisation has published a map of “Heartspots” – the places where you can find a heartfulness teacher or group.
Setting time aside each day for meditation can improve the quality of your life in many ways. Regardless of whether you choose mindfulness or heartfulness, meditating every day helps to declutter the mind and heart, bringing clarity and calm.
What meditation type you choose is a matter of personal preference. The best way to decide is to sample different practices and see which one suits you best.
Time, patience, and regular practice, along with the support of a group or instructor will ensure that you’ll be able to reap the countless rewards of daily meditation practice.
In today’s busy world, setting time aside for your soulscape is crucial if not central to happiness and wellbeing. Especially if you’re experiencing stress-related issues, meditation can go a long way toward resolving them.
On a final note, meditation facilitates your understanding of yourself and others which is an enormous plus.