This week our selection comes from Georgia Pettit at Higher Self Yoga. She writes about the differences between the two related concepts of mindfulness and awareness.
"While mindfulness is our inherent capacity to focus our attention on something specific at the moment, awareness can be described as the complementary force that reminds us of our environment and brings attention back to our surroundings.
Our mindfulness-awareness tag-team works like this: when our mind has wandered away, our awareness gently reminds us to return to the object of meditation (observing our breath). With this reminder, our mindfulness once again returns to the object of meditation. This interplay between the mindfulness homing in on the object of meditation, our monkey-mind dragging us away – and the awareness bringing our focus back – is repeated less and less, as we become proficient in our meditation practice.
This interplay allows us to experience the space between our thoughts and emotions, and reminds us to make room for a larger more comprehensive experience, like a shift in perspective. With the help of meditation, we move from the sensation that we are cramped in impossibly close quarters with our thoughts and feelings – to taking a mental step back and noticing that things may just be a little more workable than we felt they were before we started our practice."