Spiritual practices such as meditation and peak performance at work are not usually associated with one another. However, increasing bodies of scientific research show that there are powerful links between meditation and peak performance in many areas of life.

Meditation helps create a mentally clear and emotionally calm state transforming habitual patterns of the mind, increasing our powers of concentration, improving outlook, expanding our fields of choice and expediting our development on multiple fronts.

It is strange that it has taken so long for the human potentials movement to cotton on to the powerful fruits of meditation given how long humans have been practicing it.

The earliest records of meditation can be found in the Vedas, the oldest texts of Hinduism. Ancient meditation focused on spiritual growth and transcending emotions to live in a calm and present state.

In the Western world, meditation was realigned to match the goals of modern society as a tool to reduce stress, improve well-being and increase effectiveness.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Stop, breathe, listen. What do you want to create?

Meditation and Mindfulness

The terms meditation and mindfulness are often used interchangeably and sometimes refer to the same general thing, a tool to calm our monkey mind.

However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Meditation is a large umbrella term that encompasses the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration, to become aware of the mind and its thoughts, and learn to manage them.

Many techniques can be utilized to reach this heightened level of consciousness, including mindfulness. Therefore, mindfulness is a type of meditation.

Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being in the present moment, such as focusing completely on having a tasty meal, taking in its scent, temperature, consistency, taste, and the way it makes us feel (1).

Mindfulness is a synonym for being fully alive, for experiencing whatever is taking place fully. The simplicity of mindfulness-based meditations make them instantly accessible, and this simplicity brings the workings of the mind into stark relief, allowing the meditator to become intimately aware of their mental activity and patterns.

This intimate intrapersonal awareness allows people to make more informed choices and use their minds more effectively.

“By engaging in mindfulness practice, you will become aware of the patterns and habits of your mind.”

Mindfulness Meditation

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk well-known for his teachings on mindfulness, says that our true home is not in the past or the future, our true home is in here and now, where life is available.

Mindfulness helps us recognize the happiness that is already present in our lives. It is present in every moment of our daily life. When you breathe in, and you are aware of your breath, you touch the miracle of being alive. That is why mindfulness is a source of happiness and joy.

Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. Breathing in and out you may say to yourself, “I am aware of my inhalation. I am aware of my exhalation.”

In mindful walking, the meditator is present at every stage of every step. In fact, mindfulness can be practiced in each and every moment. We can mindfully wash the dishes, mindfully lay our head on the pillow, mindfully eat our food and so on. Perhaps you are mindfully reading these words now!

When we translate this quality of mindful awareness to other areas of our lives, extraordinary things take place. Interpersonally, we find ourselves able to understand and connect more deeply with the people in our lives. Our clarity of mind improves making us more effective at cognitive tasks. We are able to communicate with greater calm, precision, and ease.

By engaging in mindfulness practice, you will become aware of the patterns and habits of your mind. With regular practice and patience, these nourishing and focused experiences can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect leading to a new understanding of life and access to new levels of performance.

Essentially, mindfulness makes us excel at life!

Simply relax into the moment.