The Difference between Crystal Bowls Meditation and Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness mediation is quite different from meditations that aim to raise compassion. This does not mean that mindfulness is without compassion or kindness, on the contrary, mindfulness is at its best when it embraces compassion. By ‘compassion based meditations’ I am simply referring to meditations that help us to feel warm and fuzzy. They include guided visualisations, crystal bowl meditations, meditating to a flower or candle, sound meditation, or meditating to drums, didgeridoos or gentle uplifting music. All of these types of meditations are focused on experiences that are pleasant to our senses. They are heart opening meditations.

How Mindfulness Meditation is Different

While compassion based meditations aim to open our heart space, mindfulness practice aims to train our awareness to expand. Both types of mediation bring us into the present moment, however, mindfulness cultivates awareness to watch ‘what is’. It is irrelevant whether our experience is painful or pleasant, mindfulness is only about watching whatever is occurring with open curiosity and neutrality. Mindfulness aims to expand the mind, rather than open the heart. This is important, as mindfulness strengthens the practice of wisdom and discernment.

I have commonly witnessed people cultivate a beautiful open heart, when their lives or their psyche are not ready for it. This can intensify a “broken our heart”. Compassion is wonderful, however, any wise Buddhist will tell us that compassion is only helpful when we simultaneously develop discernment. Without cultivating the mind, blind compassion can get us into a myriad of problems. A healthy heart/head alignment requires both types of meditations, if we are to cultivate true balance in our lives.

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Join us on Friday afternoons at 3pm and Saturday mornings at 9am for an hour of mindfulness based training and psycho-therapeutic insights. “Embrace What Is” is an on-going relaxed group that will support your mindfulness practice and help you to integrate this practice into your everyday life.

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