I read, read and read more about meditation, mindfulness, Zen, Buddhism, deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc.
It is beginning to upset me that articles use theses terms interchangeably – like they all mean the same thing when they DO NOT.
An article I came across today, titled: “How to practice mindful meditation on the go”; subtitled: ‘It’s easier than you think to be Zen even when you’re moving a mile a minute.’ First paragraph: ‘Here’s a little-known fact about mindfulness: It’s super easy to practice it any time, any place, in any situation.’
Monks of every Buddhist tradition practice meditation their entire lives. Yet we Westerners seem to think that meditation is a quick fix, when it’s not. It is a practice, a life-altering attitude one adopts and commits to daily observance. You choose to be mindful and then later on, it becomes an attitude you can apply to everything. There is a lot more to Buddhism than mere mindfulness and acts of meditation. Mindfulness has been teased apart from a rich philosophy of life of which mindfulness is but one element. If all you do is meditate and practice being mindful then you are missing out on the larger philosophy of living. Mindfulness devoid of a meaningful change in how you live and interact with the world around you is just mindlessness. Zen is in the doing. Mindfully caring for your garden is Zen. Mindfully washing the dishes is Zen. Zen is an intuitive reaction to daily life. Being present in the moment and being mindful of that moment is Zen. Zen masters practice their entire lives for that one moment of spontaneous happening.
Buyer beware: The words that are being used interchangeably, in the same ad or the same article are being trendy – to get your attention. Pour out the trendy words all in one go and you are bound to attract more consumers to buy the product. It’s a marketing tool. It’s a con.