Focusing Tip #417: The difference between Focusing & mindfulness meditation

Focusing Tip #417: The difference between Focusing & mindfulness meditation
March 12, 2014 Ann Weiser Cornell

“I’ve been trying to figure out the difference between mindfulness meditation and Focusing.”

Chris writes:
I have been trying to figure out what the difference is between Focusing and mindfulness meditation.

What would you say?

Dear Chris,
Focusing shares a lot of the qualities of mindfulness meditation. It’s open and accepting and non-judgmental. It works well when you’re in a state of Presence. You pay attention to what is.

The difference is that in mindfulness meditation, you let things go. You watch the bus go by. It doesn’t matter if the feeling stays or goes, it’s all the same.

In Focusing, you do care. You are interested and curious. You hope the feeling will stay around so you can get to know it. You speak to it directly. “Hello!” you say. “I’d like to get to know you!”

Focusing is a more “personal” relationship with what you are attending to, your felt sense or your feeling. You are more engaged, more involved. The inner relationship is more direct. And you are exploring there, going deeper.

Here is what David Rome said in an interview with the Shambhala Sun:
“… meditation gives a wonderful way of working with your mind and making situations more workable because you’re able to have space and detachment. What it is not so beneficial for is actually exploring the situation or feelings themselves.” Read the whole interview here.



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