While there are several types of meditation, mindfulness meditation focuses on staying in the present moment and using a non-judgmental attitude to the thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the meditative state. The idea is that these thoughts and sensations are given attention but with an objective perspective in which they are floating. Instead of elaborating on what is occurring, the person who meditates notes these things and then focuses on their breathing. The emphasis is that there is no wrong way to do mindful meditation. Instead, there are resulting benefits from focusing on the present from moment to moment.
One example of the benefit of meditation is that fantasy, thought, or image about a chocolate chip cookie comes to mind while engaged in meditation. Usually, that could make a person crave that cookie resulting in eating the cookie. However, mindfulness means that attention is put on the moment so that the cookie the thought of the cookie floats away without any future or past investment in eating the cookie. Instead, the image or idea of the cookie is noticed and floats away.
In another example, imagine buying tickets to an outdoor concert you are looking forward to attending. However, it starts to rain with no sign that it will stop anytime soon. Therefore, the show goes on regardless of the storm, and you must decide whether to go because you have already spent money on the tickets or stay home and skip the concert. The two most significant factors that complicate the decision-making process are:
- You have spent a lot of money on this event and,
- If you decide to go because you do not want to waste the money, you will have a miserable time sitting in awful weather and getting soaking wet. Can mindful meditation help with this decision?
Recent research on mindfulness meditation reveals that the answer is yes. It can help with the decision. Once again, mindful meditation focuses on the moment to moment present. Consequently, while meditating, any thoughts of the concert and money are noted and allowed to float by in mind. However, what is most important is that, with the focus on the present moment, there are no thoughts of the past or future. Focusing on the moment means few negative reviews about spending money on the concert.