Four things you should know about mindfulness

draapeWhat is the difference between Acem meditation and mindfulness? Is Acem meditation part of the mindfulness wave? Here are some short answers.

To start with, while Acem meditation is the name of one specific technique, mindfulness covers a range of different techniques. Some of them are quite similar to Acem meditation, while others are very different.

Second, while the meditation object in mindfulness techniques is the breath, it is a sound in Acem meditation.

Third, there are differences in how you use your attention. In Acem meditation and some mindfulness techniques, the attention is non-directive, with a free mental attitude. In other mindfulness techniques, the attention is focused and concentrated.

Fourth, there are differences in how you deal with the spontaneous activity once you notice that your attention is not on the meditation sound anymore. In Acem meditation and some mindfulness techniques, you just go back to the meditation object, while in other mindfulness techniques, you are to get finished with your thoughts first, decide to let them go.


  1. Kaif

    Interesting article, Carina!

    I think many of us have been thinking about the link between Acem Meditation and mindfulness. I have been wondering that we may describe Acem Meditation as mindful repetition of the sound – with maximum freedom to the stream of consciousness. What is usually called ‘mindfulness meditation’ may be called mindful awareness of the breath (or the big toe, or whatever). Seen in this way, the difference seems to be not so much in the presence of mindfulness but in the fact that in Acem Meditation we are concerned with doing while in mindfulness meditation we are more concerned with being there with awareness. For this reason, actualisation is probably more prominent in Acem Meditation, although I have heard stories of very strong actualisations in mindfulness retreats.

    Also, if we think of volition and attention as two separate psychological faculties, Acem Meditation involves both. I am not sure what the role of volition is in mindfulness meditation. At the same time, practitioners of mindfulness are concerned with the understanding that whatever is in the stream of consciousness at the moment – happiness, pain, boredom – is temporary and will change. It seems that sometimes this understanding is volitionally brought into the midst of meditation while at other times it emerges spontaneously. Perhaps this could be a volitional aspect of mindfulness meditation.

    Finally, it is hard to think of any meditation which does not involve mindfulness, whether it is on one’s own breath, on a sound, on a particular notion such as compassion or on an image such as that of Jesus.

  2. eden tepper

    just like trainig a muscle the mind needs to be trained. practicing concentration. with practice just like anything else your mind will settle and you will acheive a calm clear mind. bringing your mind’s attention to the breath for 5 min or 50 is benificial

  3. Short but nice information. I liked it so much that read twice. Few interesting fact clicked my mind. summarizing…. Great post… thanks for sharing…

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