by Nick Bishop
The modern world is a distracting place where it seems we are less able to find time for ourselves. This situation has resulted in many people from all walks of life suffering stress and in severe cases, depression. It matters not whether you’re a CEO of a large company or you are retired. Stress can impact us all, at any time.
Much has been said about meditation and mindfulness being the answer to problems people face from day to day. Most mindfulness courses offered by the medical profession are usually centred around Buddhist and secular practices. Both Buddhist and secular mindfulness are about detaching our minds from whatever is causing our mental suffering. These therapies are all about controlling your thoughts and bringing your mind to a state where you will to some extent, control irrational thoughts. These therapies can work for some people, however, is this the Christian way?
Meditation and mindfulness have become very controversial in certain sectors of the Christian community. This warning has been brought to attention by links to eastern mystical beliefs. Though Christians are right to voice such concerns mindfulness and meditation have been practiced since the New Testament and even before in the Old.
The Christian way is very different to the Buddhist teaching of emptying our mind and detaching oneself from life’s problems. The Christian practice of meditation invites God to renew our mind and soul, whether sitting quietly and breathing naturally while repeating a word of scripture such as “Maranatha” or “Be still and know that I am God”, or just focusing on God’s word and resting in him. The ability through God’s word, to focus and bring our mind to a peaceful state of tranquillity is the goal here.
God wants his people to trust him and his son Jesus Christ and have life in abundance. Christian mindfulness and meditation can bring us into a closer and deeper understanding of our creator.
Jesus was the greatest ‘mindful person’ that has ever walked the earth. Through his example, we will find that peaceful and balanced life all Christians seek (Matthew 6:24, 27).
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