The Practice of Mindfulness

by Mark Votava

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Almost every time that I have heard of the idea of mindfulness I would think of Buddhism instead of Christianity.  Buddhism is often times thought of as a way of life while Christianity is often thought of as a set of beliefs.  I am coming to understand Christianity as referring to the practice of following Christ as a way of life.  This is so rare and unusual that a lot of people cannot relate to the practice of love and mindfulness as it relates to Christianity.

  • Jesus was the most mindful person who ever lived

Jesus seemed to practice a mindfulness in all that he did.  I would say that Jesus was probably the most mindful person who ever lived.  Mindfulness is a fruit of contemplation that helps us to listen, cultivating awareness and compassion for those around us.  Mindfulness is about a wisdom that Jesus teaches us as the body of Christ in the parish.

  • Becoming a mindful community

In order to be sane we need to practice mindfulness.  Without mindfulness we become selfish, individualistic people who do not care about much in life.  This is not what the body of Christ is called to in everyday life together.  We need to be a mindful community that practices contemplation.

  • Being in touch with reality

This is what the mystical imagination is made up of.  Mindfulness is about being in touch with reality, experiencing reality and letting this reality shape us.  All truth is mindful of reality.

  • Mindfulness leads to compassion and care

Mindfulness helps us to experience the truth of who we are.  Mindfulness helps us to experience our place in a proper context.  We learn to care, show compassion and gratitude.  Mindfulness guides us into all relational revelations in the place we inhabit.

  • The teacher of mindfulness

There is no greater teacher than Jesus on the practice of mindfulness.  He was an expression of mindfulness during his life in his local context.  Jesus had a mystical imagination that cultivated mindfulness.

  • The gift of mindfulness

There is a gift in mindfulness.  This gift of mindfulness allows us to see the many possibilities before us as the body of Christ in the parish.  The possibilities of love, compassion, grace and humility live in little seeds within us.  They need to be cultivated through the mystical imagination.

  • Cultivation and potential

We can dedicate ourselves in ways we never thought possible to the practice of mindfulness through contemplation.  Macrina Weiderkehr says, “We all have the potential to give ourselves wholeheartedly to whatever it is we must do.  This is the gift of mindfulness…”  We can give our lives in mindfulness to things that really matter to our local context.  This gift can be cultivated our whole lives.

How can we cultivate mindfulness in our lives?