Being mindful

As you may have seen in the newsletter and on Facebook, our diocesan retreat in October will be on ‘Christian Mindfulness’. Some people are sensitive to words or activities which they see as coming from outside ‘their’ tradition. True the word ‘mindfulness’ has reached the popular consciousness through, among others, the work ofJon Kabat-Zinn who took the Buddhist teaching and ‘secularised’ it as a meditation practice to promote wellbeing. The fact that this teaching has come afresh to modern awareness does not mean that it has not been going on for millennia and in most if not all religious traditions including Judaism the religious culture of Jesus himself.
In the Christian tradition, we find reference to ‘meditation’, to ‘contemplation’ and to ‘mysticism’. Across the UK, groups meet to pray and meditate together, some as Julian groups inspired by Julian of Norwich. For some of us words like ‘mystic’ or ‘mysticism’ may suggest (wrongly) an esoteric path that’s not for the like of us. Christian mindfulness has in my view the advantage that it is very practical helping us to still ourselves and focus, not always easy in a world of information overload. Sister Carmel Byrne who will lead our retreat says: ‘Through it (mindfulness) we tap into the flow of love and energy within the Trinity, which we share with others in mission’. Details and application form for the retreat may be downloaded by clicking on the link on the home page of the diocesan website.

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