Christian Mindfulness

Being Mindful as a Christion means that we tap into the presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit right where we are. The Bible asks us to stay in the presence of God- to connect with him all the time. We call to Jesus at the start of our day and continue to be with him throughout our day.

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During our daily lives “things” take over and when we become consumed by activities and worries, we can forget about God. Suddenly, we are off on the busyness of lives and that’s when worry about the future, past or present creeps into our minds. Being mindful of God throughout the day can reduce anxiety as we feel His mighty hand on our lives.

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I try to base my mindfulness exercises on the Bible most of the time. Psalm 18 expresses “He reached down His hand from above me; He held me close.” (VOICE) and Philippians 4:8 says to “meditate on whatever is good, honorable, lovely and praiseworthy.” God’s creation, the sun, the clouds, the birds, the rolling thunder, is always around us. I believe to practice being mindful with our senses at any given moment and imagining God, like feeling His hand reach down and hold us close, is an expression of faith and love for God.

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I read an article in Simple Grace magazine written about Psychologist and former Franciscan Friar Dr. Greg Bottaro, who said “in Christian Mindfulness the goal is to be in the here and now with our loving God.” That’s what I’m talking about! Sure, you could meditate on a word or meditate to empty your mind, but the whole concept of Christian Mindfulness is to be with our loving God.

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The article explains Dr. Bottaro’s process for mindfulness that looks a lot like the Mindfulness exercises that I’ve been posting on my blog. He suggests starting with a prayer, the idea being to “step out of your thoughts and encounter God at any moment.” Asking through prayer for God to connect with us is the first step to being mindful about Him.

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Dr. Bottaro uses an analogy for the breath as thinking about being filled with God’s love as you breathe in and giving God love as you breathe out, similar to my centering technique of breathe in “Praise” and breathe out “Jesus”, but I really like his way of taking in the love and then giving it back to God.

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Focus on your body as you feel God’s presence, and I like to add a piece about asking Him for His Wise Mind counsel, (God is Wise Mind), but Dr. Bottaro says that when we focus on our bodies we can “better identify what He’s trying to tell us,” because God know what its like to be human.

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Lastly, gratitude for our time with God switches our minds from worry and anxiety to a heart of thankfulness which can be very positive as we go about our day. I feel like I can continue to connect with God intimately and consult His counsel more easily after I have spent time with him through Mindfulness. Thank Him for this time and the many blessings He has bestowed upon you.

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Try this short activity to start off your day that I based on Jesus Calling for June 27. This Jesus Calling entry is so perfect for a mindfulness exercise that it barely needs any “steps” like I normally write, though I have added some bold print for the key points to focus on.

Here it is in its entirety. Just sit in a quiet space and feel it as you read:
Mindfulness Exercise 6 based on Jesus Calling June 27 (PDF Version)
“Rest with me awhile. You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days. The way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty.

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“Look neither behind you nor before you. Instead focus your attention on Me, your constant companion. Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey.

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“I designed time to be a protection for you. You couldn’t bear to see all your life at once. Though I am unlimited in time, it is in the present moment that I meet you.

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“Refresh yourself in My company, breathing deep draughts of My presence.

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“The highest level of trust is to enjoy Me moment by moment.

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“I am with you watching over you wherever you go.”

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Take as long as you like to meditate through this exercise, pausing in the bolded points where Jesus meets you. Staying in the presence of the Lord is always the best mindfulness activity for me. I feel grounded and yet I feel the supernatural effect of spending time with Jesus.

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