Mindfulness! Heard of It? What does it mean, and where is it showing up in Christian circles?

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For those who have never heard of “mindfulness,” it is a Buddhist meditation practice that’s emphasized in Zen Buddhism.  Many professing Christians are involved in this pagan practice and shouldn’t be.

The following is from Lighthouse Trails.

Meditation

According to researcher and author Ray Yungen:

In recent years, a type of meditation known as mindfulness has made a surprising showing. Based on current trends, it has the potential to eclipse even Yoga in popularity. You will now find it everywhere that people are seeking therapeutic approaches to ailments or disorders. True to its Buddhist roots, mindfulness involves focusing on the breath to stop the normal flow of thought. In effect, it acts the same way as a mantra; and as with Yoga, it is presented as something to cure society’s ills.

Lighthouse Trails has reported on mindfulness quite a bit, especially in the last few years. A few articles we have posted are:

Feds Spend $2.5 Million on Mindfulness Intervention for Kindergarteners

The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, studies shows

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Turns to Mindfulness Meditation

Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation Taking Place at Arlington National Cemetery to Commemorate Memorial Day

Children and New Age Mindfulness Meditation

To backup what Ray Yungen says about mindfulness, in an article in Psychology Today titled “How to Practice Mindful Meditation,” it explains:

In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation. For example, some are designed to help us relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness.

Sadly, but not too surprisingly considering how Contemplative Prayer (mindfulness’ “sister”) has made such huge inroads into Christianity, you will find mindfulness showing up in many different Christian venues now. In an article in Christian Today (a UK-based evangelical publication) titled  “Mindfulness: How it works and why Christians should practise it,” it states:

More and more Christians are learning and teaching it, though it’s still early days. Many Christians – and evangelicals in particular – are suspicious of things like meditation. There’s no need to be. Learning mindfulness is like learning any other skill. It’s what you do with it that counts.

We thought we would list a few places where “mindfulness” is showing up in Protestant Christianity. We hope this short article will alert you to this term in case it shows up one day at your church or your Bible study group:

  1. Christian Counseling Today (page 40) – This is the magazine for the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors)
  2. Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA (“Christian Psychology and Mindfulness”)
  3.  Fuller Seminary (“Fuller Seminary’s School of Psychology Receives Grant for the Study of Spiritual Mindfulness and Empathy“)
  4. ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) – “Why should a Christian listen to a Buddhist nun?”
  5. Faith Postures: Cultivating Christian Mindfulness – a book by a Baylor University graduate
  6. Biola University
  7. Azusa Pacific University (“Reclaiming Mindfulness”)

Source: Lighthouse Trails Research

Republished with permission

Related:

Mindfulness: No Mind Over Matter By Marcia Montenegro

Christians Mystically Encountering God By Marsha West

DOWNLOAD OUR WHITE PAPER ON THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

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11 Responses to Mindfulness! Heard of It? What does it mean, and where is it showing up in Christian circles?

  1. JOHN January 29, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    “mindfulness involves focusing on the breath to stop the normal flow of thought”

    I would like to know more about this. Even in yoga the focus is on the breath during the stretch.

  2. Darrel January 29, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    This is a new one on me, “mindfulness”. Sounds like just another label to hook the remaining few who have yet to succumb to yoga or contemplative prayer or any of the other idols presented for “worship” at your local “Christian church”. Sad that the Lord Jesus Christ is not enough for such people, but they have been successfully indoctrinated in Sunday School and from the pulpit that He is not sufficient and that other avenues to the god they speak about must be explored.

  3. John January 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    These kinds of things are accepted because they don’t have ‘religious’ rules applied ot them. They are appealed to because they say they help clear the mind, it helps destress and so forth and we all need that. Hence it is said not to be religious and anyone can do it without being ‘labeled’. Whereas when it comes to religious faith it is seen as going to church and reading out of an archaic book but Christians are mean and judgmental.

  4. Chuck C January 31, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    This practice is an open door to DEMONIC POSSESSION! get involved in this, and you will be demon possessed!

  5. Disrnr January 31, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    And here I thought mindfulness was the application of “diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today”…

  6. lyn January 31, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    I thought of this post as I was reading about the late David Bowie’s occult connections. The piece on Bowie stated this, ““The Golden Dawn was a magical secret society, a crowning glory of the occult revival which flourished at the end of the 19th century and taught a unique blend of Jewish mysticism (called Cabbala or Kabbalah, also to be found in Bowie’s symbolism), astral travel, magic, yoga (also practiced by Bowie) and how to communicate with angels and demons. For this latter communion it was first necessary to empty the mind, to make room for the unknown to enter – something that bears a strong resemblance to Bowie’s ‘cut-up’ method of writing lyrics”.
    – Ibid. source – http://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/occult-universe-david-bowie-meaning-blackstar/

    Chuck C is correct in stating that delving into this practice of mindfulness is demonic.

  7. John February 4, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    Too bad the article said almost nothing about what mindfulness is, what are its claims, and why it is dangerous. Ditto for most of the replies. Whatever happened to the 5 Ws?
    There is a lot of psychobabble about mindfulness, but a good pragmatic description is this one from Bishop, Lau, et al.: a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance. Mindfulness claims to offer a kind of self-help. Underlying it, however, are some serious false assumptions, such as: the self and the surroundings are basically good; norms are undesirable; and passivity is preferable.
    Based on this, Chuck C and lyn are right, mindfulness opens a door to demonic attack. Christians should avoid it. Pray instead.

  8. Richard February 4, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Instead of meditation, people ought to try thinking.

  9. Dennis February 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    I think it is better to reflect on the word of God rather than to empty the mind. Some Bible verses I find helpful in times of stress or anxiety:
    “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
    “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:2-4)
    “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:1-2)
    “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?… I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rules, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:35, 38)

    • Dennis February 5, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

      My first quote is 1 Cor. 10:13, not 10:31. Sorry.

  10. P. Townsend February 6, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    “ALL IS ONE; THEREFORE ALL IS GOD. This principle expresses the twin concepts of MONISM and PANTHEISM, which have long been identified with the Eastern religions. The New Age god is impersonal and does not have existence distinct from creation. ‘It’ is a universal energy, the Force, the combined consciousness, the oneness (monism) of all living things. In this oneness, good and evil, life and death, are the same. Differences exist only in how a person perceives things.”

    “Indeed, refusal to distinguish between the Creator and creation not only brought on the fall into sin but is today responsible for every deplorable condition that is found in human society. Romans 1:18-32 leaves no doubt about the accelerating degradation that follows the deification of creation. The poet Vergil wrote, ‘We make our destiny by our choice of gods.’ We are shaped by what we worship. And worship of self lies behind the ‘depraved mind’ that expresses itself in ‘shameful lusts,…every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity’ (Romans 1:26-31).” (Philip H. Lochhaas, HOW TO RESPOND: THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT, [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995], pp. 10, 46)

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