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My article on mindful worship via @TheBaptistTimes #nationalmindfulnessday

Please click on the link below to take you to the Baptist Times for my article on Mindful Worship in support of the National Mindfulness Day for Christians 12/19 May 2018

To worship, mindfully

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Why we need a National Mindfulness Day for Christians via @ChristianToday

IMG_2114Christian Today article on National Mindfulness Day for Christians

Sri Lanka, contemplative awareness & rock pools #mindful

One of our delights growing up as children in Kenya was to take the long trek to the coast. We would spend hours gazing into rock pools, for fish, crabs, and once a little octopus.

We are spending our last day in Sri Lanka in a beach house, which has a strip of living coral outside acting as a barrier to the large waves. As the tide has receded the coral and its rock pools have been exposed.

The trick to seeing something is to be as still as the pool, to get close to the sand and. not cast a shadow. This too has a lesson for us in contemplative awareness. We too have pools inside our mind that are still, mindful states of calm and open awareness.  Too often we are just caught up in the surf of stress.

Standing barefoot in the sand, or contemplating the pools, listening to the sound of the waves we can find these mindful states of mind naturally. It is much harder in the busyness of ordinary life. It is much harder because in our Western culture we are often living in our heads, living virtually. Our ruminative patterns of mental time travel stir up the pools in our head until we are spun one way and then another.

The knack of finding the still pool within is by coming back to our embodied senses. As we enter these streams of awareness we can find the meta-awareness that contains our thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.

As we learn to do this, mindful states of mind emerge. With practice we can create a new tide within that has wide open mindful spaces that contain and calm the surf.FullSizeRender

the mindfully ecstatic state of mind #camino

Yesterday was a day of ecstasy. I wasn’t expecting ecstasy, agony certainly…I was trying to work out why.

It could have been grace

maybe it was flow

maybe it was good stress

It came on while I was walking and stayed all day.

maybe it was the walking

perhaps we are made for walking

perhaps it was the soft Galician countryside, and the small farms I was walking through

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I know we have been given mindful states of mind, and one of those is an ecstatic state of mind. I have also experienced it skiing, the song of ecstasy.

I think it is a gift, part of what means to be fully human, from the Giver of gifts. It is a created gift to experience in creation.