I am often asked ‘what is mindfulness?’ Some people like scientific explanations (our universal capacity for awareness and attention), other people prefer more poetic ones.
Some ideas stay with you. One such idea for me is the greening power of God (viriditas), that Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) put forward in her works. Now when such an idea takes root you can see it in different ways, take it in directions that perhaps that the original author didn’t intend. It’s a phrase that describes mindfulness for me, in terms of what it can do.
What is greening for me? I believe it is something I have experienced in mindfulness. I see that mindfulness practices enable mindfulness as a trait to take root in us. In this way mindfulness is a slow miracle, where we begin to green inside, we experience a new freshness, a new release of creativity, a new wholeness, a new relationship with our senses, a new relationship with our own self, with others, with creation, with God.
I have experienced this through both mindfulness for health that you find in secular psychology, as well as the Christian distinctive of mindfulness of God. After all the Gospel is an embodied Gospel.
In this sense, mindfulness is the slow miracle of greening within us, where we begin to become what Irenaeus called ‘The Glory of God – a human being fully alive.’ When we practice both mindfulness for health and mindfulness of God I think we can become fully alive.
a link to Premier Radio’s Inspirational breakfast show interview with me on Christian mindfulness.
Mindful Relating – mindfulness day at St Mary’s Ealing
Saturday May 2nd 2015 from 10 to 4
Mindfulness is being used to transform our intimate relationships. In this day together we explore a Christian perspective on relating mindfully. Stress damages our relationships as do our own internal negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. Through mindful awareness we learn how to handle stress better, reduce our emotional reactivity and develop more skilled ways of communicating with our loved ones. We will also look at how developing a mindful/contemplative spirituality enhances our close relationships by living out of our deepest values.
If you want to sign up email me via this website and I will pass on your details to the organisers. The cost is £10.
Looking forward to teaching a stream on mindfulness from a Christian perspective at London School of Theology Summer School, 14-17 July.