Mindfulness is a term that confounds Christians. However, if I said, “Men and women live their lives in mindlessness, no one would think a second thought about it.” Mindlessness is living life as described, mindlessly. It is living my life on auto-pilot going through each day without awareness or appreciation of any particular moment. I am alive and breathing, but I live like the walking dead. I am like a robot subconsciously programmed, going through the motions of life out of touch with my thoughts and feelings. It is living my life on the surface, pushing down and repressing troubling thoughts and feelings. I was oblivious to my inner essence, soul, and spirit.
Mindlessness helps to create the craziness and chaos that results in my belief that the world I live in is hopeless and without meaning. People live and die everyday bewildered and overwhelmed by the mindless insanity of the world. Suicides, depression, and mental illness are partially the results of thoughts being mindlessly out of control. My thoughts impact my outward behavior. Mindlessness hinders me from experiencing the awareness of God’s presence and love.
The reason mindfulness is taboo for many Christians is they are unable to dissociate its rich meaning from its link to Buddhist meditation. It is essential to understand Christian and Buddhist traditions are not the same. They are total opposites in understanding their perception and understanding of God. In Buddhism, mindfulness is a word used by the Buddha to proclaim the enlightenment of his life is “being fully awake.” Instead of living in a mindless state out of touch with our feelings and perceptions, we live mindful of everything that goes on around us.
The desired way to live is not on auto-pilot like a robot but engaged in the life God has given. We live in the fullness of the moment by letting go of the past and the future. We learn to release our thoughts with guilt and anxiety. Mindfulness is bringing our minds back to the present moment. It is a simple concept with high power if we practice and apply it to our life.
The study of Christian mindfulness and solitude is a way to practice the awareness of God’s presence. It is the desire to be fully awake and alive in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. God’s word becomes alive and active, permeating our soul and spirit. It is no longer living in a non-mindful way separated from God. No longer do we live a life based on the lies of a self-focused world but live in the truth of God’s love and plan. Mindfulness is a safeguard against living life on auto-pilot sleeping in a fallen fantasy world separated from God.