To be successful at contemplative prayer and Mindful Christianity, you must be able to center your mind and focus your heart on the risen Christ and God’s presence. One critical way of being able to concentrate your mind on God is the idea of non-doing. The art of non-doing is cultivating time alone with God. It’s important to note that the meaning of non-doing is not the same as doing nothing.
Non-doing is an inward act that means cultivating a stillness or stopping all the things we feel we must do right now. Non-doing provides an avenue where there is no other agenda than being present to focus our attention on Christ in prayer.
It is nearly impossible for Americans and Westerners to grasp the concept and the value of non-doing. Our culture places such a high priority and importance on being productive and getting things done. Americans even work at scheduling leisure time with activity to have a successful vacation. There is no lasting peace in our life until we understand nothing else needs to happen to be whole and complete in our lives than to be present with Christ.
Here is the crux of the practice of non-doing in contemplative prayer. When making time for God, we stop doing all the activities that we think we must get done and focus our undivided attention on Christ. If I’m focused on family matters or bills to pay, I will never be able to entirely focus and learn how to be at peace with God. One of the most important lessons is discovering I must let go of the world’s concerns and stop doing anything except creating time for God alone.
Non-doing takes considerable effort to focus on the present moment and not be distracted in our prayer and bible study. Non-doing is concentrating on the present moment without letting the world’s distractions pull you away from your awareness and focus upon God.
When we focus on Christ in the stillness of our hearts, we discover what we need and how to respond to the issues we encounter in life. The contemplative or mindful Christian finds it is in the silence of the moment and in the presence of Christ that provides us the most explicit focus and insight for the decisions we need to make in our lives. The art of non-doing is cultivating time alone with God, which we all need.
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