Many people have been led to believe that Mindfulness is a totally harmless prayer technique for “slowing down to a state of lucidity in order to enter into God’s presence.” Is it true that Mindfulness is harmless? Should Christians practice what is clearly a Buddhist prayer technique? Dr. Peter Jones of truthXchange answers these questions:
In his article, “Is ‘Mindfulness’ Christian?,” (in Book Reviews, Life & Ministry16 October 7, 2016), Ian Paul, an Anglican minister, enthusiastically reviews the booklet written by fellow Anglican cleric, Tim Stead, Mindfulness and Prayer, in the grove spirituality series. Stead devotes his booklet and much of his ministry to normalizing for Christians the Buddhist technique of spirituality, namely Mindfulness. To his own question about the Christian nature of Mindfulness, Ian Paul enthusiastically answers, “yes.”
Rev. Paul assures us that the values of Mindfulness are found in the Bible. The deep thinking found in Mindfulness is exactly what the prodigal son does. He ‘comes to his senses.’ “Paying attention is simply a skill which needs practicing.” He assures us that we must not fear Mindfulness for it is now found in the mainstream clinical and psychological contexts–though to think such fields are neutral is surely a mistake. Finally we should, says Paul, “note how similar some of the techniques of Mindfulness are to those suggested by the great mystics who have explored contemplative forms of prayer. My own inspirations have been Teresa of Avila and the Eastern Orthodox Jesus Prayer tradition.” [Unfortunately it can be shown that those medieval mystics and their spiritual techniques were dangerously heretical, adopting a similar Buddistic form of contemplative spirituality, namely nondual neo-Platonism—so more is going on, but that is another, long story. … Rev. Paul assures us that Mindfulness is a totally harmless technique for slowing down to a state of lucidity in order to enter into God’s presence in prayer.