Mindfulness? Umm, let me think about it.

Very seldom do I leave home without a book so I can still be productive in case I get stuck in traffic or I have pockets of spare time. And knowing that I am about to experience my longest road trip so far for a vacation (more than 30 hours one-way!), I scanned my bookshelf, grabbed a very handy book I bought at the Big Bad Wolf book sale – Mindfulness on the Go by Padraig O’Morain.

I really had no idea what the book is all about, until after a few pages and few unfamiliar terms (such as lotus position), I realized that I am reading a book that is somehow related to meditation and psychotherapy. I delved in, still.

What is Mindfulness?

I think I like this part. Be mindful of what you eat :p
Mindfulness, according to O’Morain, is returning your awareness from your wandering mind to what’s happening in the present moment and doing so with acceptance. You have to return your awareness again and again because the mind wanders endlessly. I understood it simply as focusing on the now and on yourself.

The book offered a lot of practical tips on how to return to yourself while at home, at work, at school, while commuting, while you are with your kids or special someone, or even while doing menial tasks such as waking up, walking or sitting. It stresses on the idea that we must keep in touch with our realities (as opposed to our imaginations and perceptions leading to anxiety or depression). However, I find some of his tips redundant.

His recurring principle is to focus on breathing as the best tool for mindfulness. We become more relaxed and focused when we try to observe our breathing patterns – not rushing and not forcing it, just allowing ourselves to breathe naturally. He also asks the readers to observe their posture and body movements. It helps in being mindful. In fact, I tried some of his breathing tips while on the bus and indeed, it helps if you want to relax and be focused.

Minding Mindfulness

There is no issue in taking the book’s message as it is, being mindful of yourself – your emotions, your body, your thoughts, but still, it has to be subjected in the lens of the Scripture. The book has helpful portions about enjoying your meal by not rushing it, and to silence the anger in you by doing some breathing exercises. However, real peace and satisfaction cannot be found within ourselves. We cannot manufacture peace, because real, lasting peace comes from Christ alone.

As a Christian, this is one part I don't agree with.
Awareness of yourself doesn't end with peace,
but with the need of a Savior who gives peace.
When it comes to addressing issues of anxiety and depression, mindfulness suggests that when we try to look within ourselves and be mindful of what’s going on within us, we can at least deal with these stressors and emotional surges. It may help, but it can never heal. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us in our moments of weakness.

I have read that mindfulness plays innocent, but it is a new age practice. It guises as a relaxation tool but emptying your mind so that you can relax is so unchristian. Instead, we must “fill ourselves with the Word”. An idle and empty mind is a workshop for the enemy, but a mind full of the Word will find peace and joy, strength and hope.

After reading the book, I took it with a grain of salt. Not all teachings have to be accepted. Not everything that seems good is true, likewise not everything that seems true is good.
Mindfulness? Umm, let me think about it.  Mindfulness? Umm, let me think about it. Reviewed by Marts Valenzuela on May 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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