I remember my Spiritual Director talking of mindfulness, without actually using the word, over 20 years ago. A wise old Catholic priest, he called it the Sacrament of the Present Moment. He advised me to read a book by the same name by a Jesuit Priest, Jean-Pierre de Caussade. In Catechism we learnt that a sacrament is ‘an outward sign of inward grace’. And truly the present moment can be a sacrament – because grace abounds, we just have to plug in to it.
I never did get my hands on the book, but I did attempt to understand what my Spiritual Director advised me to do. Learn to focus on the present moment and let it speak to me.
Called To Be Authentically Mindful
With mindfulness being the buzzword today, I often see that it is easy to confuse it with some feel-good, positive mumbo-jumbo.
Mindfulness is not some wonderful calm state of mind with piped music playing in the background. I wish it was.
No. Mindfulness is all about being aware. And awareness is all about being authentic.
indfulness is not trying to wish away what is going on in your life.
No. Mindfulness is about being present to all that going on in life.
The present moment is likely to be bring pain, confusion, uncertainty and dark emotions.
Mindfulness helps you to focus on these and deal with them.
It helps you ask the difficult questions. What part of me needs to be healed? Am I using being busy as an escape from what I really need to deal with in my life?
Mindfulness is not some facile ‘happiness potion’. It’s pretty darn hard work, like anything else in life that matters. It demands courage.
Do you agree with my idea of mindfulness?
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