Several years ago I stumbled onto Dan Harris and his book - 10% Happier.
I've also read his newest book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.
I find it strange that I found meditation and mindfulness through the secular world rather than my growing up days in church. But that is a difference. The evangelical world did not promote mindfulness from this stand point. Of course any decent growing up baptist heard the expression "quiet time". But that quiet time always included a bible - maybe a devotional book - but I certainly did not read the same language, hear the same thoughts that authors like Dan Harris discuss.
Sometimes I think that is my (personal) issue with the religion I grew up with - many times - it almost got to the point - but that is really another topic for another day.
Mindfulness - Meditation - ?
On that bookshelf with the Dan Harris' books is a duplicate of a Jen Hatmaker book. I wonder if anyone reading this blog would like that extra copy? If so - message me on Facebook and I can get it to you!
That bookshelf is a bit of a great example of my mind - and also a great example of why mindfulness & meditation can be such a good thing. Growing up - my mother actually taught me something similar but we did not call it one of those names. There would be times in my life that she knew I just needed a diversion -
She would tell me to go play the piano.
Of course on this very day - the piano is rather difficult to get to (there is a legitimate reason why this room is a mess - more on that later!) But soon - I can - just like soon I will be able to get to the book shelf too.
I have continued this study of Mindfulness and Meditation - now I have overlapped the study with a spiritual - religious side. And for those of you who regularly practice yoga - I suspect I am speaking your language - but you are so much more fluent that me! I suspect that the pausing of the mind in the yoga practice is a huge component of why we hear that yoga is so good for us.
The study of the Mystics are a great avenue to learn more about the practice of meditation and mindfulness. I have enjoyed the work of James Finley - Thomas Merton - Richard Rohr and the activities and practices of "The Center for Action and Contemplation". I know I have much more to learn.
I have also found children's books that talk about these practices. I find myself buying them quickly to share with the precious 4 in my life.
Of course something to discuss here is the Buddhist faith and my assumption that Mindfulness & meditation is very relevant to those practicing - (from what I can tell). I have certainly found that reading and learning from that faith can add to my understanding of mindfulness & meditation. And let me be honest - referencing the Catholic faith (as I did with Finley, Merton, Rohr) would have not happened during my growing up years - and I certainly would never have referenced or even spoke of the Buddha.
If you noticed - one of the books that I have for the grandkids is a book about the Dali Lama. Again - never something I would have discussed growing up. My faith - my beliefs - my way of life was very confined to what I heard at that baptist church. And while what I heard had many wonderful things that I still cling to in this day - there are things that I have added to learn about that have made a difference too.
Honestly - what all of these things have in common - and I will include my dad in this group too. My dad was my first spiritual teacher - and my dad along with all of these other references would start first with Love.
I suspect when we are serious about mindfulness and meditation - we find Love is more abundant.
Inside the cover of Zen Pig ....
Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.