I practice Centering Prayer. I was curious about what I might learn about mindfulness so I decided to peruse this book. Let me share what I found interesting.
Why Practice Mindfulness
"A hot topic of research, mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, improve overall well-being, re-wire the brain for focus and foster empathy and positive relationships"
"How do you prevent constant stress from becoming distress How do you connect to your own inner voice in the midst of demands for 24/7 availability"
I also find that my centering prayer practice reduces my stress, helps me to better focus during the day and slows me down so I consciously take the time to listen to others: foster empathy and maintain better relationships with others.
My centering prayer practice connects me to my Inner Voice both during my silent sits and during the active parts of my day. My Inner Voice is God within me who is delighted to be my constant companion and life long partner!
What Is Mindfulness
"Conceptually, mindfulness means paying attention to what's happening in the present moment in the mind, body and external environment, with an attitude of curiosity and kindness."
Mindfulness practices help one to walk through life in this manner. I have found that my centering prayer practice also helps me to be more fully present with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.
Centering prayer slows me down and helps me to better focus and embrace the present moment as it is without judgement.
Fruits of Mindfulness
"I am more comfortable with ambiguity, able to rest in that creative space of possibility between the old and the new."
"Meditation has been what makes life beautiful, robust and meaningful." These are comments by an interviewee within the book.
"A central claim of mindfulness is that it improves concentration and focus."
"Resilience muscles that you build while meditating become strong enough to kick in naturally in daily life, when the stakes are high and you need them the most."
"By developing greater moment-by-moment awareness, we tap in to new possibilities."
All of these are wonderful fruits that I have also seen within my everyday life as a result of my centering prayer practice.
"I will provide clear instruction on a range of techniques, giving you ample opportunity to pick those that appeal to you."
Meg shares a plethora of techniques: Feel-See-Hear, Noting, Just Feel, Just See, Just Hear, Note Everything, Focus Out, Focus In, Focus on Rest, Focus on Flow.
I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the practices mentioned and will need a second run through the book to hone in on the one or two that might appeal to me.
"All mindfulness teachers-indeed all spiritual leaders-say the way to judge the efficacy of your practice is by looking to the long-term effects on your life."
I feel the same way about centering prayer. A twice per day centering prayer practice kept up daily, weekly, monthly, yearly will transform you as you continue to open to the presence and actions of the Divine within.
I encourage you take a look at this book if you wish to learn more about mindfulness and its wonderful long term benefits on your mental and physical health.