One of the set of talks I joined at Wild Goose was on mindfulness. These were helpful to me personally, as I’m going through a period of transition and uncertainty, with my chaplain residency ending without a set job in place to pay the bills yet.
The first talk explored historic Christian mindfulness practices like lectio divina and centering prayer. In it we took part in both exercises and I heard a reminder to balance walking with God, and waiting on God daily so I neither give up nor rush into positions that are not right for me out of impatience.
The other was Scott Elliot’s talk on mindfulness Christianity which gave theology and history for it, including a rooting in the new monastic movement. Father Scott also explored the intersection of Buddhist and Christian mindfulness practice, & what a Christianity that incorporates the best of both looks like.
In facing my own experiences of heartache, deep hurt, & resulting anxieties in life I’ve found mindfulness a powerful approach that has paved paths to healing and peace. Too often as an activist Christian I’ve focused on justice work forgetting without healing what is broken in my soul, the other will just perpetuate new and different cycles of oppression. I am glad Wild Goose this year invited us to, as Jesus said, clean not just the outer glass but inside the cups of our soul.
Here is a poem I wrote earlier this year about my mindfulness practice. How do you cultivate mindfulness in your spiritual life?
And I’m not just whistling Dixie!
Your progressive redneck preacher,