The practice of mindfulness is generally associated with Eastern religions and philosophies, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. However, the value of being present is actually found in almost all religions and belief systems, including Christianity.
Though mindfulness can mean many things and be achieved through a variety of activities, it’s core definition is simply awareness and a focus on the here-and-now. Incorporating this practice in your life can help you feel healthier and more balanced mentally, physically and spiritually. As a senior, mindfulness is as important as at any time in your life, and the peaceful Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Phoenix, AZ, can be an ideal is place to find it.
The benefits of mindfulness are well known. Taking time for meditation and awareness is known to improve focus and memory, which can help you be more productive. It may also help you find greater joy and happiness in various moments. Most importantly, you’ll strengthen your relationship with God by being more mindful of Him in your life.
God likes to repeat stuff when it’s important, and echoing throughout the Bible is the phrase “Be still.” He wants to be very clear about what we should do when we have questions or fears.
In Psalm 46:10 we’re told, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’.” In this verse is an answer to many questions and worries: Let go.
God knows that if you let go of the ideas and thoughts that plague your mind and focus on being mindful of what you know is true, you will realize that He's there. Your fears and questions become less urgent, less important and less powerful when you are focused on the awesome light and power of God.
Another example of taking up a quiet mind comes from Job 6:24 when Job asks, “Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.” Job is concerned that he is being punished for something he did, but he knows that if he is always talking and thinking about this concern, he won’t be present to listen to what God has to say. So Job becomes silent so he can hear the answers He asked for.
Prayer is a conversation, and conversations consist of two parts: speaking and listening. But a lot of the time, it's easy to forget the listening part in favor of the talking. Meditative prayer is one way to practice listening.
All you need to do for this type of prayer is sit and listen with an intention or question in mind, but that can be challenging. Our mind often wants to wander and become preoccupied, so trying to be wholly focused on God is not as simple as it sounds.
One helpful device to stay focused is mantra. This method involves repeating a word or phrase to help keep you focused. The phrase can be anything you like, but a Bible verse that relates to the intention of your prayer is a common choice. Using a Bible verse also helps you remember it, but make sure you don’t get too caught up in analyzing the meaning. The verse is just supposed to help you remember to focus on God.
“And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
Jesus was a carpenter, and this verse tells us to work with our hands. The deeper spiritual meaning of this might not be readily apparent to those who have grown in faith to Western Christianity.
Ironically, though, someone from the Hindu culture might find that this makes perfect sense. Hindus have many different exercises and practices for mental, physical and spiritual well being called yoga. You’re probably familiar with or have even participated in the most common form of yoga, ashtanga, which involves postures to strengthen your body and increase blood flow.
But there are other yogic practices. One is karmic yoga — mindfulness through action. Understanding the concept of this yoga practice might helps explain why there is an emphasis on working with your hands in this verse.
Practicing this form of yoga is very simple: You just do something. It can be almost anything. But there’s a catch: You just do something. You don’t let yourself get caught up in what you're doing next or what problems you might be facing. You focus completely on what you are doing. This practice can be like quality time with God. It’s just you and Him doing something without distractions.
Whether you’re interested in improving your relationship with God or want to improve your mental and physical well-being, mindfulness-oriented activities can be beneficial in your life.