Christian Mindfulness Blog and Links

The Psalms – A Multidimensional Prayer and Meditation Manual

Is God calling you deeper into his heart?  How will you engage with him, relate to him and pray to him?  Do you want to meet with God in the deep places of your heart through prayer, meditation and silence?  Psalm 42 is a prayer of longing for God “as the deer pants for streams of water.”  In verse 7 we read that “deep calls unto deep in the roar of your waterfalls”.  This is no superficial or passing engagement with God.  It involves a heart that is hungry and thirsty for the living God, who alone can satisfy the human soul.  Ultimately only one thing really matters.

The Psalms are probably my favourite book of the Bible.  In the Psalms we find every possible human emotion and desire expressed in prayer.  They offer us an open doorway into a land less travelled by modern day believers because we tend to quickly read and then move onto something else that grabs our attention and focus.  But the Psalms were not written in such a hurried way.  Out of many hours of waiting on God, prayer and meditation, the poetic and imaginative writings of the Psalms beckon us to slow down and wade out into the deep waters of the Spirit.  We are invited not only to read but to immerse ourselves in the very Presence of the Lord who inspired Scripture.

Instead of a skimming over of the surface meaning of the text we are invited to be fully present to God in each moment and to express our own hearts desires and longings to him.  An exchange of presence takes places as we mindfully focus our attention on the reality that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us.  Just as a branch is utterly dependent on being part of the Vine, so we are the branches and Christ himself is that Vine from whom our entire spiritual life, nourishment and vitality depends.

The Psalms express the whole kaleidoscope of human experience from joyful celebration to the depths of despair and grief – and everything in between.  In the new Psalm Verse Meditations Menu on the Christian Mindfulness website, I have created 27 guided meditations which involve settling, grounding, resting, engaging with God in prayer, meditating and being with God.  Each meditation lasts for 15 minutes and is focussed on only 1 or 2 verses of a Psalm.  The menu is designed to be a bit like a multifaceted diamond.  In each meditation, you are invited both to pray to God and also to befriend silence where you are not rushing away from the single truth which is in focus.  Allow the Holy Spirit to take you by the hand and lead you into the depths of who God is – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The promise of Scripture is that as you gaze upon the Lord and contemplate who he is you will be inwardly transformed from glory to glory.  It is absolutely essential that you are convinced of this process of transformation and engage with the practice of opening up your heart towards God in a focussed and disciplined way.  The more you open up towards him and engage with Him in prayer and meditation, the more he can speak to you and touch your heart with his love and power.

My suggestion is that you engage with one Psalm Verse Meditation per week and seek to practice the guided meditation once or twice a day for 6 days out of 7 before moving on to the next one.  You can also carry your meditation into the rest of your day and call to mind the particular verse during moments of pause or rest in the morning, afternoon and evening.  You could write the verse down and carry it in your pocket, or memorise and recite the verse in your heart and mind.  The more you engage with Him, the more his beauty can be formed in you.  And the more his beauty is formed in you, the more your life will reveal the beauty of who God is.

For more details on the Psalm Verse Meditations Menu see here.

Richard H H Johnston

Director, Christian Mindfulness, Christian Contemplation and Christian CBT

© Richard H H Johnston

10 thoughts on “Christian Mindfulness Blog and Links

  1. What you describe as “Christian Mindfulness” is simply referred to in Scriptures as prayer and meditation. I do not use the term “mindfulness” in conjunction with Christianity, as mindfulness is a religious practice that comes out of the Buddhist religion. How do you reconcile that?

    1. Great question Pam. You are right that Buddhism includes teaching on mindfulness. But Buddhism does not have a monopoly on mindfulness, especially when you consider the definition of what mindfulness involves. It’s about practicing awareness in the whole of life. See the various blog articles and online courses for an exploration of Christian Mindfulness, prayer, meditation and contemplation.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I’ll have to read more of your articles. I’m writing a new biblically based book about disordered eating. When I learned that mindfulness came out of Buddhism, I ruled out including a chapter on the topic. I may have to reconsider. I have a couple more chapters to finish writing so I have time to decide about that. Again, thank you for your prompt reply.

  2. I agree Pam, I have had some negative responses from people in my church as I have talked about Christian mindfulness meditation. I’m not sure how to move forward with that?

    1. This is a very important point you have raised and there are a whole number of reasons that there can be resistance against Christian mindfulness and meditation. Other blog articles explore this further.

      Here are a number of key questions.

      1. What is mindfulness? How should we define it?

      2. Having defined mindfulness via no. 1 above…What aspects of mindfulness are compatible with biblical faith?

      3. Why do some Christians reject mindfulness? Are the reasons provided valid or do they involve views that have not been carefully thought through? e.g. The view that all meditation comes from Buddhism and/or Hinduism is false.

      4. If you are clear about what mindfulness and meditation are…and you can practice these in a way that is compatible with biblical faith…then why wouldn’t you?

  3. Thankyou for your response Richard, I agree with what you say, re why should Buddhism/Hinduism have the monopoly on Mindfulness and meditation. I guess I’m cautious as a fairly new Christian, I will have a search for the blogs you mentioned.

  4. I am so enjoying the Accredited Christian Mindfulness Course. I have only just begun but my goodness what an impact it is having! if a few weeks on this course can turn my thinking enough to see fruit from it and enhance my joy with God, wow why wouldn’t you! I haven’t yet had anyone question the mindfulness part of the course. I’m quite content and comfortable in being able to explain what it is and sign posting people to relevant (factual) information. so far so good. Thank you Richard and so grateful you added a search bar! makes life easy ha

    Toni

  5. I was a yoga teacher for many years and therefore was practising daily meditation. There was an emphasis on the beauty of the self and the fact that the self knows what is best for oneself.
    When I became a Christian over 10 years ago I stopped my yoga practise as I didn’t think it was compatible with my new faith.
    Suffering from depression on and off all my life I suddenly noticed that my low moods were daily occurrences. I was missing both the physical and mental side of yoga.
    Now I have discovered Christian Mindfulness and I practise yoga again. Both are compatible and I couldn’t think of a day without either of them.
    Thank you Richard for making this possible.
    Marie Jose

    1. Marie,
      I prefer to speak of mindful awareness of the body or mindful movement instead of speaking of yoga. Using various stretches and exercises in God’s presence can be really beneficial. We can underestimate the huge value of ongoing body awareness and self care in this process. I’m glad you’re finding Christian Mindfulness helpful.

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