What is Mindfulness?
We live in a busy world. Times now are more hectic and there's constant efforts coming from all directions to grab our attention. How do we deal with our world and all of its demands? Well if you've been paying attention, the answer the world offers is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? According to Headspace, a leading mindfulness and meditation app, mindfulness meditation practice is one way to truly experience the current moment and integrate that awareness into your everyday life. Headspace's website goes on to describe mindfulness as the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. All of this sounds amazing right? How could any of this is opposition to God's word?
Empty Your Mind
One of the phrases you'll hear thrown around in the mindfulness movement is “state of mind." Mindfulness calls for us to still or “empty” our minds. This practice seeks to put a person in an altered state of consciousness and achieve self enlightenment. But what does God say? Colossians 4:2 tells us to pray with an ALERT mind. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:7 to remain sober minded. Peter goes on in chapter 5 to remind us to stay alert and sober minded because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. So why would Christian subscribe to a movement that calls us to alter our state of mind and open ourselves up to Satan's influence?
Mindfulness also puts enlightenment and self focus over God focus. God is very clear in His assertion that we should put no other god before Him, this includes the god of self. Jesus reiterates this point in Mark 12:30. Mindfulness promises that we will be enlightened and gain a super natural state of consciousness. This sounds eerily similar to the promise made by Satan when he approaches Eve in the garden, he promises that Eve's eyes will open once she eats the fruit and that she will be “like God.” Similarly, mindfulness promises that you become more conscious.
Should Christians Meditate?
Meditation itself isn't harmful. There is plenty of scripture that advises us to meditate. But what should we as Christians meditate on? Joshua 1:8 calls us to meditate on God's laws day and night, Psalms 143:5 tells us to meditate on God's works.
We know from the Book of Job that Satan seeks to destroy our relationship with God. When we use the modern, new age, mindfulness techniques of meditation, we are opening ourselves up to a practice that is not Biblical in any way. It opens a door to us putting another form of spirituality above God.