Mindfulness meditation was once thought of as an Eastern mystical practice. But now it's transforming the minds of even the most conservative Christians in America. One United States congressman's solution to the chaos of the world's economic, social, and political turmoil is a practice known as "mindful meditation," a slippery slope that is being sold to Christians as a benefit not only for our over-scheduled souls, but as a solution for our healthcare system, schools, the military, the economy, and ultimately our human health.
In his new book A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit, Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio's 17th District advocates mindful meditation, which he has long suggested could fix chronic stress and illness. Ryan's claim is that when extended into the healthcare paradigm, mindful meditation has the potential to greatly reduce the overall cost burdens associated with healthcare.
He says his ultimate goal is to spread the word about mindfulness to everyone, a gradual process already taking place that he has dubbed a "quiet revolution."
The practices he recommends are drawn from Buddhism. Ryan is Catholic. He says mindfulness aligns with America's no-nonsense values like "self-reliance, stick-to-itiveness, perseverance and getting the job done."
His research interviews with scientists who have tested mindfulness on hospital patients, schoolchildren and even the US marines shows how prevalent mindfulness already has become in our nation.
New Age expert Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers For the New Age (CANA), has written many articles about Mindfulness and how it has infiltrated public school classrooms, hospitals and clinics, and other In her article, Mindfulness: No-Mind Over Matter, Marcia writes:
Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept and practice, the seventh step of the Eightfold Path. Mindfulness is more than a meditative practice; it is an outlook on life and reality that ideally results from a type of meditation designed to cultivate detachment. Detachment in Buddhism is necessary, because Buddhism teaches that attachment to this world, to your thinking, to your identity as an individual self, and other attachments, such as desires, keep you in the cycle of rebirth.
Buddhism holds that the self does not exist, and identification with the self keeps you in that cycle of rebirth. Therefore, to achieve liberation from this cycle, one must break the attachment, so detachment is necessary. Mindfulness is the method, and detachment with ultimate liberation is its goal. Mindfulness is often defined as a moment-by-moment nonjudgmental awareness of the present. For many years, this writer attempted to incorporate mindfulness into her life prior to becoming a Christian.
Though thoroughly Buddhist, mindfulness has been heavily promoted to the secular world by Jon Kabat-Zinn (b. 1944), a Zen Buddhist, whose book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, brought him into the public eye; and by Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926), a Zen Buddhist from Vietnam whose books have enjoyed great success in the West. Both lecture around the United States.
Ryan's book has a forward by Jon Kabat-Zinn who is the author of Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life
Those in the medical and natural healing professions often say that when applied in clinical situations, mindful meditation has been shown to produce positive results, whether it involves helping a person to focus on the present rather than dwell on the past, or alleviating past pains and patterns of destructive behavior and emotions through hypnotherapy. Says NaturalNews.Com, "Rep. Ryan's ultimate goal is to spread the word about mindfulness to everyone, a gradual process already taking place that he has dubbed a "quiet revolution." In his belief, the practice of mindful meditation has far less to do with practicing any sort of religion than it does simply gaining hold of one's life, and stopping the multitude of destructive environmental, social, and situational inputs from taking hold and destroying it."
- Mindfulness goes to Kindergarten (standupforthetruth.com)
- Beethoven, Mindfulness and Meditation (lindseyhmallinson.wordpress.com)
- A mindful nation: a US congressman argues for widespread adoption of mindfulness practice (beyondmeds.com)
- Mindfulness: no-mind over matter (standupforthetruth.com)
- Buddhist Maxims for Business. (alfredmeier.me)
- The Origin of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (christianresearchnetwork.com)
- US Congressman advocates meditation, mindfulness as solution to global conflict (keithmilby.wordpress.com)