Saturday, September 11, 2010

What I Mean by Mindfulness

Mindfulness for me is the act of opening my mind and heart to the presence of God.  Over the past several months, as I've tried to become more alert to the presence of God in my life, I've tried using several "triggers" or "prompts" to remind myself that God is at work and to become more conscious of God's activity in my life.  The most helpful prompts have been acknowledging God's presence each time I open my laptop and each time I rise from a sitting position.  I don't know why these prompts have been more successful than others I have used, but they seem to work for me.  I know others who've set alarms to prompt them and who've used other regularly occurring events in their daily lives.

Another act that keeps God in my mind is listing all those for whom I pray on a daily basis. I review this list while I'm in the midst of some repetitive activity, like running errands or going on my daily bike ride.  I try to review my list once every day, but I do this apart from my regular devotional time.  Calling these names to mind and acknowledging my concern and interest in these others is an act of devotion, reminding me that God is at work in their lives, acting for their good, and that this action of God continues whether I pray for these loved ones or not.

My hope is that as I become more mindful of God throughout the day, my "mindfulness" will become a fixed habit that keeps God in my mind all day, not just when I am prompted by the acts of opening my laptop or rising from a seated position.  I wonder what prompts others may use and how successful others are in becoming increasingly aware of the presence of God.

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