Mindfullness and combating sin


#1

Hello everyone,

a little background to my question: I had gone to confession one day at an Abbey of a nearby traditional order of Priests and Fr. recommended a book to me on mindfulness meditation. I have been to this priest many times and he has always given me solid Catholic advice, and so I wanted to take this advice seriously as well. I have done some background research on it, and even though some Buddhist monks have adopted as a school of meditation, it is not exclusively Buddhist. It is detached from any sect as far as how the practice is run. Also, it isn’t focused so much on “emptying” the mind like some Eastern forms of meditation, but as the name indicates, but is meant to let go of the bad stuff you are holding onto and to just be in the present moment (which is not un-Catholic necessarily).

Anyways, I pray Lauds and Vespers everyday and am a pretty traditional Catholic. I notice though with the adopting of liturgical prayer, when you feel the urge to sin mortally or do bad things, it seems like some kind of immediate medication (meditation) is needed to try to fight that. I have read of other Christians finding therapeutic results in some forms of meditation that are not Un-Catholic, but not explicitly Catholic either. I am still trying to adopt the practice of Lectio Divina, but for the sake of this convo, I am wondering if any Catholics on here practice Mindfulness Meditation and how that works for them? I am posting it in this forum because I do think there is a moral component I am wondering about as a practicing Catholic.


#2

Greetings,
Not a catholic but practice mindfulness to the best of my ability. Mindfulness simply means to be mindful of something whether the breath(often), an object such as the tea one is drinking at the moment or the apple one is eating. We can be mindful any task we are doing such as washing the dishes or driving the car or mindful of walking. This means that our full attention in on the task at hand or the breath or what we’re eating.
So I believe we can be mindful of our prayers as well. When the mind wanders we come back to the particular prayer we are saying instead of it being rote. Be aware of what we are praying fully. This is to be mindful. Being mindful means to be in the present moment. Hope some of this helps-blessings to you and yours.


#3

Thank you for the nice words, Puzzledtoo.


#4

My husband was suffering from SEVERE depression about 10 years and was introduced to Mindfullness as part of his treatment. He beat the depression (thanks be to God!) but still meditates 20 mins every day; it keeps him grounded and focused on every day tasks. His spiritual advisor (from our nearby Abbey) told him it was ok.


#5

You’re quite welcome codefro. Catholic1954 Thank you for sharing your and your husband’s journey. May we all be so fortunate.


#6

I have personally found that practicing mindfulness has helped me. I have not practiced mindfulness as a meditative practice but just in every day living. By mindfulness I mean basically focusing on what I am doing or experiencing. I have a tendency towards negative and catastrophic thinking which leads to anxiety. For me mindfulness has been a great relief from this.

As for how it touches on sin I think practicing mindfulness to combat sin is a great aid. When I was younger I used to swear a fair amount. It became something I just did reflexively. I had to become more aware of what I said to modify my speech. I’d say that is being mindful. Likewise I find many other sins I engage in I do almost automatically. Some I am even purposeful about not being mindful about lest I actually feel accountable for them. So I think mindfulness, so long as it doesn’t contradict the Faith (and it needn’t), is a great thing.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.