9. Final thoughts
There is still a lot of suspicion about mindfulness in Christian circles due to it’s Buddhist roots. But as Jon Kabatt-Zinn, the American doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness in Western medicine says, ‘Saying mindfulness is Buddhist is like saying gravity is British because Isaac Newton discovered it!’ The fact is that mindfulness is our universal (God-given) capacity for awareness and attention.
Mindfulness reminds people of this basic need to reconnect with themselves, others and the universe. Interestingly the word religion means ‘reconnection’ (coming from the same root word as ligament) and reminds us of our primal need to reconnect with God, our creator and source.
Jesus taught people to,“watch out for false prophets… By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.”
The Bible tells us that the fruit of a tree is the indicator of whether it is good or not. It describes these fruits as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.” If mindfulness helps people to bear more of these kinds of fruits and has the potential to draw them closer to Jesus’ teaching, ‘to love God, and love one’s neighbour as one’s self’ I think it is of enormous value to the church and to all those pursuing humanities common values of love, peace and justice.