Mindfulness has been described as an open undivided observation of what is occurring both internally and externally (Brown and Ryan 2003). It is a meditative state in which people become more self-aware or self- examination of one’s thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and emotions.
Although the practice of mindfulness is rooted in Buddhism, the ideology behind it, to achieve stillness, quietness and peace of mind, is a fundamental pillar in the Bible. Essentially, it is often a struggle to control emotions or thoughts on our own will simply because we are born slaves to a sinful nature. In fact, our natural inclination is agitation, anxiety and worry. However, the Bible teaches us how to achieve the inner peace not through man’s effort but through the power of the Holy Spirit who sets our minds free to discover true peace. The peace of God.
In Philippians 4. The story unfolds at a stressful time in the Philippian church. First of all, Paul who was their spiritual father was in prison and the Philippians had gathered some gifts and supplies to be delivered to him by Epaphroditus, their friend. Remember, in those days it took a long time to deliver mail/packages, they mainly walked or used boats at sea which would take months at times.
Unfortunately, during this trip, Epaphroditus was taken ill; again, in those days modern medical expertise was not available and a lot of people died. So it was a very stressful time and they were anxious about the outcome of Paul and Epaphroditus. But Paul wrote and exalted them saying:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:6-7
Mindfulness is paying attention. It is noticing or being aware what you are doing by feeling and thinking at the time you are actually doing. It is so easy to get caught up in our little world of problems and not pay attention to God, our helper or his word which has the answer to all our concerns. But by paying attentions, we get our mind back to our true identity in Christ and what we have in him. This brings back the peace that Jesus left us when he said,
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a
gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27, NLT.