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Where Is God in Mindfulness?

Cory Muscara






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Where Is God in Mindfulness?

Does religion and prayer overlap with mindfulness and meditation practice? Can you have your faith and still practice mindfulness?

Today, we are going to be talking

about how mindfulness might be

incorporated into your particular

faith, religion, spirituality.

More to say about that soon.

But first, let's settle in with the bells.

Here they are.

So one of our listeners asked any tips

on how to incorporate Christianity

with mindfulness meditation.

I feel like it's a great opportunity

to get connected with God, if you

believe in that sort of thing, but

I'm not sure how to go about it.


Great question.

And I first want to acknowledge that

there may be listeners of all different

faiths on this podcast, different

religions, different spiritualities.

So I'm going to try and make this as

accessible, relatable, and applicable

to as many listeners as possible with

the understanding that I am not an

expert in any particular religion.

So because of that, I am going to default

to a short story that I think illustrates

this intersection well between mindfulness

and however one conceptualizes their God.

So Dan Rather, a CBS anchor once

asked Mother Teresa, "What do

you say to God in your prayers?"

Mother Teresa responded,

"I don't say anything.

I just listen."

So Dan asked, "Well, what does God say?"

And she responded.

"He doesn't say anything.

He just listens."

She went on to say, "if you

don't understand, I don't

know how to explain it to you.

I don't know how you conceptualize prayer

and your own life, but I think we can

all agree there's something precious

and powerful and deeply meaningful in

how Mother Teresa practices prayer.

And I'm going to use her

perspective to draw parallels

with mindfulness meditation.

I've often said that mindfulness

meditation is just the

process of deep listening.

And not the kind of listening that

we do with the ears, but the kind of

listening we do with our whole being.

When we show up on the cushion or the

mat or the chair, and do our practice

and then set the intention and our

attention to the present moment, even

if we're just focusing on the breath, we

are dropping into our most fundamental

humanness, reducing the interface between

who we perceive to be ourselves and

what we perceive to be our experience.

Subsequently making more contact with our

life and merging with our true nature.

When we're caught in the story of our

lives, of who we are, what we are, why

we're the greatest thing since sliced rye

bread, where we're going, what we need

to get, who we're trying to become, all

of that, we build and play out a story.

It's a persona that we're

decorating and taking into the

world and trying to recreate and

build and make better and defend.

In the practice of mindfulness meditation,

we sort of just let all of that go.

We don't have to make it disappear, but

we acknowledge it when he comes up and

then drop in a little bit more deeply.

That dropping in could be focusing

on the breath or just feeling

what it's like to be alive.

And that feeling, that tuning in, that

dropping in is a form of deep listening

to yourself, to your experience,

to your fundamental humanness.

Now, I don't know where God is.

And I think this will, again, depend on

how you conceptualize God in your life.

But if God is everywhere, within us,

throughout us connecting us to all beings,

then it's impossible not to experience

God when we drop in, in that way.

When we step out of the story of who

we're trying to become, why we're

separate, why we're better, why we're

worse and just connect to what makes us

human, well, if that's what God created,

then that's what we get to connect to.

That's who we get to connect to.

So I'm a strong believer

that you can engage in your

mindfulness meditation practice.

Again, even if it's as simple as

just focusing on the breath and

bring the perspective, take the

lens that you're seeing God in

your experience as you drop in.

And that, that is a beautiful form of

prayer and connecting to your faith.

Now let's say you don't buy that.

Let's say you have a different

idea of prayer and what it

means to connect with God.


That connection still requires a

degree of presence, focus and not

being swept away by your thoughts.

So if you wanted to do your mindfulness

meditation practice to train those

capacities and then transition that

into prayer, where you set your

intention on your God, your faith,

a particular phrase, well, now

you're better resourced to do that.

So the very practical elements of

it, of what is required to pray well,

if we could even put it that way,

I think we can see those parallels

also with mindfulness meditation.

So here's my task to you today.

Engage in your practice

like Mother Teresa.

Even if you're of a different faith or of

no faith at all, what would it be like to

drop into your experience and just listen?

Not need to get any response and

to trust that whatever you're

listening to is also listening back.


hope this helps us see how, if you

have a faith, you can incorporate

it into your mindfulness practice.

And if you don't have a faith, maybe

there's more of it happening in your

mindfulness practice than you realize.

Great being with you today.

Take care.

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