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I am excited to share with you my review of Living with the Mind of Christ: Mindfulness in Christian Spirituality by Stefan Gillow Reynolds. Stefan is a Benedictine Oblate of the World Community for Christian Meditation, co-ordinator for Oblates in Ireland and an Associate of the Irish Cistercians. He has a PhD from London University in Christian Spirituality and gives regular retreats and seminars on Christian mysticism.
“What we can learn from the Christian mystics is that there is not just one type of mindfulness.” The book is nicely divided into 8 chapters that reviews the following mystics: Jesus, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, St. Augustine, Meister Eckhart and John Main to a name a few. We learn that there are four main mediums of mindfulness: the body, the heart, the mind and the soul.
This book will be attractive for someone who wants to embark on a deeper study of the mystics. Two chapters appealed to me: Chapter 1: Jesus, Teacher of Mindfulness and Chapter 5: Letting Go, Letting God.
Jesus, Teacher of Mindfulness
“Mindfulness in the Christian vision is to ‘let the same mind be in [us] that was in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 2:5).” I practice centering prayer on a daily basis. Centering prayer is a practice or tool that opens me to contemplative prayer: the pure presence of God.
I find that my silent prayer practice teaches me how to put on the mind of Christ. In other words, it teaches me how to be mindful in my actions during the day. The actions of Jesus were certainly mindful: other centered, compassionate, empathetic, fully present with life. “Mindfulness is the art of being open to what life presents, moment by moment in its newness.” Throughout the Gospels we see the mindfulness of Jesus’ actions.
Meister Eckhart, Letting Go and Letting God
I found Meister Eckhart to be very appealing. “Let us Pray to God that we may be free of God that we may gain the truth.” That in essence is what I do during centering prayer. Centering prayer is a time of continuous “letting go” and “letting God.” I must reread this chapter in the near future a bit slower and with a highlighter in hand.
I will leave this book on my bedside table with the intention of a second run through chapters 2 and 5 that discuss Jesus, Teacher of Mindfulness and Letting Go, Letting God. Thank you Stefan for writing such a thoughtful and insightful book on many of our important mystics!
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Living With The Mind of Christ: Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality by Stefan Gillow Reynolds
The Wisdom of Love in the Song of Songs by Stefan Gillow Reynolds
Jesus the Teacher Within by Laurence Freeman
First Sight: The Experience of Faith by Laurence Freeman
 Stefan Gillow Reynolds, Living in the Mind of Christ: Mindfulness in Christian Spirituality, (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd): 2016
Orthodox Crafts: Prayer ropes are used to help Eastern Orthodox Christians say the Jesus Prayer. In Russian they are called “chotki”, while in Greek they are called “komboskini”. Our wool prayer ropes are hand made from Cashmira black pure wool, counting from 33, 100 to even 300 knots. We consider that it’s very important not to step aside from the traditional method of prayer rope tying, as well as keeping their look and feel as close as possible to the old, Orthodox monastic models. Enjoy my post How I Use My Prayer Rope.
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The rate is $50 – $75 per hour. The first session is 1/2 off.
Feel free to peruse my Resource Page. I frequently update it with new information.
I am currently reading Moving from Stress to Joy by Nicholas Amato.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine: Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative process and more fully embody and integrate the the higher stages of the mystical path, Contemplative Perspectives offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism: This is a combined course of both Contemplative Practices and Contempative Perspectives.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)