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Faces on Faith: Mindfulness is a choice to make, moment by moment

August 1, 2018
By JUNE SIEBER , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Receiving a gift card for Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago, led me to indulge in a caf latte and the chance to peruse a book titled "Meditation Is Not What You Think," by author Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor of medicine at the Center for Mindfulness and Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn suggests that we all have the challenge to use our time to cultivate capacities for learning and growing, healing and transformation. In fact, he believes this may be the "adventure of a lifetime." He posits that, "We all have the potential for healing and transformation no matter what situation we find ourselves in, whether of short duration or long standing."

Many of us have read Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" and about his retreat to a cabin in the woods "in order to live deliberately and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived." As a freshman at Kent State University, I wrote a commentary on Walden as a writing assignment, vowing I would "keep myself awake by an infinite expectation of the dawn" as a way of living deliberately.

I discovered that l43 papers have been written on "mindfulness," but all the recent ones focus on the daily stress we all encounter. One author suggests we are all suffering from an auto-immune disease of our very planet, which is continually causing disease. In fact, there has been a remarkable coming together of research and clinical practice in integrated medicine which implies the dynamic balance we call "health" is directly affected by the disturbed states of mind of human beings. Because we are all in an intimate relationship with the world in all our moments, the study suggests, there is a clear need for mindfulness.

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June Sieber

According to Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness involves recognizing "that you are already whole, complete in this very moment, in spite of any counter arguments you are already mobilizing. Mindfulness is about reclaiming your full dimensionality and possibility of the one life you have to live." The mindfulness on which Christian Scientists rely is found in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, in her seminal work "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," where she writes: "Man is the harmonious manifestation of the infinite Mind, which feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought."

Since mindfulness is a journey toward realizing who we really are, and living our lives deliberately, we all have this choice to make, moment by moment.

June Sieber is affiliated with the Sanibel Christian Science Church.



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