Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 18, 2015
Is Mindfulness Soulful?
Meditation. Mindfulness. Soul work. Soulful.
Not—as Jon Kabat-Zinn might say, “spiritual.” In today’s chapter in Handbook for the Soul, Kabat-Zinn shies away from that word. He prefers the term “truly human.”
Spiritual, soulful. Regardless of exactly how and why a person does soul work, Kabat-Zinn considers that work nourishment for the soul. (He says that he isn’t sure about how or why it does whatever it has been found to do. But—it does!)
Kabat-Zinn was fortunate to work for the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He has found something that greatly assists many who come to the clinic. Or, perhaps I’ll let him tell you himself:
“We train people in formal and informal ways to cultivate greater nonreactive, nonjudgmental, moment-to-moment awareness—what the Buddhists call mindfuless.”  This manner of meditation is so beneficial. Instead of spacing out, or depression, or hopeless and helpless thinking, the author of the chapter thought we could generate positive thoughts and commends. Lo and behold, he was correct, in the best possible way.
How to reduce stress, anxiety, worry? Meditation–mindfulness. Take advantage of this positive method, and get rid of frustration, anger, sadness, and a whole host of other negative feelings and emotions. God willing, we have an opportunity to be free of whatever prison is locking us in.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995.), 109.