When Bishop Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore warned that the meditation technique called 'Mindfulness' was not suitable for Catholic schools, RTE, through Anne Doyle, launched a tirade against him on prime time radio. But what is the truth?
Even 15 minutes research on the internet will reveal that, for a small number of participants, the practice of 'Mindfulness' will cause mental and psychiatric problems. This is accepted even by practitioners of 'Mindfulness'.
Willoughby Britton, writing in 'Science Direct' states, "Intentionally directing attention to one¹s present moment experience - a central aspect of Mindfulness - has been associated with many positive outcomes. However, high levels of self-focused attention have also been found to be associated withpsychopathology and negative affect. Indeed, high levels of the observing awareness facet of Mindfulness have been repeatedly found to be associated with worse mental health, including increased depression, anxiety, dissociation, and substance abuse and decreased ability to tolerate pain."
He suggests that these negative outcomes can be REDUCED by stressing the"non - judgemental" nature of Mindfulness. But the bottom line is, the practice of 'Mindfulness' can cause mental and psychiatric problems.
Take the case of Jessica Joy whose testimony is available on Youtube. When Jessica was 12, her parents divorced, causing her stress and depression. To help her to cope, a doctor introduced her to the practice of 'Mindfulness'.
She was instructed to practice this for 10 minutes a day. At first, this gave her some relief, but did not satisfy. So she thought that what she needed was go deeper into it. Again this still didn't fully satisfy, so she went deeper still into the spirituality behind 'Mindfulness' and this led her into related spiritualities until they took over her life - she was spending 6 hours a day at it..
Along the way, she was introduced to an understanding of God and of the human person that is totally contrary to the Christian understanding.
In Buddhism itself, from which 'Mindfulness' is derived they believe not in a personal God or in a Saviour, but in reincarnation. They also believe that through meditation one can "achieve a higher state of consciousness".
But if one turns one's back on the Christian God, inevitably that one will turn to other god's, or think oneself to be a God. Indeed at many New Age events they chant, "me/God God/me.
Such practices eventually led Jessica Joy out of the Christian faith. This is common amongst those who go deeper into the spirituality behind 'Mindfulness'.
Either it leads them out of the Christian faith, or else to adopt an understanding of God, of salvation, and of the human person that is gravely at odds with Christian belief.
Then they claim to be Christians, but aren't Christians - and that is worse than if they acknowledged that they are no longer Christians. Especially if they hold a position of responsibility like a teacher, a doctor, a nurse. They claim that what they are promoting or teaching is Christian when it is not.
Where people go deeper into the spirituality behind 'Mindfulness', what do they find?
Many, like Jessica Joy, are introduced to forms of meditation that create fake religious experience which they may call "higher consciousness". Thisdoesn't lead to the living God nor does it require one to take the essential step, repentance of sin, that one needs to take in order to become open to the living God.
What many find is that this search for "higher consciousness" creates a thirst for more, rather than satisfying, and so some, like Jessica Joy, start using psychedelic drugs to give them more "higher consciousness"
As they go deeper into the spirituality behind 'Mindfulness', they often branch out into other New Age spiritualities. Here they are inevitably introduced to entities called 'spirit guides' and many of them, like Jessica Joy, have encounters with these 'spirit guides' some of whom turn out to be quite nasty. As Jessica Joy eventually realised, she had opened the door for demons to enter her life, and what she experienced was most frightening.
Others seek the power which New Age meditation techniques offer. Having been led to believe that they are God, or have God in the higher levels of their being, they are introduced to what is known as "the law of attraction" and led to believe that they can bring things about if they visualise them enough.
Often finding that the "law of attraction" is not giving them all the power they seek, they go deeper, and going deeper involves going into the practice of witchcraft. There are many testimonies on Youtube from people who were sucked into the practice of witchcraft this way.
Where 'Mindfulness' is introduced into schools, parents should be told,
1. That studies have shown that for some, 'Mindfulness' can cause psychiatric and mental problems.
2. That 'Mindfulness' has the capacity to suck some people in deeper into the spirituality behind it. And that if it does,
A. It will likely lead them out of the Catholic Church, or else lead them to continue to claim to be Christian while holding beliefs and under- standings that are deeply contrary to what Jesus teaches.
B. That if they seek to attain "higher consciousness" some end up taking psychedelic drugs to enhance their experience of it.
C. That if they branch out into related spiritualities, they will be offered techniques for causing things to happen, and
D. Also if they branch into related spiritualities they will encounter 'spirit guides'. Some of these 'spirit guides' (demons) may turn very nasty and as a result one could have very upsetting experiences.
The reality of all this is readily available on the internet with countless testimonies from people on Youtube who have been through it all. (Google"from New Age to Jesus")
These facts should be presented to parents before 'Mindfulness' is introduced into schools.
Meanwhile Jesus offers a far far better way for dealing with stress than 'Mindfulness'
Jesus says, "Come to Me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest."
Take the steps to come to Jesus and to bring whatever is causing you stress to Jesus, and it will be infinitely more powerful than 'Mindfulness'.
The first necessary step is to come to Jesus. You cannot come to Him if for you, He is a distant God or worse still, merely a prophet.
You need a living relationship with Him if you are to "come to" Him.
Jesus is God and He desires to enter your life, to become your best friend, to even come live within you.
But you do need to invite Jesus to come live within you. He is saying to you,
"I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in² Rev 3:20
If you have already invited Jesus to live within you, you don't need toinvite Him again. If, however, you have never before invited Jesus to live within you, do so now.
Lord Jesus, I am truly sorry for my sins,
and I desire to have every compulsion to sin broken.
and I invite You to live within me.
Make your home within me.
Just as I don¹t ask Jesus to give me two hands as I already have two hands, so too you need no longer ask
Thank You, Jesus, that You the Lord, the God of creation, are living within me.
Then start coming to Him with your problems. Cry them out to Him. Tell Him exactly how you are feeling.
The Bible says, "Commit your cause to the Lord. Trust in Him and He will act on your behalf" Psalm 37:5
You "commit your cause to the Lord" in the first place by telling Jesus exactly how you feel (either in word or by writing it down which can often be very helpful if something is going round and round in your mind.)
But it also requires that you hand it over to Him and that is where we often fall down.
When we call in the Master Architect, Jesus, He is now on the job. He can see the way forward far better than we can.
The challenge is to surrender it to Him to commit to doing things His way, and to trust Him. 'Trust in Him and He will act on your behalf."
The Bible also says,
"Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
It is not easy. But the good news is that every time we succeed in surrendering something to Him and trusting Him, it becomes easier the next time,
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