Mindfulness In Different Religious Traditions

shinto achieves mindfulness through precise repetition of ritual in a respectful manner.
stoicism achieves mindfulness through small daily task completion in a virtuous manner.
buddhism achieves mindfulness through meditation and escape from reality.
Islam achieves mindfulness by many memorizations and ritual prayers during every single day.
christianity achieves mindfulness by personal and collective prayer (and song).

Bill Joslin’s Order:

1 Stoicism – 2 Shinto – 0 Buddism – -1 Christian – -2 Islam

1 engages reality purposefully
2 engage reality arbitrarily
0 avoid reality
-1 engages fantasy (excluding Christian mystic practices) or could be listed above 0 because it is also engaging community…. tough one
-2 vigorous assimilation of fantasy


3 responses to “Mindfulness In Different Religious Traditions”

  1. There’s “christianity,” and there’s Christianity. Christianity (the Catholic Faith) encourages mindfulness by:

    1) precise repetition of ritual in a respectful manner (Mass, Divine Office, Angelus, many pious customs)

    2) small daily task completion in a virtuous manner (the canon for beatification, and the constant yardstick of one’s spiritual health, as declared repeatedly in manuals on spiritual life and theology, is: “constant fidelity to the duties of one’s state in life” – i.e., doing one’s routine work with the intent of extirpating all vice and building virtue in the act)

    3) Contemplative Prayer – both in the prayer of absolute stillness, which, far from avoiding reality, tends very much to heighten one’s connection with it; and, also, in more discursive mental prayer, which emphasizes the refinement of one’s intentions and presence of mind, and the formation of resolutions commensurate to those intentions for conquering one’s vices and leading life in a deliberate manner.

    4) discursive prayers of repetition, such as the rosary and ejaculatory prayer, which are designed to unite the intention of man to his final end, and to order his present activities accordingly. You may call this “fantasy” (a pitiable error); even if it were “fantasy,” the mythological potency present in the Mysteries of the Life of the Virgin and of Christ, and of Scripture, have proven to be aqueducts of beauty into many a fertile mind’s field.

      • Which do you mean? The Christian religion and its particular dogmas? That’s a long conversation. Also, estimations of what is necessary, will vary depending upon the end, at which one is aiming. I would say the Church and the Faith are necessary because God, the Necessary Being, first cause and final end of all things, so wills. To ask why anything is necessary, ultimately brings us to the decrees of this inscrutable Being.

        I think the idea that religion is simply a utilitarian means to human flourishing, is self-discrediting when one gets down to the first principles of such a view. On a more practical level, the masses will never really understand it, and will always be prone to superstition; the slightly clever crowd will embrace it as evidence of their cleverness and impart to it the odor of their smugness; the keenly intelligent will either perceive its incoherence and reject it, or will suppress this judgment and accept the view for other reasons, causing the very fountain of man’s quickness to become, for them, a cold comfort – though still, somewhat, a comfort.

        Even if one wanted to embrace a utilitarian view of religion, there is the question of whether Europe and European man can divorce from Christianity without diminishment and perhaps irrevocable injury. It is no coincidence that the crisis of the West coincides with the crisis of the Church; all (or, at least: very much) of the criticism about the Church being a suppressor of truth – Galileo, the Inquisition, etc. – is just so much Freemasonic and Liberal propaganda. The Church was a tyrant, indeed, to Liberalism, and they tell us the stories; why should an enemy of Liberalism should be willing to accept, more or less, the smears of Liberals against the greatest institution of Western Civilization – the Church? The essence of our pagan heritage – the mythos and wisdom of its polytheistic insights, its philosophy, its law, etc. – was wholly preserved therein, united to the Truth, which entered the world when God destroyed weakness by weakness, and deracinated the counter-tradition by becoming Incarnate smack in the middle of that perfidious people who are always the chief proponents of the counter-tradition. The Church was the engine of science and philosophy, until Liberalism took these and perverted them via a godless and materialistic dialectic into the engine of their triumph, using them to discredit the ecclesiastical institutions that had birthed them. Had it not been for Liberalism, I have no doubt that science, philosophy, law, etc., would have continued to flourish under the Church, far more so than henceforth under Liberalism. Nobody denies that the Church’s former institutions have been coopted by Liberalism; people understandably differ on whether this means Christianity is finally collapsing, or whether this is that chief crisis, which the Church has long anticipated, and which She now will weather until the way forward opens.

        Yes: the arc of Liberal history and the apostasy of the West is disposed as God’s providence wills, and isn’t a simple story; sorry to ramble. Such an immense topic won’t be resolved in a combox.

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