Holy be the Lay: A Way to Mindfulness Through Christian Poetry

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LIDSEN Publishing Inc
(c) 2022 The Author
CC BY 4.0
Mindfulness practices have exploded in popularity in public awareness and in therapeutic applications. While mindfulness in a therapeutic context is presented as a secular practice, its primarily Buddhist heritage may make some Christian clients wary of engaging. Research indicates that both reflection (co-creation) on poetry and creation of poetry can be therapeutic, and that both Buddhist and secular/therapeutic mindfulness texts use poetry to convey meaning through key themes of nature, change/impermanence, stages of practice, and acceptance. Taken together poetry offers a pathway to mindfulness, which in this article is applied to the Christian client. Examples are given of: how mindfulness-based practices are in accordance with Christian teachings (e.g., grace theology), that poetic practices already exist in Christian traditions (e.g., Lectio Divina and the Prayer of the Heart), and themes previously identified in Buddhist and secular/therapeutic mindfulness related poetry, are also present in Christian poetry. It is argued that poetry can provide an appropriate and palatable vehicle for introducing Christian clients to mindfulness, which allows for the individual’s spirituality to be harnessed as a mediator of the benefits of mindfulness practice.
Kempton H. (2022). Holy be the lay: A way to mindfulness through Christian poetry. OBM: Integrative and complimentary medicine. 7. 2.