Living with the Mind of Christ is a book based around the practice of ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction’ (MBSR) combined with the teachings on contemplative prayer from the Christian mystic tradition. MBSR has its origins in Buddhist meditation practices and is to do with learning to ‘be’, letting go of self-analysis through fixing attention on one thing before developing awareness of the quality of the attention itself.
The Christian mystical tradition is the part of Christianity which speaks of personal experience of God normally in the context of silence and stillness. Most Christian mystics talk of both finding and losing themselves in God.
There is a lot of debate as to the compatibility of ‘Mindfulness’ and Christian belief. Stefan Reynolds argues that the mystical side of Christianity supports the practice of mindfulness. It aims to show how MBSR is equivalent to the essential stages on the journey of Christian self-knowledge and does not contradict advice on prayer from Christian mystics from across the centuries. By recognising the long cultural roots of contemplative practice in the west MBSR is affirmed by the mystical voices of Christianity.
Stefan Gillow Reynolds has MAs in ‘The History of Christianity’ and ‘Christianity and Inter-Religious Dialogue’ as well as a PhD from London University on mysticism. He has always been concerned with putting mysticism into practice, himself managing a busy restaurant in London (‘the Mustard Seed’) and working as Conference Administrator at Heythrop College. He gives retreats and seminars on meditation and is also an editor and book reviewer.