Katherine Thompson, practising psychologist and academic, is Australia’s Christian mindfulness expert. She draws on the rich Christian tradition to present Christian mindfulness exercises which help us slow down, connect to what is happening inside ourselves and make space to listen for God’s guidance in everyday life.
Holding nature in our hand
My cat Alan has a gentle and peaceful nature. He is at his best when he sits still and gets absorbed in simply observing something in his environment. He can teach us a lot about being open to the wonder of being curious about the world around us. His favourite pastimes include watching the magpies outside the lounge room window, sitting on the grass in the back garden watching an insect slowly pass by in front of him, or being riveted by a butterfly sitting on a flower.
This simple exercise will settle your soul
Enjoying God’s creation with an attitude of wonder and curiosity like our pets or children, is one of the most basic ways that we can connect to God. We see God in the textures, colours and shapes of things around us.
To take the time to really see, hear, taste, smell and touch the world around us will bring us naturally to a point of praise and worship.
For the next exercise, find something from nature that you can hold in your hands. It could include:
- a leaf skeleton
- live snails or insects
- grass, flowers, bark, leaves
- interesting rocks
- an animal (lizard, cat, dog, guinea pig, rabbit)
Connect to the Spirit of God
Sit quietly with the object or animal you chose.
Notice what you can see.
Now look at the thing you are holding. Really look at it. Notice the colour, and all the intricate details you can see. Notice the size and shape.
Notice what you can hear.
Can you hear any sound when you touch it? What is this like?
Notice what you can taste.
If you are holding something you can taste, try it and see what you notice as you do this.
Notice what you can smell.
What does your object or animal smell like? Are they smelling you?
Notice what you can touch.
Use your sense of touch. What does it feel like when you hold it? When you gently run your finger tip over the surface, what can you feel? Notice the texture. Is it rough, or smooth, or bumpy?
God you are creator of everything we see around us. We thank you for the amazing world we live in. Help us not to take it for granted but, instead, love and care for it. Amen.
Katherine Thompson, practising psychologist and academic, is Australia’s Christian mindfulness expert. Christ-Centred Mindfulness is available at Koorong.