Christ-Centred Mindfulness: Connection to Self and God

Katherine Thompson


New! Downloadable recordings of Christ-Centred Mindfulness mindfulness exercises

Christ-Centred Mindfulness resource for teachers

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The practice of ‘mindfulness’ has moved from its roots in psychological therapy into the mainstream of today’s popular culture, where it is marketed as a path to health and wellbeing. A mental exercise that takes a few minutes a day seems like an easy fix to life’s problems, the perfect antidote to the frantic pace of our lives.

But does mindfulness work, and if so, how? Is it backed by scientific evidence? And given its links to Buddhist thought, can therapeutic mindfulness be practised in ways that are consistent with a Christian worldview?

In Christ-Centred Mindfulness, academic and experienced mental health social worker/counsellor Katherine Thompson addresses these questions and highlights mindfulness-related practices that have been used within the church for hundreds of years – practices that help us slow down, connect to what is happening inside ourselves and make space to listen for God’s guidance in everyday life. Dr Thompson draws on this rich tradition to present Christian mindfulness exercises that can be used to enrich our prayer lives, help us to draw near to God and grow in Christlikeness.

Whether you’re a Christian who is curious about mindfulness practice and its benefits, or you work in a counselling profession and are trying to sort through your own approach to mindfulness-based therapies, this book is for you.


In an increasingly challenging and complex world, many psychological practices including mindfulness are shown to be helpful in renewing thinking and living. In light of the increased use of mindfulness, Christian ministers and laity face a challenge in locating well researched resources that help them to understand these developments from Christian perspectives. Katherine Thompson has made a valuable contribution to meeting this need with Christ Centred Mindfulness. This well written book provides an informative overview of major developments in mindfulness, and ways in which Christian approaches to mindfulness can be discerned and applied. Drawing on her wealth of experience and study, she succinctly outlines psychological and religious practices associated with mindfulness, and ways Christians can discern approaches and practices that honour their beliefs, traditions and scriptures from those that fail to do this. Drawing on her extensive experiences as a counsellor over 20 years and her knowledge of the principles and practices of religion and psychology, she describes the ways in which some of the practices and ideas associated with mindfulness can be seen to align closely with biblical Christian values and practices.

The first section of the book shows that mindfulness is not new to Christianity. Drawing on a careful study of Scripture and history, she skilfully shows that many mindfulness practices have a place in the long history of Christian prayer and contemplation. With sound scholarly understanding and insight she describes the place of mindfulness in other traditions such as Buddhism and in more recent decontextualized western thought. She explores insights into mindfulness that come from psychological disciplines, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mind Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapies that deepen understandings of the self. With an emphasis on practical application, she shows insights from these disciplines that are useful for helping focus on the present moment and avoid dwelling judgementally on the past or future. She shows how Christian approaches to mindfulness can be used pastorally to help people to disconnect from distracting, stressful and hurtful thoughts, and to reconnect with neglected parts of the self, promoting healthy relationships with others and with the divine.

Using clearly presented insights, tables and diagrams, Thompson shows ways in which a Christian approach to mindfulness differs from Buddhist and secular approaches. She shows that a Christian approach to mindfulness benefits from engaging with Scripture, prayer, tradition and a focus on God and his creative purposes for humanity. She shows ways in which Christian approaches contrast to approaches that seek superficial, quick fix calmness while failing to engage with deeper values, meanings and significance. Thompson guides the reader away from self focused, individualistic mindfulness that some have labelled M