tag: christian mindfulness, christian mindfulness, christian mindfulness
My name is Ray Chwartkowski, and I live in Vancouver, Canada. I’m a husband, dad, and cancer survivor. Before launching the Mindfulness Petition, I struggled with camera shyness and a fear of public speaking for most of my life. This campaign has been a pivotal change for me, as it has required me to step outside my comfort zone, get used to cameras, and put my values and ethics above public approval.
tag: christian mindfulness, christian mindfulness, christian mindfulness
A few things worth noting:
- I support multiculturalism, which means I like the idea of people from different nations, living together, in peace. Canada is a wonderfully diverse place, and I consider myself very fortunate to have lived here my entire life.
- I do not support forced religious assimilation, which means I don’t like the idea of forced religious conversions, nor do I condone anyone being forced to adopt the independent spiritual principals, or spiritual customs, of religions or worldviews not their own (and the law is on my side with this).
- I don’t belong to any organized group or denomination. I’m simply a concerned dad and a concerned citizen.
Several people have asked why I abstain from Mindfulness Meditation (in my own personal life), and the short answer is my Faith and my conscience both prevent me from engaging in Mindfulness Meditation. For some people, that seems like a silly explanation, and for that reason, I am happy to provide more information (below).
I consider myself to be a devout follower of Jesus, and I suppose you could call me a Born Again Christian. In my Faith, I devoutly serve and worship one specific God (The God of the 10 Commandments, Jesus). And, the highest component to my Faith is loyalty to the one God I serve. The spiritual path I’m on is singular, which means I do not pray to or worship other gods. I also do not follow the independent teachings of other religions, nor do I adopt the independent spiritual practices of other religions, spiritual worldviews, etc. This means I do not engage in things like Buddhist Meditation A.K.A. Mindfulness Meditation, or other spiritual practices like Transcendental Meditation, Simran Meditation, Yoga (which is rooted in Hindu and sun worship), Astral Projection, Tai Chi, Catholic mass, and I abstain from all other spiritual practices that neither Jesus nor his 12 Apostles modeled. My singular spiritual devotion is comparable to a Vegan, who refuses to eat just anything. And in that regard, if I engaged in Mindfulness Meditation (Buddhist Meditation), it would violate my conscience in the exact same way a Vegan eating a hotdog would feel violated.
Key points regarding my Faith:
- In the Old Testament of the Bible, God is recorded as having said, “You shall not have any other gods besides me” (Exodus 20:3). So, the idea of following the teachings of Buddha and the ways of Buddhist Mindfulness philosophy and meditation does not appeal to me.
- In the Old Testament of the Bible, God is recorded as having said, “Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices” (Exodus 23:24) and by doing that, God expressed not only a warning to refrain from having additional gods, but his a warning not to adopt the religious and spiritual practices of foreign religions. So, in order for me to be completely devout in my faith, it is essential that I abstain from things like Mindfulness Meditation.
- In Matthew 6:24, Jesus is recorded as having said “You cannot serve two masters” and he stressed the importance of singular devotion. So, the idea of serving Jesus plus Buddha is simply not an option for me. Nor is it appealing to me in any way. The idea of faithfulness is something everyone can relate to and a suitable comparison is the difference between a monogamous marriage vs polygamy. Or a musician that plays one style of music vs a musician who insists on representing all genre’s of music on his album
Other reasons why I do not participate in Mindfulness Meditation:
- Mindfulness Meditation (and all other Dharma Meditation) is a spiritual action that ignores the God I serve, and I prefer not to be involved with it.
- Meditation can appease, trick, and soothe the conscience. It allows people to experience peace and solace, without having to repent or follow the commands of Jesus. In that regard, meditation appears as a self-soothing sedative, and practicing it is something I really don’t want to do. If I am guilty of any sin, I want to feel the full force of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, which then drives me to repentance and making amends (and then true and lasting peace follows that obedience), and I want nothing like Mindfulness Meditation to soothe my conscience and prevent that from happening. Living this way (mainly since 2014) has allowed me to live with a purity, resolve, and true peace that I would not otherwise enjoy.
- In some respects, meditation offers people a shortcut when dealing with grief, and that shortcut offers a counterfeit peace, which has associated dangers. Here’s a quote from Psychotherapist Jeffrey B. Rubin Ph.D., who supports part of my point here: “A well-known writer on meditation told me some years ago that after his divorce, meditation helped him anesthetize his pain and grief. Concentrating his mind during meditation kept his loss and sadness at bay, which he recognized unnecessarily prolonged the mourning process; because he never grieved his loss, it took longer to get over it.”
- According to Wikipedia, “Religions and religious movements which use magic, such as Wicca, Thelema, Neopaganism, occultism etc., often require their adherents to meditate as a preliminary to the magical work.” It also says “Meditation and magic practice often overlap in these religions as meditation is often seen as merely a stepping stone to supernatural power, and the meditation sessions may be peppered with various chants and spells.” If that’s true, then meditation is a form of sorcery / magic arts. And, while I believe all people have a legal right to practice sorcery / magic arts, it is not something I wish to do, because in Revelation 21:8, Jesus said those who practice sorcery / magic arts will not inherit eternal life.
- Certain actions are offensive to the God I serve. For example, eating meat sacrificed to idols is offensive to God (see Revelation 2:20), and the truth is I don’t want to do anything that could even be remotely offensive to Him, which again, is comparable to a Vegan who lives set apart and does not eat just anything and everything, but they carefully select what they eat according to their morals, ethics, values, and conscience.
- As mentioned elsewhere on this website, Vipassanā meditation is Buddhist Meditation and has been defined as ‘insight meditation.’ It is said in Buddhist writings that Vipassanā Meditation is “the method by which the Buddha and his disciples freed themselves from every form of suffering and attained awakening.” Since Vipassanā Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation appear to be the same thing, Mindfulness Meditation represents a spiritual path I do not wish to travel. According to the teachings of Jesus, salvation, true peace, and eternal life are only attainable through himself. And, while I don’t expect anyone to agree with my stance on this, Mindfulness Meditation appears to me as a dangerous path because it promises enlightenment, peace, power, and fulfillment, apart from God (which sounds like humankind’s first temptation in Eden).
- As mentioned in the Buddhist section of this website, some of the well-known positions and techniques utilized in Mindfulness Meditation are worshipful techniques and positions. According to this website, the meditators in the screenshot (below) are seated in the Buddhist Sukhasana meditation position, and they are holding their hands in the Vitarka Mudra position (with thumbs touching forefingers). While researching for my petition, I found information to indicate the Vitarka Mudra symbolizes Buddha teaching the dharma, and the circle formed with the fingers represents the Law of Buddha. Additionally, this website says (in the fourth paragraph), “mudras induce the deity to be near the worshiper.” So, it is clear to me that meditation in the above-noted position is a position of worship and adoration to a god I reject. As a person who does not want to meditate upon the Law of Buddha or meditate on the Vipassana Dharma principles of Buddha or draw near to Buddha, I abstain from Mindfulness Meditation. If I were to engage in Mindfulness Meditation (Buddhist Meditation), I would feel just as violated as a devout Vegan eating pig liver.
Please note: The above list is not the basis for my online petition, but it is only a summary of why I don’t meditate. I expect no one to share my stance concerning the items outlined above. In fact, some people signing my petition share none of the above convictions. One thing petition signers and I agree upon is that legislated meditation is unlawful and unkind. If you sign my online petition, you are not agreeing with my Spiritual stance; you are simply standing for the law that allows each Canadian citizen to live in freedom. My petition asks officials to stop legislating Mindfulness Meditation (and stop soliciting students to engage in the practice), and my testimony shows there are Canadians, from various backgrounds, who are currently being violated by the emergence of forced participation into legislated Mindfulness Meditation.
Doesn’t the Bible promote meditation: The Bible mentions meditation and here’s an example: “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” Psalm 119:97. The action in this scripture describes a purposeful adoration of the 10 Commandments. And, the word meditation is probably better translated as ‘adore.’ The writer of Psalm 119:97 is not talking about Mindfulness Meditation, or any other Dharma Meditation, or trance state. Also, worth noting, I don’t follow biblical authors as spiritual guides, but I am a devout follower of Jesus. So, even if the author of Psalm 119:97 were endorsing Dharma Meditation, it would not require me to adopt the practice.
Conviction: Several Christians have reached out to tell me they see no problem with Mindfulness Meditation, and while I respect their legal right to practice whatever form of meditation they desire, I simply choose not to. I do not desire to be a Christian-Buddhist, but I desire to be just what I am. I am on a spiritual path (primarily since 2014) that is singular, and I aspire to be devout, which means I am not swayed or influenced by the views of other people when it comes to my Faith. I don’t follow the teachings of Buddha, nor do I follow a Pastor, or Christians, or a Pope. Some people refer to this as ‘narrow-minded,’ and they believe I would be better off to embrace an assortment of spiritual paths (perhaps, like Universalism) and an assortment of spiritual guides (perhaps, like Buddhism or Hinduism). But, I sincerely desire not to do that. Note: 1) In my humble opinion, the terms Christian Buddhism, Christian Mindfulness, and Secular Buddhism are all oxymorons. I understand many people view their Dharma Meditation as Christian Mindfulness, but as mentioned, that is not something I wish to participate in or attempt to achieve. 2) As a devout follower of Jesus, I respectfully believe Christians would do well to stay away from Mindfulness Meditation.
Not forcing my Faith on anyone: My Change.org petition is not about trying to force my faith upon anyone. I am not campaigning for the reintroduction of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools. While I adore the Lord’s Prayer, Canadian public schools are designated as secular, which means, under the law, one prayer cannot be given preferential treatment above all others. Besides that, the current law absolutely works for me, as I would rather my child pray at home with me before school, rather than be forced to pray a variety of prayers at school. My campaign against Mindfulness Meditation (in public schools) is not based solely on my personal Faith. There are numerous legal, moral, and ethical issues that result from legislated meditation.
Last clarification: Many people are viewing my petition as an act of intolerance, which is unfair. The reality is the opposite. I view public officials automatically enrolling tens of thousand of students into Mindfulness Meditation as intolerant. In my humble opinion, their doing this is just as intolerant as telling all students to bow down to a statue of Buddha 3x per day. I am standing up for the legal rights of all Canadians, and I respectfully believe all Canadians should sign my petition, regardless of their general stance regarding Mindfulness Meditation. Thank you.
What is Christian mindfulness? And, Christian mindfulness meditation:
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