Are you having trouble finding focus? Do you feel distracted, anxious, or stressed? Christian mindfulness can help. This simply noticing what is happening in and around you in God’s presence. There is nothing new age or dangerous about this. In fact, you may find healing and a closer relationship with God and others as a result of practicing mindfulness.
I want to introduce you to a mindfulness practice that I use regularly called BEATS. I like to use it whenever I am feeling stressed or need focus. It’s also useful when I am about to enter an extended period of silence and solitude. Before reading scripture, it helps to remove distracting thoughts and focus on my relationship with God. I am more present to God, myself, and others when I practice BEATS.
When I am working with a pastor who is amped up through fear, anxiety, or anger, this practice helps us reduce the intensity, so we can focus on our work. I’ve used it both individually or in groups. It can be a great practice for small groups to begin their meeting or before prayer.
The BEATS practice usually takes 15 to 20 minutes as we notice what is happening in our Body, Environment, Affections, Thoughts, and Soul. It’s a contemplative and prayerful practice. So, it’s helpful to focus on God’s presence as you work your way through the steps. I have written more about how you can incorporate this practice into your times of prayer, silence, and solitude in an earlier article.
I learned this practice from Dr. Charles Stone Jr. in his book People-Pleasing Pastors. I’ve modified it slightly, but he deserves the credit for the practice. If you wish to explore Christian mindfulness more, check out Dr. Stone’s book Holy Noticing.
This recording will guide you through the BEATS practice in the same way I use it in my coaching and spiritual direction.