by Ed Bacon
Dr. King knew that inspiration was not enough—one needed an instrument in order to live out the vision. Jesus inspired King. Gandhi gave him the instrument of nonviolence for accomplishing Jesus’ vision.
I have been pondering St. Paul’s call for us to have the mind that was in Christ. How would we even begin to do that? Could it be that the meditation practices emerging from both contemporary neuroscientific research and ancient practices of Buddhism provide the instrument by which we can approach the quality of mind Paul calls the mind of Christ?
This Lent I am reflecting on three resources. The letters of Paul—particularly Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians and Ephesians—describe the ideal. Buddhist Pema Chödrön teaches a particular meditation strategy called tonglen. Dr. Daniel Siegel teaches a meditation practice called the wheel of awareness. In his writings and research on integration in the prefrontal cortex of our brains, Siegel lists the benefits of integration. It is a list of benefits that repeat in secular terms the “fruit of the Spirit” listed in Galatians 5.
I’m looking forward to sharing my Lenten journey with you in a Quiet Day on March 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will ground ourselves in Paul’s idea of the mind of Christ and practice these two types of meditation. You may register online here.