Mindfulness is a buzzword in the field of mental health. Studies have shown its effectiveness for treating a whole host of issues from anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. What is Mindfulness and why is it helpful? Moreover, recognizing that this practice is rooted in a Buddhist spiritual tradition, how does a Catholic Christian appropriately integrate mindfulness into their lives? Is there an appropriate way or is it something that we should stay away from?
Answering these questions with me today is Dr. Greg Bottaro, founder and executive director of the Catholic Psych Institute in New York. Dr. Greg, is also the author of the book The Mindful Catholic and has a lot to say about how Catholics can appropriately use mindfulness to help gain better focus and awareness in their lives.
In today’s episode, we start by talking about what mindfulness is, the effectiveness of the practice, when it is in line with Catholic spirituality and when it isn’t, the concerns with the metaphysical teaching that undergird this and other Eastern meditation practices (that is to say, why we cannot ignore what secular versions of mindfulness teach about the bigger questions: who are we and is there a God?), why society is moving towards a New Age mysticism, how to trust your inner compass, and learn from your mistakes.
I’m pumped that this is my first episode interviewing another psychotherapist! And the first time that I have tackled an issue specific to counseling or psychology today.
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Websites mentioned in the show:
“Letter to the Bishops of the World on Some Aspect of Christian Meditation”: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html