This morning I preached on Jesus’ instruction not to worry, and suggested that one way to let go of worry is to pay attention to the present moment and to what God is doing in that moment. Here are some books that address paying attention and/or anxiety and worry.
Right Here Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness by Amy Oden. The prayer exercise that I led at the end of the sermon comes from this book. The book is a good introduction to mindfulness from a Christian perspective.
This book outlines a four step prayer practice (Be Still, Receive God’s Love, Embrace Self & Others, Welcomes the Day). It doesn’t use the term mindfulness or address worry directly, but the prayer practice is one that focuses on the present moment and on God’s presence. I’ve used this practice in the past and found it very meaningful.
This is the book I mentioned that talks about “Natural Anxiety,” “Sacred Anxiety,” and “Toxic Anxiety.” Written by a therapist with long experience addressing anxiety, it offers perspectives and exercises to reduce Toxic Anxiety, freeing us up to be more present. It is not a specifically Christian book, but it does address spiritual issues. One chapter offers new way of looking at the Adam and Eve and Cain and Able stories as examples of anxiety at work.
If you are of a scientific bent, this book may be for you. It is a secular, not a religious book, so there are few if any references to faith and spirituality. It lays out the research behind the effectiveness of mindfulness, and sets out a fairly ambitious eight-week plan for developing mindfulness. I didn’t feel I had time to do everything they recommended, but the meditation practices were useful and I appreciated the scientific background. The meditations are available as audio downloads.