Mindfulness is a popular practice today. Stone reminds us that the practice, holy noticing, is a spiritual discipline Christians have used for centuries. It is a way to be more aware of God and what He is doing in us, others, and the world. It is also good for our physical, emotional and spiritual health. And Stone has the research results to convince us.
He offers the specific practice of holy noticing around the acronym BREATHe.
B: Ponder and Yield Your Body
R: Review and Renew your Relationships
E: Notice and Engage your Environment
A: Label and Release Your Afflictive Emotions (Affect)
T: Be Conscious of Current Thoughts
H: Pay Attention to your Spiritual Life (Heart) and the Spirit's whispers
e: engage the world like Christ
I can tell that Stone has a scientific background. He is the first person who has explained what deep breathing does in the brain. Understanding the why of it has helped me be more committed to the doing of it. He is also very precise in his holy noticing instructions. He gives specific directions for each of the BREATHe exercises. He provides anchor Scripture passages, specific steps to take, and additional resources available at the book's website.
My favorite aspect of the book was the breathing exercise using the Jesus Prayer or something similar. I know we are to be aware of God's presence always. Yet our minds wander so easily, loosing focus in just seconds. Doing the breathing exercise with the short prayer is a great way to get focused back on God's presence.
The benefits of the kind of practice Stone outlines in this book are great. If you have been intrigued by the idea of mindfulness and wonder how the practice can be a spiritual discipline, this book is for you. If you are already convinced of the benefits of the spiritual discipline but needed specific instruction to do it, you will find it here. If you want to keep God's purposes and perspectives in mind, this book will help you in your effort.
The ultimate reason we would want to practice the spiritual discipline of holy noticing is as Stone emphasizes – to become more Christlike.
You can find out a bit more about the book and watch a trailer at https://www.holynoticingbook.com/.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Charles Stone is the lead pastor at West Park Church in London, Ontario. His passion is intersecting neuroscience with Biblical truth. He and his wife have three adult children. You can find out more about him and follow his blog at https://charlesstone.com/.
Moody Press, 240.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.