Mindfulness Activity #29
Middle Ages Mindfulness
We often think of mindfulness meditations as linked with Buddhism, and today, the concept of mindfulness as it is used in psychology, business, and the health sciences draws heavily on Eastern mindfulness traditions. But, in fact, all major religions have had contemplative practices at some point in their history. Julian of Norwich was a Christian Mystic who lived in the middle ages during the time of the Black Plague. Julian was an anchoress who lived in solitude, but many people sought her counsel. Julian authored the oldest surviving book by a woman, called Revelations of Love, in which she detailed a series of sixteen visions she had while experiencing a severe illness that she eventually recovered form. Records indicate that she lived from 1342 until 1416, a remarkable age for that time period.
Many comparisons have been made between the plague in the Middle ages and today. In fact, social isolation, quarantining, and the use of masks originated during this tumultuous period in history (see homeschooling is giving me something other than stress.) For today’s mindfulness, I thought it would be useful to consider the wisdom of a woman who lived through similar circumstances, and to use her words as a mindfulness practice today. One of the best known quotes by Julian is,“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” …
For today’s practice, sit comfortably, take a deep breath, and click the attached link. The instrumental piece you will hear was written by Hildegard Von Bingen, a student of Julian’s.
The practice will last approximately 5 minutes. Click the link below and as you listen to the music, breathe in and out and repeat the phrase, all will be well…If you get distracted, breathe in and redirect your attention to the phrase, all will be well.
When you are finished, take one last deep breath and make a promise to yourself that as stressful things arise during the day, you will breathe in and recall that all will be okay.