About Western Mindfulness
When people hear the word mindfulness, they typically think of meditation. As it appears in the East, mindfulness meditation has its roots in Buddhism. It became particularly popular in the West during the 70's with the publication of books by Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh and American professor Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn. Research in the last decade by Russell Sturgess has revealed a western tradition of mindfulness, with roots in medieval gnostic/christianity.
Russell first published his thesis on a western tradition of mindfulness in Metanoia, which he self-published in 2009. Based on the emphasis placed on the Sermon of the Mount by heretical Christians called Cathar, an approach to a 'living-religion' emerged that resulted in the heretics also being called "The Good Men and Women", because of their commitment to living life with kindness. They espoused a practice of awareness and mindfulness that resulted in the adoption of a consciousness centred on loving-kindness.
As it would turn out, their approach to living mindfully would align with recent research in neuroscience proving that the brain can change, since it's adaptable like plastic, leading to the term neuroplasticity. When there is repeated and focused attention to a desired change (which is what Western Mindfulness is all about) you can rewire your brain. Rewire your brain and you create a new experience of life; physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually.
The same mechanism works for both better and less serving neural pathways (habits). As such, this approach to mindfulness adds the priority of loving-kindness as the context for your repeated and focused attention. This results in new habits that are better serving for you, for others and for the environment. As such, Western Mindfulness is remembering in each moment that there is a more loving alternative.
Russell's book Metanoia is still available for purchase. Contact Russell using the link at the bottom of the page to enquire about purchasing his book. Russell's new book, The Cathar Code and the Holy Grail is to be published and released in 2020 by USA publisher, Inner Traditions.