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Mindfulness and Catholic Mystical Tradition (Video)

February 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Buddhism & Zen, Dan Burke, Meditation, Mindfulness, New Age, Videos

Mindfulness and Catholic Mystical Tradition

Is mindfulness a helpful practice and should a Catholic participate in in it? In this video Dan Burke compares mindfulness to Catholic mystical tradition and reveals the best way for Catholics to understand this practice. He also reveals the path they should take as they seek to deepen their faith and be more present to God and those whom He has placed in their care. Dan will also answer these important questions: Is this practice right for you? How does it compare to Catholic mystical tradition? Is there anything good in it? How does mindfulness and any good that might come from it relate to Nostra Aetate? What should I do if I am interested in the idea but concerned about staying within my Catholic tradition? What resources can help you pursue your interest in the topic?

A Note from Dan Burke:

Dear Friends, was this video a blessing to you? Do know others who might be blessed by it? Did you follow the link at the end of the video to the other resources we have prepared for you and those who also desire to know the life and peace that only God can give? Have we helped to encourage you to dig deeper in your faith? Please help us by sharing these videos on Facebook, through email, or whatever way that works best for you. Join with us in our desire to reignite the fires of prayer in the Church and bring about the renewal we so desperately desire to see from the Lord.

Yours in Christ,


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • v schraa

    One of the most popular Classics ever on the sort of ‘mindfulness’ Mr. Burke speaks of, is a work by Fr. Jean Pierre deCaussade, who I believe was a Jesuit in the 18th century France. He was spiritual director to nuns of the Visitation (founded by St. Francis deSales and St. Jane deChantal in the early 17th century). The title of his work, which is really mainly just letters saved by the nuns in their daily difficulties with the interior life, is Abandonment to Divine Providence. Here is the link that begins the first chapter:

    • Dan Burke

      Great recommendation. I have read every translation at least twice…

  • Jeanette Lewis

    So is the midnfulness about being ever mindful of God? (found the music a little distracting to what Dan was saying.)

    • Dan Burke

      Not in its original proposal as part of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism.

  • Valerie Kelliher Steineck

    I just ran across a website for the Catholic Psych Academy, which is offering a course on Catholic Mindfulness. Before yesterday I had never heard of a practice called mindfulness. Is this something new? New age? Is Catholic Mindfulness in line with the fullness that Dan is talking about?

    • Dan Burke

      I have had an extensive conversation with the founder along with a number of scholars. I don’t recommend it.

      • retiredconservative

        Thank you. I had bookmarked this course when I first found it. Now I know it’s not for me.

  • Rafael

    Thanks for this, Dan! They utilize Mindfulness where I work (I work in mental health in a non-Catholic, secular organization). But, I’ve always been conflicted by it because I know that it has good points. But, it’s missing the fullness of the Truth. In other words, it’s incomplete: it starts off good, but it doesn’t tell you – as Paul Harvey used to say – “the rest of the story.” And, realistically, I don’t have the authority to introduce an alternative to Mindfulness, like St. Ignatius. But, at least I’m aware of the “reflection of the Ray” that is Mindfulness. Thanks for the analogy, too, of the banquet + visual. It’s a great parable – in the style of Jesus!

    • Dan Burke

      Thanks Rafael!

  • Emmanuel Dominguez

    Thanks so much Dan! This was very helpful and informative. It’s so easy to get side-tracked with “half-truths” …That was a very powerful example of both the real banquet and the “Ray”. Many blessings. My prayers…

  • Benard Chedid

    Hi Dan,

    Has anyone ever said that you look like a bearded Billy Crystal?

    • Dan Burke


  • Robert Samples

    Benefits of mindfulness practice are being documented in research where physiological changes in brain function are reported. Based on this I am getting recommendations from therapists and doctors to practice mindfulness to help control anxiety and depression. I don’t see mindfulness as a substitute for Catholic prayer, but it seems like it might have real psychological benefits from what I’ve read. Dan, are you suggesting that I might find similar psychological benefits from traditional Catholic spirituality practices? Is there any research to support that?

    • Dan Burke

      Robert, I am sorry for your suffering. There is also research that shows problems. The Buddha Pill is a book that documents some of the findings. Regarding the effects of Catholic spirituality we have something far more sure than research which always extrapolates to populations and deals in probabilities – the untold numbers of saints the have been freed from every possible malady and lifted to the heights of sanctity are a much more reliable indicator.

  • LizEst

    Hi Marley — In order to approve your comment in its entirety, we would have to view all links associated with it. We are unable to do that; and so, in accord with our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) here we will not post the link. You can resend your question to

  • Thanks for the great video, Dan. I see two main problems with mindfulness for Catholics. First, it can lead people to think that Buddhist meditation is the same thing as supernatural contemplation, or that merely human techniques can gain us the experience the saints speak about in the writings on prayer. Second, it can cause scandal. Even if we try to strip it of its Buddhist origins in order to share it with Catholics, chances are practitioners are going to eventually read material by other mindfulness proponents that actively promote the Buddhist aspect. This includes the bulk of “secular” teaching on mindfulness. Some of these students of mindfulness may be led to thinking like a Buddhist or even becoming Buddhist. Thus, Catholics are led away from the faith because they were introduced to an essentially Buddhist practice by a fellow Catholic.

    “Catholic mindfulness” is out, but Catholic alternatives to mindfulness can bring us to Christ. Here is a post I wrote long ago on one such alternative.

    • Dan Burke


  • Holly Denman

    I am taking a four part class at our parish on prayer. I will be interested if this is covered accurately. She did make the distinction between meditation and contemplation which I had never heard.Thank you, this was excellent help for me on several levels.

  • J_Bob

    Here is a little prayer I say at the beginning of my silence:

    Holy Spirit come to me
    In the darkness, let me see
    In the silence, let me hear
    In the dessert, please be there
    In the unknowing cloud, please be near
    In the dark night, banish fear

  • Zeke Clinton

    This sounds a bit like Transcendental Meditation wearing a new suit of clothes. Should the Maharishi be smiling or frowning?

  • Karen

    get this non catholic article out of here!!!

    • LizEst

      Why do you say that, Karen?

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