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Before deep diving into the infinite knowledge of mindfulness, first off you’d better get to know 7 attitudes of mindfulness, a work of Jon Kabat-Zinn-father of mindfulness as a guideline for your mindful journey. We here at BestLifeTips are ready to share.
7 attitudes of mindfulness
Mindfulness is more than sitting on a cushion and meditation, or fancy Yoga poses on the beach. It’s a lifestyle, in which we embrace 7 core attitudes: non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go.
We are living in the world of judgement, and people are quick to judge endlessly. Judge ourselves, judge others, and judge the situation. Have you ever caught yourself saying something like: “I can’t do it.”, “this is so bad.”, “that’s so wrong.”? It’s a part of our natural and automatic reflexes to danger or threat. However, some of our judgements become repetitive that leads to the sense of not being good enough.
As an example, let’s say you are practicing watching your breathing. At a certain point, you may find your mind saying something like, “This is boring,” or “This isn’t working,” or “I can’t do this.” These are judgments. When they come up in your mind, it is very important to recognize them as judgmental thinking and remind yourself that the practice involves suspending judgment and just watching whatever comes up, including your own judging thoughts, without pursuing them or acting on them in any way. Then proceed with watching your breathing.
The practice of non-judging gives us chances to go inside ourselves and change the way we see the world outside. We are no longer slaves of our thought and get closer to our judgements to see what is really going on from inside.
All the sufferings come from the disagreement with the current situation. We cannot accept our bodies as the way they are. We want them to look like the images that people build up on social media and call them the beauty standard. Or we cannot accept our current job status, why we have tried more than anyone else but gain less than we desire.
If you don’t want to get stuck in the circle of judgement and suffering, be fully aware of who you are and give yourself love and acceptance. Acceptance or acknowledgement doesn’t mean that you have to love everything. It’s impossible and unrealistic to say that we have and love it all. You simply see things as they are at the moment, don’t force things to change or judge anything on your own perception.
Patience is not being passive or lazy, but allowing things to unfold in their right time. It’s about going with the flow without attachment to any particular outcome.
Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time. A child may try to help a butterfly to emerge by breaking open its chrysalis. Usually, the butterfly doesn’t benefit from this. Any adult knows that the butterfly can only emerge in its own time, that the process cannot be hurried.
This principle is simple as its name, be a beginner no matter how old you are, how much you experienced. This is the willingness to see everything through the eyes of beginners, the open heart and fresh curiosity. With the absent of judgement, it’s easy to see and accept new things, then we probably start a new beginning and widen our knowledge with fresh perspective.
By practicing 7 attitudes of mindfulness, we gradually believe in ourselves. Even though we make mistakes all the time, it’s better to trust our own intuition and learn from the mistakes. Be open-minded enough to learn from other sources but ultimately, find your own guidance and wisdom from within and keep the faith in life.
Developing a basic trust in yourself and your feelings is an integral part of meditation training. It is far better to trust in your intuition and your own authority, even if you make some “mistakes” along the way, than always to look outside of yourself for guidance. If at any time something doesn’t feel right to you, why not honor your feelings? Why should you discount them or write them off as invalid because some authority or some group of people think or say differently? This attitude of trusting yourself and your own basic wisdom and goodness is very important in all aspects of the meditation practice.
Non striving is not the same with effortless or being lazy. When it comes to pursuit something, we tend to overthink and try to fix and control the situation so deeply that we miss out on the sight of the meaning behind everything.
Practicing non striving allows you to be more present and let go of the results.
Instead of holding back thoughts, negative feelings or past experiences, choose to let go of what we assume belongs to us and define us as who we are. If we see our experiences as good, we likely think over about them and see them as the standard for “what is good”. If we see something as bad, we tend to stay away and get rid of them. That create barriers for ourselves to discover and open our heart to new perspectives.
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It probably takes a lifetime to learn and practice for anyone eager to better themselves. It’s not only difficult but also taxing-physically, mentally and emotionally to practice these 7 attitudes of mindfulness. But it’s worth your effort, eventually. Come back with us at BestLifeTips for more mindfulness related topics.