DAY 28 (3 Days Left!)
Greetings, meditator friends!
As we come into the home stretch of this daily meditation challenge, I would like to both review some of the ideas we have touched on and introduce some additional ones by sharing The Seven Attitudes of Mindfulness.
This list, adapted by Betsy Hedberg from Jon Kabat-Zinn's book Full Catastrophe Living (excerpted from the SMART in Education participant handbook) is made up of the "seven attitudinal factors" that Kabat-Zinn describes as the foundations of mindfulness practice.
Non-Judging - When we practice mindfulness, we come to realize how much of our time and energy is spent judging things, people, and occurences. This does not foster a peaceful existence! An attitude of non-judging allows us to see things just as they are without placing judgement on them.
Patience - Be patient with yourself and with the process. When we practice patience, we allow things to unfold at their own pace. We notice when the mind tries to rush things, and we allow ourselves to "just be" rather than trying to hurry things along.
Beginner's Mind - Remain open and curious. With a beginner's mind, we approach each moment as if we are encountering everything for the first time. Rather than allowing our preconceived ideas and judgments to determine how we react to a given moment, we remain open to new possibilities.
Trust - When we trust ourselves fully, we no longer ignore our feelings or do things because other people think they are "best." We realize that our own stress reduction path will unfold within us and cannot be dictated or determined by professionals or "experts."
Non-Striving - Don't try too hard. The harder we try to achieve or accomplish a state of mindfulness or reduced stress, the more difficult it can become. We need to relinquish our tendency to strive toward a goal in exchange for a willingness to pay attention to whatever arises in each moment.
Acceptance - When we practice accepting the present moment as it is, we see things as they really are in each moment. We accept what we notice without trying to push things away or make them different.
Letting Go - Another term for letting go is non-attachment. The mind easily becomes attached to both pleasant and unpleasant thoughts, clinging to pleasant thoughts and ruminating over the unpleasant ones. We also try to push away many unpleasant thoughts and emotions. When we practice letting go, we just let things be as they are in the present moment, without grasping or pushing away.
As you review this list, consider which of these attitudes you've already embraced. You may also consider which are more challenging for you. Don't worry about trying to embody them all, instead just be aware of them and watch how they manifest for you over time.