The Eight Attitudes of Mindfulness
“like cultivating a garden”
The practice of mindfulness is like cultivating a garden: it flourishes when certain conditions are present.
In terms of mindfulness, these conditions include the following eight attitudes, which are essential to mindfulness practice:
1- Beginner’s mind. This quality of awareness sees things as new and fresh, as if for the first time, with a sense of curiosity.
2- Non-judgment. This quality of awareness involves cultivating impartial observation in regard to any experience—not labeling thoughts, feelings, or sensations as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, but simply taking note of thoughts, feelings, or sensations in each moment.
3- Acknowledgment. This quality of awareness validates and acknowledges things as they are.
4- Non-striving. With this quality of awareness, there is no grasping, aversion to change, or movement away from whatever arises in the moment; in other words, non-striving means not trying to get anywhere other than where you are.
5- Equanimity. This quality of awareness involves balance and fosters wisdom. It allows a deep understanding of the nature of change and allows you to be with change with greater insight and compassion.
6- Letting be. With this quality of awareness, you can simply let things be as they are, with no need to try to let go of whatever is present.
7- Self-reliance. This quality of awareness helps you see for yourself, from your own experience, what is true or untrue.
8- Self-compassion. This quality of awareness cultivates love for yourself as you are, without self-blame or criticism.
Holding these qualities in mind—reflecting upon them and cultivating them according to your best understanding—will nourish, support, and strengthen your practice. Developing these qualities is a way of channeling your energies into the process of healing and growth.
These attitudes are interdependent; each influences the others, and by cultivating one you enhance them all.
Source- A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook
How to Develop Mindfulness Attitudes
“The personal pronoun of I, Me or Mine”
We human beings have multiple ways of knowing the world, inwardly and outwardly, presumably more than, say, an earthworm.
We have more dimensions to our interior landscape. In fact, even calling it an interior landscape is not really appropriate because it implies an artificial distinction between inner and outer.
Actually, we are continually co-creating what we call the external world through our senses, and it is not quite accurate to personalize the whole thing, when the process is really quite impersonal.
So in regard to who is seeing or feeling or hearing, I encourage people to look deeply into it for themselves in meditation practice, by questioning, “Who is hearing, who is feeling, who is thinking?” This is a strong practice in the Zen tradition.
You inquire into the sensory phenomena themselves in the moment of their unfolding. What usually comes up is a personal pronoun, as in “I am seeing.” But if you ask, “Who is that?” you come to realize that the pronoun itself is just a thought—a very, very old habit of mind which is itself a construct, a fabrication, rather than an enduring, substantial and independent entity—the way we usually think of “who I am” when we pop out with our name or some information about ourselves.
Source- Jon Kabat-Zinn
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