Modern Mindfulness has its foundations in the work of Jon Kabat Zinn
The seven attitudes of Mindfulness provide guidance to enable you to build on your Mindfulness meditations. You may well find some of the attitudes more difficult than others and that is absolutely fine. The process of noticing how you feel about certain attitudes and awareness of the emotions they generate is a key part of Mindfulness. Take time to read the seven attitudes and simply welcome your feelings and thoughts with friendly openness, not seeking to challenge or change.
This involves taking the position of an impartial witness to your own experience. In mindfulness it is practised by noticing the judging mind e.g. good / bad / neutral and not trying to stop it but just being aware of it.
Patience involves letting things unfold in their own time and practising patience with ourselves. In mindfulness practice this may involve taking time repeat and practice meditations which we do not initially see as beneficial. Mindfulness promotes being open to each moment and accepting things will emerge in their own time and there is no need to push forward with our own Mindfulness practise.
• Beginner’s Mind
This involves developing a mind that is willing to see everything as if it were for the very first time. This opens us to new possibilities and prevents us being stuck in a rut which is created from feeling we know what will happen. In Mindfulness practise the child’s mind attitude is displayed in the very act of starting every meditation with an open mind welcoming each moment as unique.
Trust involves honouring your feelings and trusting your own intuition and feelings. Through the practice of mindfulness I can pay attention to my own feelings and make the choices that feel right for me. Mindfulness can help me to quieten the voices of authority I have always paid heed to and instead learn from my own internal dialogue.
Mindfulness has no goal other than for you to be yourself, simply paying attention to how I am right now – however that it is, just attending and not aiming to change. The focus of attention in mindfulness is on noticing rather than aiming to change the moment you are experiencing.
This attitude involves seeing things as they actually are in the present, without seeking to push away whatever is occurring. Acceptance is not passive and it does not mean you have to be resigned to tolerating things. It does not mean that you should stop trying to change and grow, but rather we need to accept things exactly as they are first. I may accept that I don’t enjoy a particular meditation and this acceptance can free my energy to take appropriate action or choose to simply continue with the awareness of my emotions.
• Letting Go
Letting go is about of letting things be, observing the moment as it is and not grasping on to any particular thing. Letting go maintains the equality of all aspects of experience rather than our usual tendency to focus on certain aspects of experience, often negative ones. During mindfulness meditation I struggle to let go of my desire to do things right, and this may be true for many during mindfulness. I feel letting go is the key to mindfulness as learning how to let go of many personal traits, such as competitiveness, self criticism and impatience, allows us to cultivate the other seven attitudes of Mindfulness meditation.