This is an invitation to sit in meditation, and while sitting to ask yourself a question. This could be a question or a subject matter that you want to explore, or a problem you would like to dwell on. It could be a request you have of yourself. For example, let’s say you need to create a specific exercise for a lesson you want to teach and you are not sure how to develop this, you could use the meditation as a thinking process.
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines 9 Mindful attitudes. Each attitude is important and helps us to bring a certain sense of being to our practice. If you are new to Mindfulness you can choose one of these attitudes to focus on and when this becomes more natural introduce another.
Being non judmental is an attitude that is dear to me. It is this attitude that I found together with my coaching practice that made a huge change in my life. It's not that we stop judging and that everything we see in a positive light. It's that we can notice our thoughts, the judge within us and bring an openness to wanting to understand, and to self inquire around our thinking. When we are mindful we can notice and bring awareness to our inner critic who judges ourselves, circumstances and others. When we see that we may be judging something then to notice this and not further judge, rather bring an intention to want to not judge, an intention of non-judgement. We can bring a gentleness to what we see and not to judge the judge. We notice the judge in us with a sense of curiousity. We observe our self talk that may be critical. We cultivate the attitude of being non judgmental, and when we notice the judge we again bring an openness and gentleness to what we observe with the intention to be non judgmental.
We demand so much of ourselves sometimes. This puts undue stress on ourselves. We hold on and cling to that which is good and what we don't like we try to push away. Letting go is the act of gently allowing this to be as they are. Sometimes we hold on to our anger or sadness and we can learn to let go which can be very liberating.
Living in a world that everything is instant and stuff moves fast. I notice how with my mind I am continually looking for the next thing and when I do that I loose my present moment experience being taken away to that of the future. My impatience also increases my stress. I want things to be other than they are. Patience is certainly an attitude that I know I need to consiously cultivate as part of my mindful practice - Slowing down and being present.
When we want something we put undue pressure on ourselves. What if we could define what we want and then to bring a non-striving attitude? This does not mean to not do? For me this is to create a postive space to grow and let life and the present moment unfold. With my coaching clients it means not having an agenda for them, believing in them. With my kids it means not trying to change them, rather to model and live according to my values. Non-striving does not mean we do not have goals, it is an attitude, an intention to bring a quality to our presence, to our actions and behaviour .
Beginners Mind is like being a young child where we are open and curious about everything. As we grow older we loose this quality. When we see or encounter something, we usually bring the same behaviour as before. What would happen if we were able to bring a beginners mind to our experience? Perhaps this would enable us to enjoy the experience as if for the first time? We can train our brains to look for these new things through being present and bringing this attitude of beingners mind intentionally into our experience
Acceptance - is about bringing a sense of kindness towards oneself. It's about being able to actively accept and recognize things as they are. Even though certain things are difficult to accept Jon describes how we need to do so and so we practice this attutude in Mindfulness
Trust - this quality has so much strength to it. How does it feel when someone trusts you? How does it feel to you when you trust someone? How can we cultivate trust in life, ourselves and in others?
Gratitude and Generosity
Cutlivating gratitude brings appreciation and a grateful outlook to our present moment. This can increase our happiness as we don't take things for granted. Generosity of self brings joy to both yourself and to others. Both these attitudes connects us to and ehances our present moment experience.