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The 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness

Jon Kabat-Zinn | 26:29


The cultivation of mindfulness of moment to moment non judgmental awareness is really, it sounds very simple, but it's actually just about the hardest work in the world for human beings. 

Because we get so caught up in our conditioned states of mind. And when we begin to cultivate awareness, it's really important to bring a certain attitudinal approach to it. So that we're not trying to force anything to happen or sit in a kind of rigid posture, or attain some special state that will, you know, that we sort of think, ah, that's what it is, I'll be enlightened, or I'll just be permanently wise, or I'll be this or I'll be that the problem isn't actually with the enlightenment, or the permanently wise or anything like that. The problem is with the personal pronouns, I, me and mine, and they are very, very problematic, because who we think we are, and who we actually are, are very different. 

And there's a huge separation, who we think we are, is very, very small compared to who we actually are. And so when we are cultivating mindfulness in MBSR, or with people, we encourage a certain kind of attitude that's brought to the formal and informal practices that you can keep in mind through your daily life as well. And these attitudes, there are seven of them, that I put in Full Catastrophe Living when I was writing it. Because it really felt like if you bring, if you start to cultivate acceptance, if you start to cultivate non striving, if you start to cultivate, letting go or letting be if you start to cultivate trust and patient that these qualities can be cultivated in everyday life, with your children, with your, with your parents, with your partner or spouse, with your colleagues at work. 

And so it's a way of reinforcing and deepening the actual formal and informal meditation practices. Beginner's Mind is a lovely orientation to bring to the present moment. This moment is always fresh, always new.

We've never been in this one before. And yet we bring so many ideas and attitudes and desires to every moment, that we can't actually allow ourselves much of the time to see things as if for the first time. 

Imagine bringing awareness to your children with beginner's mind so that you actually see them, not through your lenses of ideas and opinions about your children, but fresh, the miracle of them the amazing nature of them. 

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