Attitudes Of Mindfulness
As you read the following Attitudes of Mindfulness, think how these relate to your pregnancy and upcoming birth experience, and what you think about on a daily basis.
If you are a new mom, think how these relate to being a parent.
These are emotional responses to everyday life experiences and we all do them. Being able to “tame” them, acknowledge and let them go will make for a calmer day, week, month, life.
Adopting these attitudes will free you from a lot of self-induced stress.
ATTITUDES FOR CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS
Daily Practice: Attitudes to Cultivate Awareness
Sit in stillness for a minimum of 10 – 15 minutes daily and throughout the day for the same amount of time, more or less. Keep a journal of your thoughts as you notice them and any insights you encounter. There is no right or wrong, only what is. It’s what you do with your thoughts that’s important. Keep the following attitudes in mind as you practice mindful meditation.
- Non-judging: This requires that you become aware of the constant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experiences that we are all normally caught up in and learn to step back from it. “This is boring,” or This isn’t working,” or “I can’t do this, are judgments. When they come up in your mind, recognize them as judgments and just observe them without acting on them or pursuing them. Mindfulness is letting things be as they are. Then proceed with watching your breath.
- Patience: To be patient is simply to be completely open to each moment, accepting it in its fullness, knowing that, like the butterfly, things can only unfold in their own time.
- Beginner’s Mind: The richness of present-moment experience is the richness of life itself. Too often we let our thinking and our beliefs about what we “know” prevent us from seeing things as they truly are. To see the richness of the present moment, we need to cultivate what has been called “beginner’s mind,” a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.
- Trust: Developing a basic trust in yourself and your feelings is an integral part of meditation training. It is far better to trust in your intuition and your own authority, even if you make some “mistakes” along the way than always to look outside of yourself for guidance. If at any time something doesn’t feel right to you, why not honor your feelings? In practicing mindfulness, you are practicing taking responsibility for being yourself and learning to listen to and trust your own being.
- Non-striving: Mindfulness meditation is non-doing.It has no goal other than for you to be yourself. You are trying less and being more. This attitude simply involves paying attention to whatever is happening in the moment. For example, if you are tense, just pay attention to the tension. If you are in pain, then be with the pain as best you can. If you are criticizing yourself, then observe the activity of the judging mind. Just watch. Simply allow anything and everything you experience from moment to moment to be here, because it already is.
- Acceptance: Acceptance mans seeing things as they actually are in the present. This attitude sets the stage for for acting appropriately in your life, no matter what is happening. You are much more likely to know what to do and have the inner conviction to act when you have a clear picture of what is actually happening than when your vision is clouded by your mind’s self-serving judgments and desires or its fears and prejudices. Cultivate acceptance by taking each moment as it comes and being with it fully, as it is. Try not to impose ideas about what you should be feeling or thinking or seeing on your experience but just remind yourself to be receptive and open to whatever you’re feeling, thinking, seeing, and to accept it as it is, right here, right now.
- Letting Go: Non-attachment is fundamental to the practice of mindfulness. When you pay attention to your inner experiences, you rapidly discover there are certain thoughts and feelings and situations that the mind seems to want to hold on to. Past of future, pleasant or unpleasant, letting goof them is a ay of letting things be, of accepting things as they are. Recognize them and don’t cling or pursue them any further. Let them be, and in doing so you let them go. Whether you are “successful” in letting go or not, mindfulness continues to be a teacher if willing to look.
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