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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

The Seven Attitudinal Foundations Of Mindfulness

To fully benefit from all mindfulness-based therapies have to offer it requires much more than just following a set of instructions, or what would commonly be known in therapy as a ‘treatment plan’.

We can't just assume a meditative position on the floor and hope something magical happens. There is an openness and attitude of ‘bringing our whole being’ to the process that needs to be cultivated.

Therefore, the attitude to which we undertake the practice of mindfulness and meditation is crucial and will determine its long term value to us.

This is why, before we embark on our mindfulness journey we cultivate certain attitudes which will help get the most out of the process of meditation.

As our mindfulness practice develops we refer back to these seven major pillars of mindfulness to ensure we develop and flourish.

  1. Non-Judging - Mindfulness is cultivated by paying close attention to our moment-to-moment experience while, as best we can, not getting caught up in our ideas and opinions, likes and dislikes.

  2. Patience - Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time. Have patience with the process.

  3. Beginner’s Mind - Too often we let our beliefs about what we ‘know’ prevent us from seeing things as they really are. To see the richness of the present moment, we need to cultivate a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.

  4. Trust - Developing a basic trust in yourself and your feelings is an integral part of mindfulness training. The spirit of mindfulness emphasises being your own person and understanding what it means to be yourself.

  5. Non-Striving - Almost everything we do we do for a purpose, to get somewhere or something. In mindfulness this attitude is a real obstacle. There is no goal other than for you to be yourself. There is nowhere to go, nothing to fix, no right wrong way of doing things.

  6. Acceptance - Seeing things as they actually are in the present moment. If you are not happy with the way you look today, why not accept it as a description of your body at this time? Sooner or later, we have to come to terms with things as they are and accept them. Find happiness in the present.

  7. Letting Go - Cultivating the attitude of letting go, or non-attachment, is fundamental to the practice of mindfulness. We let our experience be what it is and practice observing it from moment-to-moment. Letting go is a way of letting things be, of accepting things as they are, pleasant or unpleasant.

If you are suffering from anxiety, low mood or are just interested in Mindfulness training please get in touch with The Mindful Therapist, Harley Street, London.

Testimonial - Mindfulness Training

"I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone considering seeking support from Alex to do so. I sought help because I was finding aspects of my life unmanageable; I felt my physical and emotional health was being compromised. I had no idea of how things might change. The guidance, teaching and resources that Alex has given me have in fact been life changing.

That is a huge, huge statement to make, but so are the effects of being taught to recognise and develop skills which enable me to identify new levels of awareness, of consciousness, of alertness, tolerance, gentleness which permeate my everyday living. It feels as if a dormant dimension has been opened to me. I am 75, so, so grateful to be given this gift.

I am not speaking magic here, challenges, hurts, hurdles, upsets, still come , but I can let them be, accept they are part of what is, not all of what is. Alex has led me, wisely, professionally and kindly, through the steps which are enabling me to move forward. He embodies the tenets which he teaches, with gentle acceptance but no assumptions, and without pressure or judgement.

There is honesty, patience and sincerity, alongside a warm humour. I feel a generosity of spirit from him, a sort of shared joy in enabling me to experience exuberance in standing tall, feeling strong, moving forward and being. Thank you Alex."

Ref. Full Catastrophe Living - Jon Kabat-Zinn

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