In his book Full Catastrophe Living, author Jon Kabat-Zinn describes the foundational attitudes of mindfulness practice. They make up the major pillars of mindfulness practice as taught at his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course through the University of Massachusetts.
While the MBSR course is meant to help its students respond more effectively to illness, stress, and pain, anyone can use its teachings to enhance their own mindfulness practice. By practicing non-judging, patience, a beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go, you can help bring a sense of balance and contentment to your everyday life.
Keep reading to learn more about the 7 pillars of mindfulness, and how you can make them a part of your practice.
We are constantly judging people, places, and things, even if we aren’t doing so consciously. Since it can be difficult to stop these automatic thoughts, the best thing you can do is bring to them a sense of awareness. You need to be able to recognize when you’re making a snap judgment if you want to truly enhance your mindfulness practice.
Everybody seems to be in such a rush these days, often for no good reason. You need to understand and accept that everything will happen in time – worrying about it now won’t make a difference. By practicing patience, you’ll have an easier time living in the moment, which is an essential part of mindfulness.
3. Beginner’s Mind
As we age, we may get to a point where we feel as if we’re experts on everything in our lives. This may cause us to go on autopilot, which often results in closing ourselves off from new perspectives and experiences. By approaching these same everyday tasks with a beginner’s mind, we look at things with a fresh set of eyes. This can open us up to many new thoughts and experiences that we may not have previously considered with an expert’s mind.
If you really want to find a sense of peace and contentment in your life, you need to trust yourself. You need to let your own beliefs guide you, and trust that they’re taking you on the right path. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stop learning and listening to others. You just need to trust that, at the end of the day, the choices you make are based on what you truly believe.
You need to realize that who you are is enough. You don’t need to strive to become different or better than yourself, or anyone else for that matter. By embracing who you are, you can better focus on what is happening in the present moment.
Now, this isn’t merely referring to accepting things that you don’t like. It means accepting things as they are, without being clouded by any kind of bias. You need to learn to recognize the facts of the world and accept them as they are, even if they’re not ideal.
7. Letting Go
It’s difficult to practice mindfulness if you’re fixated on certain ideas or worries. Therefore, you need to be able to let go of these distracting thoughts in order to really focus on the present moment. Let your experience be what it is, and do your best to let go of the things that are out of your control.
Need some help with your mindfulness practice? Learn more about our mindfulness sessions at Edie Gudaitis Wellness here.