Thursday, August 19, 2010

What IS mindfulness, anyway?

There's a little article over on the website that takes a look at how mindfulness practice can help a person suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Part of it explains what actually is happening when we're being mindful:
There are 7 elements of the mindfulness attitude that are required for someone to achieve a mindful state:

1. Non-Judging: taking the role of an impartial observer to whatever your current experience is. This means not making a positive or negative evaluation of what is happening, just simply observing it.

2. Patience: cultivating the understanding that things must develop in their own time.

3. Beginner’s Mind: having the willingness to observe the world as if it was your first time doing so. This creates an openness that is essential to being mindful.

4. Trust: having trust in yourself, your intuition, and your abilities.

5. Non-Striving: the state of not doing anything, just simply accepting that things are happing in the moment just as they are supposed to. For people from Western countries like the United States, this tends to be one of the more difficult components.

6. Acceptance: completely accepting the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and beliefs that you have, and understanding that they are simply those things only.

7. Non-Attachment: avoidance of attaching meaning to thoughts and feelings, or connecting a given thought to a feeling. Instead, let a thought or feeling come in and pass without connecting it to anything, observing them exactly as they are.

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