This week sees the beginning of a series exploring the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the father of modern mindfulness practice. Jon encourages the cultivation of these attitudes to support and enhance your mindfulness practice.
The first of the 9 Attitudes is Non Judging. - As we move through our days the mind is busy categorising and labelling almost everything we come into contact with, both out in the world, and in our inner experience.
We are constantly assessing what we want/don't want, like/don't like, want to approach/want to avoid, are good at/not good at. These judgments can lead us to respond to the world through automatic reactions that we are often not aware of, and to be in a state of discontentment in our own selves.
It would be an impossible task to stop judgments altogether, but what we can do is become aware of them. When we become aware of our judgments, we are freeing ourselves from the tendency to act on them blindly, and have them disturb our peace.
• Bring your attention to your thoughts for the next minute, and observe them as they arise.
• Notice any judging thoughts such as: "I don't like this", I'm uncomfortable", "This is boring", etc.
• Resist the temptation to judge the judging, just label it "Judging", and return to paying attention.
• Try to bring this awareness of judgment with you through the day.
"If we are to find a more effective way of handling the stress in our lives, the first thing we need to do is to be aware of these automatic judgments so that we can see through our own usually unexperienced prejudices and fears and liberate ourselves from their tyranny." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
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