The Seven Elements of Mindfulness
A key aspect to any mindfulness practice are the attitudes that accompany present moment awareness. Jon Kabat-Zinn outlines seven elements of the mindfulness attitude in his groundbreaking book, Full Catastrophe Living.
1. Non-Judging: taking the role of an impartial observer to your current experience. Avoid positive or negative evaluation of what is happening. Instead just simply observe 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 happening in the moment just as they are supposed to. For people from Western countries 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: letting thoughts or feelings come in and pass without assigning meaning or trying to connect them to anything. Instead observe them exactly as they are.
Present moment awareness coupled with the above attitudes can have profound effects on well-being.