Search

Ready to change your life?Start Now! Contact Us

Seven Qualities that Will Strengthen Your Mindfulness Practice

November 8, 2017

By Riitta H Rutanen Whaley, MS, MSPH

You have probably heard mindfulness described in multiple ways, depending on the context. In Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), we refer to it as an inherent ability to be aware of the present moment in a kind, open, accepting, and non-judgmental way. Mindfulness is a way of being that we already possess but can be fostered to a greater degree. The intention to live our lives more mindfully is enhanced by the cultivation of the following attitudes that, over time, contribute to mental stability and resiliency:

Mindfulness can help a person learn to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and choose how to respond.

Non-judging

Refers to the cultivation of the impartial witness qualities in ourselves. Instead of mechanically reacting or labeling a situation, person, or object, we suspend judgment and listen, look, and feel with open curiosity before proceeding.

Patience

In its deepest form is a type of wisdom that understands things unfold in their own way and in their own time. It also reminds us that there is no need for constant activity or for being slaves to our minds but that there is a lot to learn from resting on the ground of awareness.

Beginner’s Mind

Reminds us that what we know often gets in our way. It also reminds us about what has been termed “the boundary-making mind.” Attending to phenomena within and without ourselves with a beginner’s mind takes us on an experiential path toward a discovered truth. It allows us to learn that no moment is like the one before and puts us in contact with our uniqueness, impermanence, etc., in that we also emerge differently from each passing moment.

Trust

Asks us to consider that we might be better off if we planned and worried less. Instead, it challenges us to cultivate trust in ourselves, our feelings, and inherent wisdom (like intuitive insights). In this way, it helps us diminish fear and doubt and cultivate love and compassion. The process of trust takes courage but can help us take full responsibility for our lives.

Non-striving/Allowing

Challenges us to be ourselves and consider that we already have a place in the scheme of things. We don’t have to get to some goal to be “good” or fix things in a particular way, but rather to consider a different relationship to ourselves, focusing on being. And to consider that out of being might arise healing and insights for our speech and actions.

Acceptance

Allows us to arrive at a different relationship and vision of ourselves and our circumstances, seeing clearly how things are. An accepting attitude encourages us to turn towards, acknowledge, and feel pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral in our lives and to uncover the clouding that arises from constant doing, judging, and fear-based engagement.

Letting go/be

Rephrases the concept of non-attachment. We often find ourselves disappointed in life, whether or not we get what we want. This refers to the underlying discontent we live with when we live by entertaining expectations and goals. By practicing letting things be as they are in their arising, lingering, and falling away, we grow in our contact with the rhythm and nature of life, as well as the impermanence, equanimity, and peacefulness.

Interested in learning more about Mindfulness?

Learn about our upcoming Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Offered at Duke since 1998, our program challenges participants to practice present-moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through these techniques, a person learns to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living. Save 10% on all our programs when you register by the early registration date.

Explore Programs Open for Registration

SUGGESTED POSTS

Cancer Prevention – An Integrative Approach

Integrative medicine is a great option that combines conventional and complementary therapies to offer comprehensive and personalized strategies. By addressing the interconnected factors that contribute to cancer development, integrative medicine takes a proactive stance in preventing cancer. Explore some of the interventions that can aid cancer prevention.

READ MORE

Exploring Metta Meditation: A Gateway to Inner Harmony

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, offers a profound and transformative way to cultivate a sense of inner calm and compassion towards oneself and others. Let's delve into Metta meditation and how you can start this journey towards a more mindful and compassionate you. Exploring Meta  ...                
    <a href=

READ MORE

The Relationship Between Heart Health and Quality Sleep

In the intricate tapestry of our well-being, the relationship between heart health and sleep is a profound and often overlooked connection. The scientific community has long emphasized the importance of cardiovascular health and quality sleep, but understanding the intricate dance between the two can unlock critical insights into our overall ...

READ MORE
BACK TO POSTS

For more information about

Duke Integrative Medicine and our various services and programs, please join our mailing list.


error: Content is protected !!