How does attitude affect the quality of mindfulness meditation? Well, if your attitude is ‘Meditation is really hard’, then you try very hard to get somewhere.
If your attitude is ‘Meditation is easy’ and then struggle, you may begin to get frustrated. If your attitude is, ‘I don’t know how it’ll go. I’m going to give it a good go and see what happens,’ you’re prepared for whatever arises.
Attitudes are the soil in which your mindfulness practices grow tall and strong. A rich, nutritious soil nourishes the seed of mindfulness and ensures that it grows well. Each time you practise mindfulness, you water the seed, giving it care and attention. However, if that soil deteriorates through unhelpful attitudes, then the young seedling will begin to wither. A plant needs regular watering to grow – a lack of care and attention results in it perishing.
Developing Helpful Attitudes
Jon jabat zin (1988) has identified key foundational attitudes that provide a base from which you can build a strong mindfulness practice. These attitudes help you to handle difficult sensations and emotions, overcome feelings of lethargy, and generate energy for taking action. Without these attitudes your practice may become stale and your intention may weaken, along with your power to pay attention in the present moment.
- Beginner's mind
- Letting go