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Further Dimensions of Mindfulness Practice - Curiosity 

Curiosity is an important aspect to mindfulness practice. Each moment is a new moment in time and space. To fully encounter the moment without coming to it with a lot of preconceptions and the thought that we already know what it is, can be best done with a sense of curiosity and investigation. When we are curious about the fullness of each moment, we might find that there are things about each experience that we have not noticed before. In essence, we are changing our view and our vantage point and…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Letting Go 

Letting go can be one of those phrases that we hear a lot. You tell someone something you worry about or something that matters to you but seems insignificant to the other person and they reply with, "Oh, just let it go. It's no big deal." This kind of blase' response is not particularly helpful and is not exactly what this foundation of mindfulness is pointing to. 

The kind of letting go we are discussing in mindfulness may be understood more as loosening our grip on something on which we have gotten…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Acceptance 

All the foundations of mindfulness practice are important and they all inform each other. Acceptance, for me resonates as one of the most important and sometimes the most difficult foundation of mindfulness practice. Acceptance has an easy definition but certainly not an easy one to put in to practice. Its definition is to see things as they actually are in the present moment. Sounds simple enough right? But, how many times are we held hostage by our thinking because we want things to be different than they…

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Mindfulness Foundation-Non Striving 

Whenever I discuss the topic of non-striving in an MBSR class, I often get strange looks from people. After all, isn't that what we are supposed to do....strive to accomplish things, gain more, and get to our goals on time? The question comes up, that if we are not striving to get something done, then what are we doing? Of course we should strive to make our lives and the lives around us better, more meaningful, healthy, and peaceful. But in meditation in particular and mindfulness in general, a striving…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Trust 

Trusting in yourself may seem like an easy thing to do, but if we get caught up in our thinking, we may be misled by our tightly held beliefs, ideas, or opinions. In mindfulness meditation we are invited into this deep trust of ourselves, to trust our intuition. It is asking us to trust that if something does not feel right to us, then we have to trust our feelings and honor them in a way that is a true expression of ourselves. 

In my years of Zen practice, teachers would always test this trust. You may…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Beginner's Mind 

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. ” 
― Shunryu Suzuki

The foundational principle of mindfulness that addresses the beginner's mind speaks to how we can miss the miracle of the "ordinary" or over emphasize the "extraordinary" if we get caught up in our preconceptions. In order to touch the immediacy of the present moment in its fullness, it requires that we step back…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Patience 

In a world of fast pace with expectations of quick responses and immediate access to knowledge, it is very easy to find ourselves being impatient. Of course there are many parables around this topic like the child who becomes impatient and breaks open the chrysalis in hopes to see an emerging butterfly. There is also the Taoist story from Chuang Tzu:

“Let us not be like the man of Sung. There was a man of Sung, who was grieved that his growing corn was not longer, and so he pulled it up. Having done this…

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Mindfulness Foundation - Non Judging 

 

 

Non-judging

The first of the foundational attitudes of mindfulness is non-judging. In mindfulness practice, we do our best to pay attention to the present moment, in its entirety. Not just pieces of the moment, but all of it. If we are to see the present moment and experience it in its fullness it requires us to set aside our ideas, opinions, likes and dislikes, so that we may see things as they actually are. When we see things through a distorted lens, that is only part of the picture. In…

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Foundations of Mindfulness Practice  

Attitudes of Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness is often misunderstood as just sitting meditation. Meditation is only one of the many ways that one can practice mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness informally by doing things like washing the dishes, walking the dog, taking out the garbage or you can do mindful practices formally with such things like Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi. All of these things are considered to be mindful when we embody a certain attitude toward how we live our life. 

Adopting an…

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The Mindfulness Practice of Letting Go 

When faced with the challenges of everyday life, we may find ourselves struggling to change the situation to fit with our idea of what we want our lives to be or what we expect our lives to be. However, as we all have learned over the course of a life, this letting go stuff can be quite challenging. If you share your current difficulties with another person, you may hear that tired old phrase, "Ah, just let it go." But, that never seems to be very helpful advice.

In mindfulness the process of letting go is…

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