Mindful Monday: The Attitude of Non-Striving

January 12, 2015
meditation, mindfulness, quote, osho, sunset

meditation, mindfulness, quote, osho, sunset

This post is part of a series of posts where we are looking at the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness which you can see listed HERE.  So far, we have looked at the attitude’s of  Non-Judging, Patience, Beginner’s Mind and TrustToday we are looking at:

The Attitude of Non-Striving

Non-striving is not easy for us because from right back in our childhood we have been trained to achieve, set goals, be competitive and aim for success! However, with practice, cultivating the attitude of Non-Striving can be done, especially when starting with short meditations which can gradually be extended in time.

Let me explain what Non-Striving means a little more – A very big part of practicing Mindfulness is meditation. Meditation is non-doing, with no goal other than being yourself. This is a time we set aside for ourselves where we do nothing! By nothing, I mean where we are not striving to achieve a specific purpose or goal and we have no agenda. We are meditating to simply be in awareness of the present moment without having to STRIVE (=manipulate, straining or forcing events in order to achieve a certain outcome, state of being or result).

Non-Striving is trying less and being more.

So how do we meditate if we are non-doing and not striving to achieve anything? Well, we just be. We feel what we feel. We hear what we hear.   We smell what we smell. We might have an awareness of some tension or pain in our back or neck.   We might hear birds chirping or smell freshly mown grass. We acknowledge thoughts but don’t let them carry us away from being. We listen to our breath.
(Note: There will be more on meditation in a future Mindful Monday post)

Jon Kabat-Zinn says:

“Mindfulness is never about doing something perfectly, because it is not about doing or accomplishing at all. It is about allowing things to be as they are, resting in awareness, and then, taking appropriate action when called for. Silence, deep listening, and non-doing are often very appropriate responses in particularly trying moments — not a turning away at all, but an opening toward things with clarity and good will, even toward ourselves. Out of that awareness, trustworthy skillful responses and actions can arise naturally, and surprise us with their creativity and clarity.”

Speaking of Jon Kabat-Zinn, let’s see what he has to say about The Attitude of Non-Striving.

Join me next Monday when we will be looking at The Attitude of Acceptance.

Ciao for now,


– The photograph used for today’s post is of a sunset out the back of our apartment at Burleigh Heads when we were there before Christmas.
– This post is linked up with One Mother Hen‘s – Open Slather

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  • Reply Jody at Six Little Hearts January 12, 2015 at 7:53 am

    It all makes so much sense and yet for the life of me I have never been able to meditate! I wish!
    Probably has something to do with being a Mum of six.

    • Reply Min January 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Oh Jody, as a mum of six (you have my admiration!!) … um … yes it would be hard to unwind enough to meditate and finding time would be hard! The best you could try for is probably when you go to bed, that is if you can stay awake for long enough. There are some quick and easy meditations around though that might work for you. Watch this space 😉 x

  • Reply Alicia - One Mother Hen January 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I love that line ‘non-striving is trying less and being more’. It has become important to me and is something I would like to be in a state of, and practice more this year.

    • Reply Min January 13, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      It’s a great line isn’t it Alicia! I need to try less and be more too! 😉

  • Reply Deb @ inner compass designs January 13, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    This perfectly explains what is meant when people say “just BE”. Love the series.

    • Reply Min January 14, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Yes it does! Thanks Deb 🙂 x

  • Reply Zita January 14, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    This is something I used to do so much better than I do now! Really need to reconnect with this a lot more as it truly works and I truly enjoy it.

    • Reply Min January 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      I need to make more of an effort with it too Zita coz when you do it (just BE), it make such an enormous difference to your state of mind and sense of peace and calm. This is why I am doing the series, to remind myself and share with others in the process. 🙂

  • Reply Darren Collins March 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Really nice series of posts. The Taoist principles really resonate with me and a friend of mine reminded me not to strive this week, which led me here. Thank you for this, will share this one around 🙂

    • Reply Min March 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks so much Darren. I wasn’t aware of The Taoist principles but you’ve now sparked my interest. I’ll read up on it. Thanks for that! 🙂

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond April 16, 2019 at 8:39 am

    ‘Just be’ sounds so good doesn’t it Min? Yet we all struggle because we have been taught that we need to strive for more. This week I’ve been preparing to move and normally I would try to be juggling everything including my blogging and social media. I have hoisted the white flag and reminded myself I can’t do it all. Thanks for the reminder and another #ZTT have a great week.

    • Reply Min April 16, 2019 at 10:48 am

      I still struggle with this one Sue. Always striving. Feeling guilt if I don’t ‘achieve’ or if I’m not ‘productive’. Revisiting this post is a good reminder for me. Good luck with your move and yes please do go easy on yourself. Moving house can be quite stressful! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan April 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    He nails it doesnt he? I listen to him, and also to Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach and now learning more about ‘craving’ with Dr Judson Brewer who also quotes JKZ in his works. The thing about craving is I am wanting tor reduce what I eat from say the ‘craving list’ of foods and he has a simple, mindful way of doing this. I watched his Ted talk and now have the book coming. I first saw Dr Brewer’s work on Calm Masterclass from my calm app. It is not such a big world after all is it. Denyse x

    • Reply Min April 18, 2019 at 7:17 am

      I must check out that reduction of ‘craving’ method by Dr Judson Brewer Denyse because I have certain foods I eat too much of and yes I crave certain foods at certain times. I’ll Google his Ted talk! Thanks! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 7:15 am

    This fits beautifully with the quote I shared on Monday, Th time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time!nn I love it!! Thanks for for the reminder we can’t do it all and to just be! #ztt

    • Reply Min April 18, 2019 at 7:18 am

      Exactly Deb! Time out ‘not striving’ is not wasted time at all! Just ‘being’ is so valuable to us. xo

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