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 Trust. Today 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