What Are the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness?

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 By The Mindful Leader Team

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an author, a leader in the mindfulness community, and the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). A molecular biologist by education, Kabat-Zinn was introduced to the concept of meditation through Zen Buddhism, but applied the idea of focused attention to a secular paradigm. MBSR looks to use mindfulness as a regular practice to help people with stress reduction, awareness, and focus. The nine attitudes of mindfulness (discussed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in a video below) are a series of interconnected attitudes that Kabat-Zinn espouses as a way to facilitate mindfulness without trying to force a certain feeling or manner of action.

Watch Jon Kabat-Zinn discuss these attitudes of mindfulness:

The nine attitudes are qualities that can be cultivated both in everyday life and in formal mindfulness practice. Originally, seven attitudes were written in the original edition of Full Catastrophe Living, but gratitude and generosity have been added since then. The attitudes, in no particular order, are:

  • Non-Judgment - The attitude of cultivating the ability to understand things around us without automatically assigning them labels of good or bad, so that we can experience them as they truly are
  • Patience - The attitude of understanding that things happen in their own time, including our own experiences. Patience with oneself is an act of acceptance and wisdom. 
  • Beginner’s Mind - The attitude of intentionally seeing things around you as if for the first time, by shedding our expectations and preconceptions and welcoming the possibility of a new moment, one that has never been seen before.
  • Trust - The attitude of trusting that the body will support its own life, that the breath will support itself, that the organs will continue to function, and that the mind and heart can heal and support themselves.
  • Non-Striving - The attitude of not seeking anything in particular in the practice of mindful awareness. There is no special state of relaxation, well-being, or anything to achieve or fix in your mindfulness practice.
  • Acceptance - The attitude of actively recognizing that things are the way they are, even if they aren’t the way we want them to be. 
  • Letting Go - The attitude that is the opposite of clinging or grasping. Letting go means accepting that things that are pleasant will end, in a manner of letting things be as they are. 
  • Gratitude - The attitude of appreciating even the simplest things in the present moment, such as the basic automatic functioning of the body. 
  • Generosity - The attitude of giving oneself over to life, and giving to other people what would make them happy, for the sake of the joy it brings them. 

Which of these attitudes do you find challenging in your daily life or in the workplace? 

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1 comment

When I work mindfully on even one of these nine attitudes I sense a domino effect as if that one attitude I rested with cascaded into the other eight.

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