Yesterday in Mindful Society at my university, a Clinical Psychologist came in to speak to us and facilitate some meditation practices. Before doing so, she introduced us to the ‘ground rules’ of practicing Mindfulness, a concept introduced by the godfather of Mindfulness himself – Jon Kabat-Zinn.
I particularly liked the points about Patience and Non-Striving, because without them it would be impossible to continue nurturing the rest of the skills. I often forget to be patient with myself, and likewise I forget that striving for perfection is usually ineffective, if not impossible! This applies within the practice of Mindfulness as much as it does anything else; there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ practice, and it is not always easy to be mindful, either. Being Kind to Yourself is also closely related to these elements, and perhaps for me one of the most difficult aspects to practice. A lack of kindness usually leads to a stance of being judgemental, and judgements lead to non-acceptance.
The point I am trying to make is how inter-connected these ‘ground rules’ of Mindfulness appear to be, and how much of a positive difference practicing just a few of them could have on one’s overall mental wellbeing.