Cultivating mindfulness requires a little more than just following a set of instructions or guided meditations. In practising mindfulness, you will have to bring your whole being to the process. You can’t just assume a meditative posture and think something will happen or play a tape and think that tape will ‘do something’ for you. The attitude with which you undertake the practise of paying attention and being in the present is crucial.
These attitudes are both needed for practising mindfulness and are in turn cultivated by its practise. Each one relies on and influences the degree to which you are able to develop the others. Working on any one will rapidly lead you to the others.
In a series of small blogs, Urban Mindfulness will discuss the different attitudes that form the pillars mindfulness practise.
4 – Trust
During your upbringing, you may have learned to direct your attention outward and to trust in the wisdom of other people such as parents or teachers. Directing awareness inwardly and trusting oneself is often new to us.
In mindfulness, the attitude of trust means resisting getting caught up in the reputation and authority of others. Instead, you are invited to honour your own feelings, intuitions and experiences. While teachers and books can provide signposts, only you can take responsibility for knowing yourself and for your own actions. It is important to be open and receptive to learn form other sources, but ultimately you still have to live your own life.
Developing trust helps you to know yourself and vice versa. Trusting your own intuition instead of seeking external guidance can make you stronger. In practising mindfulness, you are practising taking responsibility for being yourself and learning to listen to and trust your own being.
The practise of mindfulness can sometimes be boring or unpleasant. You can only hope to continue this practise only if you trust that the bigger process will lead you in a positive direction. Trusting your own capacity to heal and restore will grow with the dedicated practise of mindfulness. In time you may find that this trust expands outward, being able to trust others more and see their basic goodness.