The 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness: A Guide to Cultivating Kindness and Clarity

Attitudes of mindfulness such as non-judgment, patience & trust are essential for cultivating kindness & clarity. Learn more about Jon Kabat-Zinn's 9 attitudes & how they can help you develop a deeper understanding of the human condition.

The 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness: A Guide to Cultivating Kindness and Clarity

Attitudes of mindfulness, non-judgment, patience, the beginner's mind, trust, non-effort, acceptance, letting go, and gratitude are essential for the practice of mindfulness. These attitudes contribute to the growth and flourishing of the mind, heart and body. Kindness is a good quality that leads to more peace and well-being for ourselves and others. It can dissolve fears, feelings of guilt, anxieties and stress that lead to exhaustion and chronic discontent.

Patience is a form of wisdom that shows we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must develop in due time. Trusting your intuition and your own authority is better than seeking guidance outside of yourself. Letting go or non-attachment is fundamental to the practice of mindfulness. Gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attention, energy, and duration and quality of sleep.

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the consciousness that arises from paying attention, purposefully, to the present moment, without judgment”. In Full Catastrophe Living (1990), he describes seven specific attitudes that form the basis of mindfulness: non-judgment, patience, beginner's mind, trust, lack of effort, acceptance and abandonment. These attitudes are mutually supportive and deeply interconnected. Practicing one will lead to the others.

Compassion is also an important attitude to cultivate in order to promote long-term success and calm an anxious mind. The nine attitudes of mindfulness are essential for developing a deeper understanding of the human condition. They can be applied directly in everyday life as you cultivate and deepen your mindfulness practice. By showing gratitude for the simple things in life and honoring your feelings when something doesn't feel right, you can experience a new wealth of life.

With patience and regular practice, the movement toward your goals will take place on its own. My own struggles in life have led me to this path of understanding the human condition. I graduated with a degree in philosophy before completing a master's degree in psychology at Regent's University in London. I then completed a postgraduate degree in philosophical counseling before training in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).

I have spent the past eight years studying the encounter between meditative practices and modern psychology. On average, the human brain processes around 6000 thoughts a day. But hold on to bad habits, unhealthy relationships, and negative experiences.