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A Mindfulness Exercise to Evaluate Your Attitudes

Attitudes can become habits; both good and bad habits. And attitudes, like habits, aren’t easy to change. Mindfulness can help you work toward a desired attitude, but, you need to work to improve your attitude. Begin by discovering what your current attitudes are towards meditation, stillness, silence and non-doing. Then, through understanding and effort, you can develop attitudes that are more conducive to a regular mindfulness practice.

Get pen and paper and answer the following ten questions to help you to find out your attitudes towards mindfulness meditation.

  1. What do you hope to get out of practicing mindfulness?

  2. Why are you practicing mindfulness?

  3. What experiences do you expect to arrive at through practicing mindfulness?

  4. How long do you think it’ll take before you notice the benefits of meditation?

  5. What physical sensations do you expect during or after a meditation?

  6. What are your past experiences of meditation? Do you continue to hold them or have you let them go?

  7. How much effort are you willing to put into the practice? Will you meditate several times a day, or once a day, or once a week, or whenever you feel like it?

  8. When you hear the word ‘meditation’ or ‘mindfulness’, what sort of thoughts and feelings arise?

  9. How will you know that you’re doing your meditation correctly?

  10. What’s the great thing about meditation?

Now, look at your answers. Do you notice any patterns? Are you very positive about the potential benefits of meditation? Are you negative about meditation? Or are you indifferent and do you just want to experiment, like being a scientist of your own mind?

Try to be non-judgmental towards your answers. See them as just the way things are. If you can’t help being caught up in thinking, ‘That’s good’ or ‘Oh, that’s a really bad attitude, what’s wrong with me?’ Notice that too. Your mind is simply coming up with judgments.

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