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Old 02-11-2015, 04:21 PM   #12
Head Coach
Join Date: Jul 2001
Orientation Week Homework

We got a handout on The Seven Pillars of Mindfulness Practice. I've read it already before writing this (the idea of commenting in real time while reading it seems counterproductive to everything written on this sheet )

Very, very brief list here:

1. Non-Judging - A goal to able to step back from judging every thought/emotion we have while still being able to observe it.

2. Patience - Specifically regarding times when "the mind is agitated". An ability to acknowledge what's happening in one's head without having to get caught up in it.

3. Beginner's Mind - A willingness to see everything as if seeing it for the first time, "to be present to experiences as if they were novel". Being receptive to new possibilities and to avoid getting stuck in the rut of our own experience.

4. Trust - Trusting ourselves and our feelings and intuition even though we make mistakes along the way.

5. Non-Striving - mindfulnesss is not about "doing" anything. Thre is no goal other than for us to be present.

6. Acceptance - Acceptance means acknowledging things as they are in the present moment, regardless of whether pleasant or unpleasant.

7. Letting Go - "we intentionally pause from elevating some aspects of our experience and rejecting others. We don't have to grasp for or cling to or push away anything; instead, we just let our experience be what it is"

We were asked to note our thoughts on these things as we read them as part of our homework:

To copy the term from SirBlurton above, a lot of the specific phrasing here feels like "hocus pocus." If not for the recommendations of people I trust so much right now, I would have a very, very hard time reading through this without being dismissive. I use the word "abstract" a lot in my posts. I can use that word to describe most of these pillars. I understand what I'm reading, in theory. Seeing how this applies to me, how someone who sees the world the way I do can even be capable of some of these things, and seeing how vast self improvement comes from this foundation... well, right now that's all blind trust. In a conscious act of being non-judgemental (I'M DOING IT GUYS), I will say that I'm cool with all of this, I'm not doubting what I'm doing, but this is the honest reaction.

Specifically, I will say that some concepts listed above, like the "beginner's mind", feel unbelievably foreign, and like a very huge leap for me. Other concepts, "Patience", "Trust", and "Acceptance", at least as written here, I currently practice but in a very different way, and perhaps an unhealthy way. A lot of what's written here seems geared towards avoiding a brash/inappropriate response to your feelings and emotions. I succeed in that but through a process of being overly analytical and logical before acting, or frequently even speaking. That's really not what they're getting at But it is a thing I noticed.

I've posted more than I expected in this orientation week. But I believe at this point its unlikely there will be more here until the Week 1 class next Monday.
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