Cultivating The 9 Attitudes: A Lifetime’s Work

As a testament to the ongoing nature of cultivating the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness, here is Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has been writing about mindfulness for nearly 30 years, wrestling with his self-righteousness:

Reminding Myself That Self-Righteousness Is Not Helpful, Medium, 5 February 2019

One of the 9 Attitudes is Beginners Mind. Here’s what Zinn says about it:

Sometimes we’re so expert that our minds are just full of our expertise but it leaves us without any realm for novelty or new possibilities. In the mind of the expert, they say, there are very few possibilities. But in the beginner’s mind there are infinite possibilities.

If we could apply Beginner’s Mind to the present political landscape, we might see potential in it, potential to, say, stir enthusiasm for change.

1 thought on “Cultivating The 9 Attitudes: A Lifetime’s Work

  1. Bix Post author

    He was talking about politics and Trump here, although without mentioning his name. He was talking about how the policies of the current administration are laying waste to social programs and the environment, and how he thinks it’s wrong (thus, his righteousness).

    And he realizes:

    “There are at least two problems with my self-righteous attitude: the self part and the righteousness part.”

    Towards the end of the essay you can hear him applying his Attitudes.

    Here’s Non-Judging:

    “You can just feel how dangerous that kind of thinking is. … “I am right, and they are wrong.” “I know what is right, and they don’t.” “What is wrong with them?”

    This righteousness, this you-against-them mentality is corrosive and corrupting, he says. And isn’t that what we see playing out in society? Inside ourselves?

    Here’s Beginner’s Mind:

    “Thinking about the same things in other ways opens the way to imagination and creativity, to openheartedness.”



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