Taking Hold of the Mind: “How” Skills
- See but don’t evaluate. Take a nonjudgmental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the “what” not the “good” or “bad”, the “terrible” or “wonderful”, the “should” or “should not”.
- Unglue your opinions from the facts, from the “who, what ,where and when”.
- Accept each moment, each event as a blanket spread out on the lawn accepts both the rain and the sun, and each leaf that falls upon it.
- Acknowledge the helpful, the wholesome, but don’t judge it. Acknowledge the harmful, the unwholesome,but don’t judge it.
- When you find yourself judging, don’t judge your judging.
- Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are bathing, bathe. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person. Do each things with all your attention.
- If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you were doing.
- Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.
- Focus on what works. Do what needs to be done in each situation. Stay away from “:fair” and “unfair”, “right” and “wrong”, “should” and “should not”.
- Play by the rules. Don’t “cut off your nose to spite your face”.
- Act as skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that…
- Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them. Let go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you doesn’t work.
Judging: Any labeling or evaluating of something as good or bad, valuable or not, as worthwhile or worthless. The essence of it is the valuing of things as more or less “good” or “bad”. Thinking of terms as “good” or “bad” can be harmful, may be an example of “all or nothing thinking”, and ignores that things and people have some “good” parts and some “bad” parts. It also is no necessary. An important mindfullness skill is not judging things in this manner, but to instead describe the consequences of what a person does. For example, “Your behavior is terrible” (judgmental) verses “your behavior is hurting me” (noticing consequences).