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Home >> Journal >> News >> The Mindful Attitude of Non-Striving

The Mindful Attitude of Non-Striving

Wednesday 20th January

Learn about the Mindful Attitude of the Non-Striving to help support your formal (meditation) and informal (day to day) practice of mindfulness. Bring this attitude into practice and navigate life with a greater degree of clarity, calm and connection.

Use the attitude to guide your formal meditation practice, or as an informal reminder throughout your day to come back to the present moment. Find ways to incorporate these mindful attitudes in discussion with your family, or those close to you and practice them in communication with others both at work and at home.

The Mindful Attitude of Non-Striving

The practice of NonStriving is the practice of giving yourself permission to pause. In our goal oriented world we are constantly faced with a never ending ‘to do’ list and with the glorification of ‘busy’. In this life we face an ongoing challenge to shut off. However, adopting an attitude of nonstriving does not mean giving up on the pursuit of your dreams, your resolutions or even trying to pay more attention in your meditation practice. It is simply cultivating the ability to be present and content where we are, without the need to be anywhere else. Because if you are always trying to get somewhere else, you’re never truly where you are.

We can use this attitude to guide us in our lives, particularly if our lives are too packed with activity, if we’re always striving to get to the next thing and giving ourselves no chance to pause. NonStriving is the antidote, it allows space for a more universal flow of wisdom; for the cultivation of love and creativity.

Below are some resources on NonStriving compiled by the Happy Melon Team to be shared with you. Enjoy listening, reading and watching. Stay connected and let us know what you loved, or share your own resources with us in return!


Jon Kabat-Zinn on Non-Striving

The grandfather of modern mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn has much to say on the mindful attitude of NonStriving.

In meditation we let things simply be, as they are. Time spent in the practice non-doing, or nonstriving helps us realise that whatever is already here is good enough, even if it is unpleasant, it is enough.

Listen here


Non-Striving in Tao Te Ching 

Excerpt from Tao Te Ching:
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.”

Read more and find all of Chapter 9 of the Tao Te Ching here.


Pema Chodron on Non-Striving and the Wisdom of No Escape

Pema Chodron is one of modern Buddhist philosophy’s leading voices.

This wonderful collection of short, beautifully simple yet powerful reflections on various aspects of how “to be with oneself without embarrassment or harshness” are an easy to digest translation of Eastern ideas into Western life.

Read the review of The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness here.


Wu Wei

One understanding of nonstriving can be found through the practice of Wu Wei, or effortless action.

A concept key to the noblest kind of action according to the philosophy of Daoism; being at peace while engaging in activity means one can engage in tasks with maximum skill and efficiency.

Read more on Wu Wei here.


Non-Striving and the Practice of Yoga Nidra

“Yoga Nidra is about releasing the struggling and striving to get somewhere. It is the art and practice of doing nothing to arrive exactly where you want to be. It’s like floating. Floating is not something you do, it is something that happens in the absence of doing. It is an experience of being held, being carried… but it only happen when you stop struggling to keep yourself upright. Stop doing and floating happens.”

Kamini Desai, from Yoga Nidra – The Art of Transformational Sleep


When Walking, Walk

This article from National Geographic outlines why walking is the perfect pandemic activity. Walking has been central to some of the largest political and protest movements throughout history.

Walking is about more than walking and always has been. Walking soothes. Walking inspires and sharpens the mind. Walking is freedom.

Read the full article here


How Striving is Costing Us

This TEDx Talk from business communication expert Carrie Bedingfield teaches us how to build a profitable business, while cultivating meaning.

She speaks on escaping high expectations and perfect personal performance, and the modern concept of business fuelled by love and abundance instead of fear and scarcity.

Listen to the full talk here.


Move and meditate with us in-studio and online to continue cultivating the mindful attitude of non-striving. Book a class here.