Windhorse Talk: Basic Attendance and Relational Mindfulness
Regardless of our role or setting, we intuitively know the importance of being present and open if we want to genuinely “be there” for another person. According to contemplative psychology, this capacity to be present and available is an expression of our basic human sanity and a strength we can cultivate. We share this capacity with everyone we encounter, regardless of role, diagnosis, and the like. Mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices offer us a way to bring forward this natural clarity, warmth, and openness. We can then bring these qualities into the various relationships and environments that fill our work and lives.
At Windhorse, the practice and art of relational mindfulness is known as Basic Attendance. In Basic Attendance, one attends to one’s own mind and body, to the other person, and to the environment as a whole. By mindfully connecting with our immediate experience, we are better able to meet others with presence and genuine openness—human being to human being—and better able to recognize and encourage the innate wakefulness we all share.