The practice of law is a helping profession. Like medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy, nursing, and many other professions, clients come to attorneys with some particular “problem” they hope to have alleviated or at least lessened in intensity. The ability to effectively address these concerns requires an openness to the suffering others. Predominant conditioning, and especially the competitive nature of law practice, however, often cultivates an internal focus on individual striving, often to the exclusion of the real concerns of others.
Thus, often attorneys – especially those involved in adversarial litigation – experience real conflict between their conditioned desires and strivings, and the “problems” presented to them in the lives of their clients. But this conflict can be viewed either as a source of difficulty for the attorney, or an opportunity to work on shedding one’s identification with learned conditioning and cultivating the ability to be more compassionate and open to life outside one’s self.
At its heart, mindfulness training for attorneys is aimed at loosening the grip of this learned conditioning and developing a deeper felt connection to present moment experience. Through mindfulness training, attorneys can come to more appreciate the fleeting nature of thoughts, and how one’s conditioning is mainly borne of habitual, repetitive thinking. In cultivating the ability to more deeply connect to present-moment experience, the attorney experiences a felt sense that although thoughts are real, they are not necessarily true. These thoughts come to no longer define either who the attorney “is” or what he or she “needs” in order to be happy or at peace.
This deepened connection to present-moment experience invariably leads to a heightened sense of compassion for all of life. We begin to far more fully embrace the experience of others and no longer automatically employ strategies to avoid the suffering of others. In this way, the attorney comes to welcome the opportunity to alleviate the suffering in others. The attorney begins to embrace the practice of law as a unique gift allowing him or her to help make the world a better place for so many people.
If you are struggling to find peace and fulfillment in the practice of law, we are offering free initial consultations to discuss how mindfulness practice may help you. For more information, please visit http://www.MINDFULAW.com, or call Holistic Lawyer Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263.