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Non-judging

Mindfulness is cultivated by assuming the stance of an impartial witness to your own experiences. This requires becoming aware of the incessant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experiences that we are normally caught up in, and learn to step back and learn from it.




When we begin the practice of paying attention to the activity of our own mind, we will be astonished to discover that we are constantly passing judgments about our experiences. We react to everything we experince in terms of what we think its value to us. Almost everything we see is labeled and categorized by the mind. Some things are judged as "good" because they make us feel good for some reason. Some other things are condemned as "bad" because they make us feel bad.

The rest is categorized as "neutral" because we don't think it has much relevance to us. Neutral things, people and events are almost tuned out of our consciousness. We susually find them the most boring to give attention to.




This habit of categorizing and judging our experience locks us into automatic reactions that we are not even aware of and that have no realistic basis at all. These judgments tend to dominate our minds, making it difficult for us to find peace within ourselves. If you ever doubt this description of your mind, just observe for yourselves during a ten-minute period, how much your ind is preoccupied with liking and disliking.

It is as if the mind were a yo-yo, going up and down on the string of our own judging thoughts all day long.




When practising mindfulness, it is important to recognize that this judging quality of mind when it appears and to intentionally assume the stance of an impartial witness by reminding yourself to just observe it. When you find the mind judging, you don't have to stop it from doing that !

All that is required is to be aware of it happenning. No need to judge the judging and make matters worse and complicated for yourself.

For example:
While practising the breathing meditation, when you watching your breath, you may find your mind saying something like, "This is boring", or "this isn't working", or, "It is a waste of time. I am not really accomplishing anything here". Remember, these are judgments. When they come up in in your mind, just remind yourself to just watch these judging thoughts, without pursuing them or acting on them in any way. Then proceed with watching your breathing. You can acknowledge their presence as you would accept certain unwelcome visitors in a party. You cannot ignore them, yet you need not engage in a conversation with them. This attitude would help prevent yourself not to entangle with these unwelcome thoughts.  

This attitude of non-judging is very important for the practise of mindfulness !



 
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