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Mindfulness 2.0

by on August 26, 2013

By Val Szymanski

If you are reading this blog you already have some sense of mindfulness and how foundational it is to Buddhist practice. Mindfulness is defined as bare awareness of what is happening right now, inside your mind, in your body, and your surroundings. With mindfulness practice you will notice how the moments expand and contract as the content changes.

With the need for continued vigilance when engaged in mind training, working with a challenging mindfulness exercise can sharpen your skills. Evaluating and judging people, events, and things is just such an exercise.

In keeping with a format found in Jan Chosen Bays’ book, “How to Train a Wild Elephant”, one begins the day with some reminder of the mindfulness task. Having a post-it note with the words  ‘Evaluating and Judging’ in a conspicuous place upon rising in the morning will help you put your mind on this task. Next, set forth the intention to observe yourself evaluating and judging throughout the day. Document your findings of the conditions you evaluate as wells as the forms your judging takes as you go through the day.

Consider these questions for this practice. Have you noticed there is a feeling associated with evaluating? Are there any recurring themes or situations when evaluating is observed? When you observe yourself evaluating do you immediately move into judging mind? Are there repetitive judgments throughout the day on the same topic? What discoveries did you make? What else happens when one judges?

Observing ourselves evaluating and judging we see that we can easily move from a positive state of mind to a negative mind state. We can also see how our judgments separate ourselves from others. We either elevate or diminish another when judging.

Observing a situation in a non-judgmental way is possible when we tolerate the tension of wanting to judge while holding the mind back from doing so. The outcome is freedom and improved sense of well-being.

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From → Zen Buddhism

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