Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

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Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:04 am

A few questions first...

Is it possible to teach people to suppress the capacity to feel the difference between what is pleasant or unpleasant?

Is it wise to fail to discriminate between what is good and bad?

Why I don't agree with taking a non-judgemental stance, whilst I am being mindful of my thoughts, feelings & sensations.

If I'm suffering from a panic disorder, I'm judging my sensations, feelings or anxious thoughts as dangerous when they're not. Which in turn causes a spiral of increasing sensation, feelings & anxious thoughts.... Panic attack!

If I'm mindful of this panic cycle process, I will realize that I'm mistakenly judging these symptoms of fear as dangerous which are not dangerous in themselve, rather a warning signal of fear. To overcome this panic attack, I should expose myself to my irrational fear & stop judging these warning signs of irrational fear as non-dangerous.

So the way I see it, judging itself isn't the primary problem that needs to be prevented.... it's the irrational judgement that causes the positive feedback loop that is the heart of the problem.

I've never really understood why meditators tell people to be non-judgmental... What purpose does that serve except non-participation in life? (aka nihilism).
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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:55 am

Great musing Ash, really peeling those layers of the onion.

I've never really understood why meditators tell people to be non-judgmental... What purpose does that serve except non-participation in life? (aka nihilism).


Well see by initially taking your perception to be a truth it's led to a somewhat 'solid' conclusion.

And yet, you left space for different perspectives by framing it as questions that may have different perspectives feed into it - open questioning - true scientific querying :D

I'm not sure why 'meditators tell people to be non-judgmental' but I tell myself and may share with others that just by leaving room as you have in your question you can be open to other perspectives on the issue.

The more solidly we hold onto our beliefs that we have the only 'right' perspective the less likely we are to grow in awareness, and the more likely we are to not only judge, but to condemn other ideas.

For me, there are energetic differences in intensity, and we each will interpret intensities into possibly different sensations and even words. For me I notice differences in the energetic intensity of say discernment and judgement. Judgment to me is interpreted as a finality a conclusion with the natural consequences of that conclusion - case closed!

For me, discerning is less intensely generated and held, it leaves room - it notices 'foo' - discomfort whatever, but it does not believe it totally to be the be all and end all of a thing, other questions and musings are left room to arise. So it's not nihilism, or denial, or ignorance, or idealism, so much as staying open to... it's the 'yes this and... what else.'

It's kind of how you opened up to testing your true capacity against your discomforts, to leave room for 'this and.... what else'. That for me is the energy of discernment, whereas a reactive judgemental stance would not allow you to explore the 'what else'.

Then the other questions kind of become mute - why would anyone want to teach people to suppress the capacity to feel... anything.

It's more about the intensity, and the awareness of what it is you are feeling, interpreting and the accuracy with which you are interpreting - leaving room for yes this... and....what else.

How would you feel about 'understanding' your sensations, feelings, thoughts and fears rather than holding them as the be all and end all

- would you say that's more where you are now than when you were completely held by them, and tenaciously holding them to you as if they were the be all and end all?

I don't know how to explain the energetic difference between judging (finality) and discerning that I feel, I wonder if you can feel the difference now in your own opening and testing and okayness with some of the .. this and...?
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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:38 pm

ashley72 wrote:I've never really understood why meditators tell people to be non-judgmental... What purpose does that serve except non-participation in life? (aka nihilism).


I see a significant difference between 'judging' which is more of a conclusion of right vs wrong, and discernment which is a qualitative distinction of conditions and events. The judging that 'meditaters' suggest should be avoided, is the conclusion that some things are right and others wrong. Discernment on the other hand, is a fundamental necessity on the road to clarity and understanding.

Judging is exclusive by nature, and therefore contracting to consciousness and being. Discernment is inclusive by nature while being openly preferential, and is therefore expansive.

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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:58 pm

Because, we don't have all of the answers from our limited perspectives. Judging right/wrong....good/bad is merely relative within a context to a certain perspective that is operating out of its own conditioning. On the other hand, understanding perhaps that right/wrong is only...right/wrong.....from a certain limited perspective/point of view, that perceives it as such....can go a longer way in embracing that, which we do not agree with or yet understand.

For me, meditation is not so much 'being non-judgmental'....because that too....can become another form of judgment as in judging that I'm being too judgmental/non judgmental. One being good and one being not good.

On the other hand, meditation is more a form of aligning with that which I already am which is my own AMness. It's more of a letting go and allowing of my experience to be as it is in order for me to make the decisions necessary for experience. I don't really expect to operate from a place of non-judgmental awareness 24/7, because there's simply too much conditioning and other factors associated with this mind/body, nor is even desirable to merely be a blotch of non-judgmental Awareness 24/7 while incarnate as many in the non-dual area would have you believe. That's not why we're here nor is even an accurate assessment of who we truly are. We're going to judge and we're going to limit ourselves at times and we need to be ok with that and still love ourselves. We need to also be able to make decisions that are not always based in deep rooted emotional conditioning. Meditation for me, is bringing myself back to my higher Self in aligning with that place of presence to gain the intuition and insight to make decisions that best serve me right now. A constant work in progress for sure. I've been living way too much in my mind for most of my life and I find meditation the way OUT, so to speak. Life itself, meaning, that which already are.....IS non-judgmental.
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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:40 pm

The diffence between judgement & discernment is the ability to judge "well"...ironically another value judgement of judging itself!

I can't see any value in taking away the ability to discriminate between things or judge. Our emotional life's are solely based on perceiving the state we are now in relative to the state or moment before, I felt like this, now I feel like this, now I feel like this etc... The roller coaster of life.

We operate as constant feedback loops and without the feedback you wouldn't have much meaning in life.

I may not understand how nuclear fusion works... But how does that relate to liking or judging the strawberry tastes yummy say relative to the vanilla scoop of ice cream right now?

I just think it's completely counter productive to even suggest that being non judgmental towards things will lead to less mental suffering.

You need to expose yourself to things your judging irrationality & change that judgment to the rational side,based on facts or cause and affect that brings about a balanced state. In other words, if you're being over aroused and it's causing you dysfunction.... you need to inhibit that state to bring about a more harmonious state. You need to examine the system & correct it.

Let's not be fence sitters and say there isn't a right & wrong in life, as it depends merely on the perspective! If the chain slips off my bicycle gears... The state of the system has changed & something is clearly wrong with the previous functioning state.

Same goes for people, if someone is walking around shooting everyone in the street because he lacks empathy & wants to terrorize humanity...that person is broken in my book. You certainly would not judge that state as say "variety is the spice of life".
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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:44 pm

Whilst I dont see the value in being non judgmental, there are certainly pitfalls in the way we judge things.

We all know there are certain emotional states which are not pleasant. Let's take shame versus guilt which are similar but not exactly the same.

Guilt is a better state than shame... Because guilt has the component of empathy within it, walking in another shoes and seeing it from their perspective which shame as emotional state completely lacks.

Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behaviour. Shame is, “I am bad.” Guilt is, “I did something bad.”

Shame is more likely lead to disgrace & humiliation with causes aggression & suicide.

So this is why it's much better to judge the faulty behavior rather than say the faulty man.
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Re: Mindfulness to judge or not to judge?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:42 pm

So this is why it's much better to judge the faulty behavior rather than say the faulty man.


While this is somewhat true, it's not all there is to it -- the 'this and.... what else', eventually, in understanding, in empathy & compassion, one realises - recognises, cognitises that within awareness, capacity & willingness there were no other more prevalent / powerful / likely choices.

To deem otherwise is to condemn, to close down one's mind, rather than open it up in understanding (standing under it as it is, not how we would have it).

The 'this and... what else' allows one to see the bigger picture, view it less personally and egotistically.fearfully , condemningly and lets the fears fall away. The intensity of the fears depends on limiting the point of viewing and distorting it down a path that is filled with shoulds and should nots.

Shoulds and should nots are not the actual reality, they are imposed judgements / determinations on what is.

That's not to say one cannot grow in awareness, capacity and willingness, they can, but only from a mind that is open to possibilities, not closed to them.

Guilt and blame can be debilitating as well, particularly when one is only concerned about right-wrong of a thing when one can see no other options and others are suggesting that they 'should'.

The diffence between judgement & discernment is the ability to judge "well"...ironically another value judgement of judging itself!

or it might be a discernment in itself :wink:
The cause-effect is mightily different. When one leaves room for the 'this and what else' we don't assume, we openly investigate. There just is a difference. A difference in intensity, a difference in our own awareness, capacity & willingness to hold room for that which we do not know to unfold to us - to enlighten us, if you will.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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