Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
binocular
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by binocular » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:10 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:25 am
Judgmental is a negative word to describe someone who often rushes to judgment without reason. The adjective judgmental describes someone who forms lots of opinions — usually harsh or critical ones — about lots of people. Judgmental types are not open-minded or easygoing.
That's why the devas have invented the word judicious.

Judicious vs. Judgmental
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

frank k
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by frank k » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:46 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:25 am
Judgmental is a negative word to describe someone who often rushes to judgment without reason. The adjective judgmental describes someone who forms lots of opinions — usually harsh or critical ones — about lots of people. Judgmental types are not open-minded or easygoing.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=judgement ... 8e226f3004
Look at the first definition that your bing link says:
ADJECTIVE
of or concerning the use of judgement.
"judgemental decisions about the likelihood of company survival"
As I clearly stated in my original blog post, I understand the difference between 'judicious' and the negative connotations of 'judgmental'. But the fact that judgmental "concerns use of judgement' as its primary definition, free from the negative connotations of the secondary definition, it's more than fair to say sati/mindfulness is extremely judgmental by EBT definition. If you look at any exceptionally successful human, you're almost guaranteed to find hypercritical, overly critical, super discerning faculty driving that success. Sati has to be extraordinarily vigilant, non compromising to lead to the success of arahantship. You won't find any arahants with a sati that's wishy washy, passive zombie bare present moment choiceless awareness non-judgmental attitude.
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:53 pm

frank k wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:46 pm
SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:25 am
Judgmental is a negative word to describe someone who often rushes to judgment without reason. The adjective judgmental describes someone who forms lots of opinions — usually harsh or critical ones — about lots of people. Judgmental types are not open-minded or easygoing.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=judgement ... 8e226f3004
Look at the first definition that your bing link says:
ADJECTIVE
of or concerning the use of judgement.
"judgemental decisions about the likelihood of company survival"
As I clearly stated in my original blog post, I understand the difference between 'judicious' and the negative connotations of 'judgmental'. But the fact that judgmental "concerns use of judgement' as its primary definition, free from the negative connotations of the secondary definition, it's more than fair to say sati/mindfulness is extremely judgmental by EBT definition. If you look at any exceptionally successful human, you're almost guaranteed to find hypercritical, overly critical, super discerning faculty driving that success. Sati has to be extraordinarily vigilant, non compromising to lead to the success of arahantship. You won't find any arahants with a sati that's wishy washy, passive zombie bare present moment choiceless awareness non-judgmental attitude.
But wasn't Ajahn Sucitto using "judgemental" in the pejorative sense in his article? In which case isn't your critique a bit of a strawman?

He does acknowledge that mindfulness involves "assessment" (=judgement), and he does say that mindfulness needs to be "made firm" .

I'm not convinced that Ajahn Sucitto is proposing the wishy washy style of mindfulness that you're objecting to.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

frank k
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by frank k » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:09 pm

who's your gatekeeper?
If you don't like what you see, then it's time to make some changes.
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... eper.html
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frank k
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by frank k » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:14 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:53 pm
I'm not convinced that Ajahn Sucitto is proposing the wishy washy style of mindfulness that you're objecting to.
I quoted exactly what he said, and linked a reference to his full article for reference in the OP blog post. He's not proposing a wrong mindfulness exactly, but he IMO is not taking a strong enough stance to correct the many erroneous wrong interpretations of sati. For example, Thanissaro Bhikkhu in his book "right mindfulness" makes it exceedingly clear what right sati is, and the wrong sati interpretations that are common nowadays.
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Virgo
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Virgo » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:34 pm

Here is the definition of mindfulness as well as it's characteristic, manifestation and function:

http://aimwell.org/inthisverylife.html#Mindfulness

:anjali: Kevin
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thomaslaw
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by thomaslaw » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:38 am

I think mindfulness (sati) is not entirely judgmental, but about acting with awareness (sampajana):

SN 47. 2:

“A bhiksu should dwell mindful (sato) and aware (sampajano). This is our instruction to you.

And how, bhiksus, is a bhiksu mindful? Herein, bhiksus, a bhiksu abides in body contemplating (or looking at) body (kaye kayanupassi viharati), strenuous, aware, mindful, restraining covetousness and distress in the world (atapi sampajano satima vineyya loke abhijjhadomanassam). He abides in feelings (vedanasu) contemplating feelings ... in mind-states (citte) contemplating mind ... He abides in phenomena (dhammesu) contemplating phenomena, strenuous, aware, mindful, restraining covetousness and distress in the world. Thus, bhiksus, is a bhiksu mindful.

And how, bhiksus, is a bhiksu aware? Herein, bhiksus, a bhiksu in going forth and in returning is acting with awareness (sampajanakari). In looking in front and looking behind he is acting with awareness. In bending or relaxing he is acting with awareness. In wearing his robe, in bearing bowl and outer robe he is acting with awareness. In eating, drinking, chewing and tasting he is acting with awareness. In easing himself he is acting with awareness. In going, standing, sitting and sleeping, in waking, speaking and keeping silence he is acting with awareness. Thus, bhiksus, is a bhiksu aware.”

Cf. Choong Mun-keat. The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sutranga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyuktagama (Series: Beitrage zur Indologie Band 32; Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000), pp.215-6, 225-7.

sunnat
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by sunnat » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:11 am

The gatekeeper is a useful construct during training. The aim is to discern the nature of whatever approaches the sense door (and at which sense door). Initially this is combined with deciding if what arrives at a gate is relevant and if it's not take awareness away from it. This is a particular type of judgement. This leads to concentration.

Then the concentration is used to equanimously be aware of anicca of everything. This is a special kind of passivity. Bare awareness.

Dinsdale
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:49 am

Virgo wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:34 pm
Here is the definition of mindfulness as well as it's characteristic, manifestation and function:

http://aimwell.org/inthisverylife.html#Mindfulness

:anjali: Kevin
Thinking of the Satipatthana Sutta, I would say that sati has both passive and active functions. The passive function seems related to Insight, while the active function works with other path factors like Right Effort.

Some versions of "mindfulness" emphasise the passive function, which is what the OP blog seems to be objecting to.

But I also think there is some ambiguity about the scope and function of different path factors. For example I would view "guarding the senses" as a combination of Right Effort and Right Mindfulness. Right Mindfulness identifies "unwelcome visitors" and Right Effort gets rid of them.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Pulsar
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:31 am

Dinsdale, your responses are well thought out, thank you.
Is there a place on earth called Andromeda looks nice? that surely
must be a v. beautiful place. Can you describe it?
sorry for being off topic,
the thought entered my head, this person who gives such fitting answers,
"where does he live?", so in a way it is related and also not related, like
the conundrum of "I" :candle:

Dinsdale
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:38 am

Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:31 am
Dinsdale, your responses are well thought out, thank you.
Is there a place on earth called Andromeda looks nice? that surely
must be a v. beautiful place. Can you describe it?
sorry for being off topic,
the thought entered my head, this person who gives such fitting answers,
"where does he live?", so in a way it is related and also not related, like
the conundrum of "I" :candle:
You're very kind. :smile:
"Andromeda looks nice" is a reference to when I used to do amateur astronomy, and used to look longingly at the Andromeda galaxy through my telescope.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Pulsar
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:59 pm

Dinsdale the amateur astronomer, thank you very much
for the explanation, Andromeda surely must be exceptional to
leave such an impression on you. I also read the number of stars contained in the Andromeda Galaxy is estimated at one trillion (1×1012), or roughly twice the number estimated for the Milky Way. No wonder
it took your breath away.
However, the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in ~4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy, that surely would be quite something.
:candle:

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phillyy
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by phillyy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:21 pm

If our perceptions are judgemental so will our sati be.

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Jerafreyr
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto says mindfulness is "not judgmental", I say it is very judgmental.

Post by Jerafreyr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:48 pm

The point is not to let mind leak out the sense doors through improper attention. The judgement is making the choice to let go of unwise pursuits, not being critical of people or things. In this way we can preserve the energy of mindfulness and remain fixed to the path of removing the stains from our own mind. Judging others harshly only saps the practice of patience.

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