Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

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retrofuturist
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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:49 am

Greetings Binocular,
binocular wrote:What is that, really, "observe what is happening without judging it"?
Could anyone explain, please?
It's not a particular deep instruction IMO, but I guess it's better than nothing, and it does have the potential to be applied by people who are not well versed in the Buddha's teachings (as alluded to by daverupa, above).

Dhamma practitioners on the other hand should be very careful here in what they take "judging" to mean, because the Buddha praised the quality of "discernment" (as mentioned by spiny, above)... and you wouldn't want to sacrifice the wholesome, skilful quality of "discernment", through efforts to be non-judgemental.

Moreso than not "judging", the true challenge is to not be drawn into present things as per this instruction from the Blessed One...
MN 131 wrote:"And how, monks, is one not drawn into present things? Herein, monks, an instructed Noble disciple who takes into account the Noble Ones, skilled in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, trained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, taking into account the good men, skilled in the Dhamma of the good men, trained in the Dhamma of the good men, does not look upon form as self, or self as possessed of form, or form as in self, or self as in form. He does not look upon feeling as self... He does not look upon perception as self... He does not look upon formations as self... He does not look upon consciousness as self, or self as possessed of consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. That is how, monks, one is not drawn into present things.
The greatest mindfulness is one that does not simply see 'things' (i.e. dhammas), but sees how they arise as sankhata-dhammas (fabricated things), via the process of paticcasamuppada. Seeing their fabricated nature helps to bring dispassion with regards to them, and knowledge of the process of their arising, means that paticcasamuppada can be applied in its reverse order, to prevent future arising.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by ToVincent » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:15 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Dhamma practitioners on the other hand should be very careful here in what they take "judging" to mean, because the Buddha praised the quality of "discernment" (as mentioned by spiny, above)... and you wouldn't want to sacrifice the wholesome, skilful quality of "discernment", through efforts to be non-judgemental.
:goodpost: :clap:
Yes! retrofuturist (and Spiny Norman) - you could not say it better. Good to hear that. Much mudita in my citta and in my hṛd.

It's all about discernment, and the pīti born of the seclusion from that discernment.

People often speak about "rapture". However, the pseudo "rapture" that some might feel while meditating, is not pīti. And pīti is not "rapture".

Pīti is the contentment of being secluded within oneself. Not of getting "raptured" on some vitiated (yet good - sometimes overpowering) feeling from the external.

Pīti can be summarized as:
propitiate > gladden > be pleased or satisfied with (oneself) from discriminating/discerning> delight.
One should not be carried away by an overwhelming adscititious emotion; but instead by a ravishing delight of being "in charge", viz. mindful - from discernment.

प्रीति prīti (Sk.prīti & Vedic prīta pp.of √ प्री prī)
- any pleasurable sensation , pleasure , joy , gladness , satisfaction , "joy at having done anything" (GṛŚrS.)

Pīti is the satisfaction of having discriminated the external & the internal. It is about the pleasure of being at peace with oneself, mindfully - namely as being aware of not letting the "external" interfere; and letting the internal in (see the simile of the City below).
Then, as retrofuturist implied; watch the "internal" process of a dhamma (phenomena) unfold in front of our "eyes"; the paṭiccasamuppāda way.
That is to say: from saṅkhāra nidāna = body (kāya/breath/and the all subsequent shebang of organs) > feeling > perception of feeling > thought & mental concretism > consciousness nidāna.) - In other words, Ānāpānasati (which, by the way, was Buddha's dwelling during the rains).

---

Also, Buddhism is not about getting "high". Buddhism is about experiencing subtler & subtler feelings (MN 59) from within. Not about gross ones from the outside. You can find the latter in drugs (extrinsic) - or from what the external feeds you with.
In other words, nothing can be trusted, if it does not come from your own atta. Even if this atta is not to be trusted later on (atta being transitory, so to speak - an inevitable and illusory means to an end, brought by ignorance).

From the delight of pīti comes the pleasantness of the equanimous sukkha. Etc., etc.
Subtler & subtler.

---

Pañña is the gist of meditation.

On pañña (discernment/wisdom): https://justpaste.it/170ab
and
On viveka (discrimination / separation / seclusion): https://justpaste.it/17880

Also, the simile of the Vipers ( SN 35.238), and the simile of the City (SN 35.245) are pretty good examples of this discrimination between the internal and the external).
And pretty straightforward about not letting everything in (un-judgmentally) - Once and for all. :rules:


Metta.

P.S.

By the way, the meaning of Asaṃvuta in AN 4.14, for instance (see also AN 4.13) is the following:

Asaṃvuta
- unrestrained (as in leaving the faculties (indriya) unrestrained).
Saṃvuta:[pp.of saṃvarati]
- restrained; shut; covered.
saṃvarati:[saṃ-√ vṛ]

√ वृ vṛ
- to ward off ,keep back , prevent , hinder , restrain (RV. AV.)
- obstruct (RV.)
- to close (a door) (AitBr.)
And
√ वृ vṛ
- to choose , select , choose for one's self (RV. Br. MBh.)
- to like better than (RV. AitBr. MBh.)

How much more judgmental could all that be?
Last edited by ToVincent on Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:36 pm

Thank you all for your replies!
Spiny Norman wrote:Though of course this attitude doesn't mean an absence of discernment.
It seems to me that for the popular mindfulness folks, it means precisely that, when they describe "being mindful" as something neutral.

(I'm having a kind of weight of nobility crisis in regard to the popular mindfulness folks and what they teach.)
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by daverupa » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:22 pm

binocular wrote:I can't relate to those modern Western clinical and popular approaches to mindfulness...

I don't find them so harmless, and I'm almost horrified about the possibility of having to deal with them again...

(I'm having a kind of weight of nobility crisis in regard to the popular mindfulness folks and what they teach.)
Care to expand?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:15 pm

paul wrote:...
ToVincent wrote:...
Two extremely useful posts (for me, can't speak for our friend binocular). Many thanks.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by daverupa » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:45 pm



Skip ahead to about the 1:00 mark; all y'all don't understand what's meant by "nonjudgmental".
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:10 pm

daverupa wrote:Skip ahead to about the 1:00 mark; all y'all don't understand what's meant by "nonjudgmental".
I can't relate to what he's saying.
I was raised in a way in which (me) having an opinion was a luxury I mostly could not afford. And while I have many opinions, likes and dislikes, they are not firm, they are not solid, I cannot insist in them. Just yesterday, kidneys were on the menu, and I can't stand the smell of them, no matter how healthy it supposedly is to eat innards every now and then. Yet, I think that even if my life depended on it, I couldn't insist in "I hate kidneys".
I've always envied people for being judgmental, for being able to pass severe judgment on people and things, quickly and firmly. But I can't judge like that; as soon as a judgmental thought occurs to me, quickly after that, thoughts like "But maybe I saw wrongly," "Maybe that wasn't the whole story," "Surely there's good reason for that person being that way" occur to me, and the judgment dissipates. Ah, and even that envy passes.
Basically, it seems that I have nothing to work with if I try to be "non-judgmentally aware".
daverupa wrote:
binocular wrote:I can't relate to those modern Western clinical and popular approaches to mindfulness...
I don't find them so harmless, and I'm almost horrified about the possibility of having to deal with them again...
(I'm having a kind of weight of nobility crisis in regard to the popular mindfulness folks and what they teach.)
Care to expand?
In short, I have times when I don't know whether to dvote myself seriously to the Buddhist path -- specifically to a more traditional Buddhist path. Through such devotion, one ostracizes oneself from the society, and given the possibility of failure of one's practice, that ostracism seems like a high price to pay.

Out in the real world, things are very different than at this forum. Here, one can discuss things, and often in great detail, and references to the Pali Canon aren't looked down upon. Out there, things are very different. Respect for social power hierarchies trumps everything else. Being a secular Buddhist and practice "mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness" seems like a safe option in this world. But even this opinion passes ...
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by ToVincent » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:12 pm

daverupa wrote:VIDEO
Skip ahead to about the 1:00 mark; all y'all don't understand what's meant by "nonjudgmental".
The problem is that our body, which is "not ours", is literally just "made to be felt" (SN 12.37). And as far as I know, in Buddhism (but not in the head of some "stress reductionist" gurus), there are three major feelings: Like - Dislike and Neither/Nor.

I suppose that this man should stick to the Teaching; using a proper, up to date vocabulary (like things "have come to be", instead of things "as they really are", for bhūta), and that sort of things. These old gurus of the "hippie/yuppie" crowd, are doomed with a trail of nonsenses, behind their poorly grasped reading of the Suttas. Unless they have some interest in making things a bit blurry.

Being judgmental - that is all it is - not only as discriminating good & bad (as your friend put it rightly, at the beginning) - but also as culling of the external "~good~" & bad , by restraining the indriya[ni], and subsequently not having the āyatana[ni] come into play - that is to say avoiding the *external* to come in (with its lots of consciousness> contact > feeling > etc.). That might help your friend to understand that he is not "here" (external in internal), nor "there" (external), nor "in between the two"(SN 35.95), when there is no more *external* to play with.

The idea, my dear Daverupa, is to have that little "stuff" for which we are *made to be felt*, sit defeated on its kind little tush, when one doesn't want to partake in "it" meal any longer. We don't want it to have feedbacks of the "pleasant", "unpleasant, or "neither/nor" kind, anymore. We want it to have no more feedback - period. Not "all kinds" of (nonjudgmental) feedbacks, like you friend implies. But no feedback at all.
Nuance.

In other words, it is not about being non-judgmental your friend's way - that is to say, to experience something, and being "~mindful~" about what we conceive as good and bad out of this experience; then go along being no more judgmental about it (because that is "toxic", and I suppose "stressful") - But, instead, it is about being judgmental to avoid feelings to happen. And being judgmental is just what the simile of the City (SN 35.245 - see above link)) is all about. Viz. keeping the external at bay - good or bad.
Your friend should also read that simile; just to have a proper conception of what *mindfulness* is really all about; instead of gargling himself with that mesozoic buncombe of his. We are sick of those dinosaurs, and their sempiternal veiled sybaritic litany, coming out of nowhere.

Anyway, what is that good & bad applesauce all about? - Didn't Buddha say that even the good is, most (if not all) the time, bad?

-----

I dont argue; i just explain why I'm right (Pakalu Papito)
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by binocular » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:25 pm

A surprisingly refreshing essay from the NYT: The Muddied Meaning of ‘Mindfulness’:
Maybe the word “mindfulness” is like the Prius emblem, a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement. If so, not deploying mindfulness — taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails — makes you look sort of backward or classless.
/.../
No one word, however shiny, however intriguingly Eastern, however bolstered by science, can ever fix the human condition. And that’s what commercial mindfulness may have lost from the most rigorous Buddhist tenets it replaced: the implication that suffering cannot be escaped but must be faced. Of that shift in meaning — in the Westernization of sati — we should be especially mindful.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:03 pm

binocular wrote:A surprisingly refreshing essay from the NYT: The Muddied Meaning of ‘Mindfulness’:
Maybe the word “mindfulness” is like the Prius emblem, a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement. If so, not deploying mindfulness — taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails — makes you look sort of backward or classless.
/.../
No one word, however shiny, however intriguingly Eastern, however bolstered by science, can ever fix the human condition. And that’s what commercial mindfulness may have lost from the most rigorous Buddhist tenets it replaced: the implication that suffering cannot be escaped but must be faced. Of that shift in meaning — in the Westernization of sati — we should be especially mindful.
Many thanks - that's a good essay. One of the most noticeable features of non-Buddhist discussions of the term is the huge amount of time people spend defining what it actually is, and how their learned definition is the "real" one.

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:58 am

binocular wrote:A surprisingly refreshing essay from the NYT: The Muddied Meaning of ‘Mindfulness’:
Maybe the word “mindfulness” is like the Prius emblem, a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement. If so, not deploying mindfulness — taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails — makes you look sort of backward or classless.
/.../
No one word, however shiny, however intriguingly Eastern, however bolstered by science, can ever fix the human condition. And that’s what commercial mindfulness may have lost from the most rigorous Buddhist tenets it replaced: the implication that suffering cannot be escaped but must be faced. Of that shift in meaning — in the Westernization of sati — we should be especially mindful.
binocular.....mindfulness to me is the simple noting or knowing of what you are doing at any given moment. If you are walking, you note that you are walking. If you are thinking, you note that you are thinking. There is no judgement in this. It is a simple statement. If you begin to think about your thinking and fall into a debate with yourself, you simply know/note that you are doing this. The more you engage yourself like this, the power of your attachment to various emotions weakens. You begin to move through these feelings/thoughts/moods, letting them go. Insight as to their impermanence can take place. Taking a position fixes a view. The joy of being without this fixation is significant. Can you dig it?

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Pondera » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:30 am

The body; feelings; the mind; and mental qualities - these are the basis for the four right efforts and the four foundations of right mindfulness. Outside of this context mindfulness of say "the ocean" for example will not apply.

Equanimity is non-judgmental awareness. Completely attainable in the third and fourth jhana. You're percipient of you as a subject and external perceptions as "form" (objects) without attaching one iota of intrigue or contemplation ... You know, it's really hard to describe equanimity. Subject-object distinction to the fullest. No object in the subject and vice versa. And it is an escape from perception and feeling. Not only that - it's a real confrontation of perception and feeling. In the fourth jhana bodily sensation is gone. Pair that with pure equanimity and you've got a nice escape from reality for some time. ;)
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by DooDoot » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:01 pm

daverupa wrote:Skip ahead to about the 1:00 mark; all y'all don't understand what's meant by "nonjudgmental".
Not-judging the judging is judging since it is judging an experience as 'non-judgmental', which is a judgment.

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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by binocular » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:11 am

DooDoot wrote:Not-judging the judging is judging since it is judging an experience as 'non-judgmental', which is a judgment.
Good luck explaining that to the mindfulness folks!
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Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:42 am

DooDoot wrote:
daverupa wrote:Skip ahead to about the 1:00 mark; all y'all don't understand what's meant by "nonjudgmental".
Not-judging the judging is judging since it is judging an experience as 'non-judgmental', which is a judgment.
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"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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