Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

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]

binocular
Posts: 3914
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

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 ...

ToVincent
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:02 pm
Contact:

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)
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

binocular
Posts: 3914
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

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.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 2339
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

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.

Saengnapha
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

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?

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

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. ;)
A wise man once asked an audience, "why do the ignorant shrug their shoulders?"

No one in the audience knew. They shrugged their shoulders, however the wise man only laughed and shook his head. He didn't explain any further.

DooDoot
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

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.

binocular
Posts: 3914
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

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!

User avatar
polarbear101
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by polarbear101 » 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.
Image
"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."

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 5121
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:56 am

Saengnapha wrote: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.
Yes, it is basically paying attention, noticing, discovering. I'm a bit of an amateur naturalist ( not naturist! ) and for me it's a rather similar activity.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Bundokji » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:31 am

Can we simply say "to see ourselves objectively"?
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2995
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Mr Man » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:22 am

How about observation with non-proliferation?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 18389
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:26 am

Greetings,
Mr Man wrote:How about observation with non-proliferation?
:clap:

The best way to do this, IMO, is to see 'arising'.

Seeing 'arising', you know how ephemeral the arisen is, and the inclination to grasp and proliferate from it diminishes.

MN1 and any sutta that depicts the vortex relationship between nama and rupa is useful in this context.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Saengnapha
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:32 am

Bundokji wrote:Can we simply say "to see ourselves objectively"?
This would not really be accurate as there is no self to observe. You can only be mindful of a process like thinking, feeling, or angry, sad. You can also be mindful of a kind of lack of a process such as stillness. Observing ourselves is really a figure of speech.

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Bundokji » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:47 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Bundokji wrote:Can we simply say "to see ourselves objectively"?
This would not really be accurate as there is no self to observe. You can only be mindful of a process like thinking, feeling, or angry, sad. You can also be mindful of a kind of lack of a process such as stillness. Observing ourselves is really a figure of speech.
I agree that the self is a convention and that there is no self to observe, but what does that change if i may ask? does that make suffering less real?

So, would it be wrong to conclude that relying on the thought "not self" becomes a mere ritual? Why not observe the "every day common sense" objectively instead?
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Saengnapha
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:07 am

Bundokji wrote:
Saengnapha wrote:
Bundokji wrote:Can we simply say "to see ourselves objectively"?
This would not really be accurate as there is no self to observe. You can only be mindful of a process like thinking, feeling, or angry, sad. You can also be mindful of a kind of lack of a process such as stillness. Observing ourselves is really a figure of speech.
I agree that the self is a convention and that there is no self to observe, but what does that change if i may ask? does that make suffering less real?

So, would it be wrong to conclude that relying on the thought "not self" becomes a mere ritual? Why not observe the "every day common sense" objectively instead?
Relying on the thought of something that is not there cannot be helpful. The actual arising which constitutes the everyday common sense, name and form, is what is to be noted. This helps break the attachment to what is arising which is the cause of suffering. Doesn't this make sense?

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Bundokji » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:21 am

Saengnapha wrote:Relying on the thought of something that is not there cannot be helpful. The actual arising which constitutes the everyday common sense, name and form, is what is to be noted. This helps break the attachment to what is arising which is the cause of suffering. Doesn't this make sense?
You don't rely on something that is not there. It is there whether you are willing to admit it or not. My whole point is, how the very act of observing can become a game we play with ourselves.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Saengnapha
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:09 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Saengnapha wrote:Relying on the thought of something that is not there cannot be helpful. The actual arising which constitutes the everyday common sense, name and form, is what is to be noted. This helps break the attachment to what is arising which is the cause of suffering. Doesn't this make sense?
You don't rely on something that is not there. It is there whether you are willing to admit it or not. My whole point is, how the very act of observing can become a game we play with ourselves.
What is there?

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness revisited

Post by Bundokji » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:32 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Bundokji wrote:
Saengnapha wrote:Relying on the thought of something that is not there cannot be helpful. The actual arising which constitutes the everyday common sense, name and form, is what is to be noted. This helps break the attachment to what is arising which is the cause of suffering. Doesn't this make sense?
You don't rely on something that is not there. It is there whether you are willing to admit it or not. My whole point is, how the very act of observing can become a game we play with ourselves.
What is there?
Self view
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests