Non-judgement is part of the 9 mindful attitudes and perhaps the most important as it is the working definition of mindfulness which is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and it can also help us on the road to inner peace.
We have been trained to go through our day judging our experiences, other people and, of course, ourselves. If it’s something we like, then there is no problem in our minds with doing this. But when we come across an experience we don’t like or a person we don’t like, this is when we get thrown off balance.
And really we are trained from a young age to always give our opinions and in a way defend them as ours. Our entire social media is built around this concept. We “like” photos or comments other others, their pages and even movies, restaurants, songs and more. We are trained to think in this manner.
But what you it feel like if we suddenly dropped the need to judge anything. What would you feel like if that were the case? Contemplate this notion for a moment now and feel what it would feel like if you simply experienced everything without any judgement for 5-minutes by simply observing any sensations without labeling them.
Another great exercise is to recall something that may be bothering you and to simply say “I will not judge this” and then bring all the details of it to mind and observe it without any judgement, as if it were a movie and you were outside of it.
What you will likely feel is free and relaxed. When we aren’t burdened with judgement we can attain inner peace.
What you will soon realize with some experience is that all occurrences in your like are just phenomena in the world happening without any real meaning. The meaning you assign it is what you get out of it. They may appear happening “to” us but indeed are happening through us. And what really matters in life is what we choose to do with the experiences and how we choose to react to them.
If you are really present and aware, what you’ll notice when you experience any negative emotion i.e. anger, frustration, disappointment, is that you are judging the experiences, others and yourself based on whether they are what you want or not. The experiences are neutral but everyone involved is seeing them through their own colored lenses. This also explains why everyone is actually experiencing the same situation in a different manner.
What judgement does is that it robs us of choosing in the present. When we choose the same response, we simply cannot be objective. And that leads to one of the other mindful attitudes which is ‘Beginners Mind’. To have beginners mind is to be fresh like a child; to look at thing with fresh new eyes. Therefore, when something happens in our lives, we simply observe it as if it has happened for the first time. Because only when we do this can we truly choose our responses without acting on auto-pilot.
So today, make a conscious choice to see everything with non-judgement and beginners mind and if you can write down how that feels. More likely then not, and with some practice, you will feel lighter, happier and in a better mood.
“We take care of the future best
by taking care of the present now”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, M.D., Founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction