Non Judgment


What is Non Judgment?


‘Non Judgment’ is one of the seven attitudinal foundations of Mindfulness. In fact Mindfulness has been defined as ‘Being in the present with awareness and non judgment.’ Does that sound like fun, or a bit too saintly?


What does ‘Judgment’ mean here? The opinion that something is right or wrong, or good or bad, better or worse than something else?  We have to have opinions about things in many areas of life or work, to come to conclusions, or make recommendations.


Left to itself, the mind tends to label things we experience as good or bad. The rush to judgment often does not have knowledge of full facts. Can you really judge someone before you walk a mile in their shoes?


We tend to judge not only other people but also ourselves. Perhaps we even judge ourselves as too judgmental of others. But instead you could acknowledge to yourself that you are still learning, not perfect, but with good intentions.


Keeping an Open Mind


We may be our own worst critics, but mindfulness is urging us to be kind to ourselves. And when it comes to the situations we experience,to keep an open mind, without judgment. We don’t yet know the full story.


‘Non Judgment’ is connected to another mindful attitude, the ‘Beginner’s Mind’. We are being invited to keep an open mind, to be open to our experience without leaping to the judgment that something is good, bad, right, wrong, dull, interesting. It’s about asking yourself ‘Is there another perspective I could take on this?


Perhaps you could see that boring job that you hate doing as something of intrinsic worth, even finding pleasure in your actions. Have you tried to imagine you have just dropped in from another planet to research life on earth, and are working undercover in your office?


When we are non judging we notice the stream of thoughts from the judging mind but don’t get caught up in it. We are OK with what is.


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