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Key Mindful Attitudes: Non-judging

Mindfulness is an active process of pay attention intentionally to what’s happening now without judging. In mindfulness meditation practice, paying attention to breathing can help us notice we are alive. If we stop breathing for very long, we die. Breathing connects us to our bodies and to the gift of life. As we ask ourselves to notice our breathing, we also notice our minds drifting off to other things. As soon as that happens, we may notice judgment entering in – “I like this” or “I don’t like that”, “I’m meditating wrong” or “I’m a bad person” or “I’m a good person”  or “I can’t do this” or even “This is helping”. As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, self-understanding can be cultivated through building an awareness of wherever the mind goes – to pain or to thoughts about a partner or a child or work, and so on. It’s helpful to realize we are capable of judging as well as of feeling and “not judge the judging” and “not judge the feeling”. Simply be aware of it, recognize it, and be curious about it. Allow it to be there and bring our attention back to the breath, the brief gift of our lives.

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