9 thoughts on “What Does Non-Judgmental Awareness Really Mean?

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    This is a wonderful post that answers so many questions!

    One question I do have is about the time when we are living our lives without necessarily practicing, between informal and formal cultivation of awareness. As you said, and I am just seeking to clarify, it’s about being alive and actually living life, so the awareness cultivated in informal/formal practice naturally spills into our lives. Personally, this has helped me recognize times when I need to just stop doing and relax, or has helped me see choices that I never thought I had. But I’m not actively practicing mindfulness in those moments obviously, it just seems to arrive or be there.

    Either way, thanks so much for a wonderful post!

    • March 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Sam,

      Yes, this is mindfulness rewiring your brain :).

      Most of the time we will be living automatically and that’s okay. Mindfulness allows for a healthier reactivity to be wired.


      • March 18, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        What about the verb of awareness being awareness-ing?

        I love the idea you proposed. Mindfulness practice in formal and informal settings is the cultivation that helps increased awareness naturally unfold in life and show itself as a greater feeling of choice, as moments of increased awareness, and as an increasing feeling of appreciation and gratitude. That feeling of gratitude is the most prominent for me.

      • March 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

        I have a question about informal practice/life, re: “Bringing mindfulness to life means being alive. It allows us to bring back the choice and wonder that is inherent in everyday life.” :

        I never quite took to bringing meditation type awareness to a specific task in my day in a regular sense, i.e. brushing my teeth. Rather, I have little moments throughout my day such as walking between meetings, eating, or my morning routine that simply remind me to be present when my mind may be off wondering. I don’t practice in a formal sense, but just gently bring myself into the present. Similarly, whenever I feel the pull of worries/stress, that also acts as a reminder. I sprinkle little mini meditations into moments of my day as well. The purpose is just to help keep me grounded as I move through my day and to weave being “awake” into my day.

        Is this still informal practice, or is this just me being present in life? Asking from a place of wondering if it is possible to practice informally “too much.”

      • March 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        To further clarify, I find myself become aware of my mind wandering and bringing it back almost automatically in most moments of my day. I am wondering if there is any real separation between informal practice and life, or if the informal practice is just the launchpad for bringing more awareness to life?

        The list that you have on your website is awfully similar to what I already do.

  • March 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Very good insight on judgement. I wish the world would teach the next generation to be mindful. i have slowly introduced meditation to my daughter and she loves it. She loves the idea that we all have a sacturary for all of us to go to. The world must realized that breating is a 4 billion year old ritual performed by all living being. To truely understand non judgmebt one must mindfully be aware of your breath at all times. not just when meditating. it will keep you in the present. so to end my note may all beings be released from suffering
    May you follow your own path to enlightenment. May the soul in me honour the soul in you. Be the observer for the divine. Praise Buddha

  • March 22, 2013 at 3:17 am

    I like your post and would just like to add the idea of not just using our head but also our heart. If we can bring our heart into our connection with people we have much more compassion.
    In terms of judgement I think there is much more grey than black & white and so often we have no idea what is going on for a person or their story, such as your example of the check out person. stay compassionate.

  • October 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    The concept of “mindfulness” is noble and I agree we should strive for more mindfulness. I hear everyone talk about judgmental behavior as being wrong. I am seasoned in life and have had many experiences. As humans we must be judgmental – it is survival. A policeman must initially “judge” people in order to prepare himself to respond appropriately. A soldier must “judge” people to execute his mission. Should we just “trust” everyone and not judge them? If we took everything at face value, evil people would rule. Should a woman walking down the street alone at night not “judge” the people in her vicinity to be more aware of potential dangers? Being judgmental is a survival technique humans have used and will continue to use to continue as the dominant species. Lions, tigers, killer whales, all “judge” their potential prey. Goats, sheep, seals do not “judge” and become food.

  • March 28, 2017 at 10:16 am

    hi there, thank you for a wonderful blog. I am A SW who has recently moved to a new team/ area.

    While familiarising myself with the policies and procedures I thought it is good practice to check out new ideas of working with teens and children re managing their emotions, loss and anger. I came across your blog and found it very helpful. I have intended to practice mindfulness and at times I do but not as much as I would hope to.

    I have definitely found it very helpful with plenty of ideas that I can practice on my own self, family and those I work with.


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