Roots of Mindfulness: Foundational Attitudes - Talk 2

Talk 2 - October 17, 2017 - Non-Judgement and Non-Striving - Prepared Talk by Robin Boudette © 2017

Talk 2 recording


Talk 2 notes 

Non Judging :  Open, observing, curious, allowing

Attitudinal foundations

attitudes qualities part of mindfulness training

helpful, essential in cultivating present moment awareness


Not independent of one another, actually interdependent

In Letting go, helps to have to trust

Non-striving is supported by patience

beginners mind brings balance to the judging mind

So it’s not about doing or being something

More like recognizing what’s arising

                        This is striving… holding on, what about letting go

Recognition is important

Much of the time we might not be aware of striving or judging

Once aware, recognize, what happens next?

            See the moment, power of pure recognition…

There my be loosening, a space, a shift

We can incline the mind/body/heart in the direction

Dance of Actions of Recognition and Non doing

We will be exploring the conditions that encourage, out of which the attitudinal foundations arise

Some are named by what they are not, non judging


            Want to move out of conceptual into experiential

What are the qualities of judging mind and non judging

Mindfulness translation is become familiar

            Not fixing, changing our experience, getting to know it,

Get to know it when it comes

Overview:  Judging Mind

How does non judgmental land in you

            You might be thinking:  not for me, rainbows and unicorns

Non judgmental awareness not warm and fuzzy sentiment

allows us to look at ourselves and our world in a different way

             Break out of habit patterns

Is judging something you do?  Or maybe it’s something you notice

Have you ever tried to stop having judgmental thoughts?

Can you force yourself to not have any judgments?

Is judging something you do?  Or maybe it’s something you notice

Or maybe both or either, inquiry into

The judgmental mind

Cultivating nonjudgmental attitude Requires you become aware to the constant stream of judging that arises, how we are constantly reacting to inner and outer experiences

Awareness of judging, automatic activities of mind evaluate, happens without our awareness

Intensity can vary:  rate, value, criticize, condemn

Tend to think of judging as negative, could also be good, great, have to have it

mind is problem solver, in charge of performance improvement

Genes we inherited

Process of Judging:

Brain in eastern cultures is seen at sixth Sense organ

 Mind is to thought what ear is to sound


See the weather outside

Taste chocolate cookies

I’m really not very good at this

Contact Generates feeling tone,


I don’t like this weather, not liking, want something different


I have to have another one of those cookies, liking, feeling wanting

Contact, feeling tone, followed by us moving toward or moving away

Happens often without our awareness

mechanical reactions, no basis in direct experience


When a thought appears in the mind we run with it, we exaggerate a thoughts’ power, we become easily obsessed with certain thoughts

On auto pilot, not aware of it arising, don’t question it, act according to what it seems you to do or feel

Judging mind is SO convincing, compelling, already knows

This person did something wrong…on purpose

This situation, job, day, event is going to be HORRIBLE… WONDERFUL

Has this happened to you to?

As we observe mind, we see how

How caught / entangled / absorbed in judging mind right now

gift of retreat, we can slow things down enough to

become interested in this chain of momentary events

see natural arising of thoughts, judgmental and other thoughts as well

same way observe sounds


Judging is happening, moment not judging

To keep going the judging mind like fire needs fuel

This is where we come in

Add fuel to the fire, rehash, rehearse, engage in process

This amplifies into a story, a mood, state and then dictates our behavior

Or note, judging is happening, step back observe the thinking process

Judging is happening…  inquire further..

What is the story my mind is telling?

I am having the thought that…

Judging is happening… how does it feel in the body right now

With awareness we can explore,

  • ·      Recognition
  • ·      Allowing
  • ·      Inquiry

relate to judging mind in a different way


Inquiry:  what does judging feel like?

Absence of judging, what does that like

            Notice the absence of judging mind

“Don’t know mind” is non judgmental; Beginner’s mind

qualities of don’t know mind:  open, curious, receptive, smiling, clear

how does it feel in the body, tight, spacious

quality of mind, clear, cloudy

The barn burned down

Then I could see the moon

Seeing with fresh eyes…

Beginner’s mind

As if for first time

            Weather, too cold

            Where does the “not liking” take you?

            What else is here:  beginners mind

            Trees dancing in the wind, sound of the rain

Don’t step in same river twice

No 2 breaths

No 2 bites

No 2 storms

No 2 body scans

            How present can you be to your experience?

Suspend liking and disliking, below the words

What do you learn, discover?

quote without preferences:  3rd Zen patriarch, Sengstan

The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.

The Great Way is not difficult 
for those who have no preferences. 
When love and hate are both absent 
everything becomes clear and undisguised. 
Make the smallest distinction, however, 
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. 

If you wish to see the truth 
then hold no opinions for or against anything. 
To set up what you like against what you dislike 
is the disease of the mind. 
When the deep meaning of things is not understood, 
the mind
s essential peace is disturbed to no avail. 

The Way is perfect like vast space 
where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. 
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject 
that we do not see the true nature of things.

Notice how judgments, preference cause suffering

See how this shows up on retreat

            Want a different schedule, a warm meal, more guiding, less guiding

            More comfortable clothing, different seat in the room

Wanting what we don’t have, Not wanting what we do have..

How is this…

No preference, no suffering, less suffering

No need to judge the judging mind, just what’s arising

Let mind do what it does and observe with curiosity

Faculties of recognition

Might even see judging mind as a teacher,  

Zen:  bad horse is better 

See the bad horse with a beginners mind, don’t know mind

No need to change the judging mind, be a teacher

Train mind in ways that help us no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in


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