• Monika Varela

Practicing being "Non-Judgemental"

Actualizado: 25 abr 2020

Yesterday morning I experienced a big lesson, one of the importance of the principle of no- judgement and its relation to practicing Mindfulness.

Jon Kabat Zin defines Mindfulness as

The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, in Purser, 2015).

What does he mean by non-judgementally? We can find tons of information about this online.

Talking about it myself, when I sit to meditate, sometimes I find myself lost in my thoughts, and then I stop and come back to my practice, and practice this non-judgmental attitude by being kind to myself. If a random negative thoughts pops up, I try to let it go, and turn off those automatic judgements that can sometimes be like, “Here you are, getting distracted again… you are useless…what is the point of sitting down to meditate if you have so any things to do?.” I find myself simply accepting what is happening and living the experience with more presence.

Yesterday though, I experienced my judgmental mind while in action:

I was riding my motorcycle to work and in one of the tunnels, a motorcycle honked at me. There was no way I could know that it was directly at me but I felt it. And what did I think? “Why are they honking at me? What is their problem?” I admit I even felt a bit angry!

Suddenly though, the motorcycle rider was next to me - it was a woman, and she said to me, “Be careful, your kimono is about to get caught up with the wheel.”

“Thank you so much,” I answered humbly as a quickly tucked in the kimono I was wearing for the very first time. Of course it was too long and not the best option to wear while riding a scooter in Barcelona!

I couldn’t believe it!!! I had been close to having an accident in the middle of the road and a stranger, who I now consider an angel, was trying to help me! If it hadn’t been for that woman maybe my kimono would have got caught up with the wheel and who knows what would have happened: I would have torn it, gotten scared, made the other cars crash, who knows!

This was a lesson of humbleness for me and I feel nothing but gratitude towards that person and the experience itself.

I was definitively not driving mindfully. And my reaction to a simple honk which could have been directed at anyone, was negative and of anger! This is exactly what Mindfulness isn't about!

I hope that next time someone honks at me, I don’t react. I hope I can just listen, and perhaps ask myself, “What could be the reason they are honking?”

In a way though, I am glad this happened as I was able to learn from a very short experience and can now share it with you.

This is me, learning to be non-judgmental, both while meditating and when driving!

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