I just completed the online SoundsTrue Mindfulness and Meditation summit. I learned about something most unusual, which I just had to share with our readers who are lawyers.
So, while I know that, in recent years, mindfulness has made it to the mainstream and that there is even an OBA program The Mindful Lawyer Series (good for them for taking this giant and progressive step!), what I didn’t know is that there’s a judge out there using mindfulness in his courtroom.
Check this out.
One of my favorite pieces was read about a judge who had an established meditation practice before he was appointed to sit on the bench. He realized he already knew how to “sit”. Wanting to bring a spirit of mindfulness and caring to the courtroom, here are the kind of instructions to the jury his practices suggested:
I want you to listen to what will be presented in this courtroom with total attention. You may find it helpful to sit in a posture that embodies dignity and presence, and to stay in touch with the feeling of your breath moving in and out of your body as you listen to the evidence. Be aware of the tendency for your mind to jump to conclusions before all the evidence has been presented and final arguments made. As best you can, continually try to suspend judgment and simply witness with your full being everything that is being presented in the courtroom moment by moment by moment. If you find your mind wandering a lot, you can always bring it back to your breathing and to what you are hearing, over and over again if necessary. When the presentation of evidence is complete, then it will be your turn to deliberate together as a jury and come to a decision. But not before.”
What a gift indeed! Without getting caught up in complex dharma talk or technique, this judge managed to pass on the gift of mindfulness to all those attending his courtroom.
And he probably does so every single day that he shows up there.
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