April 6, 2018
Mindfulness, Judging and Non-Judgmental Awareness

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On Friday we have the privilege of spending time and learning from Judge Chris McAliley, as we together explore mindfulness, procedural fairness, and non-judgmental awareness.

Judge McAliiey is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Before her appointment to the bench, Judge McAliiey was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, serving as Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section from 1992 through 1995, and worked in private practice, doing criminal defense and commercial civil litigation. Since 2009, Judge McAliiey has had a regular mindfulness meditation practice, which has been important to her effort to bring a calm, compassionate attention to her work. She co- founded the Federal Bar Association/Dade County Bar Association Mindfulness in Law Joint Task Force and speaks regularly to members of the legal profession on mindfulness and its connection to the practice of law, judging, and living life. She contributed to the mindfulness issue of the Florida Bar Journal and penned the foreword to an ABA book on mindfulness for lawyers.

We are very fortunate to have Judge McAliley visit our class, as she is a brilliant jurist, a wonderful person, and a gifted teacher of mindfulness, and I know you will enjoy all that she brings to class and our time together.
This week we look into ways that mindfulness practice can influence decision making, bring more awareness to the arising of judgments, and influence how we treat each other and ourselves.

Read the series of short articles by Judge McAliley (Mindfulness in the Bench), Sylvia Boorstein, (A Bad Day At the Airport), Natalie Goldberg, (Rules for a Long Term Relationship) and Judge Fogel (Mindfulness for Judges) and be prepared to discuss what you found of interest in the articles, or raise questions you may have.

There is no writing assignment so that you may focus your attention on your papers. Pay special attention to the article by Sylvia Boorstein, as the mindfulness practice for the week is based on it. In addition to the designated practice below, please continue to practice mindfulness however you choose.
Mindfulness Assignments:

May I Meet This Moment Fully:
Practice the mindfulness slogan Sylvia Boorstein introduces in her article “A Bad Day at the Airport” this week.

“May I meet this moment fully.
May I meet it as a friend.”

Be prepared in class to describe at least one instance this week where you drew upon this practice (by identifying an event that prompted you to recite the phrase and noting your observations). You may find it helpful to write it down, though this is not necessary. Click here for a form to do so.

Mindful Space Make-Up:
You may make up a “Mindful Space” by doing a more formal exploration of this exercise by clicking here and downloading the assignment form. Complete the assignment for at least three events. You may turn in more than one page, if you choose.

Aspiration for Class: Meet the Moment Fully