Here Comes the Judge
Hi, there! It's officially fall in North America and I can already feel myself getting more introspective. Today's Bloom has a little depth to it, although I tried not to overthink it. Here's the Seed again:
"Often, when we find ourselves being judgemental,
we might be feeling 'out of control'
and if we take a hard, honest look,
we're probably taking things personally.
That's a sign to see if
we can become more neutral."
Back before memes, there were "catch phrases" and one from the 1960's was "Here comes the judge". There was a song by that name by comedian Pigmeat Markham and singer/actor Sammy Davis, Jr. made it famous with comedy sketches on the tv show Laugh In. What does it mean, though, when we are the judge? Technically, it appears that we might be wired to "judge" because it doesn't require much thinking or reasoning. It's easy. We don't have to spend time or energy understanding. We don't have to slow down to be patient, compassionate, or to keep an open mind. While it might be "easier", it's not the kind of world I want to live in. Then there's the "Reject/Project" possibility. According to psychiatrist Carl Jung, "Although our conscious minds are avoiding our own flaws, they still want to deal with them on a deeper level, so we magnify those flaws in others." This might show up as judging someone else for a trait about which we are actually judging ourselves. Gosh, it feels like it could get really complicated.
For me, the best way to deal with being judgemental is through the many years of mindfulness training I've had the gift of receiving. Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of my first teachers, states, "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.". Jon's MBSR/Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program is a prescription for feeling better. It is a relief to let go of constant judging. Instead of reacting to a situation or an experience, we open up and simply "be" with it. It removes the need for "doing". Back to a better world ... The Buddha encouraged us to practice non-judgement as a way to cultivate compassion and empathy. When we are more open to understanding others' challenges and suffering, we can get in touch with a sense of us all being interconnected -- Through judging, we separate. Through understanding we come together (Doe Zantamata). It's a way to develop wisdom without distortion. When we train ourselves to be less judgemental toward others, it helps us to be that way towards ourselves, too. It lets us remain balanced despite the ups and downs of life. It allows us to respect others without imposing our beliefs or expectations. This doesn't mean ignoring harmful behaviours, but supports ways to respond to situations with grace. Mindfulness and meditation teaches non-judgement. Each time your mind wanders, you learn to notice, non-judgementally, and gently bringing back your attention. This helps to support us outside of the sitting practice. - We learn to be aware when judgements come up. - We recognize the judgemental thoughts without denouncing them or holding onto them. - We stay in the present. This is what I wish for you. Would you like to meditate, but don't think it's possible or you tried before and it didn't "work"? Want to give it one more try? Want to have a friend or two join you (it's always more fun with others)? Contact me. We can make it happen.
Sparkles and Love,